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New social and personal dynamics are being created every day because of wireless. This book attempts to examine the practical exploitation of wireless networking. The projects here will help you get an understanding of the driving force behind the revolution...
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ISBN 0764558943

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Popular Science goes really mobile with the Voltaic solar pack and Junxion Box
Posted by Mike on Tuesday, July 5th, 2005 @ 12:32 am [Hardware]

Here's my Popular Science How 2.0 article on turning yourself into a walking hotspot by using a mobile power source and a cellular-to-Wi-Fi gateway. The Voltaic Systems backpack makes a great platform to build from due to all of the internal wiring and myriad power adapters included in the kit. And I like the Junxion Box as a simple, clean appliance to handle the Wi-Fi to Cellular interface.

The Junxion Box requires a 12 volt power source. So, natch, a lead-acid battery would feed it the juice it needs. Starting with a 1.2 Amp-hour battery will let the whole kit run a few hours. (The Box draws between 200 mA and 500 mA of current while active.) Adding a bigger battery will lengthen your run time. Solar adds a bit of extra runtime and will keep your battery topped off when the system isn't running.

The full article gives step-by-step and a parts list for you to make your own.

Read the article

  Geoff, you obviously have low self esteem, posting commebts like this. How about showing what you have done, instead of a knee-jerk reaction. BTW, cool stuff. Portable hotspots are way cool. This plus a satellite uplink or a long range antenna to connect to an urban wi fi connection means more coverage!

Posted by: Fauti on Wednesday, July 6th, 2005 @ 02:13 am

  Excellent work. Intersting contrast to this Slashdot article about a guy convicted for using an open Wi-Fi spot.

Posted by: Hipster_Zombie_Wannabe on Wednesday, July 6th, 2005 @ 05:06 am

  I'd say you have ample imagination! Shame solar can't provide enough power to keep it going indefinitely - at least during daylight hours - but this is very cool indeed. :-)

Posted by: keith on Wednesday, July 6th, 2005 @ 05:10 am

  Other than the geek factor, the Voltaic backpack isn't really buying you much. You're still running at a net power drain -- the backpack can't charge the battery enough to make a difference. I'd go with a larger battery - 7 amp hours or so isn't very expensive. Charge from the mains when you get the opportunity; you're going to have to do that anyway even with the Voltaic.

Posted by: Phil on Wednesday, July 6th, 2005 @ 07:26 am

  I thought for sure it was going to use a sattelite link up, rather than EV-DO. EV-DO just doesn't have a large enough footprint for this to be interesting to me.

Posted by: bud landry on Wednesday, July 6th, 2005 @ 07:29 am

  I apologize for Geoff. Ever since he lost his job at KFC, he's not had *enough* money, and has sat in our basement sulking, muttering, 'The manager doesn't have any vision'. Geoff, it's time for lunch. Come upstairs, won't you dear? I cut the crusts off, just like you like. Geoff's Mom P.S. Do you think I could get one of those thingamajigs for Geoff? Would it fit in his Dora the Explorer backpack?

Posted by: Geoff's Mother on Wednesday, July 6th, 2005 @ 08:16 am

  Looks like a suicide bomber pack to me... hopefully you won't get mistaken for one by any armed forces.

Posted by: dev null on Wednesday, July 6th, 2005 @ 09:08 am

  How bout losing the backpack and adding a 25 foot pole, talk about covering a small neighbor hood with several poled kits. How bout a backpack that is not just a hotspot but also connected to a local NAP? Article title, "Everywhere I walked I vended out free wi-fi internet access." Add a webserver and a pay pal account and you could support the nap connection through donations. Even more radical. What about creating a full wifi-nap kit with webserver for under 1k and giving it to homeless persons. Supply them with kit and atm card, and the understanding they can go to an atm and retrieve a percentage of the donations as salary for toting the wifi nap point around the city?

Posted by: shawn on Wednesday, July 6th, 2005 @ 09:35 am

  EVDO coverage is going insane recently. Southern California now has 8000 square miles of high-speed coverage. And for places where 700k isn't available, the network still works at 80k. I'm working on satellite next, but that is *way* less portable. We're talking a 3 foot square mounted to the roof of an SUV. Besides the geek factor, the Voltaic pack also sports a bunch of internal wiring between compartments and adapters to hook things together, making the actual integration totally painless.

Posted by: Mike O on Wednesday, July 6th, 2005 @ 10:00 am just get a bettter solar panel and a charge controller and your set

Posted by: phil on Wednesday, July 6th, 2005 @ 12:18 pm

  Hey What about wiring a car like this, not a backpack? Spending some more dough and buy a cheap dash pop up LCD screen and a wireless keyboard maybe. That might be interesting Or, I could be like the rest of the geeks and pooh-pooh a pretty neat innovation Waitaminute - didn't this get published? Then your idea must really suck HCE

Posted by: HCE on Wednesday, July 6th, 2005 @ 12:38 pm

  Hardware for one time costs I can deal with, but my question is about monthly/per minute use connection costs. What is the price/kbps differential between mobile and satellite? Is satellite faster but more expensive and so not worth it for the average non-nationalgeographicexpedition geek? And can you get a per minute use EV-DO PCMCIA? Not on a plan, I mean- cause not everyone can afford 80$ a month past the hardware costs.... Thanks! Nicely done Mike..

Posted by: Sharon on Wednesday, July 6th, 2005 @ 03:46 pm

  Pretty cool. I'll try something similar once I get some disposable income to dispose with, but I'm going to lose the solar panels and try and get it all to fit into a old briefcase, I think it'll look more badass that way.

Posted by: Slick Mcfavourite on Thursday, July 7th, 2005 @ 04:26 pm

  LUELinks will order a 7000 pack of them, and LlamaGuy of LUELinks will pay the bill.

Posted by: LUEshi on Thursday, July 7th, 2005 @ 08:34 pm

  This sounds like a cool thing, but the speeds of internet access can't be that fast. You talked about this wipack to share internet access on road trips but as far as I know the speeds of cell phone internet devices are maybe or a little better then dial up. Having more then one person trying to access the internet would be frustrating. Just a comment. I too have made wifi stuff. Try using a direct tv dish and an smc directional antenna( pointed toward the dish) and watch how many networks you can pick up.

Posted by: Johnny Bravo on Friday, July 8th, 2005 @ 12:21 am

  Cellular service can be very fast these days. It's not as fast as a Wi-Fi or DSL at this point, but I usually get speeds of 700kbps download and around 50-80k upload. That's plenty fast to share an internet link!

Posted by: Mike O on Friday, July 8th, 2005 @ 11:50 am

  *steals the backpack*

Posted by: LUE402 on Saturday, July 9th, 2005 @ 09:42 pm

  why not using asus wl500g instead?? it's MUCH CHEAPER! it's linux inside! it has usb port to plug in usb cables connect to cdma/gprs phones. that's it and you're ready to go.

Posted by: rex on Saturday, August 13th, 2005 @ 04:41 pm

  or, use a mobile gprs/cdma with built-in wifi. like xda o2 or nokia 9210 or other palm/pocketpc/symbian devices. then develop a software to turn this device into hotspot. that way much 'Cool'er than buying a ready-to-use, yet expensive device like that.

Posted by: rex on Saturday, August 13th, 2005 @ 04:59 pm

  Lol, thats the funniest thing I've seen for about a week. Why not ry to take it on a plane as hand luggage. Also the PDA idea is better just don't use a palm they suck badly.

Posted by: Keef on Sunday, August 21st, 2005 @ 10:03 pm

New comments have been disabled until further notice.

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