Welcome to the Lantaarnpaal WiFi project

Aim and scope

The aim of the project is to develop a node built inside the famous Leidse lantaarn. A street lantern has interesting potential to function as a wifi spot: optimum locations, availability of electric power (at least at night), easily recognizable for users (such as tourists).

There are also challenges:

  • no local internet connection;
  • power is switched off during daylight hours (at least for the coming years);
  • hardware should not interfere with historic character;
  • possible radio interference.

Local internet connection

Potential solutions:

  • wifi interlink to nearby Wireless Leiden node
  • use of ethernet over power line, for instance using Corinex powerline adapters with backup power connection

The Corinex manual is available in svn Corinex_CXP-HDC_LVC_UserGuide .

Power supply

As long as power is switched off during daylight hours we will need a local battery. The battery should be as small as possible and allow a large number of discharge cycles. We will measure the power consumption using a PortaPow Premium USB + DC Power and Energy Monitor. Here you will find the testing and the results of the raspberry pi EnergyTesting

Hardware configuration

The antennas should be placed inside the hood and above the mirror plate (see the drawings. Ideally the router board, poweradapter and battery pack should also be located inside the hood (no installation work in lantern base).

One solution would be to use a raspberrypi-2B or -3 with usb-wifi-dongles. Raspberry Pi 2 is based on Broadcom BCM2836 SoC, which includes a quad-core Cortex-A7 CPU running at 900 MHz and 1 GB RAM. There are 4 usb ports. In a first setup we will test Edimax EW-7811USC AC600 dual-band usb-adapters that use the rtl8812au driver.

We also are testing the setup with a hardware from Ubiquiti. Containing a EdgeRouter POE as main board with multiple Air Gateway boards.

Another (more expensive) possibility might be a board with multiple minipci connectors like the RB435G, avoiding the use of usb.

Radio interference

In the setup with wifi-interlinks (5 GHz) and two accesspoints (both 802.11g and 802.11a) there are four antennas in the hood, closely spaced (30 cm). Moreover the construction of the hood may interfere with the radio signals.

Art project

The basic idea is to put a led display behind the little square window in the hood to show some artistic image. For instance the GPIO could be used in combination with a RGB dot matrix display. Several display connections are available on the raspi.

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Last modified 3 years ago Last modified on Nov 11, 2020, 4:37:08 PM
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