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Old 05-18-2009, 07:56 PM   #1
vbsaltydog
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linux on wifi phone?


I would like to know if there is a small form factor wifi phone(size of closed clamshell cell phone or smaller) that can run linux.

Thank you
 
Old 05-18-2009, 08:00 PM   #2
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I know a few companies put out Linux-based VoIP phones. There is some information about hacking the SMC WSKP100 here.
 
Old 05-18-2009, 08:13 PM   #3
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Thank you. Perhaps if I explain what I am trying to do, it will make it easier to offer advise.


I am looking for a small linux based hardware device that is wifi enabled and battery powered. All I really need for it to do is monitor the radio signal strength from a specified base station so it can be programmed to do x action based on the radio signal strength. Any ideas? The phone seemed to be a good fit because it already has the small size, battery powered, and if wifi enabled, the ability to read the radio signal but the cost may be too high. Especially if there is something cheaper out there with the same specs.
 
Old 05-18-2009, 08:18 PM   #4
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In that case, how about a ZipIt? They go for $30-$50 online now, and they have a pretty active Linux development community behind them.
 
Old 05-18-2009, 08:25 PM   #5
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Appreciated but it is too big. I need something very small.
 
Old 05-18-2009, 08:30 PM   #6
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let me clarify.

No screen, no keypad. Just a chipset, radio and battery. I can ssh into it for config over the wifi.
Basically, I need the board from a linksys wrt54g but much smaller and battery powered.
 
Old 05-18-2009, 08:49 PM   #7
MS3FGX
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Well, then it doesn't sound like you want a phone either if you aren't looking for a screen or buttons.

The smallest you could possibly do would be a Gumstix Overo Air, but I think that will be considerably over your budget. Even if you could find a Linux-powered cell phone of suitable size with WiFi, cost is going to be an issue. Not many cells have WiFi yet, and it comes at a premium on the models that do.
 
Old 05-18-2009, 11:06 PM   #8
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Appreciated. The computer-on-module is nice but it is too expensive for my project. It also does not come with a power supply and does not run linux so I would have to learn the proprietary software. These are only a few reasons why it will not work but I do appreciate the info.
 
Old 05-19-2009, 02:11 PM   #9
MS3FGX
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Quote:
does not run linux so I would have to learn the proprietary software.
Just for the record, all of the Gumstix embedded computers run a completely open Linux, as well as being open hardware platforms (it is all documented and uses open protocols to communicate).

You can see it all on their development site.
 
Old 05-19-2009, 02:28 PM   #10
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Thanks. I think that there is a cheaper solution for me. It is to use a keychain sized wifi detector and mod it to perform x action based on the signal strength. This is only an option if I can find a keychain sized wifi detector that runs (or can run) linux and has a 1-wire board option.

Ideally, I want to run kismet on a wifi detector type device, program the system to monitor a particular ssid signal strength from the kismet output and then send a variable voltage level out of a 1-wire output to a relay system based on the signal strength so that as the device gets farther from the AP the voltage level gradually increases to the relay system.

Any ideas?
 
Old 05-19-2009, 06:02 PM   #11
MS3FGX
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You certainly won't find a WiFi detector that is anything like that. Those devices are just basic detectors of RF amplitude, they don't run any operating system or have any sort of processor in them. It is just a series of LEDs which are lit depending on how strong a 2.4 GHz signal it detects (most aren't even able to tell the difference between Bluetooth and cordless phones, making their real-world usefulness almost zero).

Even the advanced ones that are able to discern between different APs are not capable of running an actual operating system. To do something as complicated as you are talking about, you certainly need a more intelligent system than a WiFi detector. But if the Gumstix are out of your budget, I can't think of anything else that would work.

Last edited by MS3FGX; 05-19-2009 at 08:46 PM.
 
Old 05-19-2009, 06:50 PM   #12
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Well, it was nothing to worry about so the project will have to wait until the technology is available for a lesser cost. Thanks for all of your input.
 
  


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