The HeliOS Project is now.....

The HeliOS Project is now.....
Same mission, same folks...just a different name

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Stunning Breakthrough in Wireless Reception Technology

Wireless innovation is evolving...and Skip Guenter is the architect.

The call came in about 7 PM last Monday. It was from Skip Guenter.

"You on a secure line?"

"Yeah", I said..."I guess so".

"Well, I can't take the chance it's not secure. Stay there, don't leave and don't tell anyone I'm coming by."

With that he hung up.

Within the next two hours, Skip "skipsjunk.net" Guenter revolutionized the PC wireless world. His innovation, while shamelessly stolen, did miraculous things and I am here to present it to you today.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the DSWD - V1 and DSWD- V2 .

Original night research at Skipsjunk's remote facilities to maintain highest security levels on development.























Note the surgical precision by which Guenter cut and splayed the metal mesh to insert the highly developed usb wireless adaptor extension. You won't find that quality of craftsmanship anywhere in today's manufacturing environment.

Of further note and interest is the high-tech USB signal routing cabling device used in this technological marvel. Yes, I know...it's breath-taking. Drink in the precision of its placement. Understandably overwhelming, I know.






















Of course, the calculations used to increase signal strength took hours. Using the Linux Super Computer at the secret night time testing location, Guenter was able to hone the signal from a constant 47 percent to a signal that ranged from 72 to 94 percent.

But despite his brilliance and tenacity, problems persisted. The signal would fluctuate between the afore-mentioned percentages. For anyone else, this vast improvement would have sufficed.

But not for Skip "94percent" Guenter.

After crunching the numbers for what seemed to be hours, Guenter began to develop an answer to the problem. Sheer genius prevailed, along with brilliant engineering to steady the signal to a 5 point fluctuation...an acceptable range for Guenter. While solid signal strength did drop from the previous peak of 94 percent - the constant range of 83 to 88 percent insured a steady signal.

Given the wireless router is 168 feet away and sitting behind two load-bearing walls, it's nothing short of amazing.

The new improved version (v2) provides steadier signal levels with the new specially designed and formulated "double backplane reflector".






















Not only was the engineering and focus of this project without peer, the mounting of the device was stunning.

Because of security concerns around the avant guard mounting method we've had to exclude any photos that depicted the mounting mechanism.

Besides the giant black zip ties don't show up so well at night and nobody has a lens that'll show the nail jammed between the sheet metal roof and the 2x4 beam it's hanging from.

Once the appropriate patents were applied for and all components of the DSWD- V1 and V2 deemed as proprietary, we were able to present the DSWD - V1 in the daylight.

















All kidding aside, this was built for about 30 bucks and did boost the wireless signal about 44 percent. What you are seeing is a Belkin USB dongle attached to an extension coupler and run inside through a crack in my door. The "parabolic" effect is actually a dumpling skimmer used by many Chinese eating establishments to dish dumplings and strain them from the cooking pot. You can purchase one at any Asian market for about 10 bucks. I've bought signal boosters that cost almost twice what building this did and it didn't increase the signal but by maybe 20 percent.

My thanks to Skip "operators-are-standing-by" Guenter for his time and patience in putting this together. Please note much of the descriptive or bold text is his.

All-Righty Then

20 comments:

PV said...

These kinds of articles are why I love reading your blog so much. Keep 'em coming!
--
a Linux Mint user since 2009 May 1

Anonymous said...

helios I laughed until my stomach hurt. I needed that.

Jeff Gu said...

I've seen many implementations of home-brew parabolic reflectors, made from everything from trash can lids to bathtubs. Never, however, have I seen one made from a dumpling skimmer. But then, I've never seen a dumpling skimmer until now. I fully expect to see this on the next Billy Mays infomercial in the wee hours of the night/morning.

Amenditman said...

helios

I love it when you put tongue firmly in cheek and show me something so simple it never would have crossed my mind.

@Jeff Gu I live in Tampa , FL area, the home of the world famous Billy Mays. I'm sorry to tell you he died several months ago. Hope his wife and kids continue to receive his royalties since they are still running his infomercials.

God bless.

Michelle Minkin said...

Ken,

Again, you present the mundane facts of simple technology in a side-splitting way. I envy your talent.

Question. Wouldn't smaller mesh help to amplify the signal? I am thinking since the reflective nature of the cd placed at the heart of the concave is steadying the signal, you might want to try to cover the back in something like aluminum foil.

Just a thought

Chelle

rossperk said...

It's a spider! Not the arachnid, the cooking skimmer. Ha! It's like one of Alton Brown's contraptions in reverse!

Blog of helios said...

"
Within the next two hours, Skip "skipsjunk.net" Guenter revolutionized the PC wireless world. His innovation, while shamelessly stolen, did miraculous things and I am here to present it to you today."

To'ja so.

Anonymous said...

Not to detract from Skips sense of the dramatic and your own fine portrayal of secrecy...

but as far as I know, a New Zealander (or Kiwi to us Aussies) bush-mechanic by the name of Stan Swan is the originator of this fine technique of recycled hackery.

Known as "Wok-Fi" :)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WokFi

Blog of helios said...

and again...

Within the next two hours, Skip "skipsjunk.net" Guenter revolutionized the PC wireless world. His innovation, while shamelessly stolen, did miraculous things and I am here to present it to you today."

h

Jim said...

