Getting started in WaveWan

"unnecessary but l33t" - John Weaver


About
We created a wireless network using off the shelf networking equipment. We built point to point links in the Mira Mesa area and spreading out from there. One of the objectives was to use the wireless network to add failover to existing ISP connectivity. This allowed network nodes to utilize alternate ISP links in the event of an outage. The network also provided higher bandwidth at a lower cost then is available from an ISP.

Here is a visual map of our first proof of concept link: Map of our first link.+Notice google earth was black and white back then+
Note: This map shows two links on the right. Only the lower right links is really used used.

This link is 1 mile and uses 24db gain directional antennas.
Check here for more detail on the length.

Here is a map of our second link between John and Billcat's place here

News
7/16/01 - We're now routing the cts subnet to billcat's place. Soon we'll need to subnet the class C so we can route thru to brents. The graphs now represent both the 6.2mile link to brents and the 2 mile link to penguin.
7/13/01 - The mast at billcat's now has two antennas and we figured out a way to get two wavelan devices in one pcmcia->isa converter. This means we're able to get a route going between two seperate locations.
6/12/01 - The MRTG wlan graphs have been fixed and currently represent the 6.2 mile link. We're still tuning it but it seems pretty stable. Our next goal is to tie all of these links into one backbone so we can begin using the netblock we've got from CTS.
6/05/01 - We've got some new ways to contact the group. First we're on IRC. irc.dal.net #wavelan. Second we've got a small mailing list going. wlan@neurospeed.com. Mail shelshok@san.rr.com to be added to the list.
6/04/01 - This weekend we got our third link up and running. It's about 6.2 miles and about as far from LOS as we could get and still make it work. The signal is between 1M and 2M but it's stable and we'll take it.
5/14/01 - This weekend we took a short drive around town. In the short amount we were out and about we found quite a few networks using a new wintel tool Billcat got. Here is the pix that resulted.
5/13/01 - Upgraded Sven's antenna to a 24db antenna. Also reoriented his mast a bit and got a much better signal than we were getting before. 2.1ms ping times.
5/12/01 - Lots happened this weekend. Our second link came up. Using 24db antennas we're running over 1.9 miles. We're seeing 1.7ms ping times. Pix of the install are here.
5/10/01 - Found 35 wavelan networks today just driving around town with the omni. We were really surprised how many networks we found in residential neighborhoods. Pix of further wardriving activities Here
5/09/01 - Our 5 pack of directional 24db antennas showed up today. Here is the spec for these antennas.
4/30/01 - Omni arived today. Also got a 6 foot car pigtail. Should make a nice scanning setup. Tested the omni to Sven's place but didn't get a link. Here are pix of the antenna mounted.
4/22/01 - Lots of news today. Tested one of the new antennas. Didn't make it to the other grid antenna but we're thinking that's due to the cable length on the other end. Here are pix of that install. Also did a site survey of all the node locations with the GPS to get more accurate lat/long/elev info. Went downtown to Steve's loft pad and did a survey down there. Here are pix from that trip. Also went driving around town with a laptop set to ANY network. Found way more nodes than we expected. We're now building a scanning mobile system to locate more
4/21/01 - Did a site survey to Brent's pad today. Pretty good chance of making that work. Here are pix of us doing the survey.
4/20/01 - Billcat has relocated his wlan box closer to the roof. Pix here.
4/18/01 - Billcat got some new antennas off ebay that we're going to run some tests with. Pix1 and Pix2 Here is the spec on these.
3/22/01 - Here are some old pix of one of our installs install.
3/21/01 - The link is back up. The MRTG graphs now reflect real data.
2/26/01 - The link is on it's way back up. The MRTG graphs should now show some real data.
2/06/01 - The link has been down for a bit as you'll see from the MRTG graphs. We're waiting on a new location. Other than that it's been working fine.
11/22/00 - Here are some antenna pix from the install at Sven's house.
11/19/00 - Here are some pix from our test at mtn Soledad.
11/15/00 - Here are some LOS graphs snert came up with
11/14/00 - We scoped out Black Mountain as a potential node site. Great views. Check Here for some pix.
10/5/00 - Testing continues. MRTG graphs are in place. We're working on getting the link stable and seeing how much real usable bandwith we can get out of it.
10/1/00 - Our node boxes are in place. Wavelan works great with linux and scm PCMCIA SwapBoxes. The antennas need a bit more tuning but the OS test is complete.
9/28/00 - Our first link was tested and is working at 5.5 meg!!!! With more tuning we may be able to get it to 11M but we may need to get taller masts to get over some trees in the way. We were able to get to 5.5M with minimal antenna tuning and our homemade feed cables so there is room to tweak and peak this link a bit.

