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Old 07-21-2006, 07:34 PM   #1
Banjo Jim
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Wifi antenna

Hi all this is my first post, what do you guys use for a wifi antenna?
I'm thinking a bought making one

Thanks Banjo Jim.
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Old 07-21-2006, 07:39 PM   #2
virgil47
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Welcome to the forum. I sure hope someone gives us an answer because I always end up about 1 space further away from the wifi transmitter than I need to be. An antenna or an amplifier would sure be a welcome addition.
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Old 07-22-2006, 02:38 AM   #3
uhftx
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There are many types of antennae for wifi.

Here is a link for a commercial manufacturer but they do have a large assortment of antenna's and methods of attachment from RF coupling to direct connect. The most common type of connector these days is the MMCX or MCX style but you have to know which connector you have to mate with the antenna.
http://www.radialllarsen.com/mobile.shtml

This Link below is a 3.2MB PDF document
http://www.radialllarsen.com/docfile...WLANMobile.pdf

The biggest problem is with the new laptops and wifi devices are the antenna is built into the plastic housing. Unlike the old cell phones you could remove the antenna and connect your own external (or they provided a jack to do so). Now a days, its getting harder and harder to find devices that have connectors on the antenna. So about the only thing you can do is search for a device that has a replaceable antenna.

Years ago you could just buy a Linksys or Netgear wireless router and connect your RJ45 cable and use an external antenna on the router. But, in their cost saving manufacturing process they have eliminated the antenna connectors.

Unless you modify your device and install your own connectors.(my philosophy, if it was put together, it can be taken apart)

The easiest home brew antenna is the pringles can wifi antenna.
Here's a link for your benefit with pictures.
http://www.oreillynet.com/cs/weblog/view/wlg/448
This is the commercial version of this antenna.
http://www.cantenna.com/
Here is another commercial site
http://www.antennasystems.com/broadb..._antennas.html

The antenna with the highest gain # will capture more signal but your aiming of the antenna is more critical due to smaller beam width.
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Old 07-22-2006, 03:51 AM   #4
CountryGuy
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This tech talk is up Al's alley and wayyyyyy beyond mine, but, could I put in 2 cents worth. Many campgrounds that offer wifi will also tell you that if you have wireless stuff in your unit that messes with their wifi you have two choices, one is to turn off your wireless stuff, the other is to leave the campground. I am guessing that this router stuff is a form of wireless stuff. Now you can explain to me how far off base I am! HA HA

Cheers, Carol
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Old 07-22-2006, 04:14 AM   #5
OntMont
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Really interesting stuff. Thanks!
(You don't happen to know how to build or buy a directional weather radio antenna, do you?)
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Old 07-22-2006, 04:18 AM   #6
OntMont
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Welcome Banjo Jim,

You have quickly learned what a great formum this is, who would have thought that you would get that much info so quickly on a subject that seems a bit specialized, to say the least.

Thanks for asking the question, and thanks for the resposnses.
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Old 07-22-2006, 04:19 AM   #7
uhftx
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Well, The router should not mess with their setup provided it is set up right.

Basically the old way of doing things before all this built in wireless stuff. You would put in a standard pci ethernet card into your pc or ethernet PCMCIA card in your laptop. Then connect a cable to your router for the 802.11x connection.

By using a router you could connect multiple computers the old way and only use one IP address. This was before the internet connection sharing (built into the new windows software).

Most routers had builtin firewall and IP masking which was their version of internet connection sharing.

All I am trying to say is that with todays devices and built in antenna's. Its more difficult to add your own external antenna.

If you have any other questions I'll try to answer them. But the technical stuff isn't that important with todays devices.

Sorry for all the commercial links, but Circuit City has a bunch of wireless router stuff and the very first thing shown on this page is a supposedly linksys high gain antenna. Now the question is what exactly is the gain. It look just like a standard dipole antenna(no comment from me on performance)
http://www.circuitcity.com//rpsm/N/4...keycode=216791
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Old 07-22-2006, 04:36 AM   #8
uhftx
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by OntMont

Really interesting stuff. Thanks!
(You don't happen to know how to build or buy a directional weather radio antenna, do you?)
The type of antenna you are looking for is any VHF antenna. There are a number of types and styles of antenna's. NOAA weather radio operates in the 162MHZ band.
Look here:
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/nwrbro.htm

The type of antenna you want for decent gain is a yagi type. It looks like the old TV antenna on your roof top.

