Today I installed a WiFi access point to my car, to be able to use internet when on the road without every time playing with 3G USB sticks or establish a connection manually over the mobile phone.
Tested it with laptop, seems to work with laptop's own WiFi NIC in about 8 meters, 25 feet radius around the car. For those interested, this is how I made it and what it costs here:
First, I took an old Nokia N95 phone and inserted a dedicated SIM card which has a flatrate 3G Data pack. I downloaded and installed JoikuSpot Premium WiFi tethering for S60
and set it up on the phone.
I 'taped' N95 to glove compartment of the car using Velcro, and connected its charger to car's electricity system so that it is always charged when the motor runs. JoikuSpot application is running, and phone stays always on, so as long as the car is used in regular intervals to charge phone's battery, the access point is always active.
Prior to this job today I had tested that N95, fully charged and JoikuSpot access point active (i.e. 3G data connection always on), the battery lasted almost 65 hours. It's not very much but you have to remember 3G data connection 'eats' battery faster than normal use. This means that I need to use the car about two hours in every three day period to fully charge the battery. If not and the battery runs out, phone must be manually turned on and JoikuSpot restarted.
Signal strength is surprisingly good to 8 meters, as I mentioned. This snip is 5 meters, about 15 feet from the car:
Time needed: 45 minutes
JoikuSpot Premium €9
3G Data flat 3.6 Mbps €29.95 per month
Mobile phone: Any Symbian S60 phone, mine was free, old extra phone
My car has / is a WiFi access point and I'm a happy man!
EDIT: For those who are interested in testing this, JoikuSpot is also available as a free light version
. It is OK for testing, but not good in serious use (encryption not possible).