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thesugarat
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I just thought I'd share a few things in the WiFi gear realm that others may benefit from. I use the Pineapple for testing and also use BackTrack but not always at the same time. You're all probably aware of the Alfa AWUS usb devices that are great as an additional wlan for your pineapple or your BackTrack machine. But what about antennas and signal boosters?

I've had some trial and errors when it comes to signal boosters especially when you're dealing with an Alfa that's been iw reg set to a higer transmit power. The cheap ones tend to burn out but I've had great luck with the Hawking HSB2. http://www.amazon.com/Hawking-HSB2-HiGain-Signal-Booster/dp/B0009MYSHU

It's got a high pitch whine to it but with a few longer cables you can get it away from you and your machine. Don't forget when purchasing any gear make sure you know what cable connectors it comes with. Getting that sweet antenna turns bitter when it show up with an N type female connector and you have to wait for an RP-SMA adapter...

As for antenna's I've picked up a few Yagi versions. This type has probably the best results of the yagis.... http://www.amazon.com/Brands-Wireless-2-4GHz-Antenna-Booster/dp/B0054MLMLA/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1364224241&sr=1-2&keywords=yagi+wifi+antenna

But, I just picked up a type that I've had the absolute best results from.... It's called a Backfire antenna... http://www.radiolabs.com/products/antennas/2.4gig/backfire.php

Just got it last Friday and I must say it's pretty amazing, it brings in more local signals than any of the others so far. It's really well made, it's relatively small and not cheap feeling at all. And as the webpage says it supports 2.4 to 2.5 which is pretty important. I made the mistake of picking up a yagi that doesn't support the full range 2.4-2.485. Which works well for 802.11b/g but not the lower end of 802.11n.

I use an old camera tripod with a nut that matches the thread of the camera mount screw. Works great for stable pointing and you can switch out antennas with ease if you need to.

What gear do you find useful?

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Like you I have a Yagi, and I have to say it's come in pretty handy, although for a few years I made do with a Hawking mini parabolic dish, it was just a lot easier to keep out of sight, and if anyone asked what it was, I used to just tell them I was picking up satellite tv with it...

This is the latest version of the one I had, still pretty much the same size etc
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833164030

I do like the look of that Backfire though, looks quite promising!

As for a mount, I honestly don't think you can go wrong with a gorilla pod they can be used anywhere! :D
http://joby.com/gorillapod/original

I'm not overly impressed with the Alfa I have though the AWUS036NH, and unfortunately I'm stuck at 20db with it unless I use it on Backtrack, I simply can not get anymore out of it when it's connected to my pineapple, I'm still tinkering though, so hopefully that might change:)

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That's an interesting Parabolic but with it being USB how do you use it with an ALFA? And were you using it outside of your home? I can't imagine having to explain my antennas to people. :)

And as for getting more power out of your Alfa with your pineapple...

Connect the Alfa and use the Network Manager Infusion to see what it's assigned to (X) and I think it's the Advanced tab where you can issue commands.. or just SSH in.

iwconfig (to find out what's what)

ifconfig wlanX down

iw reg set BO

ifconfig wlanX up

iwconfig wlanX txpower 27

I've never tried it with my pineapple... I just assumed if I wanted to bump the power when it was attached I would use the same commands.

I have an AWUS036H that works great but my 036NH is a little erratic. I have to ingnore errors I get from it when using wash -i mon0. But the 36H uses wash like a champ. Now that you have me thinking about it I think i've issued the iw reg set command to the NH and gotten strange results. I may go home and experiment.

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The one I had I just simply used as it was, the chipset in it was atheros, so I had no problems using it with the likes of backtrack etc, just popped it in a slot and away it went:) And due to the nature of my job it didn't look out of place in my vehicle.

I've already done all of iwconfig stuff, I have no problem getting the pineapple to jump up to 27, but the Alfa... Simply refuses to budge and sticks at 20, but I can unplug it, stick on my laptop and tinker and get 27 no problem! Which needless to say is annoying!!!

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  • 1 month later...

Hey thesugarat, any chance you could tell me exactly what cables/adapters u used for Pineapple/Alfa Card > Hawking HSB2 > Backfire? I'm bout to take ur advice and order both of em but like u said I'd hate to wait for em to get here and then need to wait an extra week for the adapters i need to order.

It seems like I need and N male to RP SMA Female for Backfire > HSB2 and RP SMA Female to RP SMA Female extension to give a little distance between my Pineapple/Alfa and the HSB2?

Thanks in advance!!!

Update

Nevermind i found a better description of the Hawking on Newegg. It's N-Male to RP-SMA Male for Backfire > Hawking and RP-SMA Male to RP-SMA Male for Hawking > Wifi Device. Thanks for the recommendation on the Antenna + Amp. I can't wait to try it myself!

Edited by kpoeticg
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Sorry I didn't get back to you until now... When you order the BackFire make sure to order the RP-SMA connector. I got a RP-SMA extension cable and it all works together well.

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No problem. I appreciate you creating this post in the first place. There aren't enough posts on here with first hand experiences with the various different antenna upgrade choices out there. I ended up ordering this amp instead http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004S3OKLK/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2N1S6D8VVCNZ3 cuz some guy that has both left feedback that this one produced like a 30% better signal. I got a 6ft LMR-240 RP-SMA extension too in case this one makes that high pitch wine as well.

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Good luck with that one... I bought one like it on Amazon first and burned it out within a few days. That's when I switched to the Hawking... Not saying that will happen to yours but be careful.

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Damn lol. I wish u were around when I ordered it. Was it that Premiertek one or one of the random ones that have the same amp with like 4 different brand names? I had the Hawking in my shopping cart then switched to that one kinda last minute cuz of all the positive feedback.

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I couldn't tell you which one it was. I just threw it away last week... I don't know why I was hanging on to it. I went back to Amazon and read all post about it and one of them warned against doing what I did to fry it. Seems to me the AWUS036H set to full power is to much input for the cheap amps.

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One of the amps on the radiolabs site had a warning about using more than 20dBm would likely fry the amp. I think it was like a 2000mw amp tho. I don't think that applies to the Hawking or Premiertek 500mw amps

If it does apply to the Premiertek i bought i'll find out as soon as it gets delivered though. My Alfa Awus036H just got delivered today. The only reason i bought it is cuz i couldn't change the txpower on the NHA i got from the hakshop.

Edited by kpoeticg
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