Having access to a mobile hotspot detector is cool, sure. But is this one being shown to Tom’s Hardware really all that it is cracked up to be? Personally, I think it is a little too big myself.
The Digital Hotspotter from Canary Wireless has caused quite a stir in the WLAN detector market since it’s the first product to provide more than just raw signal detection. A push of its single button activates a scrolling display that shows the SSID, signal strength, encryption status and channel number of in-range 802.11b or g access points and wireless routers.
Figure 2 gives you an idea of the size of the Hotspotter, which I found to be on the large-ish side. I suppose those who wear cargo pants wouldn’t have a problem using it as a keychain fob, but carrying it in normal slacks or jeans pockets is likely to elicit a variation of the old “… or are you happy to see me?” line.
The Hotspotter is powered by two AAA cells (included), which is a plus for their wider availability over button-type cells, but a minus in that they contribute to the product’s heft.br>
Figures 3 and 4 show views of the board, which uses a Microchip PIC16F74 8-bit microcontroller. The other large device in Figure 3 is an Atmel ATF1504ATV PLD (programmable logic device).