From a Truck Trailer to a Mobile Workshop

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If you’re a seasoned hacker, you might find you need a portable workshop, because every moment away from home you feel a bit naked without access to all your tools and machines. It’s a bit of an older project that we’re quite surprised we never covered, but without further ado let us introduce you to [Steven Roberts'] Polaris Project trailer!

[Steven] is quite the seasoned hacker. In 1983, he took a 17,000 mile journey across America on a technology equipped bicycle — a very impressive feat at the time — seriously you won’t regret watching his video about it.

Anyway, fast forward to 2010, and [Steven] was invited to explain his new project on Make — with detailed build instructions! The 24′ mobile workshop utility trailer features thousands of electronic parts, cabinets filled with both hand and power tools, welders, a CNC router, a 2kW generator, a solar array, AGM battery backups, a ham radio, dedicated computer, soldering equipment, microscopes and more. It is quite literally packed to the gills with an amazing variety of tools.

The picture here doesn’t do it justice, so we recommend you check it out for yourself!

Is anyone planning on making their own mobile workshop? We don’t know about you, but we are now!

[via Toolmonger]

Bringing WiFi into a Mobile Hackerspace

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[Philipp Protschka] has a pretty awesome mobile hackerspace (MHS) trailer. The only problem? How do you get WiFi when you’re inside what is basically a Faraday’s cage?

He didn’t think he’d have a problem, since he has a fairly powerful router (Netgear R7000 Nighthawk), not more than 20m from the trailer. But as soon as he shuts the door, he loses all connectivity — he can’t even see his SSID. Leaving the door open a crack results in a signal with a speed of about 54Mbits — not bad, but when it’s cold outside this really isn’t an option.

The solution? Install a WiFi repeater with an external antenna. He’s using a TP link station with two antennas — he’s removed one and hooked it up to a rugged outdoor antenna that gives the MHS a bit of an FBI van look — awesome. With the repeater in place he’s suddenly got access to over 24 SSID’s in the neighborhood from inside! It’ll also be extra handy when travelling because with the extra range it means he’ll be able to hook into local WiFi networks with ease.

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