I currently use a Dell Latitude C640 laptop for wardriving. The interesting part is connecting an external gps and powering it.
Over time, I used several ways of connecting a gps. The first option was the gps-usb cable. But the usb connection got interrupted on bumps which happen a lot when bicycling. When the usb connection gets interrupted the Linux usbserial driver closes the serial connection and gpsd does not reopen that connection automatically. I had weird scripts which would restart gpsd and cycle kismet.
The second option for powering a gps was a serial + keyboard connector cable. This worked for a long time until the keyboard connector broke off.
The third option was keeping the serial connection for data and fixing a cable which gets power from the usb port. This worked for a time until the usb port started coming loose from the mainboard of the laptop. Now it is flaky and sometimes most or all of a wardrive is without gps locations.
Only new networks with gps locations count at WiGLE, so I want a working gps. I could get a new laptop, but maybe I could build a dedicated box which would only do wardriving. That would also be easier to bring on car trips with my wife, she is not always charmed by me spending ten minutes in the car starting kismet and setting up the wardrive equipment before we can drive off. A box with a 'go' button which I can put in the car would work better.
LinITX sells the PC Engines Alix.1C. When I asked them what enclosure would fit LinITX suggested the Mini-box M200 enclosure (product page at Mini-box) Mini-box M200 Enclosure (page at linitx.com), review at Mini-box M200 Enclosure review or the Mini-box M300 Enclosure for a bit more space internally. Mini-box M300 Enclosure review.
If I read the specs of the enclosure and the mainboard correctly I need to
buy a 10 cm 44pin ide cable to connect the frontpanel CF reader to
the internal 44 pin ide bus. LinITX link: 10 cm 44pin ide cable. I won't have to
open the case to change the compact flash.
Well, the specs missed the fact that the M200 case has a normal 40 pin ide connector. Hope a 40 to 44 pin ide cable can solve this.
Also, a wireless card, the Wistron CM-9. LinITX link: Wistron CM-9 minipci 802.11abg adapter. This card has the atheros chipset for madwifi now and ath5k later with 2 u.fl connectors so I can add a female N connector and a reverse sma connector to the case with a small rubberduck type antenna for the reverse sma connector. And the N connector for the big wardriving antenna.
And a gps receiver connected to the serial port. I use the Rikaline GPS 6010-X5 I already had for wardriving.
I ordered a lightweight battery (12V, 2.2 Ah, 700 grams) from Conrad with a charger. It should enable me to cycle (or drive) for at least two hours which is the usual time I stay interested in wardriving.
The whole box uses 420 mA in normal use. In theory, that would give over 5 hours of battery time. In practice the voltage will drop eventually and the power controller of the alix will cut it off. I measured 4 hours 39 minutes of active time.
The Alix.1c does have audio inputs and outputs, but I'm going to use something simple: the built-in PC speaker. To control that, I use the program aptly named beep which does just that: play tones from the PC speaker at a given frequency, duration and repeat.
~# debootstrap etch /root/ritchie-installAfter that I dug into it with
~# chroot /root/ritchie-installand started throwing out packages again.
src/linux-18.104.22.168# INSTALL_MOD_PATH=/root/ritchie-install make modules_installCompiling madwifi:
src/madwifi-0.9.1$ make KERNELPATH=/home/koos/project/wardriverbox/src/linux-22.214.171.124
Install madwifi to the build tree:
src/madwifi-0.9.1# make install-modules KERNELPATH=/home/koos/project/wardriverbox/src/linux-126.96.36.199 \ KMODPATH=/root/ritchie-install/lib/modules/188.8.131.52/net/
Do a module dependency check with the right paths:
src/linux-184.108.40.206# depmod -b /root/ritchie-install/ -ae 220.127.116.11 \ -F ~koos/project/wardriverbox/src/linux-18.104.22.168/System.map
I installed the CF as one partition with ext3 filesystem: eventually wardriving logs will be saved to that partition so it needs all the robustness it can get.
