Quickie WiFi Scanner

File this project under “Getting Stuff Done” rather than “Shiniest Things”. [filid] works with a local free-WiFi access group, and wanted to map out the signal strength (RSSI) and coverage of their installations. This is a trivial task for an ESP8266, and it was even easier for [filid] because he had already written some WiFi scanner code for the same hardware.

Basically, the device is a Neopixel ring connected to an ESP8266. If it detects a router that’s part of the Freifunk München network, it displays the RSSI on the ring in an attractive circular “bargraph”. When it doesn’t detect a Freifunk node, it displays the number of WiFi routers that it finds. It dumps a lot more detail over the serial port.

The code is short and sweet. Take a look if you’re just getting started with networking using the Arduino firmware on an ESP. Even if you don’t live in Munich, you’ll be able to tweak it to your own situation in a few seconds.

We want to see a GPS and an SD card added to this one, for a standalone wardriving-with-purpose setup. And while we admit that the small form-factor is probably appropriate for this project, how much cooler would it be if it glowed blue like Bilbo’s “Sting”?

The Internet of Cats

With the miniaturization of technology, we’re now able to do some pretty crazy things with computers the size of credit cards. [Dennis] has been working on a rather unique project — he calls it the Cat Exploit — we call it the Internet of Cats.

By making pet-wearable tech (is that a new term?), it’s possible to create a mini war-driving server that stray cats (or other small animals) could wear. As they roam the streets, their feline-augmentation searches and taps into open or badly secured WiFi networks, repeating and spreading the signal to other Server Entities (other network-enabled cats), opening up the networks for all to use. Continue reading “The Internet of Cats”