Tuesday, March 16, 2010

no cat

NoCat's goal is to bring you Infinite Bandwidth Everywhere for Free.

What originally started as a community-supported 802.11b wireless network in Sonoma County, CA has grown into several projects whose purpose is to encourage the building of wireless community networks.

This site is the central repository for our software, ideas, and general information.

Projects

  • NoCatAuth is our original "catch and release" captive portal implementation. It provides a simple splash screen web page for clients on your network, as well as a variety of authenticated modes. It is written in Perl.
  • NoCatSplash is the C port of NoCatAuth. It currently supports a splash screen (also known as "open mode") and has beta support for authenticated access.
  • NoCat Maps is a free node database, mapping tool, and preliminary site survey tool built entirely with open source tools.
  • WSCICC is short for the Western Sonoma County Internet Cooperative. This organization is a registered co-op formed by local residents to manage the Sonoma County wireless network.
  • We also host this site, manage the mailing lists, go to conferences, publish books and articles, and generally spread the good word of wireless.

Getting started in Sonoma County, CA

  • Add yourself to the Node database. This will also give you an idea as to how easy it will be for you to get on the Community Network.
  • Sign up on the mailing list
  • Come to a meeting. Connect with a few people and make it happen! Meeting details are available on the mailing list.

Software

Download the latest release of NoCatAuth or NoCatSplash. The code is also available from SourceForge (NoCatAuth | NoCatSplash)

Hardware

NoCat has been integrated into a variety of commercial networking products. It will run on just about any access point or router that runs Linux. Some of these include:

Mailing Lists

We host two discussion lists, the NoCatAuth developer's list and the NoCat Wireless Network list (serving Sonoma County, CA and beyond). Use these links to subscribe, unsubscribe, or change your delivery preferences. The nocatnet list is for discussion about building and maintaining community networks only. If you want to talk about NoCatAuth, please do it on the developers' list.

You can visit the archive of the Development list or the Network list for more information.

People

  • Schuyler Erle has written virtually all of the code for NoCatAuth and NoCatSplash, and is a leading expert in geographic information system technologies.
  • Rob Flickenger is one of the original founders of NoCat, is a long time supporter of wireless networking, and has written a couple of O'Reilly books on the topic.
  • Rich Gibson is a driving force behind NoCat Maps, and recently published Mapping Hacks (along with Schuyler and Jo Walsh).
  • Roger Weeks has given his time and expertise to the upkeep of the Sonoma County network, and recently co-authored Linux Unwired.
  • And, of course, there are thousands of others who have contributed their time, money, bandwidth, hardware, space, ideas, and effort for the cause. Thank you!

Internet Relay Chat

Feel free to come discuss NoCatAuth and other wireless topics on #wireless at irc.freenode.net. NoCat members and developers have been known to hang out there, along with luminaries from SeattleWireless, PersonalTelco, BAWUG, Houston WUG, and other wireless groups from around the world.

Resources

Community Info

West Sonoma Co. Internet Cooperative Corporation
The WSCICC is a group of folks who have banded together to provide Wireless Based internet access in the DSL deserts of Sonoma County.

