WRT54GL Signal Amplifier/Booster

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Donny
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:20    Post subject: Reply with quote
giant22000 wrote:
This is not a direct line of sight setup.


If there is no signal, the best antennas in the world cannot pick it up. It is not like 'there is always signal everywhere, but you just need more sensitivity to be able to get it'....there has to be signal to be picked up.

Think of it like light. A light in your neighbours house has to get to you for you to be able to read by it. You can go stand in his yard, by an open window, and you will get some light. It will be dim, but there. You likely won't get any of that light in your basement. But if he sends a beam of light over to you, you might be able to read in your home. But if you stick up a barrier, no light will get there, no matter how strong it is.

There are substances that microwaves just will not pass through.

Directional antennas focus so they can pick up more of what is there. If you can't do it with Yagis, in my view, it can't be done. However, router placement can become critically important.

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ad5mb
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:31    Post subject: Reply with quote
A yagi is a long boom with extra elements. typically in a plastic tube. fine for mounting on a mast outdoors, if you don't have a whiny homeowners association to deal with.

not so fine if you need to mount it in a window. for that, use a patch.

high gain = narrow beamwidth = more difficult to aim. lower gain is easier to work with.

read:

http://www.wirelessforums.org/wireless-networking-discussion/5km-possible-4824.html#post208894

do:

http://www.terabeam.com/support/calculations/som.php

linksys wrt is 15 dbm tx in stock form. standard rubber antennas are 2.1 dbi.
Donny
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Location: CENTRAL Midnowhere

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:43    Post subject: Reply with quote
ad5mb wrote:
high gain = narrow beamwidth = more difficult to aim. lower gain is easier to work with.


The gain in a Yagi is a function of length. Longer means more elements, but a very effective Yagi can be 20 inches long. Having a low gain antenna will not work if you wish to cover some distance. If you want low gain, you can just stick with stock antennas.

There is no problem in aiming a Yagi....You can just point it in the general direction, and fine tune with the signal graph. These aren't laser beams....

Dish antennas can be more difficult to aim.

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GizmoGuy
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:51    Post subject: Reply with quote
giant22000 wrote:
Short version; my neighbor and I are sharing a network connection from house to house (approx. 100-150 yards) with a wrt54gl(dd-wrt v24 sp1) and are just wanting to improve signal strength. Our goal is to improve the receive sensitivity on the wrt54gl. thank you!


Need some clarification please:
Is your current setup already working, but with a weak signal? Has it ever worked?

~
giant22000
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Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:31    Post subject: Reply with quote
GizmoGuy wrote:

Need some clarification please:
Is your current setup already working, but with a weak signal? Has it ever worked?
~


Sorry didn't already answer this, but yes the setup is already working with weak signal strength using stock antennas (didn't have much luck with linksys 7dBi omni or the Super Cantenna by wireless garden). It has been working for quite some time but just wanted a few ways to extend this range. Example; I can take my Alpha 500mW USB adapter to the back part of my house and still have great connection quality to the host router, but when I take my WRT54GL to the back of my house, it does not detect the host router. I'm just trying to get the receive sensitivity up to par with my Alfa 500mW USB adapter. Am I trying to achieve unobtainable results?
Donny
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:48    Post subject: Reply with quote
Could you leave your original router where it is, and working, and wire another one to the back of your house?
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GizmoGuy
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:38    Post subject: Reply with quote
It sounds like a good antenna on the Linksys is all you need. Unfortunately you will have to do some more testing until you find the right combination.

I would try the quality SMC Antenna I mentioned earlier, or maybe try a Panel Antenna.

~
giant22000
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:05    Post subject: Reply with quote
GizmoGuy wrote:
It sounds like a good antenna on the Linksys is all you need. Unfortunately you will have to do some more testing until you find the right combination.~


GizmoGuy, I think I'm just going to have to test a few antennas to find what's best for me. There are a couple you have recommended which interest me. In your experiences, which one of these is going to give me better receive gain/sensitivity?

http://www.unityelectronics.com/product-product_id/1370/m/SMC/p/SMCANT-KIT

or

http://www.premiertek.net/products/networking/ARG-2301A-TNC.html
JN
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:13    Post subject: Re: WRT54GL Signal Amplifier/Booster Reply with quote
giant22000 wrote:
Simple straight forward question... If any of you have any experience with signal amplifiers/boosters, which should I buy and which is the better performer for improving signal quality at longer distance?


http://www.xiertekusa.com/product.php?pid=610

or

http://www.data-alliance.net/servlet/the-84/500mW-AMPLIFIER-signal-BOOSTER/Detail
I believe these are the same product. But, if you buy one, buy from xiertek, not Data Alliance. When I talked to Data Alliance they would only give 30 days warranty - not any longer than the return for refund period because they said something about wifi products being small and getting abused when carried around or something stupid like that.

Anyway, I have the SMA version of the amp from xiertek and it seems to be a good little amp. Much better than the popular Hawking HSB2 amp. I would be curious if others agree about this amp, or if they tried it and another and found the other to be even better?

I find that if I am trying to pick up a difficult signal, every thing helps in the chain. You gotta start with a good radio. I like Buffalo routers and think they are better than the ASUS 520gu I tried. Then use a good amp - one with receive boost as well as transmit boost. If you are using Buffalo WHR-HP-G54, that has a built in amp. I am not sure its quite as good as my xiertek, as it sometimes helps to put the xiertek on even that router, provided I turn its transmit down to about 20. But that router's amp is pretty decent, I would think better than that Hawking HSB2 I returned. And of course a good antenna. I have an "Innovative Device" Yagi off of ebay in my wifi arsenal.
GizmoGuy
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:17    Post subject: Reply with quote
I just tested the SMC antenna a few days ago and sucessfully connected to a laptop(with stock internal antenna) from over 2600ft. Had a good clean signal and windows was showing 3-4 bars.

I doubt you would need an amp at the range you need it for.

~
giant22000
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Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 78

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:35    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for everybody's help. I'll try testing a few of the options here that people have recommended!
giant22000
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Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 78

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:54    Post subject: Reply with quote
Does the SMCANT-DI105 come with a N-female to RP-TNC adapter or will I need to purchase one of those as well?
GizmoGuy
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Joined: 14 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:54    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yes, you would either need a cable with N to RP-TNC (male)

or

An SMA-TNC type adapter: RP-SMA female to RP-TNC male that you can put directly on your linksys.

Dont forget you should disable one antenna port via DD-WRT and just plug in to the active port.

~
giant22000
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Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 78

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:34    Post subject: Reply with quote
GizmoGuy wrote:

Dont forget you should disable one antenna port via DD-WRT and just plug in to the active port.
~


This will be used in conjunction with the repeater function of dd-wrt. Will this directional antenna still provide the wifi I need around my immediate house? I was under the impression that if antennas were left in auto (one directional and one stock omni), that dd-wrt would choose the correct antenna it needed...
GizmoGuy
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Joined: 14 Nov 2008
Posts: 154

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:43    Post subject: Reply with quote
giant22000 wrote:
I was under the impression that if antennas were left in auto (one directional and one stock omni), that dd-wrt would choose the correct antenna it needed...


Hmmm...I've never tested that.


The directional antenna still puts out signal on all sides, it's just predominately in one direction for the long distance. The specs say it has a 50 deg beamwidth, but in testing it seemed about double that. I didnt have any problems to hook to the directional from behind it in my house, but you would just have to experiment.

~
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