Does having multiple RJ45 jacks degrade the Internet signal a lot?

I suspect the old Beldin foil plus braid is better than made in China quad-shield. Yes, quad is more about leakage than "infiltration".

I didn't want to go into this because it gets complicated, but I buy dry air from scuba shops. You need your own tank. Air is cheap. Inspections are not. Tank, hose, regulator and the nozzle set me back $50. When I blow the dust of out something, I don't hit it with refrigerant, which is what canned air does.

The tax laws regarding buying compressed air are interesting in a bizarre way, not that it makes much of a difference in price. If they compress the air at the shop, that is a service, and it has one tax rule. If they get a big tank of compressed air and use it to fill your tank, it is stored inventory, and the tax rule is different.

I have no idea what it takes to keep nitrogen at home. I'd have to research where to buy it. The only nitrogen I ever used was bought by some corporation and it was the mad scientist liquid type. All that said, since nitrogen isn't being used in life support like scuba air, I think it would be relatively cheap.

NEMA with desiccant inside is used a lot, so some people think sealed is fine. I have no surveys to back this up, just personal observation with a very limited sample.

On some GPSs, the weep hole is visible. It has a membrane valve. A friend got this brilliant idea to seal up the weep hole. He took a trip in an airplane with the GPS and the keys got sucked down due to the pressure change. Sometimes when I go camping, I can't open the ammo cases because the pressure change has sucked them down. So yeah, sealed isn't all that good in some situations.

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Ok, you opened this can of worms. What you want is *DRY* nitrogen. The stuff the dive shop sells is good enough. (I used to dive but gave it up after all my stuff got ripped off). Basically, truly dry nitrogen has to come from a cryogenic tank, which is expensive. The measure if dryness is the dew point, or the water content in ppm. Look for something like -70F N2 dew point or is what canned air does.

I have several air compressors. Well, not counting two that are out on semi-permanent loan, I have 4 air compressors. They're easy to rebuild. However, for when I was blowing out my dive stuff, I used a Gast oil less air brush compressor. It doesn't generate much volume or pressure, but it also doesn't spray oil into the mouth piece.

Yep. Desiccant will dry the air for a while. However, if you're pumping water into the case by alternately heating and cooling the case, it won't last very long. Desiccant works best on pressurized systems.

Incidentally, I still pressurize Heliax coax runs (when possible and except for the local ham repeaters). I recently discovered that one of my original installs was still pressurized after 20 years of neglect. When disassembled, there was no green slime and everything was shiny and new looking.


Install a one way check valve? I use a bicycle valve or plumbing air bleed valve fitting for filling. It could also be used to equalize the pressure before opening.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

I can see the desiccant being an issue if you don't service the box and change it out. I wonder if they are depending on the heat from the box to keep things dry inside.

I have a downconverters handy. [Learn by destruction stuff from ebay. ;-)] They just use a sealed case. Both have a black fuzzy thing inside, purpose unknown. I don't think it is a desiccant.

Pelican and similar cases have check valves. I just curse and yank really hard and the ammo cases open. It is is impressive on some of the cans with good seals.

I can't believe what they get for ammo cases these days. You would think with a decade of war we would be awash with cases. I was driving around Palmdale, spotted an Army surplus store, and decided to check it out. Small ammo boxes I got for $5 at the flea market were $30. I've bought real transit cases for that kind of money.

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I don't think so. The box won't get hot enough to do anything useful. I think you have to get the desiccant rather hot before it will release the trapped water.

The black fuzzy stuff is a carbon microwave absorbing sheet, intended to absorb RF. The idea is to absorb rather than reflect as in a metal shield.

Locally, we have:

They don't even list ammo boxes on their web page. They have a few and yes, they're seriously overpriced. When Ft Ord closed, their supply of goodies dried up. I'm not sure why, but I'm seeing zero military surplus coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

This black fuzzy thing is a small block of sorts. About the dimensions of a bluetooth dongle. If I get motivated I'll open one up again and send a photo.

