[NTLK] Online with a WPA2 network.

Jake Bordens jake at allaboutjake.com
Sat Dec 13 18:19:14 EST 2014

So I finished a little weekend project that I wanted to share.

I wanted to get my Newton online again, but on my current b/g/n network 
with WPA2 security.  We all know that its not really possible using 
conventional methods, so I did some research.

I came across the ConnectOne WiReach Module 

This module has a few interesting features for this use:

1.  It supports WPA2
2.  It has a built in PPP server, so you can "dial up" to the module over 
serial.  Its a connection path that the Newton understands.  Basically NIE 
thinks the module is just a regular serial connection calling a PPP server
3.  There are some interesting, yet possibly not so useful features, like 
the ability to have the module connect to an IP/Port using SSL encryption. 
Possibly useful, but since it would involve module-specific features, they 
wouldn't be easily leveraged by existing software.

Anyhow, I ordered one from Mouser, and hooked it up to my bench power 
supply at 3.3v with a serial-to-TTL adapter and the Newton serial cable.

It works, but only at 115200   DNS look ups are slow (not sure if they're 
abnormally slow, or that’s normal) and Nethopper doesn't really work on 
any sites anymore (that I could find).  I guess I have a little more 
testing to do.

In theory the N2 platform docs say that 230400 bps should work but I 
haven't seen that in practice.  It seems like when you select this rate, 
the Newton really just connects up as 115200.

Side note, the module is small enough to consider for a SER-001 style 
internal card.  There are lots of small wifi antennas available with a 
u.fl connector that you could probably house in an RF transparent area of 
the Newton's case.   For internal use, you would need a 3.3v regulator 
with shutdown, because I think the peak draw would be too much for the 
Newton's own 3.3v rail. Also, it seems like it could possibly support 
non-standard baud rates, so maybe it could be made to work even with 
overclocked Newtons.  Seems like a fun project... any electrical engineers 
out there? 

If anyone wants to play with this themselves, you can get a more expensive 
eval kit but I just soldered wires to the SMT pads on a standard SMT 
module.   Also, besides the commands you use to connect to your given WiFi 
network, you'll need to issue an at+iWANS=1 command to tell the module 
that the WiFi subnet is the WAN subnet, otherwise your PPP connections 
won't route to the internet.  at+iSPPP:0 tells the module to start PPP, 
which I send as part of a login script.


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