INFACT why couldn't you put a splitter on the MONTY and use the TV roof antenna. Thats what I would do. Its already cut for those frequencies and has a built in amplifier. Its a done deal. Just need the splitter and a way to connect it to your receiver.

If you insist on building your own. Here's a link to some ham radio stuff. (standard disclaimer applies)
http://www.dxzone.com/catalog/Antennas/VHF_UHF/
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Old 07-22-2006, 04:59 AM   #9
OntMont
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Thanks again, in fact I do exactly as you suggest when we are in the Monty, it is at home where I have a problem. We are in a hole between three WR transmitters, none of which quite reach our location. (We no longer have a TV antenna at home because we use a satellite service).
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Old 07-22-2006, 07:09 AM   #10
Banjo Jim
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Wow thanks so much for the info.
I'm looking at this plan for a home built. http://www.engadget.com/2005/11/15/h...-dish-antenna/
I have the dish and lots of time so we'll see.
Thanks all for the info.

Banjo Jim.
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Old 07-22-2006, 07:50 AM   #11
Montana_1240
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I use a PCI Wireless Adapter card in my desktop PC in the Monty. It comes with the usual short rubberized antenna, like those on a wireless router.

Because I have the PC secured under the desk in this rig, that antenna is up against the wall of the Monty. It received signals when they were fairly strong. But we couldn’t always be close to the Wi-Fi transmitter in all campgrounds.

I picked up a D-Link wireless antenna. It has a cable that allows me to disconnect the rubberized antenna from the PCI card, and screw it onto the card. I place it in the window of the Monty, above the desk, and it has allowed me to pick up Wi-Fi at virtually all the places that provided it. Even was able to see someone’s home wireless network signal in a CG in Minnesota, that had no Wi-Fi.

It can be used on a router, if you happen to have one, as well. It’s supposed to be directional, though I’ve not had to juggle it around, yet.



Only problem is that I’m not sure how it might help a PCMCIA cards, though. Kimmrg just moves around with her laptop to get a signal.

But D-Link makes other PCI cards, as well.

Steve
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Old 07-22-2006, 11:46 AM   #12
Hemlockusa
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Bamjo Jim - I think it was in the last month Trailer Life Magazine, How to make a home made WIFI antenna - It had all the directions and list of needed hardware. Sounded fairly simple. But you do need to buy the magazine.
Safew TRavels John H
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Old 07-22-2006, 02:33 PM   #13
trukdoc
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This brings up a question and idea I have had and just not posted it yet. I hope a geek comes along and sheds more light.
If all us RVers were to have signal boosters it would help our own wireless card as well as sending the signal down the line. I may be thinking too simple, after all there is the IP addressing and WEP codes and all the little Gremlins have to get along. I have been trying to set up a wireless network here at the house for some time now. Most of the products assume the WI FI is for the internet.
I bought a Linksys for WI FI and the setup does not let me get past DSL modem hookup. DSL would be nice but I am 1 mile too far out of city limits.
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Old 07-22-2006, 05:40 PM   #14
Montana_1240
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Rick,

I’m not positive about what you mean, but I’m part “Geek.” Maybe this’ll help.

Normally, a “Wireless Router” requires a connection to a DSL or Cable Modem. There’ll be a port on the back of the router, most often labeled “WAN,” for Wide Area Network. That is where the modem goes. The router takes that signal and “routes” it to the things in your house that are either set up for wireless, or connected directly, (via the Ethernet connectors,) to it. Each device is given a separate IP Address by the router. (The modem will have its own IP Address, set according to the provider’s own network requirements.)

There are devices that can extend a wireless signal. They’re pretty new, however, and I haven’t had any experience with them.

If you can’t get a DSL, or Cable Modem, there’s always HughesNet, (formerly “DirecWay,”) or DataStorm, or a couple other satellite Internet providers that can be connected to your home devices through a router. I believe there is also the Broadband services that several MOC members have been talking about, as well. And it seems those are now coming out with the capability to connect via a router.

Hauling a HughesNet antenna around, is a bit cumbersome, but doable. But the Broadband is eminently exquisite in design for travelers. It was designed to furnish Internet to handheld devices, after all.