src/linux-22.214.171.124# INSTALL_MOD_PATH=/home/root/dabox-install make modules_install src/linux-126.96.36.199# chroot /home/root/dabox-install depmod -ae 188.8.131.52
$ grub grub> root (hd3,0) grub> setup (hd3)
~# debootstrap etch /home/root/tempforgrubAnd within that environment, installed grub-legacy:
root@jobs:~# chroot /home/root/tempforgrub root@jobs:/# apt-get install grub-legacyGrub needs access to the disk devices. I made really really sure the CF was /dev/sdc ..
root@jobs:/# mknod /dev/sdc b 8 32 root@jobs:/# mknod /dev/sdc1 b 8 33Now grub can be installed. There are (in the chrooted environment) no other disk devices visible, so in this case the target disk is (hd0).
root@jobs:/# grub-install --root-directory=/mnt '(hd0)'
# mkdir /mnt # mount /dev/sda1 /mnt # grub2-install '(hd0)' --root-directory=/mnt
timeout 5 default 0 fallback 1 title Wardriver kernel (hd0,0)/linux-184.108.40.206 root=/dev/ram0 ramdisk_size=55296 initrd (hd0,0)/rootimg.gz title Wardriver Default kernel (hd0,0)/linux-220.127.116.11 root=/dev/ram0 ramdisk_size=55296 defaults initrd (hd0,0)/rootimg.gz
set root=(hd0,1) linux (hd0,1)/linux-18.104.22.168 root=/dev/ram0 ramdisk_size=55296 initrd (hd0,1)/rootimg.gz boot
cfimage$ dd if=/dev/zero of=rootimg bs=1024k count=64 cfimage$ mke2fs -j rootimgmke2fs nags a bit about the rootimg being a file and not a device.
Copying files goes with a script which avoids copying anything to the rootimg which isn't really needed there. The whole debian adminstration is only needed on the local installation, not on the CF. The rootimg is stored compressed on the compact flash and on the local staging directory which means it has to be decompressed before any changed and compressed.
#!/bin/sh SOURCE="/root/ritchie-install" MNTPT="/mnt/other" FSIMAGE="/home/koos/project/wardriverbox/cfimage/rootimg" IMAGEDIR="/home/koos/project/wardriverbox/cfimage" if [ -f $FSIMAGE.gz ]; then echo -n "Decompressing image ... " gzip -d $FSIMAGE.gz echo "done." fi if [ ! -f $FSIMAGE ]; then echo "No root image" exit fi mount -o loop $FSIMAGE $MNTPT || exit 1 rsync -avHS --progress --delete --delete-excluded --exclude=usr/share/zoneinfo --exclude=usr/share/i18n --exclude=var/lib/dpkg --exclude=var/cache --exclude=usr/share/apt --exclude=usr/share/aptitude --exclude=usr/share/locale --exclude=var/lib/apt --exclude=/root/.bash_history --exclude=var/log/dpkg.log $SOURCE/ $MNTPT/ df $MNTPT umount $MNTPT # yes, I actually wrote to that file .. touch $FSIMAGE echo -n "Compressing image ... " gzip -9 $FSIMAGE echo "done." ls -l $IMAGEDIROther stuff in the local staging directory for the compact flash is the linux kernel and the grub boot files.
cfimage$ ls -l total 18636 drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Jan 24 22:19 boot/ -rw-r--r-- 1 koos users 787919 Jan 26 20:38 linux-2.4.36 -rw-r--r-- 1 koos users 18259594 Jan 25 23:09 rootimg.gzTo save to compact flash, a second script does the work:
#!/bin/sh FLASHPART="/dev/sdc1" MNTPT="/mnt/other" SOURCEDIR="/home/koos/project/wardriverbox/cfimage" modprobe usb-storage mount $FLASHPART $MNTPT || exit rsync -avHS --progress --delete $SOURCEDIR/ $MNTPT/ umount $MNTPT echo "Done syncing" rmmod usb-storage