Wi-Fi Sniffing

I recently downloaded a copy of Vistumbler to my mobile PC. Vistumbler is the NetStumber of the 2010’s, and provides all and more of the features which NetStumbler so admirably provided in the early 2000’s. Since installing Vistumbler, I have collected more than 117, 000 APs here in the general PHX area, including a trip to and from Tucson in the mix.

The author is Andrew Calicutt of MA, and as an added attraction they also have a DB engine which can process the collected files and generate kmz files to display on Google Earth. Phil Ferland is the other major contributor / author, and together they’ve built a very nice system which allows us White Hat wardrivers to putter around our towns and collect Wi-Fi access points which are crying into the dark.

The link to Vistumbler is


and the link to the database is


So far I’ve been able to break the system a couple of times with all the APs I’ve collected. Without growing pains, you never get anywhere…%^)

Good thing that there’s plenty of breweries within range of the house to allow me to collect more access points!

ADS-B Tracking

In the over-60-day period since I put up my first ADS-B receiver, I’ve learned a bit more about the general performance and about 1090 MHz propagation.

I set up a second identical receiver to see if my approach was reproducible, and so far it appears to track the first one, but since the antenna on the second one is just a ground plane, the coverage is somewhat worse. Also, In comparing my receiver(s) to those around me, especially the high-performing stations, it looks like the day-to-day fluctuations I see (and which had me worried more than once) are endemic to all those stations within a 50 mile range, which to me means that it’s not just something peculiar with my station.

I’ve dared to go on Alibaba and found a cavity filter manufacturer in Shenzen who can provide a low-insertion-loss 1090 MHz 10 MHz wide filter, with exceptional out of band rejection from DC to light otherwise. I hope to receive the first sample soon and give it a try. Assuming it works well, the next step will be to move one of my two receivers to a site atop a significant mountain around here, where my radio range should be far superior to my location down here on the valley floor.