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Wireless networking arrives

By Chris Williams. Published: 10th Jan 2003, 23:56:39 | Permalink | Printable

Yay! Good job Stuart Tyrell

The bad news is, we don't know how this one piece managed to give us the slip. Thanks for the reminder, Rich. The good news is that Stuart Tyrrell Developments announced last month (blush) that a range of wireless networking kit is available for RISC OS machines. Wireless networking is the same as normal cable based ethernet networking, except it's erm, wire free and therefore wonderfully convenient as all the network transfer is done via radio transmission.

Admittedly, you'll need the Simtec USB card, as the wireless network adapter plugs into the USB card and can be configured using supplied RISC OS software. Neat idea. STD are also selling a wireless access point so you can link your existing wired network with your new wireless one.

According to STD, all their wireless products support 128-bit WEP security and operate at up to 11Mbps (basically data transfer at up to 1400KB/sec); see the link to the announcement below for more details and pricing. We don't need to tell you how significant this development is as a mighty step forward for RISC OS networking.


Wireless networking announcement Stuart Tyrrell Developments website

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Wish my WLAN could do 1400KB/sec. It's a bit like 56kbps modems - only a lucky few get it. :(

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 11/1/03 3:56PM
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Yeah, depends on the environment and the kit - the trick is not have it drop back to 5.5MB/s or less from 11MB/s, which depends on the signal. Subjectively the reception on this kit is great. Objectively: I've just set up the access point next to my original one (SMC kit with single helical antenna which cost me UKP250 originally! - the ones I have have 2 antenna). Using a Dell laptop with it's internal "twig" antenna, and though a few walls of blue brick, I've done a quick log over a few minutes and get an average signal of -66.2dB for the SMC kit and -60.5 for the Access point I'm selling (the 60.5 is the better number, and indicates a signal that's ~4x the power). I'll try to do some tests with the USB device (which has a fixed external antenna) and put info on the website when the wireless stuff goes on.

 is a RISC OS Userstdevel on 11/1/03 6:18PM
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Bit weird how you've not even bothered to put any mention of this product on your website yet.

 is a RISC OS Userian on 11/1/03 9:05PM
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"Weird"? Maybe - but rather I didn't have chance to do the photography due to Christmas, having to get prototypes out for EU commission review etc. However, see [link]

 is a RISC OS Userstdevel on 11/1/03 10:26PM
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I recently bought a Belken USB wireless doobry with two external antennas (antennae? or is that only insects?) for around 30 quid from Dabs. It works a treat. If only the WLAN card for my laptop wasn't quite so "Hmm, shall I work today?" :-/

Glad to see that RISC OS is catching up with recent (ish) developments!

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 12/1/03 12:10AM
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UKP30? Their list price for Belkin USB->wireless (F5D6050U) is UKP63.45inc, or was it one of the b-grade jobbies (I got a bluetooth card too cheaply the same way).

P'raps the reason it was so cheap and why you get so poor performance is they forgot to attach the antennas? ;-)

 is a RISC OS Userstdevel on 12/1/03 12:26AM
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It was while the Belkin was the DabsValue offering, and it was 32 quid, IIRC. It works a treat with other cards, it's just the cheap ActionTech WLAN card in my laptop, as it's not wonderful talking to other people's wireless LANs, either. It stays connected at 11Mbps, but it rarely feels like it's managing 5.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 13/1/03 1:20PM
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Mmm, now we need one of these illusive RISC OS Laptops with PCMCIA and a WiFi card, then we'll be rocking,......

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 14/1/03 12:18PM
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USB seems a bit of an arse-backwards way to get WLAN. If you've got a LAN card, most APs will plug into it and behave as Station Adaptors. And then you can get a (nominal) 22Mbps from the right flavour. But keep muttering "inverse square law" to yourself...

 is a RISC OS Usermikeg on 27/1/03 11:38PM
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There's a suprising number of AP's that are pure AP's and so you can only have one of them on a net (eg any of the SMC based kit). However, the AP's I have will act as traditional access points, bridges, and as bridging clients as you mention. For someone coming in from scratch with nothing in the machine, USB is the slightly cheaper option, whereas those with net cards (or Iyonix) should look at the media converter/AP's. A lot depends on what kit you already have (USB or NET) and how you see your network progressing - if you've got a LAN card already, you're likely to have locally-wired machines, so you'd be daft to look at anything other than an AP in the first place ;-)

 is a RISC OS Userstdevel on 28/1/03 4:22PM
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