Mayak Turns WiFi Traffic Into Sound

Dial-up modems were well known for their screeching soundtrack during the connection process. Modern networking eschews audio based communication methods, so we no longer have to deal with such things. However, all is not lost. [::vtol::]’s Mayak installation brings us a new sound, all its own.

The installation consists of four WiFi routers, connected to four LTE modems. These are configured as open hotspots that anyone can connect to. [::vtol::] was careful to select routers that had highly responsive activity LEDs. The activity LEDs are wired to an Arduino, which processes the inputs, using them to trigger various sounds from an attached synthesizer.

As users connect to the routers and go about their business on the Internet, the activity LEDs flash and the synthesizer translates this into an otherworldly soundtrack. The hardware is all hung on a beautiful metal and acrylic frame, which stands as a striking form in the sparse gallery.

The piece creates a very electronic soundscape, but you may prefer your installations to have a more mechanical racket. Video after the break.

7 thoughts on “Mayak Turns WiFi Traffic Into Sound

    1. Hehe, I was talking to a fellow sysadmin at our ISP about something, and he told me to jump on the internet to get something. Just for a laugh, I played a sound file of an old dialup modem dialling a line and establishing a connection. He asked me WTF I was still doing on dialup.

  1. As far as I know “Mayak” is a reference to a Russian/Soviet joke among people who made any kind of electronics: If you’ve done something wrong, it becomes receiver for Mayak radio

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