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Wireless Networking Hardware

15-Mile Wi-Fi Shot At 4 Mbps Up and Down 79

DarnComputers writes "5G Wireless (FGWC) announced that it has documented a long distance Wi-Fi shot of 15 miles at a throughput of 4Mbps upload and download speed. The shot was completed this last weekend, in a competitive Wi-Fi shootout at the Defcon convention in Las Vegas, Nev. There were many participants with both commercial-grade and homemade entries in a variety of categories at Defcon's first annual Wi-Fi shootout."
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15-Mile Wi-Fi Shot At 4 Mbps Up and Down

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @06:30AM (#8098113)
    I thought English measurements are banned on Slashdot now? []
  • Last weekend? (Score:5, Informative)

    by LinuxGeek ( 6139 ) <> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @06:30AM (#8098114)
    This story was posted last summer. Check the dates on the linked page...
  • That's cool (Score:5, Funny)

    by ObviousGuy ( 578567 ) <> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @06:31AM (#8098116) Homepage Journal
    In my house, I'm able to shoot 54Mbps across 15ft of WiFi.

    It's not too shabby, and I don't get delayed on the 11Mbps Internet connection like I did before by my 10Mbps LAN card.
  • by SultanCemil ( 722533 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @06:32AM (#8098119)
    I guess this means Taco can get high speed internet access out in the boonies after all. (see earlier story)
  • The hyperlink pointing to the Earthlink page isn't working. This may be an attempt to save Earthlink's servers from a serious slashdotting, I suppose.
  • by The One KEA ( 707661 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @06:34AM (#8098124) Journal
    It doesn't say anywhere what chipset they used for this shootout...

    Although 35 miles with 802.11 is pretty damn good, IMO - scroll to the bottom and have a look at the monster antenna they used.
  • by kbsingh ( 138659 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @06:37AM (#8098131) Homepage
    Defcon is usually end of summer kinda things... the 2004 Defcon is posted for July 30th - 4th Aug 2004.

    I remember looking at this story a while back - and the same page was linked. might be worth looking back on ./
  • Only 15 miles? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Brymouse ( 563050 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @06:39AM (#8098138)
    That's a good shot, but I have done 10.1, 22.65 and 19.3 mile links, with 99.9% uptime. I used Breezecom DS.11 radios and 24 DBi andrew/conifer antennas to accomplish it. The worst signal strength was -68 to -72 dbm on the 19 mile shot.

    It's not something that all that uncommon.
    • Re:Only 15 miles? (Score:3, Informative)

      by yppiz ( 574466 )
      I think the winning team was shooting from their ~24db horn to a 5-8db omni. Not bad, especially considering their horn was a Home Depot special.

      --Pat /

    • The other day my laptop was connecting to the campus Wi-fi, 12 to 15 miles away, using nothing but the built-in wireless card. Throughput was crappy though.
    • Re:Only 15 miles? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by rudeboy1 ( 516023 )
      The breezecom system you use is a specialized point-to-point/point-to-multipoint bridge system. They're designed to go that far. Your overall throughput is probably about 1-2 megs, right? These guys were using a home wi-fi system that is not designed to go more than a few hundred feet. Amplifying a signal like that takes a pretty good amount of thought, especially to get those kinds of throughput figures. Amplifying and transmitting a signal of that nature is like trying to stretch a 1X1 icon to the si
    • The Breezecoms' are licensed radios, no? Higher allowable output power, bigger antennas = better range. Duh.

      If they're not licensed, I'm *sure* you stayed within the legal ERP limits, right? Out of respect for the licensed users of the bands used?
  • by yppiz ( 574466 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @06:39AM (#8098139) Homepage
    I built a copy of the cardboard antenna that the winning team used at the core of their mongo-horn. It turns out that the design is quite robust (that is, even I can make it) and with just the amount of cardboard you'd get from two standard 16"x16" boxes, it's possible to make a 16db gain directional antenna.

    What 16db means in terms of wireless use is than instead of picking up 4 access points from a rooftop using Netstumbler, I saw 40 different access points, including the BAWRN public node over eight miles away (with clear line of sight but an enormous amount of clutter in the fresnel zone).

    I used this design [] from

    I strongly recommended trying this as a project. It's easy and pretty cool.

    --Pat /

    • by Technician ( 215283 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @08:35AM (#8098474)
      If you need it for outdoors, I would recommend using the aluminum coated insulating sheeting that can be purchased at any good building supply. It's the plywood with metal coating. Using the metal tape the HVAC guys use to seal up seams in ductwork would work well for assembly and provide weather protection.

      Georga Pacific makes some. It's description from the website;
      GP Thermostat Radiant Barrier Sheathing enhances Plytanium plywood sheathing with a highly reflective aluminum foil. Thermostat Radiant Barrier Sheathing can reduce heat flow through the ceiling up to 50 percent and save up to 20 percent on cooling energy consumption in hot, sunny climates. (1) Best of all, it's made of Plytanium plywood, so you know it's strong and durable. ni um%e2%84%a2+Thermostat%e2%84%a2+Radiant+Barrier+Sh eathing&pid=1741&hierarchy=

  • by ehintz ( 10572 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @06:44AM (#8098164) Homepage
    The link is so blazing fast that it actually slows down time, like Superman in the movie. That's why we all feel like Defcon was months ago. It was really last week.

