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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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New World Record for Wi-Fi Distance: 125 Miles
Posted by Mike on Saturday, July 30th, 2005 @ 09:35 pm [News]
My pal Frank Keeney tells me that the world record holders for the longest distance for an unamplified Wi-Fi link (55.1 miles at 30mw) blasted through their own year old record today at the Defcon Wi-Fi Shootout. Team PAD shot their signal a distance of 125 miles from outside Las Vegas, Nevada to a location near St. George, Utah, winning them a new record in the "unamplified" category at the shootout. This possibly qualifies them for a new Guiness record as well.

Frank is the founder of that provided the Wi-Fi gear to Team PAD. He tells me they used the Z-Com 325hp+ PCMCIA cards running at a built-in power of 300 mw on each end of the link. The cards were connected to one 12 foot and one 10 foot diameter satellite dish (see photo) on each side of the link. The computers they used were running Linux. And their link quality was so fantastic that they got 12 ms ping times, ran ssh shell commands, and even used vnc remote desktop.

He also said that Team PAD may use the same gear to attempt smashing our old Bluetooth record of 1.08 miles.

Team photo and my estimated link locations follow. I'll post more as pics and video become available. Congrats guys! Maybe Wired will make an annual comic strip in your honor.

Update: Typo correction, the cards used this year are Z-Com 300 mw (three hundred milliwatt) PCMCIA cards with external antenna connections (not VCom). To clarify, last year, the team used Orinoco 30 mw (thirty milliwatt) USB adapters.

Update 2: Frank posted a writeup with photos and more detail of the rig in action. He also shot a cool 11 minute video of his adventure.

  30mw or 300mw? Vcom or Zcom?

Posted by: John Safford on Sunday, July 31st, 2005 @ 01:00 pm

  Congratulation ! But like previous posts : is it 30 or 300mw ? pcmcia cards are directly connected to "antennas" ? PS : 128 miles = more than 201 km... And many people get hard to use wifi@home (with walls) more than 20 meters away, or *maximum* 200 meters away without any obstacle. You've used wifi more than 1000 times faraway than standard installations :) Do you have any tips (or doc to read) to easily do one hundredth of your record ? [David:moua]

Posted by: [David:moua] on Sunday, July 31st, 2005 @ 02:38 pm

  Ya....and 8 foot satellite dish

Posted by: Mike on Sunday, July 31st, 2005 @ 03:19 pm

  30mw was the power used last year when they hit 55+ miles. This year they used 300mW cards (still unamplified) which I don't believe were around last year around DefCon. So yes the power is 10x as much as last years record, but it's still unamplified. On the Vcom/Zcom question -- vCom makes wifi equipment, here is a link to the card they used. Hope this answers some questions.

Posted by: neal stuntz on Sunday, July 31st, 2005 @ 06:16 pm

  Haha...I said vCom not zCom in the above post -- the correct manufactor is z-Com NOT vCom

Posted by: neal stuntz on Sunday, July 31st, 2005 @ 06:17 pm

  I may have mis-heard (can someone confirm - I was way at the back of the defcon awards ceremony conference room), but I thought I heard the wifi shootout organizer say that they had reduced the power to 30mw and still maintained the 11Mbps link. They initially were using 3 watts amplification on both ends while they aligned and tested the connection. He also mentioned that the team fully expects that this rig is easily capable of connections spanning over 300 miles.

Posted by: Jason Striegel on Monday, August 1st, 2005 @ 02:02 am

  nice 8 foot satellite dish - never seen such crazy thing....

Posted by: hank on Monday, August 1st, 2005 @ 02:04 am

  They use a Z-Com XI-325HP+ 300mw Wireless PCMCIA here: 12 foot dish on one end and 10 foot on the other.

Posted by: Frank Keeney on Monday, August 1st, 2005 @ 07:44 pm

  Please add curvature of the earth to the profile. The real trick to this shot was finding the geographical location to do this!. Lest we lead others to think the world is beautiful.. New York to Boston? Only after we build some skookum mountains. Honorary member: Flat Earth Society

Posted by: ApK on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005 @ 09:19 am

  What does the FCC say about all this?

Posted by: joshuathirteen on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005 @ 09:21 am

  to: joshuathirteen STFU, over

Posted by: FCC on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005 @ 10:17 am

  Unvelievable heeky garbage, wow. I thought I was a geek but this, this is ridiculous.

Posted by: me on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005 @ 12:43 pm

  Quote: ----- snip! ---- What does the FCC say about all this? ----- snip! ----- They're Ham's. They're allowed to use amps and directional antennas. (Please don't ask about using SSH when opperating part 97.. _PLEASE_ don't ask about using SSH when opperating part 97....) Congrats, guys. I was at DefCon. You might have heard my jaw hit the floor when they made this announcement at the awards ceremony... :)

Posted by: KR6ZY on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005 @ 02:34 pm

  bah, Hams have been mountain toppin for decades...zzzz....wake me up when they moonbounce!

Posted by: tinman on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005 @ 09:13 pm

  what driver changes were made to account for temporal delay? 802.11, with standard ack_timer, will receive the Ack after the NAV duration has expired. This problem only becomes clear when there are multiple devices in contention for the medium.

