Prototyping a Dynamic Wifi Antenna Rig

Prototyping a Dynamic Wifi Antenna Rig

Wandy is designing an antenna rig with the capability to track its wifi AP via GPS and motion sensing. This rig is designed to be installed on maritime vessels in order to provide a high quality wifi link to shore based access points. The built-in GPS receiver will give the rig its current position and heading and calculates its angle towards the shore based AP.

The shore based AP locations are hard-coded into the rigs software, and compared with the rigs current sector in order to allow several different AP's to be registered according to location. This current model has not got the gimbal system installed yet. This will counter wave movement of the ship by motion sensing and keep the antenna levelled with the AP.


This prototype was built using Makerbeam. Makerbeam gave us the flexibility to quickly change the design in order to develop new features. The first housing, was 10 x 10 cm and turned out to be too small to fit the embedded router-board. Changing the dimensions was as simple as changing your socks, and in no time we had a larger base.
One of the things that makes Makerbeam so well suited for this project is its aesthetic properties.The black anodised beams have a beautiful finished look to them. With a couple of black polystyrene sheets and a Stanley knife, the prototype looks the part in a matter of minutes.

The threaded beams enabled us to use the corner cubes and this gives the prototype a real design look. Makerbeam enabled us to make a prototype we can actually show to potential customers without having to make too many excuses.
In the video you will see the device waiting for a GPS lock and doing a calibration by the flick of a switch. Note the awesome design lights on the bottom of the rig.

httpv://youtu.be/PTKTet0h9oo

Ammer van Bussel
Netwerk engineer
Wandy





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