and, while we're here, FAQ:
- It's a Yagi-Uda antenna for 2.4 GHz wifi with a gain of about 16-17 dBi across the band (center is channel 6 at 2437 MHz)
- It's also a cane
- We are able-bodied and don't need a cane at the moment, but we're hardly letting that stop us
- It uses a TP-Link TL-WN722N V1 wifi transceiver, a Raspberry Pi Zero W, and a USB battery bank as its onboard electronics
- The transceiver is capable of 20 dBm TX and around -90 dBm RX
- Maximum range is measured in kilometers
- Typical operating mode: Cane keeps the Pi Zero's onboard transceiver broadcasting a very low-power hotspot, which we use to connect over SSH and control the main transceiver in monitor mode
- Can also act as a wifi repeater, either to gain connectivity from distant hotspots or launch a nearby hotspot to a distant device
- Due to attenuation through building materials, it can rarely reach more than a few tens of meters in dense urban areas
- Battery lasts for 12 hours of constant use
- We could probably use it to try to break into poorly-secured hotspots, but as far as we are concerned, actual cracking is a boring use of aircrack-ng, and we prefer to use it for information gathering and exploration instead, or for remotely accessing our other RPi-based creations.
- Being a decent direction finder, it's also useful as a bug sweeper for motels and B&Bs.
- It comes in just under the wire for FCC EIRP limits, and is not illegal.
we may end up making both of these options, just so we can have both a large versatile instrument and a more specialized, easily concealed smaller one that can't do 2.4 GHz but can be brought into more places.
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