EE26N: The Wireless World, and the Data You Leak


The world is increasingly based on wireless communication. Cell phones and WiFi are the most visible examples. Others are key fobs, water meters, gas and electric meters, garage door openers, and baby monitors. The list will continue to rapidly expand with the realization of the internet of things. All of these devices produce RF signals you can detect and often decode. This seminar will explore how much information you broadcast throughout your day, and how it can easily be received and decoded using inexpensive hardware and public domain software. You will be able to explain why different information services use different frequencies, why they encode the information the way they do, and what security risks they present.

The requirements for this course are a personal computer, and some familiarity with installing public domain software. We will supply an RF receiver that works with MacOS, Windows, or Linux.

Course Information

See the information in the links on the left.


Jan 11

Saturday it was announced that students won't be returning to campus after all. That will work fine for this course. We will be sending you some hardware (a USB dongle that is a software defined radio, and some antennas) to capture signals and decode them with your PC. Having students in different locations will make this much more interesting!

Please send me an email with the following information

  • Address where we can send you a package

  • Type of computer you have, and what operating system you use

The USB software defined radio works with just about any computer, including Raspberry Pi's.

I'm looking forward to meeting you at the first class.