Node locations:
Sven: 32:54:17-117:8:32
Eric: 32:55:58N-117:08:37W elev 545f
Brent/Steve: 32:51:39N-117:11:39W elev 355f
Other Possible Node locations:
Cory: 32:55:51-117:8:35 elev 457f
Snert/Aaron/Taz: 32:55:00-117:08:02 elev 446f
Steve's roof: 32:42:56N-117:09:34W elev 111f 32m
Rex's place: 32:46:3N-117:0:3W elev 796f
Milo's place: 32:46:15N-117:0:23W
John's place: 32:46:6N-117:10:21W
Gabe's place: 32:47:5N-117:7:44W
Los' place: 32:45:43N-117:1:3W
Jamie's place: 32:54:17N-117-8-50W

Current Realtime Network Stats:
    Eric <--> Sven link:
-MRTG LINKS LIVED HERE-
Sven <--> Eric link:
-MRTG LINKS LIVED HERE-
Brent <--> Eric link:
-MRTG LINKS LIVED HERE-
    Eric <-->brent link:
-MRTG LINKS LIVED HERE-

Parts List
Currently we are using the following parts list:
1. Lucent WaveLan Gold card. $97 Avaya Wireless: Gold
2. 24db or 19db gain directional antenna. Order from PN: PMANT19 or PMANT24
3. Lucent WaveLan to N cable adapter. 316B-NMWQ-RL-12
4. 25 foot LMR-400 Cable with male N connectors. Order from here:400Z-NMNM-25
5. Antenna mast and mount. Radio Shack has these. Buy a 10 foot mast and an eave mount. Higher than 10 feet will require support wires so I'd avoid these unless really needed. 10 feet should do fine for now. Order the mount here. Order the mast here
6. PCMCIA adapter. Unless you plan on using your wavelan card in a laptop all the time you'll need a wavelan adapter to insert it in a PC. Be sure to get the ISA version unless your mobo only has PCI. The PCI version seems to have issues with many motherboards as well as with the linux drivers. Search Ebay for these. Linux likes the 'swapbox.'
7. Coax N female-female adapter. Connects the wavelan adapter cable to the feed cable. Radio Shack or Frys has these. Not needed if you get a M - F LMR-400 feed cable.

Cost:WavelanGold - 104. Antenna - 67. Lucent to N Adapter - 24. Coax Cable - 39. Mast and bracket - 20. Swapbox PMCIA adapter - 25. Coax adapter F to F - 3. TOTAL=282

Compare this to the inital setup fees of a T1 link(only 1.5M) and then consider that there are no monthly costs with the wavelan solution?!?!?

Tools/calculators
Here is a distance calculator that will give you bearing and distance given lat and lng: How far is it?
Here is another distance calculator that can handle three locations: Distance calculator
Wireless Network Link Analysis Here.
More calc tools: Here.
Linux software to SNMP monitor lucent APs monitor

