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
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Virtual CPE

1|27|15   |   01:38   |   (5) comments


As NFV strategies evolve from tests and trials to production telco networks, expect to hear a lot about virtual CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts during 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
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
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
Google Continues Gigabit Expansion
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/27/2015
Comcast Apologizes to 'A**hole' Brown
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/29/2015
Cablevision's New WiFi Try – Freewheeling Enough?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 1/26/2015
Overture Builds on NFV Foundation
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/27/2015
Bumper iPhone Sales Boost Apple Profits
Iain Morris, News Editor, 1/28/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Weekly Executive Interview
Join us live for 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 has to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.