I am interested in a way to extend my laptop range so that I can connect to WIFI networks that are farther away. Perhaps when I am at my mother's house and I might want to hook into some neighbors WIFI or when I am camping. I stay at a campground in Maine and I have to be close to the main building to get the WIFI, but if I had better range I could stay at one the nicer sites in the back. This hawking unit seems to have some good reviews though I guess it's a bit delicate, any recommendations on this or similar units ?
I bought one a year ago and swear by it. Here's my early review on Amazon:
I continue to like it so well that I put in in my Amazon store connected to my RV travel blog, along with other books, magazines, and camera that I personally recommend because they were helpful to me.
I am slightly confused by the many varying reviews, some bad, many good.
Can people be more specific what works and doesn't ? I use my laptop for various web surfing, watching youtube, connecting to work via VPN.
As for 100 feet limitation mentioned in one of the posts - at this very moment I am connected to my neighbors WIFI which is going through
2 walls of our house a small pine forest and the distance must be 250 feet or more to their house and I am getting a decent signal using the built in WIFI on my HP laptop, though the strength does seem seems to vary sometimes, it's usually plenty adequate.
Does your laptop have an external antenna connector? How do you feel about adding one?
You might find it useful to disclose the maker and model number of your laptop.
Sure, as long as you have permission from the owner.
Well, let's make some assumption and play with the numbers. The range of a typical USB device, with a built in 0dBi or worse antenna, is somewhat worse than what you would get with a typical MiniPCI laptop using diversity antennas at the top of the LCD frame. The only real benifit to USB is that you can relocate it and its antenna to a more favorable location.
For the sake of guesswork, let's assume that the tx power outpuit of the USB adapter is about the same as the MiniPCI card in your unspecified laptop. If I assume a 0dBi antenna gain for the laptop, and 8dBi for the dish thing, then the range improvement will be: 10^(8dBi / 20) = 2.5 times That's probably worth the effort.
Incidentally, I ran the numbers on the Hawking dish and a flat panel equivalent and found that it really does have almost 8dBi gain:
However, I wouldn't do it that way. Methinks you will probably need a bigger gain antenna, with perhaps 12 to 14dBi gain. That will yield 4 to 5 times improvement in speed. You can do it with your existing MiniPCI card by adding an external antenna, or using a PCMCIA card, or USB device with an external antenna connector.
Even tech support at Hawking couldn't solve my problem. Device Manager shows the hardware to be working. It shows a 47% signal but refuses to connect. I can connect to the same signal with my Microsoft MN-510 from the same location. Any solutions? Otherwise it will continue to collect dust in the closet. LZ
Connect to what make and model wireless router? Have you tried connecting to other wireless access points?
How do you have the encryption configured? If WEP encryption, use the hex key instead of ASCII to avoid a possible ASCII to Hex conversion incompatibility.
Any particular operating system? Have you tried the HWU8DD on a different computer?
Does your unspecified router have any logging features? Does your Hawking HWU8DD have any connection diagnostics? If so, what do they offer? If running XP or Vista, there are operating systems based connection diagnostics.
Actually there are 3 wifi signals showing up, ALL are open access. The one I'm authorized to use is a QWEST DSL belonging to the resort. There is also a LINKSYS and BELKIN, all 3 work with my MN-510 with no problem or special configuration. Plug it in and it works.
I'll double check that.
Yes. Same result.
Using XP Home and I've run the troubleshooting help without success. LZ
Good. The eliminates the access point as the source of the problem. That leaves the HWU8DD, XP, or some kind of weird incompatibility.
Incidentally, try connecting to the other two access points. If those work, but the Qwest access point does not, it's some kind of configuration issue, probably a MAC address filter in the Qwest access point.
WEP is commonly a problem.
Good. That eliminates XP and the computah as the possible culprit. We're down to the HWU8DD, the configuration, filtering, firmware(?), and the position of the moon.
I'll wager that you haven't tried enabling WZC (wireless zero config) logging. That's because its a verbose mess of incomprehensible gibberish. However, both Microsoft and I consider it great fun to drive users nuts, so I'll supply instructions.
Make sure that you are using WZC and not the connection manager that comes with the HWU8DD. This may not be possible as some USB wireless devices insist that you use their connection manager.
Download and skim (do not read) MS Support Guide for Wireless Diagnostics and Troubleshooting:
To enable or disable logging, run: netsh ras set tracing * enable netsh ras set tracing * disable
You will find various log files in the sub-directory: C:\Windoze\tracing\ Look for: Wzctrace.log which contains the connection logging data.
I use mine and have had very good success with it. I do have a long USB extension and sometimes I tape it to the top of the batwing TV antenna. I put a plastic bag over it to prevent rain damage. This lets you adjust it from inside. At the last park, they had an ordinary wireless router mounted to the outside of one of the permanent units in the park. It was about 300 feet or so, line of site. The signal showed very low, however, I was able to stream video for about an hour .... not too shabby. At the Cedar Point campgrounds, they have free Wifi in their hotel lobbies. I had a spot which faced the hotel. I put the antenna inside the MH by the window facing the hotel, about 400 to 500 feet. It worked ok, not perfectly, but quite adequately.
BTDT, GTTS. I worked as state legislative staff one session.
Nit: not the intent of the -drafters-, maybe, but the law is clear.
Hah! you should try military procurement specs.
Sorry about that.
I'm just highly skilled at that kind of "interpretation". those trouble- making skills run in th family -- fostered by innate ability, extensive training, and diligent practice!!
I =never= got in trouble for breaking the rules at school when I was a kid.... I'd already figured out I could cause *much* more commotion while staying _inside_ the LETTER of the law, while saying to h*ll with the spirit thereof.
My folks and I did _not_ endear ourselves to the election judges, the day we were standing in line to vote, and discussing how it would be not just 'doable', but _easily_ doable, to game the system so that we could vote in several different precincts in any given election. We -weren't- planning it in advance, it was an ad hoc, on-the-spot, analysis of the registration and verification process.
If things are written/done in a way _I_ can't flummox 'em, they're probably save from the rest of the world. :)