    In related news, the shuttle was traveling at 18x the speed of light when it broke up... Really, cnn said so here [], and everyone knows cnn is the epitome of clueful.
  • Legality? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by d-ude ( 106541 ) <sch740&yahoo,com> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @06:48AM (#8098174)
    No matter what, at least it has to be more legal than the 'key-down showdown' stuff that used to be popular on the CB radios. I saw a guy with a suburban that had like 6 alternators on some custom bracketry, the entire rear cargo area full of batteries, and two large coil antennas on the roof. He claimed that he had a different length of coax on one antenna so that by the time the signal from the rear antenna 'slammed into' (his words) the front antenna would start transmitting and it helped his performance. They usually sit people many miles away and whomever can be heard the loudest wins. Everyone transmits at once I guess. Craziness.

    Anyway i'm just wondering what the limits are for dB gain on a certain power level to keep within the legal limits. I have an Andrew 24dB gain dish for 2.4GHz and I wonder if I hooked it to my Lucent card if it would be a legal power level.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @07:25AM (#8098305)
    Here is a website for homebrew/amateur radio related wireless experimenting. It covers the construction of homebrew amplifiers, antennas, receiving converters, etc. They also have path analysis and line-of-sight analysis CGI utilities.

    Green Bay Professional Packet Radio []
  • by qmf ( 724793 )
    I spend all day in the office looking busy buy twiddling with my linksys antennas promising the boss a better signal. But now all I have to do is buy a load of metal pipes and some duct tape?
  • Last weekend at DefCon?

    (checking calendar)
  • by armando_wall ( 714879 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @08:47AM (#8098512) Homepage

    I'm looking forward to when this kind of technology becomes more mainstream (and cheap).

    You will be able to "phone" your nearby friends (usually most of them) by using regular p2p netphone software and a Wi-Fi connection... why limiting to audio? Videomeeting software! Free-of-charge digital communications possible?

    Goodbye to those ZIP and CD-Rs and DVD-Rs, now you can upload your work from your home pc directly to your office desktop (maybe companies will have to implement stronger security measures).

    On the downside, I can see a new generation of viruses, trojans and worms "in the air".

    • Have you seen that new IBM commercial about WiFi? Couple guys sitting a bar/diner. One guy mentions how he sees people with laptops everywhere. Another guy goes on a short little rant about how it started as 1 hotspot and then grew to millions, and now theses billions of dollars flying around the air. "Watch your head".

      I give it a 4 out of 6. Yes my scale goes to 6. 6 is reserved for those IBM / Linux [] commercials with the "orphan boy who was adopted by the world"

      PS: My MythPC is down for repair, I'm
  • Way back in '99 when wi-fi was just coming out (barely), I setup a 19.2 mile shot and got 11 mbps out of it, with only 11ms ping time.

    this isn't news... and it's not even useful...

    btw that wi-fi setup I did is still running today!

    and didn't we see some recent stories on slashdot of wi-fi setups running more than 30 miles with decent through-put ?
    • ...only in '99
      I was working on a project in '89 (yes I do mean the eighties) that did 13klicks with spread-spectrum radio boxes - admittedly, this was prior to 802.11 standardisation and the interface was the size of a house brick.....but still
      • well, back in 1889 my great grandaddy made his own homebrew bullhorn and managed to shout information that could be heard 34 miles away.. on a rainy day. Then I made a time machine and went back to 1779 and cloned cows! AND TRANSMITTED THEM OVER A DISTANCE OF 100MILES!!! there
  • Is some form of punishment both for people that submit, and people that repost, duplicates.

    Especially in this case, when said submitter claims it's "last weekend" when in fact it occured last summer, and was all over Slashdot at the time.

  • Is there some sort of "secret" contest going where people try to get the editors of Slashdot to post the oldest articles possible? Is this the new fad since is gone?

    What do I win?
  • Guess it took them since the competition ended (and the first story [] came out) to actually document their success???

    Still a cool accomplishment, especially considering I think the antennas had to be built then and there (or maybe the team just got lazy). Goes to show you what a little knowledge of efficient antenna designs can do for you.

  • Someone tell Cmdr. Taco before he signs the DirecWay contract.
  • I attend defcon and I assue you the defcon dates for 2004 are July 31, Aug 1, 2. Theres no way that this took place "last weekend" as the article says
  • The entire frozen dinner section at a small convenience store near Las Vegas, NV mysteriously cooked itself at approximately 7:03PM.

    A special envoy of the Pope has been called in to investigate the possible miracle. Said one bystander, "I don't think it was, like, God or something because this chicken burrito is way overdone."

  • Some useful technical information / photos in relation to extending WLAN links can be found on the FRARS WLAN website here [].
  • This is a dupe article from quite some time ago, but...

    Why doesn't anyone ever point out that these guys/gals/idiots (and most other 802.11b antenna articles on Slashdot) are operating their transmitters illegally? You'd think folks like TechTV wouldn't sponsor illegal activity.

    There are ERP limits (Effective Radiated Power) for 802.11b under their FCC Part 15 licensing.

    No one seems to particularly care that there are legitimate licensed users in the 2.4 GHz band, I suppose.

    Follow the legal limits

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