As part of the VoIP demo at year’s Interop Labs, we’re building a Faraday cage. Last year, I did some basic research into quality of service using WMM by recording voice samples over the air, using the wireless traffic at the show floor for background noise.
This year, the team wanted to do something a bit more controlled. We had questions about how well WMM worked when more than a single call was prioritized. To control for the many variables of wireless traffic on the trade show floor, we needed to isolate the VoIP testing from everything else. During the staging event, Jed Daniels built a prototype Faraday cage to keep the show floor out, and our background traffic in.
Building a walk-in cage is a lot harder than building a small prototype. Faraday cages work best when they are a single conductive surface, but the walk-in cage was big enough that we had to join sheets of mesh. To improve conductivity between panels, we wound up “sewing” sheets together with copper wire.
Needles are not well designed for pulling wire through a small-aperture mesh, so we needed to sew in two-person teams. Here’s me working with Jed, pulling copper wire through the mesh as we sew along the base:
Here’s the reverse view, looking over Jed’s head towards the outside.
Here’s a shot of the final result, with Jed and an engineer from Veriwave working on the test tool to generate controlled background traffic for our demonstrations:
Finally, after all that work, we felt the need to “make our mark,” so all the people who worked on the cage sewed initials in to the front panel:
(From the upper left to the lower right, the initials are Jed Daniels, Mike McCauley, Matthew Gast, J.J. McNamara, Jerry Perser, Bill “WEJ” Jensen, and John Balogh.)