From MRL Wiki
Project ideas for a motorized antenna
- Plans should be made to be reusable so multiple people can follow along, or reconstruct after the fact
- Based around easy to acquire parts (Cost?)
- Directional antenna
- Parabolic most likely
- Yagi is probably easier to balance, but has a wider beam width (15, vs 5-8deg)
- Microcontroller (AVR? PIC?) with serial interface for control from PC
- Software so that the control can be used from wicrawl pre/post-ap hooks
- Maybe USB interface so that multiple can be used from the same controller?
- Two styles
- Small (< 18-24") with modular mounting substrate so that multiple can be built for wicrawl usage
- Large (36"+)
- Possible high-zoom camera mount on top of antenna
- Need to be able to disassemble enough to get it in a standard car
- Needs to run off of batteries so we can stick it on top a hill somewhere
- Try to design to be flexible enough to handle different types of antennas
- Stepper to control rotation? DC motor with control circuit and down-gearing?
- ball bearing ring between two plates, the top plate is held by gravity over the motor mount, and is connected to the main antenna bracket. The upper plate can be removed with the antenna to help disassembly.
- Vertical adjustments via servo motor
- Counter balanced antenna?
- Get a bunch of cheap home satellite dishes, and stick a cheap USB wi-fi device at the focal point
- Maybe try to make an array of antennas even more DIY/homemade (cantenna/etc)
Good cheap 24db directional: http://www.hyperlinktech.com/web/hg2424g.php
Good random link on motor control: http://www.epanorama.net/links/motorcontrol.html
After we get two of these built we should try to head up to the top of telegraph hill and work out some triangulation towards APs in downtown SF.