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One of the Melb Wireless regulars. Don't have a node running, and it's probably likely to be a while before I do, due to having so many other things on the go. However, I hope to have NodeBCJ on air one day.

Wireless is one of those cool things that attracts me. That explains why my main hobby involves wireless technology - Amateur (Ham) Radio.

Contrary to popular misconception, radio amateurs have not died out by a long shot, nor do all of us conform to the stereotype of the old man with his valve rig and Morse key sitting up all night on the shortwave bands. Some of us prefer to play with computers, satellites and even Internet based technologies on the airwaves!

All this RF tinkering comes in handy for a wireless network, especially since wireless networking uses the 2.4-2.463 GHz ISM band, which coincides with the 13cm (2.4 - 2.45 GHz amateur band). That could make life interesting when I get 2.4 GHz amateur television going.... :-) Amateur radio can also teach useful things like Decibels, antenna gain and RF calculations.

Check out PowerAndGainToDecibels for a simple conversion chart

Curious? Have a look at External linkhttp://vkradio.com and see what you think. :-) It might have more to do with MelbWireless than you think. Welcome to the concept of HamNetworking :-)

Also check out VoiceOverIP, SpeakFreely and TheWorldsMostExpensiveWalkieTalkies to read up on our September 2002 VoIP over 802.11b experiments.

Status report: October 2002

Well, in some ways, not a lot has happened. The nearest node in a favourable direction is now 6km away, and tests using Netstumbler and a modded GalaxyAntenna failed to get a signal happening. I have since aquired a larger GalaxyAntenna, which will also be modified for 802.11b service. There are nodes closer, but they are on my blind side, where the expected range is less than 200m.

The LAN/WAN environment is now becoming quite complex. There are a number of VPN tunnels to different destinations. This tunneling may become useful for interim east-west links between clusters at lowish bitrates (time to investigate traffic shaping :) ). VoIP is also starting to take a hold, with several contacts with TysonClugg using Speak Freely over the Internet having been made, all while other systems are also running their VoIP links. Coders who can port Speak Freely to IPv6 would be handy... :)

Status report: June 2002 - IPv6 is here! Most systems have been converted to IPv6 and have at least forward name lookups working (reverse should work, but not 100% tested). Services known to work on the IPv6 boxes include DNS, WWW, SMTP, POP3, IMAP4.

[root@ipv6gw1 rc3.d]# ping6 irlp.ipv6.vkradio.com

PING irlp.ipv6.vkradio.com(3ffe:b80:c48:1::1) 56 data bytes

64 bytes from 3ffe:b80:c48:1::1: icmp_seq=1 ttl=63 time=764 ms

64 bytes from 3ffe:b80:c48:1::1: icmp_seq=2 ttl=63 time=749 ms

64 bytes from 3ffe:b80:c48:1::1: icmp_seq=3 ttl=63 time=740 ms

64 bytes from 3ffe:b80:c48:1::1: icmp_seq=4 ttl=63 time=735 ms

64 bytes from 3ffe:b80:c48:1::1: icmp_seq=5 ttl=63 time=781 ms

64 bytes from 3ffe:b80:c48:1::1: icmp_seq=6 ttl=63 time=793 ms

--- irlp.ipv6.vkradio.com ping statistics ---
6 packets transmitted, 6 received, 0% loss, time 5051ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 735.273/760.926/793.617/21.208 ms

If you have an IPv6 capable browser, try surfing External linkhttp://vk3jed.ipv6.vkradio.com when I'm online (that site is IPv6 only, not accessible on IPv4 - it's also only alive when I'm home).

Status report: March 2002

Now have access to a laptop with a broken screen. This could become an ideal AP, or at worst, firewall/router for the node. Makes the PCMCIA card offerings more attractive, and it has a spare slot. :) The laptop has had Linux installed on it and it's purring along nicely. :) This system has now been fully configured as a wireless router.

Now have a pair of Enterasys cards and have a WLAN in IBSS mode working between the Linux wireless router and the Windows laptop. Early tests have been promising. A similar, though heavily firewalled and tunneled network will be setup in the city for further testing.

Have given the matter of spectrum management some thought. The only answer here is to put the WLAN on the highest Australian channel (around 2450 MHz centre freq), so ATV and satellite operation can use the lower end of the band. Unfortunately, the cards default to channel 10, which has a maximum EIRP limit of 200 mW, instead of the 4W limit of channels 1-9. (not anymore!)

Here is a test of Tyson's HTML -> Wiki converter... HtmlWikiTest.

Version 4 (current) modified Tue, 03 Jul 2007 23:12:21 +1000 by graybeard
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