Technical Info

Linksys WET 11 DHCP Packet Dumps
More from Bruce Matson on the WET 11 front. Here he has packet dumps of the WET 11 in response to DHCP requests.
Linksys WET 11 Ping Packet Dumps
NoCatter Bruce Matson is analyzing the WET 11 in various ways. This is his first effort in which he examines packet dumps from and over the WET 11 as it responds to ICMP echo requests. This is part of Bruce's effort to determine why the WET 11 has trouble with DHCP requests.
Community IP Allocations
The Network Address Allocation list from FreeNetworks.org. If you have a community network, and want to participate in the shared reserved network numbering scheme, reserve some space here.
802.11a/b band plan
Here's a handy band plan, antenna gain, and power limit chart for 802.11a and 802.11b. From Cisco.
Another band plan
This band plan is even nicer, including UNII and ISM restrictions for Europe and USA
Red Sea Link
An interesting writeup of a point-to-point link in Hurghada, Egypt. Pringles didn't do it, but that didn't stop Hassan Adly.
Software AP for Prism cards
This is the infamous Host AP driver for Linux, by Jouni Malinen.
Power over Ethernet guide
A really nice PoE writeup from NYC Wireless.
NoCat 802.11b FAQ
A first run at an 802.11b FAQ. Send updates, additions, etc. to faq (at) nocat (dot) net.
Building Wireless Gateways with 802.11b
How-to for Linux by Schuyler. Step-by-step, with links and sample configuration files.
An Overview of the 802.11b Spec
Rob covers some of the conceptual highlights, and discusses tips for tweaking an existing network.
Lucent's WaveLAN Wireless Card
Rob's original article on configuring clients with 802.11b. Linux and Windoze are covered, but ignore the Linux stuff. Plus more links.
Linux Wireless Tools + Wavelan driver
The place to get iwconfig and the WaveLan driver, plus info on setting it up. You might also try the new orinoco_cs driver, if you're running Linux 2.4.x...
Some FCC Part 15 Rules
Tim Pozar's interpretation of the FCC Part 15 Rules on the ISM band (made for the BAWUG).

Antennas, etc.

LMR chart
Handy LMR reference chart, from CEPA Inc. Loss at multiple frequencies, power rating, tensile strength, and a bunch of other stats for LMR-100A through LMR-1700.
FAB Corp wireless
A Wireless vendor with a wide range of reasonably priced gear. Mention that you're a NoCat member for a discount...
Primestar BiQuad feed
Interesting homemade feed for a Primestar dish. Reportedly pulls 27 to 31dBi!
Pigtails
If you want to connect your radio to an external antenna, you'll need a 'Pigtail' adapter. Look here for some good sources.
2.4GHz Antenna Intro
An article called "Antennas Enhance WLAN Security" from Byte. It should probably have been called "Everything you ever wanted to know about microwave antennas but were afraid to ask..."
Coffee can antennas
A couple of novel 2.4GHz coffee can antenna designs, from the Cyclone Amateur Radio Club.
Pringles can antenna
Build your own yagi-in-a-can for a few dollars.
Microwave Connector Reference
Our official microwave coax connector reference, complete with pictures.
Another Microwave Connector Guide
A list of frequently used microwave connectors (N,TNC,BNC,SMA,etc) with pictures, put together by your friend and mine, the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division.
Interactive Wireless Design CGIs
Some really nifty utilities for calculating Fresnel Zone, Antenna Tilt, Bearing, and even analyzing a wireless link.
NetNimble.com
Cheap antennas and more from Sacramento
SuperPass
Well built, inexpensive sector antennas, etc. From Canada.
Streakwave
Reseller of pigtails, antennas, amps (!?), cable, etc. Located in Santa Clara. Carl Moberg of Streakwave donated gear to NoCat.
DownEast Microwave
Ham supplier from New Jersey. Interesting collection of odds and ends.

Mapping

Maps.NoCat.net
Links to mapping and geographic information, and the NoCat Mapping Project.

Community Wireless Network Groups

Bay Area Wireless User Group (BAWUG)
They don't build networks, but they do know alot about it. The largest group in the SF Bay Area.
Bay Area Research Wireless Network.
BAWUG doesn't build networks, but these BAWUG movers and shakers do! With antenna sites in some of the highest places, they are moving fast!
Marin Wireless
A new group bringing WiFi to Marin County, CA.
Seattle Wireless
One of the first community wireless networks, and probably one of the largest.
Personal Telco
The Personal Telco Project, Portland, OR.
NYC Wireless
Wireless Community Networking in New York City
Irish Wide Area Network
Wireless Community Networking across Ireland
Austin Wireless
Wireless Internet Everywhere for Austin and surrounding communities
Reno Area Wireless User's Group
The Reno Area Wireless Users Group is in its infacy, and picking up steam
NZWireless.org
New Zealand Based wireless community.
La CaƱada Wireless
A co-op in Santa Fe, started about a year ago and coming along very nicely.
Toaster.net
Toaster.net's community wireless network list.
Personal Telco's List
A Definitive group list from PTP.

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