This is not hard, and it’s a nice complement to the WifiDog open-source firmware. I came up with this idea as a marketing knickknack for neighborhood coffeeshops. It’s not waterproof and it’s susceptible to heat ventilation problems (punch more holes), but it’s fun.
What we need:
one Metal Lunchbox
one Linksys WRT54G Access Point
two male to male adapters
one pack of rubber grommets size 1/2″ inside diameter (optional) (local hardware store)
one pair of pliers
one 5/8 inch (16 mm) hole punch (local hardware store)
What we do:
- Take tools and materials to a very hard surface. Think “anvil”. (I used the sidewalk planter.)
- Unscrew the stock antennas from the Access Point and place unit in box.
- With a marker, mark where the bases of the antenna meet the lunchbox (in my case it was directly next to the lunchbox handle mounts)
- Remove Access Point from box.
- Pound holes in box (one for each antenna, one for cords)
- This is tricky–the lunchbox is a tight space. I wound up holding the punch upward inside the box and banging down on the lunchbox itself
- The cord hole is easier. I put it near the bottom of one of the lunchbox sides.
- You can punch more holes for ventilation. In fact, you should
- Use pliers to pull out the punched discs and crimp the edges
- Test to make sure the Access Point fits in correctly
- String Cables, Install Grommets
- Slip LAN cables and Power cord through the unit’s third hole and into the back of the unit.
- The power cord is a tight fit, and if you want to add extra LAN cables, do it now. It’s a pain to remove and rethread
- The grommets are for the cord hole and the ventilation holes, not the antenna holes.
- Lodge Linksys in lunchbox.
- Attach antennas
- Here’s the order: Base –> female to female –> male to male –> stock antenna
- Use the plastic guards that came with the Linksys on the adapters instead. They cover the holes we punched.
- Power it up!
- Super cooling!
- Nifty lunchboxes (any ideas?)
- Stretch the indicator lights to show through the lunchbox lid (like a pinball machine display)