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.
- this particular cane has no ability to interact with the 5GHz wifi band, which we do consider to be a significant issue. we are working on making a miniature version (it will end up being a bit less than half the length, same proportions) as well, but we have some fiddly bits to work out on that plan.
the miniature version will either a) be its own thing (a concealable dagger-like instrument) or b) attach to the back of the cane handle of this one, in-line with the existing boom.
making the 5GHz antenna detachable from the cane like the Rakuyo in Bloodborne would be badass as fuck but we aren't really sure how to make it work
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