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Cisco 350 Series PCMCIA RIC (Radio Interface Card)

This RIC is a great start to your HSMM station.  With 100 mW of output power it is ready to handle DX on 2.4 GigaHertz.  Cisco Offers two versions of the card, one with built in diversity dipole antennas, and the other with two MMCX connectors to connect to external antennas.  This device slides into a PCMCIA slot.  This is usually found on the side of a notebook computer.  This card is 4.5 inches Wide 2.25 inches tall and 3/16" thick.  Retail on these is currently about $100

Dlink  DWL-900AP+ Access Point

This is a standard 802.11b Access Point in that it does not have an ethernet switch, broad band router, or firewall.  It puts out 30 mW of power.  This doesn't sound like much, but it is comparable to other access points on the market.  One great feature is its range of operating modes.  It can operate as an access point of course, and also as a RIC,  repeater,  bridge, or point to multipoint bridge.  This device connects to a DC power source and to ethernet local area network.  This device is roughly the size of a paperback book.  I paid $129 at a national computer store, January 2003.

Intel 2011 PCMCIA RIC

    This is a 100 mW PCMCIA RIC.  It has a nice driver set and some nice utilities that come with it.  I have it plugged in and working right now.  Size is roughly the same as the Cisco card.  I have removed one side of the steel case to reveal its components.  The Sticker in the top left says 100 mW right on it.  Notice the RF sheilding that has vent holes.  This is to help transfer heat to the steel case to allow for some cooling.  Pricing is somewhere around $70 to $100.

Cisco 1100 Access Point

    The Cisco 1100 Access is probably the best access point available.  It has a 100 mW radio.  Problem is the price tag, try $500.  This is approximately 4 inches wide and 8 inches tall.  Nice built in connectors to easily connect to external antennas.  This is designed for commercial use and provides lots of gee whiz security features.  The unit runs on 48 VDC and has a Category 5 ethernet connector, a locking port, and a reset button on the bottom.  This comes with brackets to mount to Ceiling tile rails, cubicle walls, or the desktop stand.

24 dbi parabolic

    This is the monster antenna for reaching out.  The size of this antenna is shown on the main page, click home at the top to go find it.  Fab-corp sells this antenna for $69.99  Best practices for a node connecting to an access point would be to use this antenna with the RIC mounted in a box right blow it on the tower.  This is why the Dlink DWL900AP+ is so useful.  Put it into RIC mode and mount it there in the box.  Then run 110VAC and Category five network cable up your tower instead of lossy Coax.  If you are a HSMM elmer or relay, it may be best to use an omni-directional antenna as opposed to this one.

15 dbi vertical

    This is a nice 15 dbi vertical from fab-corp.  They sell this antenna for $159.99  This is what to use for a repeater, or access point node.  Manufacturers sell these with or without a 3-10 degree "down tilt."  This is because the pattern is smashed so thin in the horizontal plane that you may not be able to connect to an antenna directly above you.  Keep this in mind when purchasing and installing one of these monsters.  This is a 72" tall antenna.

1 watt Amp

    This is a 1 watt amp (1000 mW).  This is available from fab-corp for around $350.  This is another item to put in the box just below the antenna.  The input is 1 mW.  This and a 24 dbi parabolic should at least allow 10 mile line of sight QSOs.  They also carry a 500 mW version for about $250.