[Cu-wireless] CD-ROM progress; other progress

David Young dyoung at ojctech.com
Sun Jun 9 17:34:34 CDT 2002

I am making decent progress on the CD-ROM. The boot process is
sophisticated, and so it requires a lot of debugging. I doubt that it will
"just work" at our next meeting, however, it will be a lot more nearly
complete, and I will probably have certain questions.  I will bring a
list of bugs and a CD-ROM to load on the devel boxes at Zach's. (When
is our next meeting, again?)

In an independent project, I am in the stage of collecting pieces to build
two wireless routers inside surplus 30mm ammunition canisters. (Darren,
the ham I met today, tells me I should consider Tupperware, and I will,
but the ammo can has a certain aesthetic/symbolic/practical appeal. Also,
an ammo can might actually be cheaper than Tupperware, it has a handle,
and it is more amenable to being locked closed and locked down.)

The way I will build these ammo-can routers is this:

  Waterproof the can. Probably sand & repaint, treat w/ Rustoleum? Peter
  Folk tells me there is such a thing as spray-on galvanization. Sounds
  weird, but it might work.

  Produce from wood, metal, or plastic, a rigid backing for the embedded
  computer; screw in stand-offs; screw the computer onto the stand-offs
  through the mounting holes it provides.

  *Somehow* attach the embedded computer to the inside of the can. I am
  still thinking about this. It would be nice if there were "bumpers"
  or a "suspension" to absorb some shock, because I want the computer
  to withstand some rough handling.

  Install one or two Prism-based 802.11 radios w/ MMCX connectors.

  Install watertight N bulkhead connectors in the side of the can;
  "jump" these to the radio(s) w/ 1-ft RG-316 cable.

  Install a watertight 8-pin DIN jack on the side of the can; "jump"
  to ethernet jack on embedded computer w/ short Cat5 cable.

  Install on the computer a 64MB CompactFlash card. (64MB is overkill;
  certainly 32MB or less will fit BSD/Linux "cozily," but trimming
  operating systems is a pain.)

  Assemble a versatile mount for an antenna, and affix to the side of
  the can. I have no idea what this will look like. It will depend my
  choice of antenna, I think.

  Assemble a weatherproof cat5 cable. On one end will be the watertight
  8-pin DIN that mates with the connector on the ammo can. On the
  other end, an ordinary RJ45 connector. The cable will probably be
  UV-protected.  Apparently Tepper electric sells UV-protected cable,
  it is ironically called "direct-burial Cat5." Is it for all that UV
  radiation in hell?

  Insert between the can and its ethernet jack a power-over-Ethernet


David Young             OJC Technologies
dyoung at onthejob.net     Engineering from the Right Brain
                        Urbana, IL * (217) 278-3933

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