[amsat-bb] Re: S band interference solution
k8ocl at hotmail.com
Thu Oct 5 10:12:11 PDT 2006
OK, you're right. Some folks can't handle ridicule, so I will try to be
more tutorial and less shaming. But it never stops amazing me how folks in a
technical wireless avocation such Amateur Radio can have such an extremely
narrow focus in wireless!
For example, hand a standard satellite telephone to the average Ham, even an
AMSAT member, and ask him to make one phone call, just one. Or give them a
Linksys 802.11g Access Point (AP) from Radio Shack and ask them to set up a
small wireless local area network (WLAN). Or this one: Hand them a old
laptop PC and ask them to upgrade it to a WiFi wireless client and then go
down to their local coffee shop and surf the Internet.
Please keep in mind, these are ALL common consumer wireless devices! And our
lovely test subjects are all supposedly sophisticated wireless licensed
RADIO amateurs. But chances are excellent they would NOT HAVE A CLUE how to
do any of these common consumer wireless tasks. They left their wireless
curiosity on the door step somewhere and got super specialized.
Opps...there is that ridicule tone again. Got to stop that! (HI)
Why am I rambling on like this? Because the result of all this is that
satellite Hams can send a signal on a 50k mile round trip to some bird they
helped design (remotely) and build (remotely) themselves, but they can NOT
figure out how to manage a $60 unlicensed wireless device their neighbor
bought at Best Buy. So they spend hours on this reflector lamenting the
potential loss of a cherished Mode S instead applying just a tiny little bit
of traditional Amateur Radio ingenuity and tracking down and dealing with
the low power device(s) in their own neighborhood.
However, there is one saving grace. The WiFi users are no better, buth then
they don't claim to some kind of wireless guru. They will come to me
because their AP is running slow. They suspect interference. I will tell
them about free NetStumbler software. Load it and tell me what you see.
Next day. They return and say they saw that all three of the other
neighbors and themselves are all on the device's default radio channel 6!
So I advise them to go back into their AP configuration software and change
their AP channel to 11. The next day...miracle! The slow problem went
Well, Hams can do the same thing! Chances are if they use NetStumbler to
look at their neighborhood they will see the following frequency channel
distribution of devices:
90% on channel 6 (most common WiFi default channel) -- NO problem.
5% on channel 11 -- NO problem, that's not even in the Ham Band. Ignore
10% on channel 1 -- Ahh! Those are the problem! They must be gently
persuaded to go to some channel above 1. That may solve your problem.
Better yet, ask them to move to some channel above 6. That way they are
starting to get out of the Ham band entirely.
That 10% on channel 1 may amount to only 1 or 2 WiFi users in your entire
neighborhood. A little TVI-type PR in reverse and a little TLC and the
problem is solved!
How's that Luc? A little more encouraging?
John - K8OCL
AMSAT Life Member 1069
>From: Luc Leblanc VE2DWE <lucleblanc6 at videotron.ca>
>To: AMSAT-BB at amsat.org
>Subject: [amsat-bb] Re: S band interference solution
>Date: Thu, 05 Oct 2006 10:08:49 -0400
>On 5 Oct 2006 at 8:21, John Champa wrote:
> > I really do get bored reading about all these threats to Mode S from
> > etc.
> > For a bunch of supposedly sophisticated wireless guys, you sure don't
> > beans about
> > consumer grade wireless devices. That includes our wonderfully
> > but pessimistic AMSAT satellite engineers!
>I agree... but it sometimes very hard to convince and ridicule may prove
>too much for some readers
>but it can be of some help for some stubborn minds who are not pessimistic
>The medium is the message...The content is the audience...;)
>Luc Leblanc VE2DWE
>Sent via AMSAT-BB at amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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