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LAN / Remote PCI MAX operation

 
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LAN / Remote PCI MAX operation
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NikosE
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Joined: 02 Feb 2002
Posts: 8

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It all started with the idea of reducing the length of coax from the PCI MAX to the antenna. The more I looked at the 25m of RG-58 leading from my PC, across my room, the hall and out to the balcony, the more I could see an overextended and expensive dummy load (depending on the quality of the coax, every 30m of coax halves the power output that will reach the antenna). There had to be another way… Either take the antenna closer to the PC (nope, no point radiating the walls), or move the PC closer to the antenna. I opted for the second solution.

Ingredients:
A spare PC with at least one PCI slot (no keyboard, mouse or monitor required), a couple of Ethernet cards, some Ethernet cable to reach from your working PC to the spare PC (hereafter called the “radioserver”) and a Windows OS. Of course you need your PCI MAX card and a much reduced length of coax from the radioserver to the antenna.

The spare PC or radioserver can be any old PC (i.e., fully depreciated) that you currently use as a museum piece, as long as it features a PCI slot to plug in the PCI MAX card, a sound card and has a CPU and sufficient RAM to run Windows. In my case, I use an old PC with a Pentium II 120Mhz CPU, 48MB RAM, 6GB hard disk, running Win98. My working PC runs WinXP, but any combination of Win flavours will do.

The concept is to network the radioserver with the working PC, by putting in place a basic LAN. With Microsoft’s NetMeeting, it is possible to remotely access the radioserver from the working PC, using the Remote Desktop feature of NetMeeting. The radioserver can then be placed at a spot as close as possible to the antenna, where a power outlet is available to power the radioserver.

On the radioserver you need to install the PCI MAX driver, the Media Player of your choice (say, WinAmp) and to activate the Remote Desktop feature of NetMeeting. It’s better if you do the radioserver installation and configuration using a monitor, keyboard and mouse directly connected to it. Once you finish the configuration, you can remove these peripherals; they are no more needed. The only physical intervention needed after that is to operate the radioserver’s on/off switch. Just remember to change the BIOS configuration of the radioserver PC, so at boot time it doesn’t halt when it doesn't detect a keyboard.

From your working PC you can access the radioserver using NetMeeting, by calling the radioserver’s IP address (if you are using a router, you will have to allocate a static IP address to the radioserver). You can then operate remotely on the radioserver, the PCI MAX interface, the Media Player or any other applications. The radioserver will then run independently from your working PC.


Other configurations:
In the case you are running WinXP on both PCs, you can channel the audio of the working PC’s sound card to the radioserver. In that way you can broadcast either the audio of your working PC or that of the radioserver.

If you can afford it, you could do away altogether with the Ethernet cable connecting the two PCs, by employing a wireless or powerline router. In that case, the location of your radioserver will depend exclusively on the presence of a power outlet within a radius of a few hundred meters from the router. LinkSys offers some great routers at reasonable prices; check http://www.linksys.com

It is possible to access the Remote Desktop feature via the Internet. Have your friends broadcast their own programme by linking directly from any place in the world via the internet to the radioserver.


If anybody wants some more info on the setup or the PCs configuration described above, drop a line in this forum.

Happy (remote) microbroadcasting ,

NikosE
March 2002
Mon Mar 25, 2002 9:42 pm View user's profile Send private message
StormiNorm
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Has anyone ever bothered to give some thought to hacking vulnerabilities with such a setup????Such antics leaves too many "Backdoors" open for the unscrupulious,low life script kiddie
Sat Jul 27, 2002 8:39 am
NikosE
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Joined: 02 Feb 2002
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Thank you SrormiNorm for your "constructive" criticism.

I take it that you haven't actually experimented with the setup described in my original message above and your internet experience is limited. OK then, let's look briefly at the risk of having the setup hacked in a number of cases:

i. Direct physical ethernet connection of the two PCs in the setup & no internet access: the risk of hacking is nil, as the LAN is isolated from the "outside" world.

ii. Use of wireless router to connect the two PCs & no internet connection: assuming somebody is able to locate the hotspot and to attempt to log on, any further access can be prevented using WEP encoding between the PCs. The risk of hacking is insignificant.

iii. Case i. above with access to the internet: introduce a password for the Remote Desktop function and optionally put in place a software firewall at the PC connected to the net. The risk of hacking is insignificant.

iv. Case ii. above with access to internet: introduce a password for the Remote Desktop function. The router by default is a hardware firewall due to its NAT features. The risk of hacking is insignificant.

The only way one can get "in" your LAN to access the radioserver PC, in relation to cases iii. & iv., is IF you allow their IP address through the firewall AND you forward the relevant radioserver PC TCP/UDP ports AND you give them the password to access the Remote Desktop.

The risk of having the setup hacked is insignificant or nil in all of the above cases, once the basic internet related precautions are taken.

Regards,

NikosE

"Living is a health risk: it causes death"
Thu Aug 15, 2002 9:08 am View user's profile Send private message
Fleetinglimpse
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Joined: 26 Oct 2003
Posts: 142
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Post OH REALLY? Reply with quote
As simplistic as that eh?
Sat Dec 27, 2003 7:43 am View user's profile Send private message
pcs
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Joined: 18 Jan 2002
Posts: 3063
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Post Reply with quote
Well, nowadays there are many ways to remotely control
the PCI MAX. VPN, remote desktop etc...

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Sun Mar 28, 2004 12:46 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Sir Nigel
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Post Reply with quote
If you want to control computers remotely try WinVNC. It is free and works with just about any operating system.

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Mon Mar 29, 2004 2:27 am View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
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