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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in wireless' LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, July 15th, 2009
1:15 pm
Trying to use a Shireen 802.11 amplifier. It didn't seem to work very well.
This was the first test. Then tech support said lower the power of the 802.11a radio. Ok, I did that by 10db. Then it still didn't work. Anyone else have luck with these Shireen amps?

The Yellow is without the amp. The white graph is with the amp. Notice the average power increases but max power DECREASES.

Saturday, July 26th, 2008
1:00 am
Here are some photos of the Packet8 phone I got today.
Overall rating is excellent. Betty said she heard like an "echo thing" compared to a regular phone. I haven't used it enough to notice, yet. Range seemed decent, though I didn't venture past the front yard. The phone was easy to setup and configure. Some internet connections might require a switch or hub. If you are lucky, your computer would work through the passthrough ethernet, getting NATed IP address. . .as long as your internet modem gives the phone a DHCP ip. If not, you can configure it using the web page and give the device a static IP address, clone your MAC address, some other things.

Only real gripe was the packaging, very wasteful plastic blisterpack that requires a knife to open, plus shipped in a HUGE cardboard box. Yes it all recycles but what a waste of space for shipping.
A plus is a real paper manual of 72 pages for the phone. . .yeah RTFM! And good documentation from Packet8. Also the phone service for packet8 was amazing, quick pickup by a helpful operator to make sure my phone number transfer could get started. FYI when you do the phone transfer, you have to do it AGAIN after you get your phone. If the phone number LNP status does not change after six weeks, call customer service they say! Wow, it can take that long to move a phone number? Hopefully not.

Nerd techie crap: The phone (web interface) can show you stats on each phone call, packets loss and average amount of jitter. I am not sure if the "gap duration" is the time between each SIP packet received?

This was a short phone call while download two large files from internet:

Packets received: 1582 (31640 bytes) Packets sent: 1593 (31860 bytes) Packets lost: 2 (0.13%) Packets discarded: 1 (0.06%) Max. audio burst loss: 2 (packets) Jitter average: 5 ms Jitter maximum: 146 ms Latency minimum: [Unavailable] ms Latency average: [Unavailable] ms Latency maximum: [Unavailable] ms Burst density: 255 (100%) Mean burst duration: 40 ms Gap density: 0 (0%) Mean gap duration: 24240 ms

This was a longer file while not doing anything. Both calls seemed to sound good, maybe a slight distortion on the call while downloading. . but still good audio.

Packets received: 7696 (153920 bytes) Packets sent: 7697 (153940 bytes) Packets lost: 3 (0.04%) Packets discarded: 0 (0%) Max. audio burst loss: 1 (packets) Jitter average: 1 ms Jitter maximum: 33 ms Latency minimum: [Unavailable] ms Latency average: [Unavailable] ms Latency maximum: [Unavailable] ms Burst density: 255 (100%) Mean burst duration: 20 ms Gap density: 0 (0%) Mean gap duration: 44144 ms

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Sunday, July 13th, 2008
1:13 pm
The takeover of free and independent TV.

I admit that now as a parent, I have been watching more TV. I watch it over satellite, using DISH network and occasionally watch an HD channel. But my new distraction is from an old Hitachi TV using rabbit ears, setup in my garage. This TV was given to me, I tried to give it away to someone else but settled with having one in my garage, which is sort of nice when you get bored with your other hobbies. Since I live near Los Angeles, I get a good number of spanish TV channels (with the t&a commercials that play constantly), a few of the main stations, I get a PBS station in real well and so I'm pretty happy about that. For occasional channel surfing it works fine. But wait, they keep telling me to get a DTV reciever by 2009 or I won't see anything? What is that all about.

Enter "Digital Broadcast Television". Our fun loving government and broadcaster have tried to get us all to switch to digital television for years now, and they believe next year is the right time. 2009 baby, they say that's when the fun starts, party on!! They say with excitement, it's finally coming. . the government and broadcasting corporations have put lots of effort and teams of people to make this the one event that happens. They say you either get a DTV reciever for that old TV, or you will only get like three channels, if that!

So what's good? Well digital tv, or call it DTV for short, has been around for years. We get it via satellite, and many people already view local news in HighDef over the air. Many broadcasters have been transmitting the new DTV signals for years. . .just not that many people have started using them. I will try to make a list of the good things regarding DTV.
The good:
1. Some of your DTV channels will be in high definition. Well I don't care because my old Hitachi doesn't do HD. If you have a HD TV and reciever, this is good because it is truly something EXTRA you would get for free. . .free HD on some over the air channels.

2. They say this is good for the radio geeks, as they will end up with more radio frequencies to use for other things. . .but what other things? DTV signals can use up less bandwidth than analog TV.

