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hey, im a design student in Montreal, Canada and have a project coming up. i remember seeing the arduino in action on the makemagazine vlog on youtube and had an idea to incorporate the microcontroller into my latest project. the thing is, i want to know if it is feasible. heres what i want:

i want to create a portable handhled device that will alert the user when he/she is in a wifi hotspot (preferably when they are in an unlocked/free wifi hotspot). is there a way to hook up a wifi recever to the arduino, have it scan every x amount of seconds and if you are in a hotspot, have it beep or flash? i have some coding background but nothing in the realm of electronics engineering. first tell me if this is possible, and if so, can you link me to a list of materials i will need to get it underway? (ie ive seen about 2-3 different versions of arduino, what kind of wifi reciever will work with arduino etc..). i hope it is possible. thanks  
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If the only output is beeping/flashing, why not go for something like this?

http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/accessories/6f76/

If you want the detection to be part of something bigger, you could use the same detector, and connect the LED output to an arduino digital in pin, or even an interrupt pin.
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Hello drsynister, wow what school to you go to? I must enlist (actually I'm signing up at ETS in January, yay back to school! ;o)

Here's my answer though: if you want the easy way around, yeah just buy a prebuilt device and mod it. If you're looking to impress a teacher, it is possible to interact with a Prism2 wifi card (a/b only). The Procyon AVRLib has a driver that would probably work with the Arduino with very little modifications. But don't expect it to be a smooth road.

Hope this helps.
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"Pilots believe in a clean living... they never drink wisky from a dirty glass."

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@drysinister:

I teach art and design  so let me give you some headache-saving advice smiley
if you have, as you say, no hardware background or experience, then this is a really complicated project to undertake as your first hardware project. About the simplest thing you could do would be to take an existing wifi detector and hack it, but even that would take a several weeks or even months to go from zero experience to working prototype. Unless they're teaching you electronics classes at the same time- are they?
You can probably exercise other skills: conceptual, model-making, 3D/2D visualization etc that will get you way further down the road (in terms of concept and exploration of the issues at hand),  than tearing your hair out trying to get a wifi-based prototype working from scratch!

D
« Last Edit: October 20, 2007, 09:06:39 am by Daniel » Logged

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Quote
@drysinister:

I teach art and design  so let me give you some headache-saving advice smiley

if you have, as you say, no hardware background or experience, then this is a really complicated project to undertake as your first hardware project. About the simplest thing you could do would be to take an existing wifi detector and hack it, but even that would take a several weeks or even months to go from zero experience to working prototype. Unless they're teaching you electronics classes at the same time- are they?
You can probably exercise other skills: conceptual, model-making, 3D/2D visualization etc that will get you way further down the road (in terms of concept and exploration of the issues at hand),  than tearing your hair out trying to get a wifi-based prototype working from scratch!

D

No disrespect, but that depends on which side of your brain you predominantly use... In my case "conceptual, model-making, 3D/2D visualization etc" would take years to grasp (if ever), the results would likely be poor and I would have no hair left smiley-grin  But hacking a device to do something else, whilst a still a steep learning curve would come much easier.

Having said that, I agree it is a complicated project to undertake first up and would consider something that could be undertaken in smaller modules... But it is amazing how much the human mind can learn when challenged..

Look forward to hearing your progress


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