wireless range & high-gain antennas...

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Ted Lee, May 2, 2005.

  1. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    hey all -

    has anyone tried this linksys high gain antenna -- or any other similar type of product?

    in my new home, my wireless range sucks. my office is in one corner of the house, but i want to work in the living room or dining room -- but i'm getting a very low signal.

    so, any and all recommendations welcome.

    ted
     
  2. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    See:

    http://www.turnpoint.net/wireless/cantennahowto.html

    http://www.turnpoint.net/wireless/has.html

    If you really need range (as in, 10 miles...) see:

    http://www.wwc.edu/~frohro/Airport/P...Primestar.html

    Of course these are directional antennas. There are antennas that radiate in all directions with higher gain as well; it's just a case of getting the type you need (directional or not) and what db rating it has.

    A quick google lead me to this site:

    http://www.radiolabs.com/products/wi...ireless-2.html

    Tons to choose from depending on your needs, but of course these begin to cost real money as opposed to cobbling together your own cantenna.

    The cantenna might work very well for you considering your description; it will radiate in a "cone" shape as you aim through the can, so placing it in your corner office aimed inwards toward the rest of the house should boost the signal available in the living/dining rooms.
     
  3. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Would it be possible to simply move your router to the other side of the room that it is currently in? If you moved it toward the center of the house I would think you could get better signal.

    Also, a more worthwhile investment might be to buy the new Pre-N wi-fi equipment which has the speeds of 802.11G but with a much better range.
     
  4. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Another thing to keep in mind is that a normal antenna on a normal wifi access point radiates in a "doughnut" shape. There is virtually no signal directly above and below; the maximum signal strength is found horizontally from the antenna (if the antenna is pointing straight up).

    This means that you want to place the "client systems" elsewhere in the house at the same height as the access point, or as close as possible to it.
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    thx guys. that can antenna thing looks interesting...if i get bored i may give that a shot.

    my house is kinda laid out in a l-shape. my office (and where the router sits) is in the innter-most part of the l -- so it's actually sorta in the middle of the house. i'm literally not even more then 30 yards or so from the router. but i'm crossing about three walls...i think that's the problem.

    it's a one-story and the router is about desk height...so i should be okay there.

    it's really weird cuz in my old home, i could get across the whole house without much problem. of course this house is almost 1000 sq/ft bigger...
     
  6. Chris Hovanic

    Chris Hovanic Supporting Actor

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    Try differnt channels as well... u may be picking up interferance which is killing your signal.

    Adjust the antena's that sometimes help as well.

    If you have a spare dish laying around you can build one of these . These pics are the one I built and it works realy good though its highly directional.

    Depending on what wireless router/access point you have you could try this linux on linksys

    I remember seeing this on The Screen Savers and with the hacked router they were able to go and adjust the wireless strength of the router.

    I did the hack just to see if I could and it does work.

    If all else fails buy some cat5 and run a wire to the room that you want connection in and get another AP.

    Good luck
     
  7. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    thx chris ... i like that satellite setup....but i think it's way too hardcore for me. [​IMG]

    i may end up running another ap into the main area...but i don't feel like fishing wire through my house...at least not yet.
     
  8. Mike_J_Potter

    Mike_J_Potter Second Unit

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    What type of wireless card do you have, is it built in? At least on my Dell Laptop I get a 10db gain connecting to the same access point with an external card (Orinoco Gold Classic) then I do with the built in card (Dell True Mobile 1450) From my experience the Orinoco gold and Cisco wireless cards both have the best range . You might want to try a different one, besides that if your on the road its nice to have long range especially if your looking for a public wireless hotspot.
     
  9. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    hmm..good point mike! i'm using the built in card (atheros?) ... maybe i'll try an external one. thx.
     
  10. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Laptop cards usually have a really crappy antenna. The built-in wireless usually works better because there is room for a better antenna in the computer casing.

    Some external cards have antenna connectors. Connecting a better antenna to those cards can have a dramatic effect on how well you pick up the connection.
     

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