[Mike] takes us through the process of adding a removable high gain antenna to the WRTSL54GS in this article. The antenna that comes on this unit from the factory is a bit small and underpowered. After upgrading it using OpenWrt, an open source full featured router software package, he felt it needed a beefier antenna. So, he cracked it open. The new antenna can simply be soldered in place, where the old antenna was.
Since our last post about his WiFi Streaming Radio Project, [Jeff] has been hard at work to release part 8 of the project where he adds tuning control to the radio. Interestingly enough, the addition of the tuning control only requires a potentiometer and the completed AVR LCD board from part 7. After wiring the potentiometer to the analog to digital converter on the AVR and adding a few lines of code, the radio can now be tuned quickly and easily. In addition to thoroughly explaining the hardware changes, [Jeff] details the configuration changes required to the OpenWRT framework so that bidirectional communication between the router and AVR is possible, allowing the tuner to function properly. Be sure to check out the video above to see the tuner in action.
[Jeff] is continuing to work on his WiFi streaming radio project and is now into part 7. The reason it’s taken so long is because he’s bothering to document every single piece of the system instead of assuming too much of the reader. The core of the system is an Asus WL-520GU wireless router. It is supported by OpenWRT and has a USB port for use with an external audio card. mpd, Music Player Daemon, is used for playback. This latest part features adding an LCD display for the current track. The router board already has points for the serial port, so it’s just a matter of adding an AVR to talk to the LCD. The next step is building a simple user interface and then boxing everything up. You can view a video of the display below.
[rocketman] has posted about a new event at Defcon dubbed WarBallooning. They are using a Kismet drone (a modified WRT54G), a webcam, and a few high gain antennas. The balloon will be launched at about 15 stories and will be remotely fed targets chosen directly by the Defcon participants. The the directional antenna will be mounted to the camera so pan and tilt can be controlled. The Kismet CSV files will be available for everyone after the event.
Netgear recently launched the WGR614L wireless router targeted specifically at open source firmware enthusiasts. It can use Tomato, DD-WRT, and soon OpenWRT. The core is a 240MHz MIPS processor with 16MB of flash and 4MB of RAM. You’ll probably remember when Linksys decided to dump Linux from their iconic WRT54G line in favor of VxWorks; they released the similarly speced WRT54GL for enthusiasts. Netgear seems to be arriving pretty late in the game, but they’ve set up a community specifically for this router. Time will tell whether community support is enough to make this the router of choice for hackers. We wish someone would release an x86 based router in the same price range just to make porting stupidly simple.