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I got the following from usd.dx.com, and I am pleased with the performance boost they provide, although I am judging based upon an ad hoc evaluation of signal strength of FM radio streams. Obviously, no antenna is perfect for every frequency, although the composite dipole antennas seem to provide good performance at wide bandwidth/wide variety of frequencies, but look like a throw back to the TV antennas everyone used in the 70's and basically, before Satellite and cable tv service was the defacto standard. However, the gauge of the wire, and the overall construction of the antenna I bought seems to be a big step up from the antenna included with the dongle, for the frequencies I am looking at. Here are links to the antenna I am playing with: http://usd.dx.com/product/portable-digital-dvb-t-tv-25dbi-omni-magnetic-based-aerial-booster-antenna-iec-901030061#.UydkzfldVOI To connect it to the Realtek dongle from the Hak5 store, you will also need: http://usd.dx.com/product/lwj-023-mcx-male-to-tv-female-antenna-adapter-cable-black-17-5cm-901207418#.UydmkfldVOI The antenna has a nice large base, and is beefier in size than the included antenna in the realtek dongle packs, and it seems to perform well for a general purpose Omni. Oh yes, the base is magnetic, so make sure you don't leave it on those vintage 5 1/4" floppies you have laying around. It, even with the adapter cable, is cheap, and this is usually a consideration for most of us. usd.dx.com also offers free shipping if you are willing to be somewhat patient. Everything you order from them arrives... eventually ( 1 1/2 to 2 weeks delivery is typical ). I almost hate to say it, but there are also Realtek dongles that have the larger antenna connectors built into the dongle, so you don't need the adapter cable if you are using a variant ( from another source ) of the Realtek dongle from the Hak5 store. Maybe the Hak5 store will start offering the other dongles with a more general/larger antenna connector. Signal is everything with radio. So, every connector/adapter you throw into the mix is going to drop signal strength a bit, especially when you drop the gauge of the conductor ( wire ) down. I understand the argument for the Hak5 dongle, you don't need to worry as much about position or it getting in the way of another usb Cable, but I just use a short USB extension cable. Having a cable in betwixt the dongle and the computer is completely different from strangling the signal strength coming into the dongle. Once RF makes it into the dongle, everything is USB/digital out to the port on your computer. Having the radio slightly away from the main body of the computer also has some benefits ( with the Hak5 dongle included in this mix ) as the location of the dongle away from the computer allows the dongle to not be blocked by the body of your computer ( if you are using a desktop ) which can have negative effects, also possible is RF interference from the computer, so my general opinion is the dongle works better off of an USB extension cable, but I use a lot of desktops, because the performance of desktops and the peripherals are in a form factor that makes modifications/maintenance much easier, and Notebooks are designed with battery life as a major consideration, so with less power, comes the consequence of less performance. I use a mix of desktops and laptops/netbooks/android devices, but the smaller form factor devices are mainly used for browsing and SSH or RDP'ing into my other servers/workstations, or other applications where mobility is more useful. My desktops are where I do most of my linux/FreeBSD/Solaris server or development/programming boxes, and my gaming.and Windows 7. One of my netbooks ( Intel Atom ) runs a nice linux distribution specifically designed for it, with a desktop that is oriented towards the smaller screen size. The others run Windows 7. Usually, if I am programming or doing things on the Linux/FreeBSD/Solaris boxes, I use RDP or ssh from a windows 7 box unless I need higher graphics/audio performance, then I do it on directly from the console of the host machine. I used the atom running linux for many years for most of my web browsing before I went to my dual core AMD netbook. The atom runs cooler and longer on the battery, the AMD cranks out the heat, but also has a nice bit of performance and can even limp along in most games. More heat from the computer means more performance. The netbooks are also convenient for working with microcontrollers, as far as programming them. I work with both Pic and Atmel microcontrollers, and a netbook is more appropriate for updating the code, especially when the microcontroller is already deployed in an application. ISP on Atmels pretty much means you need to drag the computer to where the microcontroller is doing its thing. The pics I use are socket oriented, and I can pop them out and drag them back to my Olimex Pic programmer. I don't debate which is better, as far as Pic vs Atmel. It is sort of like Apple vs Windows. I just don't care. I use whatever is best for the project. I have seen some people try to claim that newer computers are more environmentally sensitive, but in my experience, the more heat a