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WiFi hacking

Posted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:05 pm UTC
by dasada122
A few weeks ago, I found a funny little port on my laptop, labeled ANT. It looked kinda like a coax, so I thought it was for an outboard Wifi antenna. I got fairly excited, visions of cantennas running through my head. But I looked into it and it turned out to be the port for the TV card I didn't get. So now I have a dead-end port suitable for antennas, a wifi card without an external hookup, and a desire to make a cantenna. So what if I went into my laptop, ran wires from my wifi card to the blank port, and plugged something in? Would that work?

DETAILS:
ASUS G50VT laptop;
Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN;
Intel WiMAX/WiFi Link 5100;

Re: WiFi hacking

Posted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:37 am UTC
by L337R3dN3k
Probably not well. Due to the frequency and wifi's sensitivity to interference, antenna cables are made of very high-grade coax and use special low-loss connectors. The coax used for TV antennas is way too lossy.

It would certainly be possible to build your own cantenna and put a coax connector on it, then run wire from the coax port inside your laptop to one of the antenna ports on your wifi card. As long as you keep the cabling short it might work ok. But if you wanted the best possible reception, you should check this out for more info on cable and connectors: http://wireless.gumph.org/content/3/7/011-cable-connectors.html

Re: WiFi hacking

Posted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:06 am UTC
by stwee133
Most laptops--and even some desktops--come with built-in wireless networking capability, but even if yours doesn't, it's easy to add. On a laptop, just slide a Wi-Fi card into the PC card slot. Or you can use a USB Wi-Fi adaptor (about $30) into a free USB port--a very simple solution for owners who don't want to fiddle with their desktop's innards or who have computers, such as Macs, that can't be opened. Don't be intimidated by the thought of mucking around in your PC. This is one of the simplest upgrades around. All you need to do is remove a metal dust cover and snap the new card into position.

Re: WiFi hacking

Posted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:03 pm UTC
by phillipsjk
The reason coax for TV is too lossy is that the TV cabling is 75 ohms, while the wi-fi is 50 ohms. This can cause all kinds of reflections (due to impedance mis-match). For that reason, the wi-fi connectors are reverse-threaded so you don't accidentally use 75 Ohm cabling with them.

Re: WiFi hacking

Posted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:29 pm UTC
by dasada122
I actually didn't know I had a PC card slot. Is that standard for laptops?

Re: WiFi hacking

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:36 am UTC
by L337R3dN3k
dasada122 wrote:I actually didn't know I had a PC card slot. Is that standard for laptops?

Not anymore. PCMCIA (aka PC card slot) used to be standard on all laptops; it's been replaced by ExpressCard slots. Sadly, ExpressCard is not universal and you might not have a slot. USB is a better bet. I'm assuming, though, based on your post, that you already have an internal wireless card and are just trying to attach an external antenna?

Re: WiFi hacking

Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:17 am UTC
by dasada122
Another thought. Being online implies a two-way communication between my laptop and the router. So my laptop would have to have an output as powerful as the router's, for transfer to take place. So can I turn my wireless card into a router just by asking different questions?

Re: WiFi hacking

Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 4:31 pm UTC
by phillipsjk
Yes, but I don't know how well it works in practice.

It is called "Ad-hoc" mode.