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Outdoor Wireless System


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So I have a customer that wants to get there Verizon MiFi into their steel poll barn. But when you walk into the steel building all wireless and reception drops to nothing. Outside of the building I have full reception and inside the building i lose all bars. So my solution would be to setup the MiFi in the house and rebroadcast it from the house to the steel poll barn and receive it via a wireless antenna and run it into the building via cat 5 cable then run it to where ever they want their office setup. My problem is I know nothing about wireless equipment. I assume I would need a directional antenna. I am guessing the poll barn is about 200 feet away from the house. the thing that is stumping me is with all the antennas is the dB. Is a higher number better or is a lower number and does that affect range. Is that all I need to worry about setting up this system? or is there more to it such as a certain type of router that the antenna is attached to. Would you do it a different way than what I am setting it up? The price rang for this entire project would be preferably under 200 but being around it isn't so bad either. I'd love to hear everyone's ideas and opinions. i have thrown out the idea of running a cat 5 cable the length of the buildings but they prefer wireless. Other internet providers are not an option at their location.

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The higher the gain (usually in dB, but sometimes i dBi - essentially the same concept, just calcualted differently) the stronger it is.

My thoughts on this specific project:

1) The Verizon MiFi isn't very strong, which explains the signal dropoff. 200 feet for wifi, without special directional antennas is very doable.

2) Cat5 would work, but not if the client doesn't want it. Another hard spot is that the MiFi doesn't have an ethernet jack, so you'd need a device that could turn the wifi signal into ethernet first. Then in the barn, you'd need to plug into that ethernet either with another wireless access point, or with the laptop directly.

3) Ordinarily, another option would be to buy a wireless bridge. But again, since that MiFi doesn't have an ethernet jack, this is a little more difficult, since most bridges aren't repeaters and would requrie plugging in the modem via ethernet. There are options here, but you'd need a bridge that either works withthe MiFi via usb or that can bridge using its wireless signal. I wouldn't bother.

4) Your idea of reboadcasting is very good, you'd just need a repeater. Something like the Amped Wireless SB1000 ($80ish) should easily reach 200 feet, both in rebroadcasting the MiFi and receiving the signal from the computer in the barn. This would also improve wifi reception in the house quite significantly. Easy, as secure as the MiFi (make sure it's using a really good WPA2 key, because now you're going to be rebroadcasting to a wider area)

5) Since 200 feet isn't very far, another option is to NOT use the MiFi wifi's signal, and instead use it as a USB modem with something like the cradlepoint mbr1000. That device is like a traditional router, but it takes the MiFi as a usb modem. Then you use the cradlepoint as a router and access point. It claims a range of 750 feet. I've used one before, and had 80% strength at 300 feet, but didn't try further than that.

Hope this helps. (vote this post up if it does, green + in the lower right of this post)

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  • 2 weeks later...

That would be the easy way. Combine that with kahhak's cradlepoint mbr1000 would work but the customer doesn't want to do this. They want to run it wireless.

Is there any holes/gaps on the side of the steel poll barn? I mean, if there is, you could use it to feed through the antenna cable and just have a metal pole with the directional antenna mounted on it on the outside and on the inside you could have the router. That way, you won't have to run cables through the floor or ground.

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I am the manager of a golf course. Here we have three routers total. One supplies wifi to the Pro Shop. One send internet to the maintenance building across the street. And one is in the maintenance building. The one in the maintenance building is the only one that is special. It is running DDWRT and is set up as a repeater bridge. this picks up the wireless from the pro shop and repeats it throughout the maintenance building.

It would be abit of a hassle but you could have one repeater bridge in the house with a directional antenna. That would pick up the internet from the mifi and rebroadcast to the barn. Have another repeater bridge at the barn with a directional antenna that would rebroadcast inside the barn.

Both repeater bridges would have to have both a directional and omni-directional antenna.

Just my thoughts.

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I use two of these pointed at each other.


I am very happy with the linkage wrt54gl's and these antennas. Its been pretty rock solid for.the last two years. I did have to change the channels because of interference but I figured that out pretty quick. These antennas are probably overkill for what we need but they have been good. I'm sure could get by with some more inexpensive ones..........such as a yagi perhaps. :) I have a Yahoo antenna and really like it as well. I have had luck with this equipment and would suggest it in a heartbeat.

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