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I wish to thank everyone for their heart-felt advice!

OVERALL DESIGN: As a summary for others coming after me and finding this thread, the right 'way' to wire the home network is to use a 'star' configuration where the cable from the outside antenna ultimately stops at the wall plate where you will be placing your Ethernet switch (which was incorporated into my home broadband router in my case).

From that central wall plate, you then connect additional cables radiating out to the various other desired locations, e.g., one cable to the game room, another cable to the upstairs bedroom, etc.

Lastly, you connect your Ethernet switch (in my case, it was my home broadband router) WAN side to the antenna cable, and its LAN side (typically four ports) to each of the other connections (e.g., game room, upstairs bedroom, kitchen, etc.).

CHOOSING CABLES: For outside buried use, you need gel-filled cable as normal 'outside' cable is expected to be hung in the air (selecting 500 feet of the wrong cable was a major mistake of mine). For plenum use, you need plenum cable. And for indoor use, almost any cable will work.

My mistake was two-fold. First, I bought from Home Despot (as Jeff tends to call it), which cost me more for outdoor cat5e than it would have for gell-filled outdoor cable. Second, I bought 500 feet of one type, assuming it would work for all types.

In hindsight, the better method (from a cost/functionality perspective) would have been to buy a short length of outside gell-filled cable for the outside runs, another short length of plenum-rated cable for any plenum runs (I didn't have any plenum runs), and another set of short cables for inside runs (which could have used any of the other cables).

CHOOSING 568-A or 568-B: There are two 'standards', 568A & 568B, which initially confused me in the beginning until I finally realized electrically, there is absolutely no difference between the two standards (why they even exist is beyond me).

The wiring is EXACTLY the same (electrons are colorblind). If you removed the outer colored covering on each of the copper wires in both A & B cables, you'd find there is absolutely no difference between the two types: the only difference is the color of the insulation. So, either cable will work in all cases!

The only rule to follow is to pick one of the two standards (I chose B) and then wire "both" ends of any one cable to "that" standard.

MAST MATERIAL: Again I made a major mistake on my mast material. Cost-wise it was a disaster compared to what it should have been! :(

What you 'want' is a single length of inexpensive galvanized steel tubing for the mast plus an equal sized length of tubing for the cable going down the mast; but the problem is that ten feet is as long as you can get at Home Despot for any tubing whatsoever. Putting three feet into the ground only leaves you with 7 feet at Home Despot lengths.

You 'can' buy multiple threaded metal conduit in various lengths up to ten feet at Home Depot, which is probably what I should have bought.

Instead, I purchased various lengths of 2 inch and 1.5 inch galvanized water pipe to bring my mast length to about 19 feet, of which only about

16 feet were sticking above the ground.

The advantage of the thicker water pipe was strength (over electrical conduit); but the huge disadvantage was cost & weight.

My cost for mast components alone was well over a hundred dollars (2-inch pipe, 2-to-1.5-inch reducer, 1.5-inch pipe, 1.5-inch-to-1-inch reducer, 1- inch pipe, pipe cap) at Home Despot plus a 2-inch-to-3-inch plastic conduit bushing from Ace Hardware Supply to hold the 2-inch mast portion into the 3.5" hole plus similar lengths of plastic conduit to fit down the sides for the cable to run inside.

The weight matters because I maintain my antenna simply by pulling the mast out of the ground and laying it flat to work on the antenna. It's doable; but it's heavy (I'm guessing over fifty pounds).

ANTENNA PARTICULARS: My 19 dBi flat-panel antenna & 600 mW Bullet M2 radio turned out to be overkill for what I needed. The WISP AP I chose is about a mile (or so) away - and with the Ubiquiti Bullet M2 set at maximum power, the signal strength was -65 dBm (about 400 picowatts). I'll likely need to lower the output power on the radio.

Aligning the antenna side-to-side turned out to be surprisingly trivial. I simply twisted the free-standing mast until the signal strength was best. It was 'that' easy. It took only an inch or so of twist to bring the signal down so the center point was very easily determined in less than a single minute.

