Seattle Wireless Pre-Field Day

With Seattle Wireless field day 2006 coming up in two weeks (October 28th) we made plans at the last hack night to make sure we knew how wireless works. Andy and I got together at Matt’s place while he and Ken got some gear prepped. Ken and I went down to a parking lot near Alki while Matt and Andy met Galan and Eric at Magnolia.

We were fortunate to have some spare parts at Alki. Having so many different antenna connectors only served to complicate matters. There weren’t any public access points nearby and we gave up on that search eventually. Unfortunately this prevented access to manuals for the VoIP gear we were planning on testing. Despite the fog, cold weather, bad pigtails, etc., we coordinated and got the 2.75mi link up across the bay.

Ken and Matt toyed with a few settings on the access points while we set up some VoIP equipment between a Cisco ATA and Sipura 3000 ATA. Lacking a manual for the Sipura on hand, I wandered around the web configuration page a bit, enabled IP dialing and allowed dial/answer without register, and we got a call going. The quality was pretty bad, but we were testing the connection in ad-hoc mode so bandwidth was limited, as further evidenced by some quick iperf tests Ken did. I set the Sipura to prefer the G729a codec (it defaults to G711u) and the call cleaned right up.

The guys at Magnolia said nobody seemed to notice them, but Ken and I were graced with singing russians with aspirations of Starbucks and some kid who was interested if our “satellite phone” was letting us talk to other worlds. I guess there’s too much geekiness in Seattle for any of this to be out of place.

So in two weeks we’ll do it again, at least on this scale. Eric mentioned setting up an IRC server and we’ll at least have some food. It’ll register somewhere between a picnic and our grand plans and notes.

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