[NetBehaviour] Wireless Hacks

marc marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Sat Jul 30 14:12:14 CEST 2005

*Wireless Hacks

The NoCat Night Light
How many cats does it take to screw in a light bulb?*

Contributed by: Rob Flickenger
[05/10/03 | Discuss (74) | Link to this hack]

Back in March 2003, some friends and I were hanging out at a really good 
coffee shop in Sebastopol. This particular coffee joint is housed in an 
old wooden train station building, with very high ceilings, old style 
hanging industrial lamps, and even a couple of old trains serving as 
small shops, still on the tracks.

Unfortunately, there's no wireless available at this shop (there was, 
once upon a time, back when O'Reilly was located across the street from 
it. But that was ages ago, and even then the signal wasn't all that it 
could have been.) As we sat around drinking our high octane beverages, 
we got to talking about the best way to provide coverage in such a huge 
space. The room we were in was a common room, open at all hours (the 
front enterance is huge, and doesn't even have a door.) While you could 
put an access point in one of the enclosed shops in the building, 
coverage in the open area would likely be spotty at best. You would want 
the AP to be located high up off the ground, where everyone could see it.

Almost simultaneously, we all looked up and noticed the lamps hanging 
from the wooden rafters. What if you could house an AP in a package the 
size of a large lightbulb, and install it in an existing light socket? 
This seemed like a good idea, but how would you get network access to it 
without running CAT5 to the socket? Easy: Powerline Ethernet.

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