Wireless ethernet using the basic IEEE 802.11b standard operating under Part 97 of the FCC rules on the 2.4 GHz amateur band.
The IEEE 802.11b standard is what is commonly called Wi-Fi and is the rage among computer buffs. Wi-Fi operates on one of 11 channels authorized by the FCC located and are located around 2.4 GHz under Part 15 (unlicensed operation) of the FCC rules.
The best speed that IEEE 802.11b is able to obtain is 11 Mbps, almost 9000 times faster than 1200 baud packet.
The ARRL Enhanced IEEE 802.11 Project calls for operation of the basic IEEE standard by licensed amateur radio operators in the upper part of the 2.4 GHz band while not significantly interfering with other amateur radio activities on that band or Part 15 IEEE 802.11b operation in the band. Under Part 97 of the FCC rules, amateurs are allowed to run many times the power of Part 15 operation as well as use antennas with unrestricted gain.
IEEE 802.11b channels 1-6 fall totally within the 2.4 GHz ham band. We are recommending that channels 2-5 be used for IEEE 802.11b operation as they do not interfere with other normal amateur radio operations in the band and are not on channels widely used by Part 15 operations. We recommend that channel 5 be used as the primary channel for general ARRL 802.11 network operation. Additionally, we highly recommend that all parties, whenever feasible, completely avoid the use of channel 1 to prevent any possible interference with AO-40 satellite operation.
While IEEE 802.11b allows WEP, an encryption algorithm, Amateur Radio transmissions are characterized as being an open media. That is, amateur radio operators expect and assume that their transmissions are being listened to around the world with no presumption of privacy. And, the FCC even mandates that hams will not encode/encrypt to obscure meaning.
1. Identify and modify as necessary commercial off the shelf (COTS) wireless network interface cards (NICs) and wireless network devices for amateur radio use.
2. Identify or build suitable high gain horizontally polarized omni-directional antennas.
3. Identify and/or build 1-10 watt external bi-directional amplifiers.
4. Modify and/or optimize, if possible, the firmware in the NICs and wireless network devices for operation under Part 97 of the FCC rules.
5. Provide multi-platform hardware drivers and other software for network configuration, operation and maintenance.
This list has been established to facilitate public discussions of the various aspects of the IEEE 802.11b Project with members of the ARRL HSMM WG and other interested parties who have an interest in the ARRL-802.11b wireless network initiative. The IEEE 802.11b Project would use commercial 802.11b hardware, and additional legal Amateur hardware in Part 97 service. All participants are welcome.
You can join the list by sending E-Mail to email@example.com and in the BODY put SUBSCRIBE arrl-80211b firstname lastname or SUBSCRIBE arrl-80211b firstname lastname-callsign
Given the increased interest in Amateur applications for 802.11b, TAPR has decided to add another mailing list for discussions specifically on its implementation in the Ham Radio world.
The list is designed to be a meeting place for all 802.11b experimenters regardless of where in the world they are located, or what protocol changes are being advocated.
If you wish to join this mailing list visit the TAPR Web site.
The High-Speed Digital Networks and Multimedia Working Group Chairman is John Champa, K8OCL.