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Hotspot Project

Posted at 21:53 on Tue, 25th March 2008 in wireless, networking.

Setting up a wireless hotspot for a apartment building, on a budget.

One of the hobby projects I've been working on these last few weeks, is a wireless hotspot for the multi storied apartment building, my Dad Manages. Comtenna and WRT54GL outside close

There were lots of offers by various companies to setup and maintain this sort of thing, but most of them involved a revenue sharing system that had fairly large setup fee's.

So I investigated the possibility of setting it up ourselves, and last week, things finally went live.

The setup includes:

  • 2 * Linksys WRT54GL routers running CoovaAP ($115 each new off Ebay)WRT54GL internal
  • DLink PoE Adaptor ($70 from a local wholesaler)
  • 2.4GHz ComTenna ($100 from
  • 1M of weatherproof Cat5E cable ($20 for 20M from freenet antennas)
  • Cat5E extension from reception to 2nd floor (installed by certified Electrian: $550).
  • Monthly fee for Worldspot service of about$15.00.

The WRT54GL's are setup in bridged mode (i.e. the one outside, where most people will get access to, has its cable plugged into a LAN port, and at the other end is plugged into the LAN port of the master WRT54GL (which has access to the Net).

We now have wireless access with a signal strength of between 30-50 dB in each room (60+ rooms over 6 levels). The signal goes out to Malcolmn street too, so you can actually get a signal of about 15db from Parliament House, if you like, yes, I tested this for fun ;) Comtenna and WRT54GL outside distant

The property gets 100% of the revenue, and this equipment should last at least a few years.

None of it would have been possible, without the the Linksys WRT54GL Wireless Router and CoovaAP firmware.