Since the signal strength was almost too good, I didn't even bother to align the antenna vertically (i.e., in the up and down direction). I never knew alignment was this easy!

However: S far we haven't had high winds so I don't yet know if the heavy mast will act like a weather vane, twisting in the direction of the wind ... so I 'do' have a backup plan of bolting it down at the bottom with L-shaped galvanized steel legs to prevent twisting if needed.

I also have a backup plan of switching antennas from a flat plane to a wire mesh dish style, which will cut down on wind resistance. I guess I'll look for a 14 dBi wire mesh antenna (since I don't even need the 19 dBi I already have).

WALL PLATES: here are three different colors for wall plates. Bring a wall plate from the electrical outlets with you to match (I bought the 'wrong' almond color by not knowing about this).


In the end, I made a LOT of mistakes (most of which have been pointed out in this thread - that's how I knew I made 'em!) which I'd hope the next person doesn't make.

The WISP was perfectly willing to put in the entire setup for $400. In hind sight, it cost me just about that with materials and tools, so I didn't save a dime. Nor did I save in time (it took me a few days).

However, I learned a lot; I have some neat new tools; I buried the cable (whereas the WISP would have strung a line to the house in the air); I entered the home neatly (whereas the prior WISP drilled THREE holes trying to get inside the house, each an inch from the other!); I ended the run neatly at a wall plate (whereas the prior WISP left a dangling cable on the inside of the third drill hole); and the star network center was in the center of the house where I wanted it with no wires hanging on the walls (the prior WISP entered from the outside directly where the cable reached the house).

Given the cost was about the same for 'my' admittedly flawed installation versus the prior WISP's professional (but cost-cutting) installation ... I still suggest others do their own installation.

The only thing I'd do differently is that I'd read THIS thread and NOT make the same mistakes I made. The result will be a BETTER installation than that which my prior WISP did professionally - at about the same cost (i.e., you're just not going to save money over what the WISP charges!).

Reply to
Chuck Banshee

Good to hear the results. All to frequently people just disappear and we never find out how it went and learn from it. Two questions:

Have you done any performance testing to see what kind of speeds you're getting? If you haven't DSLReports is one website where you can do some speed testing. I'd be curious to know what speeds you're getting.

Did you put a lightning/surge protector on the line?

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Thanks for noticing.

Truth be stated, I am on a lot of forums and I post relatively often to these two NNTP newsgroups (using various nyms for privacy purposes, usually one per topic). I always try to give back as much or more than what is given to me to be a good USENET netizen.

People like you and Jeff have helped me MANY times - which I greatly appreciate. I hope that the record will help many others after us.

The one major flaw in that strategy is that the search engines for nntp news are vastly inferior to those of the web. For example, when I look up my old threads (which could be 15 years old and which were initially archived on dejanews), I often can't even find what I know exists (mostly using google group searches).

In fact, I often have to resort to web searches to find all my DIYs compiled with people's help. This works only because some forum sites tend to include nntp news 'as if' they were people posting directly to their sites (probably to increase their perceived user counts).

Anyway, this thread will be useful to others - as long as they can find it in the future! (Including me the next time I need to wire up the house!)

I've been doing daily reports.

The speeds initially were almost twice what I was paying for as shown here: 36ms ping, 3.82 Mbps download, 2.72 Mbps upload

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However, my WISP has since dropped them down greatly due to what he called 'traffic shaping' & what I call throttling because I'm only paying the $50 for 2 Mbps he's offering as his base plan.

He's actually throttled me to LESS than 2 Mbps ... so I have to document that and let him know so he can 'reshape' the traffic shaping.

Is it typical for people to have to ask the WISP to reshape the throttling?

No. As Jeff noted already, we rarely get electrical storms out here in the Santa Cruz mountains. It even makes the news when there is lighting ... with people reporting "I saw a lighting bolt in Soda Springs" or "We even heard lightning over in Scotts Valley", etc.

