Does this flip-open flappy dohickey actually do anything? (Netgear A6210)

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Or is just for show and something to accidentally (or purposely)
break off? I seem to get better reception with it closed and
sitting it's its dock.
-sw
Reply to
Sqwertz
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Without access to drawings for it, I'd assume that it's designed to be a somewhat directional antenna that you'd point at the AP for optimal signal.
It could be purely decorative, although that'd be a strange move, for a company as large as Netgear, to pull.
Reply to
Johann Beretta
Maybe.
In radio (RF), there is the concept of polarization of antennas and the radio waves that they emit.
Many APs have rubber duck antennas that actually do have wire in them and said rubber duck antennas are depicted vertical, thus vertically polarizing them. Having a similarly vertically polarized antenna on the other end, like the A6210, passes the basic conceptual sniff test.
That being said, I don't know how the high frequencies in 802.11 (multiple GHz) react to polarization compared to lower frequences (Hz / kHz / MHz). It may be that the wavelength of the multi-GHz frequency is short enough that the orientation doesn't make much difference.
Though, I have fixed WiFi problems by making sure that the rubber duck antennas were standing vertical many times in the past.
So, conceptually, I think the idea passes the sniff test.
The biggest question to me is if there is anything inside the flap or not. I doubt that Netgear would have created it if it didn't do something to make it worth the effort.
Reply to
Grant Taylor
Netgear claims it does "beam forming" which means that it mangles the antenna pattern for more gain in the desired direction, and less gain in the direction of interference sources. In order to do that, there has to be at least 2 antennas and 2 radios involved. I'm too lazy to check the FCC ID web site to see if they have a photo of what's inside. My guess is the minimum, which means either one or more chip or PCB antennas on the same board as the electronics and one or two coaxial antennas in the flip out antenna thing. This is a common approach that barely works with such minimal spacing between antennas. However, putting one horizontal antenna in the base electronics, and the other mounted vertically in the flip out part give polarization diversity in some directions. That might be worth something if you use the radio in a highly reflective environment.
The data sheet says 866 Mbit/sec maximum speed. You can achieve that speed with either 1 or 2 antennas at each end of the link depending on the occupied RF bandwidth (80 or 160MHz). See table:
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I have no clue if there are 1 or 2 antennas inside, but I'm fairly sure that there are no more than two or the maximum rates would have been higher.
For testing: Setup a fast computah, with USB 3.0 for the adapter. Find an 802.11ac wireless router. Attach a fast desktop running gigabit ethernet. Run iPerf3 on both machines:
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the test using TCP (not UDP) using parameters tweaked for gigabit. If you're not sure, lose the wireless temporarily and try iperf3 via gigabit ethernet between the computers trough the ethernet ports on the router. You should get over 800 Mbits/sec. Do it anyway. It's good practice.
Ok, back to wireless. Depending on the maximum throughput you should be able to guess which configuration your wireless thing is using at 802.11ac from this table:
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may need to temporarily disable 2.4GHz in the Netgear dongle or the wireless router to prevent 2.4GHz traffic from mangling the results.
Hmmm... reviews don't look so good on Netgears web pile:
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out of 21 say it sucks. Boiler plate replies from Netgear "support". Caveat emptor.
Reply to
Jeff Liebermann
Thanks, Jeff.
Yeah, I mangled tiny little my AC6100 by double-sided sticky tape to the wall. And when I had to reposition it, it stuck a little too well and popped off in a 5 different pieces. So I ordered this one late at night for next day delivery VIA Amazon based solely on the Amazon reviews.
I didn't see the Netgear reviews until it started crapping out on me. For the first 12 hours it work GREAT! I was getting 210MB up/down through a few walls and my central A/C unit in the middle (runs all day in Texas), but then it started disconnecting every time I ran a speed test or gave a load. I tested a few drivers and read the reviews, and boxed it back up.
So it's on it's way back to Amazon and I got this cheapo TP-Link in the meantime that can only sustain 1/4th of thee speeds of the Netgear model:
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So I'm still shopping for a dongle that can came close to 150Mb with better than a 30min MTBF. Not that really need 150Mb. I'm still stuck in the 90's "download and store" rather than "stream all that shit" mode. I should also note that I have 15 and 25 feet of braided USB cables running across the loft ceiling which I often use as "range extenders". Heh. My Google Fiber router can't be moved for other technical reasons.
Thanks again, and Cheers!
-sw
Reply to
Sqwertz
Exactly. I couldn't tell if there were wires/connection in the hinge or not. Or if it was just some sort of a inert deflector.
But it worked great. I got 200-210Mb up/down sustained on USB 2.0 ports with it open or closed. But it started crapping out and disconnecting after 10-12 hours.
Great product! If it would have worked.
-sw
Reply to
Sqwertz
C'mon - I've seen your office and I know you can set this up with a just a cable change. But I'm still limping along with my 20-year old Antec case which I pilfered from the SCO Attic and an M4A87XD/USB3 motherboard. And just last week I upgraded to a Phenom II X4 945 (from Athlon II X2 255).
If I was still in scruz I would gladly have donated this to you for disection rather then returning to Amazon :-) But it looks like it is/was a short-lived product - not worth investigating. Most people are blaming the drivers <shrug>. Sounds like a job for Arnet/Digiboard Bill!
-sw
Reply to
Sqwertz
I don't know what the USB cables are about, but if you can run USB cables why not run Ethernet cable through the loft? If you must remain wireless, bring Ethernet over to where the PC is and terminate it with an access point. Of course, if you go that far you might consider running Ethernet down to the PC and be done with it.
Reply to
Char Jackson
I've been in the process of shutting down my formerly palatial office for the last year. Business has been break even for the last 2 years. The only thing that was keeping me there was the lack of any place to put all the junk at my house in Ben Lomond. Getting sick last year (multiple kidney stones), and an inconveniently timed pandemic, interrupted the move. I'm currently about 90% out of the office and "working" from home. I could easily setup a iperf3 speed test at home, if I could find the necessary computahs, parts, pieces, etc. Right now, the workbench is buried in chain saw parts, while the alternate workbench (formerly known as the dining room table) is buried in boxes of junk. I consider my desk and computer area to be sacred ground, not to be tread upon or misused for such mundane tasks as performance testing. Please setup an iperf3 speed test and learn how it works so that the next time you buy some wireless gizmo, you'll have a clue how to test them.
Incidentally, there are a few internet iperf test sites:
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No sympathy. When I upgrade a customer, I usually buy or trade for the old equipment. Most of the stuff is at least 6 years old. I keep dreaming of buying a Rizen 4000 series system (when they come out) for gaming. I'm also currently stuck with a 1.2Mbit/sec ADSL internet which is good enough for YouTube and Netflakes in 720i, but not much else. Linux and Windoze 10 installs are painfully slow. Incidentally, when I semi-retire, my working machines will be running Linux Mint Cinnamon where Windoze 7 and 10 will relegated to running under Virtual Box.
Please. No new projects until after I move out of the office, clean up the mess at the house, and take a short vacation from reality.
Good luck with the A6210. I suggest wrapping it in bubble pack so that it has a chance of passing your drop test. Also, I use and resell quite a bit of stuff from TP-Link. The stuff looks shoddy, but generally seems well designed inside. I would buy TP-Link over Netgear, which has the irritating habit of dying prematurely and often without any warning. Bulging electrolytic caps and dead power supplies are still common.
Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

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