Wireless networking is poised to have a massive impact on communications, and the 802.11 standard is to wireless networking what Ethernet is to wired networking. There are already over 50 million devices using the dominant IEEE 802.11 (essentially wireless Ethernet) standard, with astronomical growth predicted over the next 10 years. New applications are emerging every day, with wireless capability being embedded in everything from electric meters to hospital patient tracking systems to security devices.

This practical reference guides readers through the wireless technology forest, giving them the knowledge, the hardware and the software necessary to design a wireless embedded device rapidly, inexpensively, and effectively. Using off-the-shelf microcontrollers from Microchip and Atmel, the author provides step-by-step instructions for designing the hardware and firmware for a fully operational wireless networking device. The book gives a thorough introduction to 802.11 technology and puts it into perspective against the other wireless standard options. Just enough theory and mathematics is provided to give the depth of understanding needed for practical design work.

The book thoroughly covers:
* Laptop wireless Ethernet card introduction and theory
*Introduction to CompactFlash-to-microcontroller interfacing
* Implementing the laptop wireless Ethernet card in an embedded environment

In addition, the book includes access to a companion website containing all of the code, schematics and programs necessary to implement embedded 802.11 wireless networking.

Key Features

* Covers the hottest new embedded market area- wireless networking

* Shows designers how to save money and time by using microcontrollers in their embedded wireless designs instead of expensive, complex prefab boards

* Companion website accompanying book contains all the code, schematics and programs necessary to get started now!


PRIMARY MARKET: Embedded systems engineers and programmers SECONDARY MARKET: Electrical/software engineering students, electronics technicians working in embedded systems, inhouse training departments of electronics manufacturers, electronics hobbyists

Table of Contents

What’s on the companion website?

Chapter 1: Why Are We Doing This?
Selecting a Suitable Microcontroller
Selecting a Suitable 802.11b Communications Device
802.11b Hardware Overview
AirDrop Basics

Chapter 2: The AirDrop-P
The AirDrop-P Hardware
Learn to Play Guitar and Become Famous

Chapter 3: The AirDrop-A
The AirDrop-A Hardware
Bowing Out

Chapter 4: 802.11b CompactFlash Network Interface Cards
They Were Not Designed To Do This
The TEW-222CF
Never Ignore an Inquisitive Author with Hand Tools
Unwrapping the TEW-222CF
An Undercover Look at the Zonet ZCF1100
What’s Behind Door Number 4
RF, Witchcraft, Pointy Hats, Ghouls, Goblins…Same Thing

Chapter 5: Talking with 802.11bCompactFlash NICs
Physically Connecting a Microcontroller to a CompactFlash Card
Musical Overtones

Chapter 6: Touring the Card Information Structure
Talking in Tuples
First Steps with the AirDrop-P
Walking the Tuple Chain
CIS Reconnaissance
Dumping Linksys WCF12 Tuples
Dumping Netgear MA701 Tuples
Dumping Zonet ZCF100 Tuples
Enabling the 802.11b CompactFlash NIC
The Value of Parsing the CIS
Full Throttle

Chapter 7: Learning to Talk to 802.11b CompactFlash NICs
What the 802.11b NIC does for Us
The 802.11b CompactFlash NIC I/O Drivers

Chapter 8: Setting Up An AirDrop Wireless Network
Setting Up the AP
Something’s in the Air
Guitars and Hollywood

Chapter 9: AirDrop Driver Basics
Reading a RID
Stringing Up the SSID
Good RIDdance
Retrieving the MAC Address
Status Check

Chapter 10: Putting an AirDrop on a Wireless LAN
Bogie Number 1 – Allocating Transmit Buffers
Bogie Number 2 – Enabling the MAC
Authenticating the AirDrop Wireless LAN Station
Associating with the AIRDROP_NETWORK AP

Chapter 11: Processing 802.11b Frames with the AirDrop
AirDrop Frame Structure
AirDrop-P Frame


No. of pages:
© 2006
Print ISBN:
Electronic ISBN:

About the editor

Fred Eady

As an engineering consultant, Fred Eady has implemented communications networks for the space program and designed hardware and firmware for the medical, retail and public utility industries. He currently writes a monthly embedded design column for a popular electronics enthusiast magazine. Fred also composes monthly articles for a popular robotics magazine. Fred has been dabbling in electronics for over 30 years. His embedded design expertise spans the spectrum and includes Intel’s 8748 and 8051 microcontrollers, the entire Microchip PIC microcontroller family and the Atmel AVR microcontrollers. Fred recently retired from his consulting work and is focused on writing magazine columns and embedded design books.

Affiliations and Expertise

Systems Engineer, EDTP Electronics, FL, USA


“The world needs this book!” -Lewin Edwards, embedded engineer and author