02 March 2012

14 Stick Shootout

After much fiddling with USB hubs, ext power supplies, and a blown Atom 330 motherboard I managed to get 14 radios wired into 2 x 7port hubs and into a working computer.

lsusb with 14 radios

I only had to edit the NAME field in the auto-generated udev rules to have them come up as specific wlan1-14 numbers based on their MACs(this is on Fedora 15).
wlan1 through wlan14

 The next thing to do was run kismet_shootout.rb(from kismet source ruby/ dir).
kismet_shootout.rb running with 14 radios

The idea was to verify that all the radios seem to perform more or less the same.

Next I'm going to run some shootouts with the splitter, LNA, and plain jane usb stick etc. The numbers I got above should rule out having to swap radios between the different antennas and antenna coupling setups to prove any differences are not the radios themselves (well, informal seat-of-the-pants proof anyway).

As for the blown motherboard mentioned above... when I hooked all the radios to the MSI Wind Atom box it booted slow, the BIOS beep was a different pitch and longer, but it did boot. I plugged in the external power supplies to the USB hubs and things were ok, but when i power cycled the machine(using it's 12V power plug)... it no longer came up. I checked the board out as well as I could considering there was no visible smoked parts... the little surface mount fuses I could find on it were ok... power supply's fine.

So I suppose I'll never know if a Atom 330 can handle the task. I'll replace it because my truck has a DCDC-USB wired in and I need a low power type box, but I'm assuming I'll end up with a D525 or whatever the latest mainstream equivalent is.

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