The Ultimate Rig (in my eyes, anyway)

The gear needed for wardriving

2 posts • Page 1 of 1
So, I'm a computer guy, do a lot of hardware and whatnot, so I have tons of spare parts. One of those spare parts is a Compaq Presario 1900 laptop with crappy hinges on the lcd. Enter project: Mobilewap.

$50 (1) thin-as hell laptop with removable drive wedge
$40 (1) dell truemobile 1150 (orinoco gold rebranded)
$130 (1) Pharos iGPS from MS S&T 2005 combo package
$40 (1) Linksys BEFW11S4V.2
$100 (1) Ricochet Wireless PCMCIA Mobile Internet card (service: $25/month)
$10 (1) generic USB 10-base NIC
$2 (1) crossover cable
$0 (1) motherboard box (atx, not mini or full)
$5 (1) roll of double-sided sticky tape
$5 (1) extension cord (3 two-prong end)
$30 (1) 125 watt car power inverter

1. Install XP on laptop. Install ricochet drivers, usb nic drivers, orinoco drivers, netstumbler, ms s&t, winamp, dynsite. set up internet connection sharing from ricochet to usb nic. set up dynsite to start when windows starts and automatically dial ricochet. set netstumbler to automatically start with windows and scan on startup. set netstumbler to save logs automatically.
2. Take screen and hinges off of laptop. Take drive wedge off laptop. End result: ~0.75" thick P3-500 with 192MB of ram and a 40GB hd.
3. Dissasemble AP. Plastic takes up too much space.
4. Cut holes in motherboard box large enough to screw AP's antennas through (use metal backplate that was inside AP as a template, also good for stiffening the box where the antennas are) and thread antennas through holes so they're attached to the outside of the box.
5. Use double sided sticky tape to attach AP guts to a suitable space inside the box.
6. Cut hole in box large enough for extension cord to thread through (corner-ish areas are good)
7. Use tape to attach AP's wall wart to a corner of the box. Attach extension cord to wallwart.
8. Use tape to attach laptop power supply to inside of box. plug laptop power supply into extension cord.
9. plug crossover cable into WAN port of ap.
10. attach USB NIC to inside of box. plug crossover cable into USB NIC. route wires so that laptop power, usb cord are hanging out to be plugged into laptop.
11. make a spacer that you can sit the laptop on to divide the box up and keep things organized. I used a piece of cardboard.
12. place laptop in box. plug in power, usb. plug in ricochet card and wireless card. cut hole in box for ricochet antenna to protrude, if neccesary.
13. plug extension cord into power inverter.
14. wire inverter into car battery
15. mount gps somewhere not blocked by roof (dashboard, for example) and wire into laptop via hole made for extension cord
16. power on laptop, close box, mount somewhere in car where antennas protrude over body and are visible through a window. (steel will screw ricochet from connecting and/or staying connected, as well as murder ap's strength.)
(optional) buy better antenna for wireless card
(optional) buy 800*480 7" touchscreen lcd. wire from laptop to dashboard. mount on dashboard. use s&t so you never get lost.
(optional) fill laptop full of mp3's and wire headphone jack to car stereo input

I call it (this is both the SSID of the AP [which is wide open for use] and the hostname of the laptop for Remote Desktop access.)

End result is this:
* Laptop permanently mounted in car, constantly wardriving with GPS logging.
* Laptop is acting as a gateway, providing wireless internet access via Ricochet (average download rate is about 14KB/sec, high of 33) to anyone in sight of your vehicle, or to yourself if you have another laptop and tend to spend a lot of time at diners, such as myself.
* Laptop can be used for mapping if you purchase an external touchscreen lcd (they're about 300 bucks)
* Laptop can be used for music (hey, I didn't stick a 40GB hd in it for nothing)

Pictures of the updated version of mobilewap will come soon (like, when i'm not busy working) but here's a picture of the first version of it, before i made it wardrive as well as provide internet (changes since this picture: pcmcia nic changed for usb, wireless card added, gps added, better box that fits everything)



Thoughts? Suggestions?

Postby izzy4505 » Mon Nov 08, 2004 8:10 pm

I've never heard of ricochet, but it sounds neat, so I'll check it out. I've done something similar just over a cell phone. 14.4 dial up to, but it works for those who already have cell phones and don't want to buy the ricochet set.

If you primarily use it in the car, you might consider building the wap into the car somewhere. When I take my dash apart, I've got a bunch of empty space behind my glove box. One of these days I plan to mount my wap in there along with an old hp166mmx I've got. I'll probably just use a crt up front, unless somebody throws a cheap working lcd away or something.

I'd also recommend a higher power inverter. You'll want the extra overhead later. I snagged a 400watt inverter at best buy for $35 (open box) awhile back. Prior to that, I had a 300W that I bought at menards, but it caught on fire. (Just a tad bit overloaded) Also, running big wire direct from the battery is a really really good idea. It's amazing how hard of a time your inverter has when there's a lot of resistance in the wire. Resistance with DC is brutal. I ran 4 guage, but 8 would be more than sufficient. Walmart sells those amplifier installation kits for really cheap that come with everything you need, and a fuse block and everything.
Brad Isbell

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