The Implementation of Point-to-point Infrared Local Area Network (LAN)

Fig 1.
        The implementation of a point-to-point infrared LAN allows information to be transmitted from one point to another without relying on any physical connection.  The required task will involve the removal of Ethernet 10/100Mbps category 5 twisted pair wiring between existing Power Macintosh G3 and G4 computers, the installation of 20 SkyLine PCI wireless cards, and three AirPort Base Stations.  The proposed configuration uses a Skyline PCI card as a transmitter and receiver, and the AirPort Base station as a transceiver device.  The SkyLine PCI card is inserted into the PCI card slot on the logic board of a Power Macintosh G3 or G4 system and the AirPort Base Station is a stand alone device cabled to the LAN infrastructure from a fixed location (see Fig1).  In a wireless infrared environment data is exchanged between the Skyline PCI Card and the AirPort Base Station via electromagnetic airwaves (radio waves or infrared).  The configuration design utilizes the AirPort Base station as a access point for the purpose of receiving, buffering, and transmitting data between the wireless LAN and the wired network infrastructure.

        This project involves removal of existing cabled Ethernet PCI card from the Power Macintosh G3 PCI slot and replace it with the wireless SkyLine PCI card.  After the hardware installation task was complete, SkyLine software was installed on the Power Macintosh G3s and G4s hard drive.  The software contained the necessary drivers to configure the network mode and TCP/IP settings of all hardware devices that will be used to exchange data in the wireless infrared LAN.  By setting the network mode to infrastructure mode and the TCP/IP control panel to Farallon Wireless, the Skyline PCI Card and the AirPort Base Station can communicate by line of sight using a infrared frequency (IF) of 3 x 10^14 Hz. Thus allowing the wireless PCI card to transmit and receive data up to 11 Mbps over the air in any direction up to 50 meters (168 feet) from the access point. 

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