NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

It worked fine the first time!

It is rare that one of my electronic gadgets work on power up the first time. This project was an exception, so I took pictures with my cellphone camera. Not great pictures.

wan_setup.jpg

Why did I build this contraption? We seek out RV Parks with WiFi wireless Internet when we travel. This is a new feature in many RV Parks and the wireless systems are not robust. Since we have an aluminum trailer and my Powerbook has a titanium case, the WiFi signals are often weak or not visible, depending on the site we are assigned. Ellen’s iBook, with it’s plastic case, gets a better signal. I get a bad case of signal strength envy when she can sit on the couch in the trailer answering her e-mail, while I have to wander the RV park in the dark looking for a strong signal near a picnic table.

So, I decided to build an outside directional antenna, called a can-tenna and mount it on a tripod.

can-tenna.jpg

This antenna is connected to a Linksys Ethernet Bridge, then to the Powerbook with an eithernet cable in this photo.

Bridge_mac.jpg

In the final configuration it will be connected to a wireless router, creating a wireless network inside our trailer. No more weak signals. No more explaining to strangers why I am sitting at their picnic table in the dark.

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