Helios could you be more specific about the center piece running through the basket.
I have friend that has a similar problem of weak signal from router to computer in his garage.

Anonymous said...

With regards to the comments about boosting gain by using foil, etc, the answer is "probably not."

Wifi uses the ISM band at 2.45 GHz. That means the wavelength is 4.82 inches (wavelength = speed of light / frequency).

Electromagnetic waves can't really squeeze through anything much smaller than one quarter of their wavelength (1.2 inches here), and the holes in the strainer are much smaller than that. As far as the microwaves are concerned, the strainer has no holes in it.

Incidently, that's why microwave ovens can have windows in them. Just cover them with metal mesh and most of the light gets through, but no microwaves.

Anyway, no doubt Skip knows all this so don't try to joggle the elbows of the master. ;-)

Blog of helios said...

@ Jim

This link will show you the exact same thing we used...however we only paid 20.00 bucks for it on sale at Fry's.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/include/AddCartfromGallery.asp?EdpNo=3173666&csid=ITD&Sku=B20-2452&imgcart=1&imgcounter=1

Michelle Minkin said...

"With regards to the comments about boosting gain by using foil, etc, the answer is "probably not."

Then why did the disk placed at the back end of the dish stabilize the signal? If it is reflecting the signal back to the usb device, then why wouldn't it stand to reason that enlarging the reflective area would improve it more?

Chelle

Blog of helios said...

@ Chelle,

Actually tried it yesterday...it degraded the signal back to what it was originally without the skimmer. I would think that logic dictates your idea is correct, however when I removed the foil, I regained the low to high 80's percentage.

h

Gavin said...

"Then why did the disk placed at the back end of the dish stabilize the signal? If it is reflecting the signal back to the usb device, then why wouldn't it stand to reason that enlarging the reflective area would improve it more?"

- Michelle Minkin

Physics is funny that way...

As explained by Anonymous #3, the mesh of the cookware is essentially a solid surface as far as the waves are concerned. The wireless signal never "hits" the CD in the back, so it is not directly related to the signal boost. Rather, I suspect the CD in the back is reflecting interference from the USB cable and base away from the DSWD apparatus, not reflecting more of the wireless signal towards the DSWD apparatus. Thus the signal is not necessarily stronger but the interference is weaker.

Also, due to the length of the wavelength of the wireless signal vs the thickness of common household foil products, foil is actually a very good "signal killer". In laymen's terms, what happens is that a wave bouncing off the near surface of the foil is in direct opposition to a wave bouncing off the far surface of the foil, and the foil being so thin means that the two waves are lined up nearly perfectly upon reflection and cancel out each other. This is exacerbated by the fact that foil is made out of metal. Thicker barriers, even ones made out of metal, do not exhibit this phenomenon as much, allowing more of the signal to bounce as intended. Even more confusing, meshes made out of metal have even stranger effects on waves. So put simply, the mesh of this top secret dish technology is much better than foil.

On the flip side of the issue (pun intended) the fact that the CD in the back is essentially laminated foil makes it perfect for reflecting or killing the EMI from the very long USB cable, which probably has a decent amount of amperage running through it (for a USB cable). But that likely has more to do with "noise" and "resonance" - I am no expert on those subjects so I will stop now.

- Gavin

Anonymous said...

Helios,

I've had mine for a few years. The dish is a vegetable steamer from Bed Bath and Beyond $6. The trick for me was to hold the strainer in the sunlight and find the focal point. That's where the center of my USB receiver now resides.

PF

Skip 'da shu' Guenter said...

@Annie Nonamous: I actually wrote to Kiwi Stan and told him that I thought it was his site that I originally pilfered the idea from. Gave him the link. He said he may use some of our pics on his site re-vamp. You can find his original site at http://www.usbwifi.orconhosting.net.nz/.

There's also a post in Site News on skipsjunk.net giving him credit for the idea with links here and to his site.

@Vegi Steamer: Vegetable steamers don't seem to have quite as good of parabolic curve as the 'spider' or dumpling skimmer based on complex mathematical calculations (or maybe just comparing the pictures to a real parabolic dish).

@Gavin: Yes, the innovative "double backplane reflector" was intended to be a noise canceling device (or at least it was once I had to figure out why it steadied out the signal). However, I appreciate the confirmation because there was more than a fair dose of guestimating involved with that.

@Amenditman: OH NO! Billy is gone! So much for my retirement :-( Guess it's back to the 401K Lotto plan.

@Jim: We used the 'g' version of that. However the next test will be with an IRok 200mw USB stick (<$17 shipped). Do a search for "200mw Wireless WiFi USB" on ebay. It uses a good Realtek chipset.

-Skip

Jim said...

It just hit me , I bet a Dish Satellite parabolic reflector would make a great reflector for Wireless pickup.
I have been kicking one around the floor for some time, deciding wether to trash it or not. I think I get one of those Belkin F5D8053 and adapt it to this disk.
I see these dishes hanging on a lot of houses, I bet a lot of them are no longer being used.

Anonymous said...

@helios

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=WokFi&dir=prev&action=history

>20:43, 14 February 2007
>(First draft for the term)

michkhoo.blogspot.com said...

http://michkhoo.blogspot.com/2009/12/network-stumbler-for-linux-give-your.html

to check signal livel by sound;)