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boosting wifi range


Razor512
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I'm currently helping a friend out with increasing the range of his wireless network

he bought a hawking Hi-Gain 9dBi antenna. and installed ddwrt and increased the transmit power of the router to 100mw

the antenna is outside and he wants to be able to access it from a near by field but after about 500ft, from the antenna, his laptop barely gets a signal, it is only around -85dB

I was wondering would getting a second Hi-Gain 9dBi antenna work any better since the router supports 2 antennas?

PS a parabolic reflector wont really work for him due to the area of use required

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A bridge is always possible, right? Not sure if that will help.

(Don't bridges cut the speed by half anyway?)

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A bridge is always possible, right? Not sure if that will help.

(Don't bridges cut the speed by half anyway?)

wireless repeaters tend to cut the bandwidth in half but but just a wireless bridge if it is set to only use the wireless to talk to the other router then you will get the full bandwidth or the wireless but wireless users wont be able to connect to the second router.

and he cant really set a repeater in the field because theres no power

with linksys the router seems to use 1 antenna to send and the other to receive, even though it is set to auto, thats why i was thinking about adding a second antenna but i don't want him to buy a second one only to find out that it didn't increase the range

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man this thred really is full of fail. anyways, what type of wireless card does the laptop use? theres a few options available to you. i would focus on the laptops wireless rather than the AP. it really depends on how much money yo uwant to spend. i have a couple of these for one of my wireless AP's http://www.wlanparts.com/product/24A500A-T...4A500AT9GM.html

depending on your laptops wireless card you have a few different options of antenna configs. internal wireless cards such as mini pci, mini pci-x and half mini cards will have a U.fl connection not an N connection. you can find lots of U.fl to sma, rp-sm, etc so that you can connect an external antenna or antennas to your internal laptop card. i have a few of these i made myself but if youre not too handy with a soldering iron and don know about different bnc connectors etc etc you can pick these up for about 8-9 bucks online all over teh place. get a good high gain omni antenna that will let you move around without having to point your directional antenna at the source. but a little more info on the exact configuration would be helpful.

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Not sure if directional antennas will work due to the location. was mainly wondering if anyone has tried using a wrt54GL with 2 high gain antennas instead of 1 and if it made a difference over using 1

the reason why a directional antennas wont work is because the area where it will be used will be in more than 1 spot and just having 1 small area get a strong signal wont really help.

I think he is using the built in wifi on his laptop (those generally have poor range but generally having a high gain antenna on the access point will generally also allow it to pick up signals from a further distance.

He also tried using a old 18 inch dish with a wifi antenna glued to the head part of the dish is able to get a good range but it doesn't provide the coverage needed.

the only problem is that those high gain omni directional outdoor antennas are like $60-70 and i don't want to have someone buy one if it wont help

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Have you tried increasing the TX power of the WNIC on the Laptop?

Just because there's a strong transmittance from the router doesn't mean the Laptop can transmit back.

Also what's the resistance on the cabling between the router & antenna?

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he is using the built in wifi card on his laptop so i think the transmit power is capped

as for the antennas. he is using the wires that came with it, since there short he just mounted the router on the inside wall so it would be closer to the antenna since the wire is short

he said that the wire is only like 2-3 feet long

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To touch on what PLuNK mentioned with the resistance - in order to provide maximum power transfer between the source and load, the source impedance and load impedance must match, otherwise it is a small fraction of the signal power transfered.

This can be a big problem in most 'DIY rigs'.

There are many solutions to impedance matching be it selecting right coax cable, baluns, etc.

Having a stronger Tx signal is great it can send data to a source over a longer distance than normal, but the Rx will need to have an increase in signal power if it wants to be able to successfully transmit back.

Is there many obstructions between the Rx and Tx? Is there clear line of sight?

Are there sources of interefence available (noise) which will effect the weak signal arrived at the Rx?

EDIT: Has he tried the parabolic antenna on the laptop? May be of use if he can not increase the SNR of his card.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I'm currently helping a friend out with increasing the range of his wireless network

he bought a hawking Hi-Gain 9dBi antenna. and installed ddwrt and increased the transmit power of the router to 100mw

the antenna is outside and he wants to be able to access it from a near by field but after about 500ft, from the antenna, his laptop barely gets a signal, it is only around -85dB

I was wondering would getting a second Hi-Gain 9dBi antenna work any better since the router supports 2 antennas?

PS a parabolic reflector wont really work for him due to the area of use required

If you only use one cantenna, and it would be with you hooked up to your laptop, then you might be able to hook up to a wifi hotspot at 1.2 miles away, it is directional so you would have to sit down and point it in the direction of the wifi hotspot

http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=47272

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This might help, it is $200 though, I think that it could be hooked up to a car battery if needed

Their business hours start at 8 am pst, I'll give them a call and ask about the specs for imput voltage and wifi range

1.877.263.7254

$199.00

http://meraki.com/products_services/hardware/outdoor/

Typical Coverage Radius

• Indoor: 150-250ft (50-80m)

• Outdoor: 500-1000ft (150-350m)

• Outdoor with high-gain antenna: 0.6-5mi (1-8km)

Power

• 5-22V DC

• Power Over Ethernet, 12-22V (non 802.3af)

• Power consumption: 12W max; 3W typical

• 15V/0.8A DC power adapter included

• Power Over Ethernet injector included

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Wifi Extender

1.877.263.7254

$199.00

http://meraki.com/products_services/hardware/outdoor/

Typical Coverage Radius

• Indoor: 150-250ft (50-80m)

• Outdoor: 500-1000ft (150-350m)

• Outdoor with high-gain antenna: 0.6-5mi (1-8km)

Power

• 5-22V DC

• Power Over Ethernet, 12-22V (non 802.3af)

• Power consumption: 12W max; 3W typical

• 15V/0.8A DC power adapter included

• Power Over Ethernet injector included

Also need to buy a spool of category 5 ethernet cable, the electricity that powers it goes through the ethernet cable

200ft Cat5e RJ45 Ethernet Network Cable

http://www.outletpc.com/c8234.html

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Wifi Extender

1.877.263.7254

$199.00

http://meraki.com/products_services/hardware/outdoor/

Typical Coverage Radius

• Indoor: 150-250ft (50-80m)

• Outdoor: 500-1000ft (150-350m)

• Outdoor with high-gain antenna: 0.6-5mi (1-8km)

Power

• 5-22V DC

• Power Over Ethernet, 12-22V (non 802.3af)

• Power consumption: 12W max; 3W typical

• 15V/0.8A DC power adapter included

• Power Over Ethernet injector included

Also need to buy a spool of category 5 ethernet cable, the electricity that powers it goes through the ethernet cable

200ft Cat5e RJ45 Ethernet Network Cable

http://www.outletpc.com/c8234.html

thats nice that theyre charging 200 dollars for what i can do with a 20 dollar wrt54 router and dd wrt.

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Is it weather proof?

If it is then that would be a better deal

sure. get plastic bucket place over router. instant weather proof.

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That would work, if he put a router out there and there would have to be something to protect it from the weather, with a car battery hooked up to a inverter, with a cat 5 ethernet cable going from the modem to the router with the Hi-Gain 9dBi antenna

And to built a small shed to keep it from getting rained on

Probably a 300 ft cat 5 cable would do it

Also using a good wifi antenna that is very portable hooked up the laptop

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