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FRARS Wireless lan working group

FRARS members are currently testing WLAN for use in a community wireless network, linking FRARS members at high speeds.

Written by: G4RFR ( FRARS ) Monday, 23 December 2002

Click for full size imageMembers of the Flight Refuelling Amateur Radio Society are currently working on building a community wireless network which will give members 11Mbps access to each other and the Internet. This network will use cheap 802.11b network cards.

FRARS have undertaken projects related to wireless lan technology, which have been written up and included on this site for your information.

Firstly, after a couple of antenna's had been constructed, we did the Initial antenna test with a sucessful link of around 6Km. After some more antenna building we managed to get a good link during our 14Km wireless lan test.

The cards we have been playing with are mostly the Compaq WL100, Prism II based cards. If you have a Prism II card you might like to Add an external antenna connector and if you intend using the card as one end of a link, then you might want to Remove the diversity switching so all the RF is passed to the external antenna.

We have built a number of antennas which have worked very well, including A short backfire antenna constructed by Carl, G6NLC, a 2.45Ghz Mobile antenna suitable for site surveying or wardriving. The double quad antenna is easy to build and provides a good amount of gain in a compact size. If you are feeding a dish, then the 2.4Ghz tin can feed might be of use to you. FRARS members have nearly finished their 10Db gain yagi - based on amateur radio 13cm designs. A description of the project to date is available at the 10Db Wlan Yagi page.

Incidentially, if you are surveying your area for the least used WLAN channel, then your probably need an antenna similar to our active WLAN survey antenna

When building antenna's you need to be sure that you have a good 50 Ohm match in order that the little amount of power from the wireless lan card can be transferred efficiently. Initally a prototype SWR meter was constructed and seemed to perform well. After consulting local Microwave boffins, the Microwave SWR Meter was constructed, and this easily out performs the PCB based design.

After you have built your antenna, and are installing a link, you might like to use something similar to our WLAN Link alignment aid.

A UK national computer retailler recently started selling Sitecom products including USB wireless cards. Naturally we acquired one of these and you can see it under the knife at the Sitecom USB adapter page. on the other hand, you might already have a Lucent USB WLAN card and are wondering how to modify it?

If your using your Prism II card under Windows XP and are having problems, then read our article Prism II and XP for some tips on getting it running.

If there is anything you would like to see on the Wireless Lan pages of FRARS, then please email us.

If you have IRC (internet relay chat) then why not come to #frars on IRCnet. We use the easynet server at ircnet.easynet.co.uk. Stop by and ask a question or have a chat! We look forward to seeing you there.

Coming very soon to this site are: A bi-directional 1 watt amplifier for wireless lan, A hi-gain co-linear omni-directional antenna design, A 30Km link test with approved antenna's and Information on propagation at 2.45Ghz.

If you would like to link to FRARS Wireless LAN working group, please use the 'link to this article' facility at the top of this article.

Below, is a list of WLAN related articles that appear on the FRARS site.


  • FRARS Initial Wlan distance test [Click here]
  • WLAN survey antenna (RX only) [Click here]
  • 10dB Yagi design [Click here]
  • How to change your Prism II reg. domain [Click here]
  • FRARS Wireless LAN antenna testing day [Click here]
  • FRARS Wireless LAN antenna testing day (1) [Click here]
  • FRARS Wireless LAN antenna testing day (2) [Click here]
  • 20 Watt 2.4Ghz Power Amplifier [Click here]
  • Microwaves and Decibels - a tutorial [Click here]
  • 2.4Ghz sky mini-dish [Click here]
  • 2.4Ghz quad double quad [Click here]
  • Wireless LAN link test aid [Click here]
  • WLAN frequency allocations [Click here]
  • A 2.4Ghz tincan feed [Click here]
  • Adding an external antenna to a WL100 [Click here]
  • The Sitecom USB adapter [Click here]
  • FRARS 14Km WLAN test [Click here]
  • WL100 diversity switch removal [Click here]
  • A mobile 2.4Ghz antenna [Click here]
  • A 2.4Ghz Short backfire antenna [Click here]
  • Prism II and Windows XP [Click here]
  • A Microwave SWR meter design [Click here]
  • Lucents USB WLAN adapter [Click here]
  • 2.4Ghz double quad antenna [Click here]

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