So far, I'm not really seeing the benefit, especially for me as a viewer. Lets get to the bad news.
The bad:
1. You have to buy a digital box to convert your TV, it will only cost $20.00 if you are lucky and get a coupon from the government. Or wait, is this a good since it's only $20.00 ?? But wait, I can't find any converters that cost $60.00. All I see in converters that cost me $140.00. That is $100.00 I have to pay!!

2. A big bad one. . .an estimated 1.8 million people will lose the ability to access over-the-air TV entirely as a result of the digital transition. How is that possible you say? Well, for some reason they are lowering the power of the new DTV signals, so they won't go as far. Yikes. How is this good?
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Tuesday, May 13th, 2008
9:13 pm
earthlink wireless

So I don't get it. . .Earthlink says they would have given the wireless network to Philidelphia, but they didn't want it. So they sue Philidelphia instead to recoup some of the costs of tearing down the network and removing the wifi nodes from the street lamps. You take the city to court? Is Earthlink insane? WTF. . .and they are just going to stop the service!

Does this make any sense? Is Earthlink lashing out at Philidelphia now for giving them a bad name or something? Bizarre.

And for an idea of the service, I cut some of the comments for you to see. Read more of the complaints on the service here http://www.wirelessphiladelphia.org/blog_detail.cfm/blog/37

"I would advise you to choose the slowest most antiquated dial-up connection before considering the muni wifi as a viable option."

"This is the absolute worst product I have ever dealt with. I spent close to 6 hours on the phone over the coarse of about 8 phone calls. Canceled three accounts trying to get their special "antenna" which didn't work. Was hung up on while on hold three times after navigating through their automated"

What in the heck where these people thinking? Both Earthlink and Philly where to blame if you ask me. Obviously not everyone thought it was a good idea in the first place.
I have used the Earthlink wifi service a few times in Anaheim, testing it to see how it could be used by the city staff. I found it occasionally worked ok. . but I occassionally was VERY frustrated as something slowed the network to a crawl, and again like the other people you get a good signal but the backhaul is overloaded and or being jammed by RF noise from something. It will be interesting if the lawsuit has to reveal the network diagram for their system. It would be a good model of what NOT to do for outdoor wireless.

It's too bad the system can't be upgraded using a combination of other comm infrastructure to make it more robust. And the damn tropos nodes, can they be upgraded? I wonder how much it could cost to upgrade a Tropos node to use 4.9ghz?

Also it's funny that philidelphia says it would cost millions to run per year? How is that, I mean I know cities are not real efficient but come on, over a million to keep it going? I wwould maybe say millions to UPGRADE it, but not just to keep it going as is.
I'd like to see the cost model for how they figure the millions.

Even considering worst case, say you need to do like 250 bucket truck runs per year for defective units. Say $100,000 for bucket trucks/electricians.
Add two IT/Rf geeks per year, thats $300,000 at most (even with outsourcing)
Say $100,000 for new hardware/warranty.
Say $50,000 for backhaul circuits.

It's still far from a million per year. Maybe some other costs I don't see?
Friday, May 9th, 2008
1:17 am
philidelphia and anaheim earthlink
Wifi municipal hell
In this article they talk about Earthlink is going to shut down the New Orleans wireless network. What a waste of money, also the Anaheim and Philidelphia Networks are rarely used and they don't advertise them either. So no new customers. What a mess, and my guess is that they won't actually unplug each wireless node from the streetlights. So they will sit there and use up electricity until the city removes them all and sales them to surplus. Both Philidelphia and Anaheim probably don't know what to do at this point. . .they both think we got hosed on the deal. But if no one pays for the service, why should the city rescue it?
Why? Well I would say because it's infrastructure, and that can be used for a variety of things, video cameras, gunfire sensors, and hey even wireless networking for citizens or city staff.
There seem to be options, either pay earthlink more to keep it running. Or put out an RFP and try to see who wants to help maintain it and grow it. Either make it city staff only access or hybrid like riversides.

I happen to know the Earthlink wireless network. . .not all the details but I know it uses Motorola Canopy and Tropos devices. The earthlink Anaheim wifi uses many 5 gigahertz unlicensed backhauls, which make for poor performance when other 802.11a devices interfere. It needs to be redesigned for a set level of performance, with more and better (licensed or fiber) backhauls. I think it's salvageble and can be made into a better system.
Would be a waste to just throw it away, which is whats happening now. I think Earthlink is like the city officers at philly and Anaheim, they don't know what to do with the crap either!


some photos of anaheim earthlink nodes:
Tuesday, February 19th, 2008
11:11 am
Wireless woes: trying to join Apple Airport Network with non-Apple machine(s)
OK: X-posting massively because it's a cross-platform problem... in the hope that someone, somewhere can tell me (a) that this is, in fact, possible, and (b) how to do it.

I'm moving in with my girlfriend. (Hurrah!) Who is a mac fan. But I run Linux -- and XP when I need to -- and I can't get my machine to talk to her router. Both Windows and Linux are able to see the router and the network: the problem seems to be with encryption.

