Next Meeting is Wednesday July 31st @ Lucky Labrador Brewpub

We hold monthly meetings. Each month we try to get together for drinks and talk somewhere in Portland. Typically there will be one or two short presentations, a question and answer session followed by general chit-chat. It's all very relaxed so please feel free to come join us.

[ Find your way] via TriMet to

{{{Lucky Labrador Brewpub 915 SE Hawthorne Blvd Portland, OR (503) 236-3555}}}

We keep the MeetingAgenda up to date with the topics to be discussed at the next meeting, if you would like something to be discussed please feel free to add it, just be sure to add your name next to it so we know who put it there.

July Personal Telco Meeting Notes

* The July PersonalTelco meeting met on the last Wednesday of the month (as usual) at a different place - The Lucky Labrador Tavern. Recently our meetings were held at It's A Beautiful Pizza, but noise and space were problematic. The [ the mail list] and this web site are the best places to find the latest news on PersonalTelco.

* First Timers: Nigel started things off at 6:30 asking for the usual round of hands of first timers. This time about 9 people raising their hands. Each person explained their interests. New people included Jeff Johnson (from Portland Independent Media), Randy, a microwave tech, a guy from Mentor Graphics, Jeff from Alberta Park, Chris Goodman, Mike Donavan, Les Brown and others. Their experience and locations were all over the map but unitied in enthusiam for 802.11b

Nigel launched onto a pitch for how "easy" 802.11b is. "It just works", proclaimed Joe Java.

* State Of The Nodes: A review of the state of the nodes was presented by [ Don Park]. Personal Telco nodes are at Psychonautical Supply, the South Park Blocks, Pioneer Courthouse Square, the [ International Hostel], the cafe by the Pittock block and a new one being tested at Billy Reed's.

The Pittock node is down or more accurately, it walked out. MIA a month or so ago if my notes are correct. Anyway they have a NoCat box that apparently isn't funtioning.

* T-Mobile - What Do They Think They Are Doing?: One source of frustration was the new T-Mobile node at Pioneer Courthouse Square. When Starbuck (T-Mobile) finally got around to putting in their 802.11b network at Starbucks, last month, which channel do you suppose they used? That's right, they layed it right on top of (our) Channel One. They have used any channel but decided that interference was preferable to channel cooperation. Go figure.

Much comment. Some people thought we ought to show kindness, understanding, and cooperation, moving our Channel One up on the dial to a higher number. Others thought this sacriledge. The disadvantage, it was pointed out, is that 802.11 radios start scanning for signals at Channel One then go up. If they stop at Channel One, users may not know that a "free" alternative is available.

Brian came up with a "put up or shut up" offer and wrote a check on the spot for $50, to buy a hot new Senco card from Michael. Which should blast them away. (Most) agreed this was a civil solution. Another round of beer was purchased...

* Adam Shand on 501(c)3 status: Personal Telco's status as a 501(c)3 non-profit moved dramatically closer this month. Lucas Shehan couldn't make it to the meeting but he helped to get the articles and incorporation together. It requires a board of directors and it was decided that AdamShand , LucasSheehan and MichaelCodanti would be a good start.

Adam, Lucas and Michael will get together in a special meeting in August. Those that are interested in helping to shape the organization and work towards a non-profit status should contact them. They will present their progress at the monthly meeting, solicit comments, help etc and formally announce the advisory board.

The Joint Linux Education Fund donated $1000!!! towards the necessary legal and other associated expenses. It was expected that registering 501(c)3 status will cost about $1500 with the law firm of Davis Wright Tremane providing low cost assistance to walk us through the process and help with legal matters. D.W.T. is a well-known law firm in Portland, and it was discussed at length by Adam and the membership as an excellent value and a worthy endeavor since it gives legal status to PTP and allows relationships with other organizations or businesses. The catch was that PTP was a little short on cash. Adam solisited cash donations.

Joe McCann, sprung up enthusiastically and wrote a $100 check on the spot! Mark contributed another $100 and others contributed too. It now appears that the 501(c)3 status is on its way!

Another round for all those people who made this happen!

* Adam Shand Presents at Defcon: Adam presented at Defcon. Anyone who wants to see his talk (it was done with Xam of Mesh Madison and Bruce Potter of NovaWireless/Shmoo) can see the slides here

* High Power 802.11b Cards:

Hyper-kinetic guru MichaelCodanti brought a digital bomb. No not really. It was a CloneArmy Box with [ Senao 200 mW high power cards]. The [ 200nW SL-2511CD], according to Michael - who has tested EVERYTHING, is currently the best 802.11b card on the market. It's similar to the [ the Zcomax 180mW card] which uses a [ Prism 2.5] base. But the Zcomax uses another power amplifier and tends to get hot. (I wonder if it can fit inside a [ USB adapter] for window-mounted antennas.

Michael set up a CloneArmy with a little PVC omni lashed to the side. That should scare away any invading T-Mobilers!

BTW, [ Demarc] sells[ a 180 mW Zcomax] and a [ 500 mW access point] (if you need MORE power). [ Smart Bridges] like the outdoor [ Airbridge], with a relatively powerful (100 mW) radio, is made for outdoor use. They claim high sensitivity and easy set-up. The Tranzeo [ XI-750 USB client] ($159) is only a puny 30 mW but it comes with a nifty "N" Connector so you can screw an external antennas like the [ +13dB panel from Super Pass]($35).

It wasn't mentioned at the meeting but I think a [ 200mW Senao SL-2511CD] (~$100) with a [ +13dB panel from Super Pass](~$35) would be FCC legal and might make a dynamite combo.

==Other News==