And don’t fear about your location, regarding DSL from the provider. Where we lived in Fairbanks, we were certain there’d be no chance to get the phone company’s DSL because we were so far away from the nearest switch room. It took a call to the phone company’s engineering department to find out that we could be switched over from the fiber connection we were on, to a copper connection, (between their switch room and the remote switch that served our house,) to enable our connection to DSL. Sure enough. After a week’s wait, we were called to go pick up the DSL modem, instructions, and a CD with the programming any PC needed to connect.

So ask the provider, (cable or phone company,) if there’s any way they could connect you, and see what happens. If not, ask the local broadband provider of your locale can be checked out for signal strength and a possible connection.

As for connecting two or more PCs together in a house? There are wireless devices for that. I can’t tell you much about them, since I’ve not done that in our Monty, yet. My wife’s laptop still needs the router I have to share files with and print through this PC. She has to connect the Ethernet cable to do so, because this router’s a DSL router, and that’s all the wireless part of it wants to do. Without that Internet connection, she can’t connect to it with her wireless card. Someday I’ll get caught up on the technology, but for now, slinging the cable to her laptop isn’t an inconvenience.

Ask at Circuit City, or Best Buy to see what’s out there if you want to connect your household devices. If you want broadband, cable, or phone DSL, contact the providers.

Steve
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Old 07-23-2006, 02:57 AM   #15
uhftx
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by trukdoc

This brings up a question and idea I have had and just not posted it yet. I hope a geek comes along and sheds more light.
If all us RVers were to have signal boosters it would help our own wireless card as well as sending the signal down the line. I may be thinking too simple, after all there is the IP addressing and WEP codes and all the little Gremlins have to get along. I have been trying to set up a wireless network here at the house for some time now. Most of the products assume the WI FI is for the internet.
I bought a Linksys for WI FI and the setup does not let me get past DSL modem hookup. DSL would be nice but I am 1 mile too far out of city limits.
As for your first question.

Like Carol said earlier. If your equipment is interfering with the wifi signal you will be asked to leave or turn off your equipment.

This paragraph is just dealing with the RF (radio frequencies), it has nothing to do with TCP/IP packets nor WEP security.

The problem with the first boosters were if they picked up a signal they would in turn rebroadcast that signal. In turn they would also gobble up the entire airwave spectrum repeating anything they detected. This was a real problem. I don't know how they got FCC approval for these devices.

They have gotten better about eating up the spectrum but the first versions of these would lock up and not release the frequency, buyer beware.

This is a repeater not a router!
here is a quote from MODEL XXXXX "is also a good neighbor—checking for other devices in the area before gobbling up the radio band"

This is where you can get into trouble like Carol mentioned.

Your second question has already been answered by Gyro.
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Old 07-23-2006, 05:37 AM   #16
trukdoc
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I got the router I have from the expert advise from the goobers at Best Buy. Again they ASSUMED I wanted to share an internet connection when I told them I really wanted to network all my computers. Doing some reading last night I found what I need is a "Wireless access point".
Does this sound right?
As for my question about the signal booster, I guess it works just too good in that it does not discriminate signals.
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Old 07-23-2006, 06:22 AM   #17
OntMont
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I have a "D-Link Wireless Router, DI-624". With this I can use my internet connection for my Desktop, and use my laptop anywhere around the house and yard. Is that what you want to do? If so, I don't think you need a "Wireless access point".
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Old 07-23-2006, 10:05 AM   #18
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I looked around both D-Link and LinkSys’ sites, last night. My head got full, so I left it before digesting the actual functions. But it does seem like a Wireless Access Point is what’d do it. The one I was able to see photos of the connections on, however, only showed one Ethernet connection. Not sure if that’d be used to connect to a PC, acting like a print server, or one acting as a path to the Internet.

I’ve got our old D-Link DI-624, as well. We’ve been using it as a simple router, in here. I’ve taken the antenna off it so whatever broadcasting it might do shouldn’t mess with someone else’s reception. At least I HOPE it won’t. But we only use it sparingly, about three times since we’ve hit the road. It’s almost faster for Kimmrg to e-mail a file she wants to print from this PC, rather than connect her CAT-5 Ethernet cable to print directly through this PC from her laptop.

I’m going to mess around and see if I can’t make this work for us without the cable, though. Since I have Windows XP Pro, I can use the 10/100 NIC, (Network Interface Card, or Ethernet Adapter,) to be programmed as a SERVER, and see if that’d function like a DSL modem would, so that Kimmrg can connect to me with her PCMCIA Wireless Adapter, just by choosing this router to connect to, rather than the CG’s Wi-Fi router’s signal. That could be helpful at rallies, setting up an Ad Hoc network, as well.

