The goal of this project is to extend the range of an 802.111b Linksys router by implementing an RF amplifier and antenna. Using the final product, the range for the router was extended significantly compared with the original antenna.
802.11 technology is based on a fairly new form of wireless communication. There are currently four different types of 802.11 specifications available: 802.11, 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g. The main difference between them is the speed at which data can be transferred and the maximum range that the device can operate. 802.11 technology can be found in many devices that require wireless communications such as cell phones, Internet routers, PDA’s and even automobiles just to name a few.
Our senior design project was chosen based on 802.11b. The goal of the project was to create an application that would utilize 802.11b in a way that had not been done before. We wanted to make it possible for an individual to be able to use the Internet to turn on or off an AC power device located in the home or office. In order for us to accomplish this, the use of an 802.11b device was required. Although the idea of being able to turn on or off any AC powered device in the home or office sounded interesting, unfortunately, due to several major setbacks, we were forced to alter the project designs significantly. Instead of the primary design idea, the goal of our senior design project focused on increasing the range of an 802.11b Linksys Router using an RF amplifier and a homemade directional antenna.
The original project design focused on making it possible for an individual to log on to their home or office computer and turn on or off an AC powered device by clicking on the icon designated to that device. This particular design consisted of several parts: an 802.11b development board, a PC with Internet access (or Host Computer), an Internet supporting device (Laptop, PC, PDA, etc), and an AC device. Assisting us with the 802.11b development board and associated programming tasks was Atheros Communications.
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