Set up is Airport Extreme with 802.11n (set for 802.11b/g compatible); adminstration is done using Airport Utility Version 7.0 running on Mac OS X Tiger. WPA and WPA2 clients can connect; using WPA-PSK with TKIP.
I am running VectorLinux 5.8 SoHo dual-boot with Windows XP Home Edition (SP2), and the wireless network card is an Asus WL-138G v2 with Broadcomm chipset.

The WIndows story, so farCollapse )

The Linux story, so farCollapse )

So. One possibility might be to try reverting to WEP -- but that's weaker security. One possibility might be to return the wireless card, put the old ethernet card back in, and plug directly into an Airport Express (for $100!) -- but then we couldn't use the AirTunes feature in different rooms, as it would have to stay attached to the PC... It's Linux that I really want to get this fixed in, not just XP, as I see Linux as my main OS. Help! Any ideas, anyone?
Friday, February 1st, 2008
9:13 am
DFS on 802.11a

I found a wireless firmware update today that DISABLED some of the 802.11a channels because of the new FCC regulation.

Keep this in mind. . . might not be worth updating firmware if you lose 802.11a channels because of it. Basically the radio must have DFS on. . . or they are not playing the game right.

From what I understand DFS has to be there now. DFS scans constantly to see if any other 5 ghz noise is there. Noise, not just 802.11a. So if it sees weird radar, Motorola, any thing on that band it has to stop transmitting. . . until it is noise free. From what I see, that means the 802.11a wireless planning-mapping needs to be done to keep your 802.11a units from interfering. A good thing in a way as 802.11a units won’t interfere as much when improperly setup.
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Friday, January 11th, 2008
8:28 am
email tool
I found this utility pretty useful. It's a free dispatch program for communicating with users. Uses email to send information and keep track of dispatches. As long as your wireless devices supports email, this works. And it's free.

Sunday, November 11th, 2007
8:26 am
It seems the largest wifi project in the US is in Oregon, Umatilla County. With a grant from DHS, the wireless project is the largest in the USA and has some free access for the public as well.

And why wifi way out there? Because the US Army has a chemical weapon facility there, yes a WMD storage facility. Hmm, wait I thought those where in Iraq? :)


map it:
Friday, October 26th, 2007
6:45 am
Does anyone know of a good mobile wireless system that uses 4.9ghz frequency (for public safety)?
We have issues with antennas. The omnidirectionals (only large antennas on the cars) seem to work well and we need a smaller antenna. Maybe a smart antenna?
Friday, October 19th, 2007
9:54 pm
FCC id numbers
Something I wrote on FCC id numbers. Also a little bit about 802.11n and the SAR tests that they do now.
Tuesday, October 16th, 2007
10:30 pm
webcam to mobile
Hi All,

I've found pretty cool application which allows remote password protected webcam access from mobile handset.
The only problem is that the service is not free :-)

Does anybody knows something about similar services?
Saturday, September 29th, 2007
10:41 pm
Thursday, September 27th, 2007
9:54 pm
Information on 802.11n technology and new rules for 802.11a radios.
Saturday, July 28th, 2007
8:16 pm
Can anyone offer me a bit of advice?

I'm trying to set up my wireless connection on my laptop, and although I'm receiving a signal from the wireless router, when I open up the web browser, none of the pages will load.

I ran the Network Diagnostics and it said the Internet Explore Web Proxy is "not configured". How do I configure it?

Fixed! Thanks.
Sunday, July 15th, 2007
9:29 pm
testing tool
Some information on a useful radio tool, a USB power meter from Anritsu. And works pretty good as a bug finding tool also.


Sunday, June 17th, 2007
8:47 am
Creating google maps with netstumbler.
Wednesday, May 16th, 2007
1:48 pm
Wireless Access Point Aerial Question
I bought one of these Belkins (full spec here):

I want to replace the omni-directional aerial with a directional one to focus the radio waves in one direction. Does anybody know if Belkin sell them, or if the aerial is likely to have a standard connector what I could use to find a 3rd party alternative?

I've also heard you can turn an omni-directional aerial into a directional one fairly easily using metal shielding (like tin foil or something I suppose), does anybody know how you'd go about doing this? I haven't had much luck googling for any of the above.

Any help much appreciated.

Current Mood: tired
Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007
7:21 am
In some of our equipment (enterasys access points) there are some settings for TXOP. Knowing nothing of that, I did some research on this and found a good link that describes how TXOP and other things work, and how they deal with contention of multiple users talking at once.

A good article:

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007
9:13 pm
I took the pw0-100 test today www.cwnp.com

I thought I passed. Opps, I failed! Wow, usually if I suck ass at a test I realize it. Am I getting old or what? I was pretty sure that I knew enough of this wireless stuff and got most of the questions right. But not.


Now that I look at the website I see some of the terms and such that I knew nothing of:
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