computer cranks out, the better the performance. I also used to support data centres, so I have a bit of experience in power consumption, performance, and cooling issues. If you aren't familiar with HVAC/cooling issues with computer servers, you aren't working in a data centre that even qualifies as small scale, or you are running servers in Alaska. I have rambled, and I apologise for some of this, but I have learned so much about computers, electronics, programming, and networking that my mental wiring is partially fried, so consider anything I write as a partial core dump from my main CPU. When I went to school, I was usually kicked out from the computer classes and told to go work in the library on my projects, and just turn in the work at the end of the day, or the end of the quarter. Teachers found my breadth of knowledge to be intimidating, and my social skills to be largely undeveloped. I couldn't help it if I knew more than my teachers, with the exception of my coworker at Heritage College who was the head of the Computer Science department. He is a smart cookie, and was quite enjoyable to collaborate with, as well as learn from. Come to think of it, he was the only computer prof I had that didn't kick me out of his classes. -FuzzyBunny
Just for grins and giggles, I compared the speed of processing in software the demodulation that we do in hardware in a traditional radio. There is a small delay, but I am going to guess that it is on the order of 1/10th to 1/20th of a second betwixt the audio coming out of a traditional radio to the output of an SDR setup with a ~$20 or less dongle. For someone who was brought up on 2 Mhz 48K byte computers, this is just freaking amazing. I remember, for the aforementioned specs of the Atari 800, it took every ounce of processing power, including turning off the video chip (about a 20% boost in performance), and everything the poor little thing had to render a 2-3 second clip of the Kinks "You really got me now", and even then, it was a far cry from broadcast or cd quality audio. In retrospect, I should have forecast some of the capabilities of modern computers and modern networks. Realistically, networks have become part of our computer systems. Without a network to stream information from the web or your video server to your ROKU or XBMC pc, the capabilities of our computational power is very limited. The amount of collaboration and innovation that even the community of Hak5 is able to produce through the web site and the weekly I-casts is nothing short of amazing. People from all over the country, or the world, are able to work together, with only language being a barrier, but increasingly, the web is making the world speak English. This trumps every social influence that people or cultures may claim. They may have localized languages, but the web speaks English, and English's place as a world language is all but guaranteed by computer networks, the Internet, specifically. I realise that TCP/IP cares nothing about the human language it transports, but as the innovation in networks and computer science is mainly a product of the US and our economic allies in Japan, Taiwan, China, and the EU, and RFC's ( the backbone of internet/TCP/IP innovation ) are written and distributed in English, I pretty much see English as being the uber-language of the future. My forefathers/mothers spoke German, Norwegian, English ( British English ), etc., but by the fourth or fifth generation, the only thing that matters is old traditional recipes made on the holidays. The rest of the culture has been absorbed. So will it be with our newest immigrants. So it will be with the world as they get absorbed into the world wide web. Many cultures, such as the Japanese and the Chinese and various Jewish and Moslem countries will always preserve their neighbourhood tongues... But they will also speak English, and speaking in English will become the international standard of communication through the influence of Internet Anarchy. If tracked back far enough, the Roman Empire is still alive and well, but wearing different clothes. It is more of something that we all take for granted. Roads ( arguably, an early network, still important in conjunction with the information network ), indoor plumbing ( arguably, an early crap network, sort of like Facebook ), bridges ( ok, more network analogies... ) our calendar and hours, our numerals, all have Roman origins. This is similar to how I perceive English's role in the future, something taken for granted, that people don't even think about. I hope I have not offended anyone. If I have, please accept my semi humble apologies. I don't intentionally try to offend anyone. It seems, like sarcasm, to be a natural talent I possess. -Fuzzy Bunny
Hey everyone, First question, is it possible to make a DHCP reservation? So instead of having to force the IP 172.16.42.42 (and afterwards removing it again) it would just get it assigned. Second question: Any suggestions for a powered usb hub? Two ports would be enough to tether and have a usb for storage connected connected. Third question: Can the pineapple handle running tcpdump and sslstrip at the same time? I seemed to work however tcpdump said it dropped a bunch of packets. Thanks!