Documents
Wireless LAN resources for Linux - Start here.
The spec of the WaveLan Gold card: WaveLan
The most detailed documents on wireless wavelan use: LowCost Wireless Network How-To
Linux driver dox - Wireless LAN resources for Linux
Antenna Range Info(Not wavelan but good info) - BreezeNet Ranges
Wireless Router Howto. Linux specific - Wireless LAN
Huge amount of WaveLan info Here.
Good wavelan tech info from a vendor Dox
RSPF. Like OSPF but for Radio RSPF
Linux wireless FAQ - FAQ
Lucent dox on outdoor antennas Dox
FCC dox on part 15 ISM rules
Using a UNIX computer as a base station
Free BSD access station. Here
Good document on Radio Line of Sight here.
Dynamic Source Routing - DSR
Good article on bandwith with a microwave going - oreillynet
21 mile link - oreillynet
Good article on how to SSH tunnel - oreillynet
Paper on wireless performance with and without encryption - here.
News about ticket master's 'fanTM' system. Here.
Good dox on antenna homebrew Here.
Great dox on how to do Power over ethernet- POE

Equipment

Vendors:
Pacific Wireless - Nice looking directional 2.4G dishes. PacWireless - Link to their pricing list so you don't have to register. AntQuote
HyperLink, Ok vendor - HyperLink
MobileMark makes antennas here.
Telex makes antennas here.
SuperPass makes antennas here.
Provider of cable with N and wavelan adapter - Here.
AntennaSystems, Good wireless source - Here.
Karlnet makes the software in the lucent APs and the airports. Here
PCMCIA extender cards. Needed to use two wavelan's in one machine. Here.
TrendNet's corporate site here
TrendNet is a new PCMCIA wlan nic maker Buy here.
Vendor with 26db directionals NetNimble
Vendor with good cisco gear price list here
Electro-comm has a really good price list posted Here.

Plans for a homebrew Helical Antenna - Helical Antenna
Antenna built from a can - here.
Antenna yagi plans, great pix - here
Details on using a DirectTV dish as a wavelan antenna - Here

Airport stuff:
How to upgrade an Airport to wavelan gold - Airport Gold
How to add an antenna to an Airport(Uses wavelan) - AirPort Antenna
Using the Airport with PCs - AirportPC
Details on the Airport hardware - Here.
Windows software for configuring the Airport - Here.
Details on reparing the Airports here.
A pretty good writeup of an apple airport used with an omni antenna on a roof is Here.


Other Projects

Active:
Seattle Wireless - Seattle Wireless Most active project.
Personal Telco - Portland. Pretty active.
NYCwireles.net - nycwireless.net New, Seems active.
PDX Wireless, Portland OR(Good FAQ section) - PDX Seems to be merging with Personal Telco.
Playanet(Ad-hoc network at burningman) - Playanet Seasonal.
Elektrosmog - Sweden Newly active.
Canberra Wireless Network - Australia
SFLAN - Project in the bay area. SFLAN Seems slow.
Sbay.org(Very good distance info!) - sbay.org Pretty active.
Shmoo GAWD Global Access Wireless Database - shmoo
BAWUG Bay Area - here. Very active.
NoCat.net Sonoma County, CA - here New, Seems active
surfandsip does coffie shops - here Locations in downtown SD

Inactvive(dead):
Guerrilla.net - Guerilla.net
Israel wavelan group(Over 100Km) - Israel
Commercial venture in Orange County. Here.
Mycal Labs Here.
xlan Here. And here is their mailing list - here.
Tasmanian Public Airwaves Network TPAN
High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network HPWREN - HPWREN diary Here.

Security
Paper on wireless security. Here.
SecurityPortal wireless page. Security Portal
This witepaper gives good details on breaking WEP(the encryp used in the wireless cards) Here.
A rebuttal to the above paper Here.
A good pdf on another WEP security issue - here
Good paper with links to other security dox -here
Commercial Sniffer software for 802.11b - here
Good dox on using a sniffer on a wlan - here
NAI has a wireless sniffer out too - here
Drive-By Wavelan action - here
ISS paper listing default ESSIDs - Good paper.
Press about drive by wavelan action - here
Pix from the above event - here

Networking
Zebra. Host based routing, BGP. Here

Solar/Alternate Power
One issue for remote repeaters is power. We're looking into what solar options we have.

Windmill powered www server Here