Trouble with this idea is that I’m more a “Hardware person,” than a “Software person.” So I’m likely to simply get lost.

If that happens, and I completely blow up this router, I’ll have the router’s configuration saved to disk, and might just go out and spend a couple of bucks on a simple four-port router.

Steve
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Old 07-23-2006, 09:04 PM   #19
Banjo Jim
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Thanks Hemlockusa I have TL I will take a look later Banjo Jim.
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Old 07-23-2006, 10:01 PM   #20
snfexpress
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I posted this is another thread:

We use this: http://booster-antenna.com/index.php...5e153cd0eb7ac2

with a Kyocera KP650 aircard from Verizon.

Since we travel in "extended coverage areas" we got this to hook up to the aircard (drilled a small hole to the outside and mounted it on one of our slide topper brackets:

http://booster-antenna.com/index.php...roducts_id=155

We're in McCloud, California (near Mt. Shasta) and I'm on the forum.

My wife and I have laptops which connect to the KR-1 router via WiFi, and then the aircard connects to Verizon for Internet access.

Simple and it works.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As for WAP's (Wireless Access Points), these can be incorporated in a router or not. If part of a router, then the WAN connection (DSL, Cable or PCMCIA Cellular card) goes to the Internet provider allowing you to connect to the Internet.

If a WAP is used without a router, then it becomes the equivalent of a wired switch (or hub) allowing more than one computer to connect to another on the same subnet.

Repeaters do just that - they repeat a signal seen from a WAP or WAP/Router and rebroadcast it. I picked up a couple from Fry's and they have really improved re: gobbling up all frequencies. The repeaters are generally used to provide wireless coverage in a large home or office (it attempts to eliminate dead spots).

A repeater is not really needed in a Monty as the size of the 5er is well within the range of a WAP.

And, if you are using a WAP or WAP/Router, you will not be significantly interfering with another WAP/Router - I know, there are a finite number of frequencies a WAP can use, but I've yet to see any significant problems. I have a commercial installation at my office (I installed it) using the 172.16 class B subnet allowing me to route up to 255 subnets (I use about 6) to various banks of servers.

On another note, if you are attempting to improve your ability to receive the CG WiFi SSID and signal, then I would recommend an external antenna connected to an add-on wireless card (PCMCIA or USB, for laptops, or PCI for a desktop). This way, you can add an external antenna that you can move around in your Monty or even mount outside. The problem, from a technical standpoint, of using a WAP or Repeater to get the CG signal is that the authentication required to be able to use the connection usually requires *each* computer accessing the signal to pay for the service. As yet, WAP's and Repeaters don't have this ability.

As for using Internet Connection Sharing from M$, I wouldn't. The ICS computer, acting as a kind of server, needs to be turned on all the time if the other user wants to connect to the Internet. Also, XP seems to lock up occasionally, especially if using ICS, requiring a re-boot of the "server" computer. I think a hardware solution is infinitely more reliable and eloquent.

Finally, I have been noticing that EVDO (the technology used by cellular companies to provide broadband and slower speeds to the Internet) is becoming much more robust and available. So much so, that I think satellite (from Hughes) will probably not be able to keep up. In fact, if you look at the competing technologies, it seems that more and more manufacturers are betting on EVDO rather than pure satellite (pure satellite, using satellite phones can only get up to about 9600 baud at the moment, though it is thought that within about 5 years, all communications will be through satellites, including data packets for Internet). The reason that Hughes can get better speeds is due to the size of the dish - almost a meter. Handheld satellite phones obviously have much smaller antennas.

So, for about $400, I chose EVDO and Verizon at $60 per month unlimited with no FAP (fair access policy as implemented by Hughes) as a stop gap until satellite replaces cellular. The KR-1 router I purchased is a router with the WAN connection to the Kyocera air card, the LAN connection is both wired (using ethernet cables) and wireless (using WiFi). We have two wireless laptops and a wireless printer communicating via WiFi to our KR-1 allowing both of us to be on the Internet and also print wirelessly. We primarily use the Internet as a way to RDP into our servers and desktops at work so that it's as if we're sitting at our desks in our office, but in fact are enjoying the great outdoors in our Monty!

If I can answer any other questions, I'll give it a go. If I just added to the confusion, I'll try again.
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