Wardriving in Pacific Grove

I STRESS TO ALL RADIO & WIFI GEEKS - DO NO HARM! DO NOT LET OUR FREEDOM BE TAKEN AWAY DUE TO FOOLISH PRANKS.

Everywhere a dot icon is planted is where a wifi network was detected. No networks were compromised. This is all in fun, if a radio signal is being broadcast you are free to acknowledge it's presence. Red dot mean a secured access point, green dots are wide open access points.
PG War driving map

How it is done

Get a laptop computer This here is an IBM ThinkPad 765L P166MMX 810MB HDD 64MBRAM 13.3" TFT XGA running on Windows 98
PG War driving laptop

Got it with five others for $50 at the Butterfly Bazaar (along with a lot of other compujunk). The hard drive is an 810 MB unit from a less worthy ThinkPad in the lot.

I sold 4 of the laptops for around $30 a piece, giving me some hobby money to buy (among other things) a CDROM that fits it and a power supply.
CDROM for lap top

The wireless card used is a Dell TrueMobile 1150. This is a rebranded Orinoco Gold PCMCIA card, known for being compatible with more access points than most other cards. And it also has a special feature loved by wardrivers.
TrueMobile 1150 wifi card

. . . . An external antenna connector.
TrueMobile 1150 antenna connector

To get more signal, an antenna is also needed. This is an magnet mount antenna for a PCS cell phone. The length is real close to an electrical half wave at 2.4 Ghz.

Then to put them together I need a pigtail to adapt the antenna to the PC card
Pigtail cable

Also need a GPS to pinpoint locations. Garmin etrex Legend.
Garmin GPS

Another wire!!?? Yes, more wires. Here's the serial cable to hook the GPS to the laptop
GPS serial cable to laptop

Using an older laptop - no USB, just an old fashioned RS232 serial port.
Serial port

With a GPS sending data, the laptop now knows where it is (if it's outdoors)
GPS hooked up to laptop

The laptop rides on it's side in the car seat, this lets the PCMCIA card 'see' out the window when not using the magnet mount antenna. Also gives the driver a distracting glance at the screen.
Laptop on the side

I set out crusing the streets. One of the catches - CaledoniaAir. The green means good signal. It breaks up a bit because I was driving while capturing. The larger breakups at 12:13 pm was from going down one Caledonia and up the other one.
Caledonia Air

Update - Hardware Improvements

 One, there's a new laptop - Compaq Aramada E500. This gives USB capabilities. Here I am using a USB wireless 802.11g LAN adaptor from that little ol company in Redmond. A loop of packaging tape keeps it steady. Dirt on vehicle is to reflect the radio waves.

What's so much better about using a USB adaptor is that there is no signal loss from six feet of cable from the antenna to radio in the adaptor. Here the antenna is directly connected to the 'radio', the radio converts the signal to data. There's a HUGE difference between the old way and this way. I get 6 APs in my driveway alone, where I once got 2.

Total take in 90 minutes of driving in PG - almost 500 access points.

Microsoft MN-710, works great with Netstumbler.
USB wifi adaptor

Using a MacAlly laptop stand to keep the computer from burying it's air vents in the sheepskin seats.
Laptop stand in car

sOmE FiLeZ

.csv summary See if YOUR access point was 'own3d'.

Microsoft Streets & Trips format .est file. From Monterey to San Jose. What is found. When you click a 'pushpin' it tells you the SSID and MAC address.

The Data - in Excel format. Just a dump of Netstumbler data. Is your access point there?

The latest Netstumber file.