My Wardriving Rig: Thinkpad R50p

The gear needed for wardriving

1 post • Page 1 of 1

Postby NetBandit » Tue Mar 22, 2005 2:45 am

I got a new laptop last month, and have stepped up my wardriving. I'm having my best month ever, with close to 8,000 new AP's detected (with GPS of course). I've also broken the top 20 three times so far this month (thanks for the competition: Huma_D, gsm134). Currently I'm ranked 19. Don't worry, I'm not done for the month, not by a long shot!

I'm here to brag about my setup, so here goes:
My laptop is an IBM Thinkpad R50p (1832-22U) which is a:
Pentium-M 1.7GHz,
1GB DDR2700
60GB 7200RPM HD
CD/DVD-RW (UtraBay [removable])
ATI FireGL-T2 w/128MB, 1600x1200 resolution LCD
802.11a/b/g, BlueTooth, Gigabit Ethernet, 56k Modem
9cell 4.5hour battery
IBM UltraNav Pointing System (Trackpoint and Touchpad)
2x USB2, 2x PCMCIA/CardBus, Parallel, S-Video, VGA,
IBM Active Protection System (accelerometer monitors system and parks hard drive in the event of a fall, sudden movement, etc., which is cool for driving around)

Operating Systems, Software:
Windows XP Professional w/SP2 Integrated
Gentoo Linux, 2.6 Kernel
NetStumbler 0.4.0
Microsoft Streets & Trips 2004 (it was a give-away)
GPS Gate (lets you share the GPS with multiple programs) Advanced WiFi Mapping (real buggy, but cool)


You'll notice that I just set my laptop in the passenger seat of my truck. Its not strapped in or anything, but I hope to find a stand of some sort of laptop stand for my truck that is acceptable to me. The laptop is propped up away from the corner of the seat by the case for my Stereo HeadUnit's faceplate. It seems to work ok, but occasionally it will eject and then reinsert the CD that's in the drive, causing Auto-Play to kick in, but it's nothing I can't deal with.

The cables for my GPS and External WiFi adapter attach on the left side, and it took 2 USB extent ion cables to reach the hook above the seat. Also, I have a 180w power inverter, under the seat, which keeps my laptop battery fully charged and ready for action.

BU-303 USB GPS Mouse
I don't know why they called it the 'USB GPS Mouse', but it's a decent GPS unit, slightly larger than a silver dollar, and which I paid about $75 with shipping, on eBay. There are other deals on GPS's now, like MS Streets and Trips 2005 w/GPS for $99 (not bad) and some from other companies for about the same price... but I am satisfied with the one I have. The simple functionality of this unit is it's beauty. There is only one cable, completely self powered by the USB bus. It uses a 'Prolific' USB-Serial driver, and has a single LED that lets you know it's status: OFF-Off, Solid-GPS not ready/No Signal, and Blinking-Working. GPS Gate lets me use NetStumbler, MS Streets and Trips, and other programs that use the GPS simultaneously. The GPS uses COM5, and GPS Gate relays that data onto virtual com ports COM8, COM9, and COM10, up to 32 ports. In Linux, you can use GPSd to effectively do the same thing. The GPS came with the suction cup clip.

Airlink 802.11g USB2 Adapter
I paid $9.99 for this thing one weekend at Fry's when they were on sale. I know these things are junk by all reasonable accounts, but it does a great job. I've hung it up on the hook (the one for hanging your dry cleaning on) in the back window. It seems to get pretty good reception, and despite the fact that it's not a high gain antenna, I get better results than with the internal 802.11a/b/g or Linksys CardBus adapters I've used in the past. It must be the elevated position and clear, unobstructed view that is getting the excellent results.

Sometimes I hang it off the “Oh-Shit” handle.

I don't recommend hanging it off the rear view mirror.

Sony MP3/CD/AM/FM HeadUnit.
You gotta have something to listen to besides the “boing boing boing” of NetStumbler. This HeadUnit lets me listen to mp3 files on CD. It's cool because I can get about 6-10 albums in MP3 format on each CD. I can skip between subdir's and tracks with the HeadUnit's Alpha/Numeric display and controls. Here I'm listening to the world famous KROQ 106.7 FM.

Anyway, Happy Wardriving!!!
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