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Extending NANO WiFi range - high gain antenna?


Purrball
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Just got my NANO and I'm really enjoying tinkering... but the WiFi signal doesn't seem to be as strong as I had hoped. I'm not picking up as many AP's as it seems I should when driving. Would attaching some cable and a more high gain antenna function as expected? If so, which adapter should it be attached to?

Say it was to boost the range of PineAP, or increase the networks discovered when running a Recon scan. Which antenna is for what use?

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wlan0 is for broadcasting SSID and serving clients

wlan1 is for scanning

Any attached antenna would be seen as wlan2 or usb0. I guess you can either make the PineAP/Recon use wlan2, or shuffle devices around so your antenna is wlan1.

Come to think of it though, I've always wondered why there's a wlan0 and wlan0-1 though.

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Just got my NANO and I'm really enjoying tinkering... but the WiFi signal doesn't seem to be as strong as I had hoped. I'm not picking up as many AP's as it seems I should when driving.

Out of interest, what are your expectations? I'm (very) new to Pineapple, and went for a drive through my local high street the other day with the Nano sat on the front seat; I was really impressed by the 46 different SSID's and 21 Associations that were made in a 5 minute poodle through the town. Maybe I was lucky and managed to drive through a very SSID heavy area.

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wlan0-1 is because you're running an open AP and a management AP.

If you disable the management AP wlan0-1 disappears.

On a side note it'd be nice to know if you can disable the open AP as well. I was just thinking it might help use less power when in recon mode.

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wlan0 hosts the AP(s) while wlan1 does sniffing and injection. An optional wlan2 (USB Adapter) may be used for various purposes, such as Client Code / WiFi Tethering.

wlan1 is on the vent/SD side of the NANO while wlan0 is on the opposite side.

Total output power (EIRP) is calculated by adding txpower (dBm) and antenna gain (dBi).

Replacing the stock antennas with your average 5 dBi dipoles will effectively double the output power. 9 dBi antennas, while ridiculous looking, will result in a 5x increase over stock.

Just for fun here's a comparison:

1gJztX8.jpg

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I noticed after replying :p Just couldn't edit my post from my mobile device, plus my new forum account is limited which could be why... though probably not the reason.

If you tap on the box it will pop up the edit / quote boxes on mobile. Took me a while to figure out also.

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  • 2 months later...

I gotta say that the alfa 7dbi panel antenna is a nice antenna. 10 minute scan soaks up the landscape. Gonna have to give it a 6/10 in SSID discovery but who needs that anyways with a healthy list of BSSIDS and macs?

It's directional. but it is also kinda omnidirectional-ish (really?jk) just enough that if you use it on wlan2 for client mode plus scanning, you can still move it around without significant loss of client mode signal.

Anddddddddd......

Fits on the tactical. If clipped on a belt, the radios fan out. It's super futuristic.

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Ive attach 9dbi to my Nano and it gets great reception. Almost a block and half radius. wlan2 Alfa awus036neh with 9dbi antenna also. Its a power house.

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This is actually how I have my Nano setup. I know it looks ridiculous but it works GREAT! You need to open USB 2.0 ports if you're going to use the 2.4 GHZ pen booster, but it's so worth it in my opinion.

What do you mean when you say " You need to open USB 2.0 port"? Do you mean wlan2?

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What do you use to power the nano and alfa together?

the nano is either powered by a pc (ethernet through usb) or my Jackery 20100mah battery which has 2 5v 3.4 "Smart connect" usb ports. I quote "smart connect" because I dont know how much of a difference it makes, but that is usually wifi tethered to my phone via wlan2. Or I just save the config on PineAP for startup and go ssid hunting. I get about 18hrs on battery with just the nano plugged in.

Edited by b0N3z
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Nice! That sounds great, thanks for sharing. I was wondering if the Alfa needed a ton of extra power, I know it did when I was playing with raspberry pi's. Are you able to fully run pineap (all settings enabled) and some modules without any funky behavior?

Edited by purrball
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on the battery i have not tryed to much yet as I have been playing with my RPI2 for a bit and trying to dualboot kali on my macbook (which I finally got working!).

What ive done on battery with wlan2

Pine AP never deathed just allowed connections and drove around with the landing page enabled with a silly message. (April 1st lulz)

I showed my sister the Pineapple and explained to her what it does, she was skeptical and said " I have Apple" lol

Setup a usb hub and plugged in 2 wifi adapters one for the hotspot wlan2.

Ran Recon opened a new tab and setup PineAP

Death thru the recon page

opened another tab and checked clients (wow first person to connect was her)

that took 15 mins from the time I turned it on

I told her to look at cats on google and tryed to run DWall but had no success

the NANO froze

All this was in my son's diaper bag placed very well so that it would not be seen at all. I had to get some "new socks" for little man and turned it on and got on my phone and started this, it was more of an experiment as i was having bad luck at home and figured a lot out in this process.

I think next time i try this with the amount of time the Nano was on I might see if plugging in a second battery to the Ycable might make any difference at all. Probably not but o well

Edited by b0N3z
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So I picked up an unopened Ethernet USB adapter at goodwill for a couple of dollars as well installed tomato onto a spare router. Would it be possible to use my wndr3400's APs as extensions of wlan2? If I run use the Ethernet adapter and run a cat5 from the Nano to the wan hole on the router. and then change a setting somewhere to broadcast the nano's wlan2 signal through it's APs? Somewhere in the settings (First time with tomato and the settings are exhausting) I saw that I can change my radios from APs to client mode and even bridge them between lans,wans,virtual ports, and others. In my head it seems it would be easy enough but it's my fingers and eyes that mess everything up.

Thoughts?

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