Now, if I had lived in Florida ...

Reply to
Chuck Banshee

For whatever reason, the flats of the south bay seems to get all the electrical storm activity. The bay area itself tends to have few lightning storms, and like I said, most are in the flats of San Jose. Not that this makes any sense to me. Everywhere else I've been, the mountains get hit.

If the WISP hired Jeff, I would have let them do it. Often professional installation is done by people who can't get real jobs. For fun, go into youtube and search for bad cable installation.

Regarding conduit versus galvanized pipe, you did the right thing. Conduit is meant to be bent. Note there was some guy on craigslist that was trying to sell a 20ft long 3 inch galvanized pipe for months. It was gone by the time I saw your post.

It had occurred to me that maybe a metal flange and anchor bolts might have been better than filling the hole. However I couldn't find any really wide flanges on the internet for moderate sized pipe. You've probably seen galvanized pipe used for railings and such, but nothing as heavy duty as you are trying to do. Also, any time you can get away without using guy wires is a good thing.

I don't think those antennas with reflectors wear particularly well. I'd stick with what you have. I've done much longer distances with a 16dB panel, and just to a wifi router in a house. Point to point is way easier.

While I've intercepted WISP feeds out in the boonies (encrypted of course...drat), I've never inquired how they are set up. Does the WISP provider have a high gain omni at a central site, or do they put in a directional antenna for each customer?

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The two WISPs I know if in the Santa Cruz mountains don't have 'much' security.

One, my old WISP, merely used 2.4Ghz 802.11b with MAC authentication until just about a month ago (they have since switched to 2.4GHz NV2). In a way, that's security because most of us don't buy Microtik equipment.

My new WISP doesn't use security either - but - you need to 'know' the IP address (which I had changed in all my examples in this thread so the one I gave won't work if you're my neighbor). So, again, that's (in a way) security.

It's my understanding that the WISP agreement allows the WISP to use your antenna as a repeater (even if you own it yourself). I don't know how they organize their antennas though.

Since these are mountains, it would be fairly easy to stand on top of one of them and swing the antenna in a circle to find all the WISP access points though.

Reply to
Chuck Banshee

Security via mac isn't much security. ;-)

My question though was what kind of antenna do they provide? That is, do they have an omni or do they point a directional at your house.

I think if you packet sniff with wireshark using kismet parked on one channel, the IP address will be sniffed. I haven't run Kismet in that manner in years, so I could be fuzzy on this.

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I don't know but in my long conversations with the WISP, I think he said it was 'pointed' in my direction (since a neighbor also uses the same WISP).

Next time I'll ask him what HIS antenna is. If it's an omni, it must be pretty powerful for me to get such a great signal from so far away with just a 19dBi antenna.

I've tried to get Wireshark & WiFi radar working on Ubuntu and have failed miserably. Must be a trick to it ...

One problem is how to hook the antenna to the Ubuntu laptop since all the usb wifi extender adapters I tried didn't have drivers for Linux.

How does ANYONE get a strong enough antenna to use these things on Linux anyway?

Reply to
Chuck Banshee

First trick is to get a usb wifi dongle. You need an external antenna. Built in wifi is for the coffee shop.

Those alfa units based on the RL8187 are the way to go. Awus036h or

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You need to force kismet to park on one channel, not scan. Then you set wireshark up to monitor the traffic on the wireless lan. You will need to determine the name of the adapter. It could be wlan, wlan0, wlan1, etc. I don't run ubuntu, so I don't know how it works on that distro.

All the packet data goes flying by on wireshark. It you are not using encryption or SSL, all the text will be in the clear.

I've never run backtrack linux, but supposedly that is a distro designed for investigating open doors to your system. Actually any system, but the intent is you poke your system to check for vulnerabilities.

If you have a linux distro, it is far easier to go to the repository and get what you need. I found I had to install kismet from source, but that is all a function of how up to date your repo is at the time.