Posted by: localrick13 on Wednesday, August 3rd, 2005 @ 12:21 pm

  Congratulations guys. Fantastic shoot. To clarify a couple of points. It is 300mW. For acuracy, the product is made by Zcomax USA. It is based on the Z-com XI-325HP (200mW) but is re-engineered by Zcomax for another 50% performance boost.

Posted by: Costas on Thursday, August 4th, 2005 @ 04:13 am

  Too funny.. all those posts above that ask 30 or 300 mw?? Did you not read the article before posting? BTW - this is awesome guys - keep up the good work.

Posted by: moximo on Friday, August 5th, 2005 @ 02:07 pm

  I finally edited and posted the video from the DEFCON WiFI Shootout event along put some photos and topographical information up on the web. Here they are: It was great fun watching the team set this record!

Posted by: Frank on Tuesday, August 9th, 2005 @ 11:51 pm

  In a clueless attempt to be nasty, moximo posts: "Too funny.. all those posts above that ask 30 or 300 mw?? Did you not read the article before posting?" The original had a simple typo error like we all make at one time or another. The typo was fixed after we asked the question.

Posted by: John Safford on Wednesday, August 10th, 2005 @ 09:22 am

  Superb job, boys :)

Posted by: Paul McClean on Wednesday, August 10th, 2005 @ 05:06 pm

  You not have problem whit ACK-timeout ? which driver userd of the link ? host_AP ? ad-hoc or infrastructure mode ? I not see, hve packet lost and how is the ping-time ? Sorry .. my english .. i'm from Bulgaria :)

Posted by: drago_k on Friday, August 12th, 2005 @ 11:11 pm

  I'm dying to hear about modifications made to ack_timer (if at all) This is a real problem that comes with using 802.11 at distance (over 8km?)

Posted by: localrick13 on Tuesday, August 16th, 2005 @ 05:50 pm

  Congrats! Care to share any specs & spacing on the driven element? I wonder how a standard 15db or 24db horn would work on a larger dish. Certainly more distance but still not circularly polarized like FM broadcast type antennas and yours. Do you have any specs for other experimenters on the circular polarized feed (driven element)? How about a high gain helical for a feed! Just something to consider if you have not already. How about customizing the feedline to go through the dish for less interfearance or experimenting with other lower loss lines, or even larger line like lmr 400/600. I'm curious more about your construction of the driven element and experimentation with different feedlines. Perhaps you can disclose older designs as you progress with better working prototypes for the rest of us experimenters to keep the neighbors curious and have something to talk about when they look at out antenna farms. Take care, good job and good luck!

Posted by: Arthur Jovellas on Wednesday, August 24th, 2005 @ 07:13 pm

  Yes, they did use 300mW cards, but they had the cards turned down to approximately 30mW. Unfortunately, everyone is reporting the cards to be running at 300mW which somewhat marginalizes the engineering of the sat dishes. (FYI, I was a judge at the contest)

Posted by: Derek Hubbard on Friday, August 26th, 2005 @ 02:19 pm

  The Z-Com PCMCIA card in Nevada was set to 300mw and the Z-Com PCMCIA card in Utah was set to 30mw.

Posted by: CodeBlue on Sunday, September 4th, 2005 @ 10:34 am

  what is the compatibility of these Z-Com cards with XP? - I hear rumors of driver incompatible.

Posted by: Dave on Wednesday, September 14th, 2005 @ 12:59 pm

  Quote: ----- DOUBLE snip! ---- What does the FCC say about all this? They're Ham's. They're allowed to use amps and directional antennas. ----- DOUBLE snip! The disturbing thing is that any ham can run equipment in the 2390-2450 MHz band and complain that a WISP or any home user operating at 802.11b/g is interferring with him and have them shut down.

Posted by: Justin on Wednesday, September 21st, 2005 @ 09:52 am

  Hey guys this is amazing.. It will be amazing to see community without any wires soon..

Posted by: publisherads on Wednesday, September 21st, 2005 @ 11:47 pm

  We have created a world record by going for 200 miles at 100 mw

Posted by: Pankaj on Sunday, September 25th, 2005 @ 06:40 am

  Hey! I just found your site and watched the video etc. LOVED IT! This kind of experimentation is something so uniquely American! Seems we are always thinking, dreaming, and developing something new in our minds and then in physical world, but let me put away my soapbox and say that you guys are super cool and thanks a bunch for the video and pics. Like another writer said above, it sure would be interesting to see the real detailed specs on your feedhorn, dish mods if any, and feedline / connection to the pcmcia card. Also, what timing mods or other mods did you have to make to the protocol? Some of us nerds just love the details, so if you have the chance, could you please tell us about those cool points of interest and anything else you'd like to throw in? Will anyone try lasers line of sight, backscatter, and eme anytime soon using linux, laptops, etc.? Lets hope so! Thanks again for the super cool info!

Posted by: Tracey on Monday, September 26th, 2005 @ 06:51 pm

  Tracey: Experimentation is 'Uniquely American'? Oh please. America is no more inventive than many other nations so please don't unsult the rest of the world with uninformed patriotism. Fantastic effort and one that I hope will make it to mountainous regions of this world where a low-cost LAN/WAN will be of most use.

Posted by: Chris on Tuesday, October 11th, 2005 @ 05:52 am

  And I thought I was doing good with a 12 mile link.. wow...

Posted by: Max on Friday, October 14th, 2005 @ 08:59 pm

New comments have been disabled until further notice.

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