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July 22, 2003

Thunder - No Net

Yesterday afternoon a serious thunderstorm took out all the electricity in town for a number of hours. So it wasn't until late last night that I noticed that the storm had also taken out the microwave link between home and Cornell. Checking out antennas in the middle of the night in bad weather is not a joke, so I left that for this morning. I have the connectivity is restored now (otherwise I couldn't be posting this), but something must have changed, either with the direction of the antennas or with some obstacles in between as the signal has become a lot weaker, and the bandwidth doesn't come close to the usual 10 MBit/sec. I'll have to do some roof climbing ...

I have been thinking about upgrading the link to the 5.4 GHz range now that 802.11a devices are becoming affordable. The problem is that the FCC does not allow outdoor 802.11a installations by non-licensed personnel, and you cannot buy off-the-shelf 802.11a equipment that allow you to plug-in an external antenna or to add an amplifier.

Posted by Werner Vogels at July 22, 2003 09:55 AM