[hackerspaces] What's your WiFi setup?

Jonathan Lassoff jof at thejof.com
Mon Oct 22 22:54:12 CEST 2012

On Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 1:20 PM, Rubin Abdi <rubin at starset.net> wrote:
> All that being said, if you've got that cash, go for 802.11n running at
> 5gHz. You can run it at 2.4gHz but there's really no point as the access
> point you'll be using most likely will also offer 802.11g at the same
> frequency, and the moment someone hits the access point with a machine
> that doesn't support 802.11n, everyone will be dropped down to g.

The best way to keep the better client adapters (supporting 5 Ghz and
802.11n HT) from being dragged down by older, more inefficient radios
is to segment ESSIDs. It's certainly possible to run the same ESSID
("network name") with multiple access points, but as Rubin points out,
it just takes one slow adapter to sully the bunch.

This is why we run our 5 Ghz AP as "noisebridge-a", and our 802.11b/g
stuff as "noisebridge".

> At Noisebridge we run a pair of Cisco 1100 for our 802.11bg/2.4gHz
> network, and a Ubiquiti PowerStation 5 running 802.11a/5gHz. The Ciscos
> are problematic and really need to be replaced, and we've never had any
> problems with the PowerStation.

Actually, I think that the Cisco radios have been rock solid, but the
2.4 Ghz ISM spectrum not so much. If we had a lot more Ethernet and
2.4 Ghz APs sprayed all over the place, I don't think it would be as
big of an issue.

> Ubiquiti gear is rock solid, and pending funds, we'll eventually get
> some UniFi Pro devices, which have radios to run 2.4 and 5 ghz at the
> same time. A set of 3 is about $600 - $700 on ebay.
> If we were strapping for cash (which we typically are), and I had time
> to actually work on this shit, I would use several NanoStation Locos in
> the space.

Here, here! Ubiquiti makes some great gear, and nearly all of it runs
OpenWRT swimmingly if you're into firmware hacks.
The Ubiquiti "AirOS" firmware seems much more geared towards WISPs,
and less towards 802.11 access.


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