Light Reading

Da-Doo Ron RONJA

Light Reading
Old LR Mobile Gizmo
Light Reading
7/12/2002
50%
50%

You know how it is.

First, you get a little 802.11b hub, so you surf the Web in your jockeys from the comfort of the old brown couch. Soon you feel the need for a little more power, just a little more range. So you get to work with the Pringles can (see WLAN - Snacking & Hacking). But you can handle it, right?

Then before you know it -- sniff -- you're trying to make a laser out of a Skippy's jar and a couple of mirrors. But you can handle it, you can stop any time you want, right? Well, that seems to be the experience of at least one person who posted -- amid a certain amount of derision -- on Slashdot, a technology discussion board owned by a subsidiary of VA Software.

"Lately I've been obscessed [sic] with grassroots community network projects, and the hardware that enables them," writes the poster using the handle Graham Wheeler. (Graham Wheeler, incidentally, is the author of "Brew Classic European Beers at Home" and other home brewing books. Unstrung was unable to confirm that the Graham Wheeler posting was indeed that Graham Wheeler -- though the research was fun.)

"Most sites I have seen focus on wireless RF networking, but I have noticed a few projects revolving around free space optical transceivers," the poster continues. "Twibright Labs' RONJA [Reasonable Optical Near Joint Access] is a good example of what I'm talking about." Twibright Labs is a handful of undergraduate students studying "Informatics" in Prague. Their RONJA program encourages folk to "Build your own optical data link from common elementary parts." These include: "old toothbrush," "ceramic capacitors," and a "multimeter with transistor amplification coefficient measurement (not mandatory)." Damn! Where we gonna find an old toothbrush?

Besides making homemade optical networking gear, Twibright's other projects include a "lighting system with rechargeable batteries" for bicycles.

"Not being an electronics hobbyist, however, makes the various plans for building a comm laser from scratch look rather daunting," the poster frets.

"It seems to me that it would be easier to just make a lens and housing system into which would go one of the many cheaply available copper-to-fiber media converters. Then you could simply modify it so that the laser ports were optically connected to the TX [transmission] and RX [receive] lens assemblies instead of the standard fiber interface." (Yeah, definitely that Graham Wheeler... or at least a dedicated follower.)

"So, what factor(s) am I overlooking that would explain why nobody seems to be doing this?" the poster asks in conclusion.

Whether a hoax or not, the poster got several replies, only a few of which were combative. One respondent gently pointed out that perhaps buying an 802.11-enabled gadget would be better for around-the-house data transfer than, say, constructing one's own telecom lasers out of spare parts.

Another respondent interpreted the post to be about why a commercial fiber laser could be modified to work in point-to-point applications. "Most freespace [laser] projects involve something a bit more powerful, which allows the laser to punch through smoke and fog a little better," the respondent writes. "I guess if you made the laser powerful enough, it could punch through interference such as pigeons, too."

Alas, yet another sincere discussion about saving a few bucks by building your own optical networking gear has devolved into blasting birds with deadly data.

PETA officials did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
More Blogs from Old LR Mobile Gizmo
Review: Vodafone's 3G Data Card
A snazzy little number to satisfy the colorful, musical side of your personality
The perfect cellphone for those who just vant to be alone, dahlink
Toshiba's entry into the wireless Pocket PC market is overpriced and over here
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE's Wireline at MWC 2015

3|4|15   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Light Reading speaks with Jane Chen, ZTE's Senior VP of Wireline Business, about innovations in her product line at Mobile World Congress.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at MWC 2015

3|4|15   |   4:24   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dick Chen of ZTE USA gives Light Reading an overview of what's new at ZTE's pavilion at Mobile World Congress 2015.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson CEO Talks Telco Data Center Tech

3|4|15   |   05:45   |   (0) comments


At Mobile World Congress, Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg discusses telco data center technology, business models, small cells and more.
Between the CEOs
EXCLUSIVE: Cisco's Chambers on Reinvention

3|3|15   |   8:24   |   (1) comment


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks transformation and virtualization – including Light Reading's independent testing of the vendor's virtualization solutions – with Cisco CEO John Chambers at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
LRTV Documentaries
The Three Cs of MWC15

3|2|15   |   2:33   |   (1) comment


My visit to this year's Mobile World Congress is going to dominated by three Cs – cloud, cells and coffee.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Shares Its Vision of the Future of Mobile Networks Innovations

2|26|15   |   2:30   |   (0) comments


Mobile broadband is changing our lives. It's reshaping the Internet, industry, and society. It allows us to freely connect with one another anytime, anywhere. At this year's Mobile World Congress, Huawei will share its latest insights and newest ideas and technologies that will shape the future of MBB. They will showcase their end-to-end MBB solutions that will ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerate Digitizing, Boost Digital Business

2|26|15   |   6:14   |   (0) comments


A new digital revolution is leading us to a better connected world. Together with millions of digital partners, Huawei will help CSPs to build their digital service ecosystem and aggregate a wide variety of digital services. In this video, we find out how Huawei is going to help CSPs implement digital operations.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Secret Recipe to Enabling Hyper-Growth Industries

2|26|15   |   3:38   |   (0) comments


With a number of successful cases on network capability exposure, Huawei is going to share the secret recipe to enabling hyper-growth markets with a step-by-step approach.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE 2015 Is Bigger & Even Better

2|25|15   |   03:13   |   (4) comments


This year's Big Telecom Event (BTE) in Chicago is going to provide more opportunities than ever for networking, getting to grips with key industry challenges and opportunities and, equally as important, having some fun.
LRTV Interviews
Light Reading ICT Leaders Roundtable at MWC 2015

2|12|15   |   1:07   |   (2) comments


On Sunday March 1, 2015, Light Reading will host an ICT Leaders Roundtable in partnership with Huawei. At this half-day event, CIOs, analysts and researchers will discuss key industry trends like virtualization in the cloud with a specific focus on new business models. Located at the luxurious Renaissance Hotel near the Fira Barcelona, space is limited so please ...
LRTV Documentaries
Going Green in 2015

2|12|15   |   02:04   |   (0) comments


Energy efficiency is set to be an incredibly hot topic in the telecom industry this year.
LRTV Custom TV
SDN & NFV: Where Are We Going From Here?

2|11|15   |   11:27   |   (0) comments


Vitesse Semiconductor CTO Martin Nuss gives his perspective on why SDN and NFV should be tightly interconnected and how he sees the industry moving forward.
Upcoming Live Events
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Hot Topics
Internet Pioneers Decry Title II Rules
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/2/2015
Small Cells Enabling Location Services
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/25/2015
Verizon Takes Radio Dot to Detroit, VoLTE Overseas
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/27/2015
FCC Adopts Title II Rules
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/26/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.