Note kismet can see the clients on your system. I'm not particularly happy about that since anyone driving by can sniff your level of geekness. I don't have a networked TV, but I'm sure if you have a flat screen with ethernet, they can detect that too. Sonos streamers, VOIP phones, whatever.

If you are not a regular on this list, I pointed out a while ago that kismet can sniff your wifi requests. Any wifi that you saved on your PC or phone is detectable. Starbucks, Peets, the rent-by-the-hour love shack you use for a nooner, etc. In a way, it is far worse of a privacy portal than your cellular connection since only the phone company or law enforcement can sniff your phone, but any fool can sniff your wifi. Just knowing the mac can help you determine if a person is in a certain location. Cheating spouses would be a prime target. I never read about this being done, but generally if it can be done, it is being done.

I was at a coffee shop a few days ago and found a HPSETUP ad hoc being broadcast. This is a real security problem. Google hpsetup to get more info.

A google search of kismet wireshark found

The blot out the IP addresses, but they are detected. I also see there is a youtube video on how to do this:

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I haven't watched the video so I can't vouch for it.

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Recently I wired a WISP antenna/radio to the key rooms of the house with a star network based mostly on your help.

Guess what I found out today when I went to plug in the kid's game room Nintendo Wii to the newly wired Ethernet jack?

The Wii doesn't have an Ethernet port! Sigh.

(Note: Apparently I 'could' add an Ethernet adapter to the Wii itself, but for now, I think I'll just start researching what new router to buy so that the old (Linksys WRT54G) router can become a WiFi extender plugged into the newly wired game room wall jack!)

Reply to
Chuck Banshee

I have yet to find a better home wireless router than the WRT54GL (that's the one that I have that you can flash with DD-WRT etc. You might be able to do the same with yours depending on production date/exact model.) I've tried various wireless-N/gigabit routers both Linksys/Cisco and Netgear and honestly, I can't tell the difference in speed and the old "blue box" just keeps on going whereas the other ones seem to brick themselves after a year or two. I say stick with what works, just get another one. If I ever set up a wired home network I will probably use a good Cisco rack-mount switch and keep the blue box for wireless. I hate having to replace stuff after only a short period of service.


Reply to
Nate Nagel

About $10 anywhere. Many USB to ethernet adapters will work.

Plenty more available. Google for "Wii ethernet adapter".

Hint: Ask the kids next time. They usually know more about such things than the adults. If they don't, the exercise in finding the solution will be quite educational. If done diplomatically, they may even let you play with their games.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

That's my favorite, too. I currently have 6 of them deployed around the house. One is my gateway router, two are access points, two are client bridges, and one is just acting as a switch. I install dd-wrt as soon as I take them out of the box. Newegg sometimes puts them on sale for $44.95, which isn't too bad for such a general purpose item.

Reply to
Char Jackson

wha!!!???? Y'mean I could buy another and put it downstairs so I don't have to go upstairs to reboot for my wife's recalcitrant Toshiba?

here's my setup- Cable comes in upstairs and is hooked to a TW modem and then to the WRT54GL.

We have a half dozen things that use it upstairs wirelessly. I have a Cat5 running downstairs for my desktop setup- and a work computer that can't go wireless.

No other computers seem to have problems getting a signal downstairs. but my wife's Toshiba always seems to need us to reboot the router to get a signal.

I never thought of adding another WRT54GL downstairs. Might that help her computer get a connection-- or at least eliminate my need to go upstairs to reboot the router? [I'm reading this on a-h-r, so if I go that way, I'll be coming over to a-i-w to figure out the


Thanks- Jim

Reply to
Jim Elbrecht

Hi Jeff, You have a gift for finding the lowest prices! I had found it on the Nintendo site for much much more. At that price, unless the wifi extender is valuable otherwise, it's worth it to just get the wii adapter!

Reply to
Chuck Banshee

I'm confused. It sounds like you propose to use the old Linksys wireless router in the game room as a solution to the Wii not having an ethernet port? But then how does the Wii connect to the Linksys router?

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