I would like to have some type of external antenna that we could connect to with a laptop that would serve to enhance our wifi reception when dealing with weaker signals. Realize the weather issues to be dealt with. I would mount it on our rotateable tv antenna on the fifthwheel and connect via a usb extension. This would place the antenna about 15 feet above ground level.
Would some type of yagi be better or would a patch antenna be better...assuming they are both very directional?
Looking to do this within a reasonable cost...$100!
first problem is that your laptop probably doesn't have an external antenna connector. If you wanna butcher the laptop to add a connector, see:
Otherwise, it's a USB or PCMCIA card with an external connector.
The maximum length for a convential USB cable is about 16ft, so that might not work. I've gone about 30ft without problems, but there's no guarantee that some random USB radio will work. Running a long USB cable is generally better than running coax cable because there's no RF loss involved.
Both will work. I prefer a panel antenna. However, if you want to provide a bird roost, the yagi is better. You can also find a few panels that have built in USB radios.
USB radio with RP-SMA connector $ 50 Assorted USB extension cables $ 20 13dBi panel antenna $ 36 Type N to SMA adapter or pigtail $ 15 Tuperware enclosure and RTV seal goo $ 0 ====== $121
Ok, cut the cost with a cheapo Hong Kong radio for $19.
Also, wrap the RF connectors with teflon plumbers tape and then embalm the mess with outdoor electrical tape. The teflon will cold flow and act as a sealant. The tape just holds it in place.
Correct. Only one USB wireless adapter is needed. Incidentally, you'll need to temporarily disable the wireless adapter in your laptop when using the USB wireless as they might interfere with each other (or confuse the things by having both connect).
Yep. I'm not a big fan of wireless USB and especially not of "high power" adapters. However, that seems to be the current high fashion in wireless, so one can't really avoid these. Grumble.
First, let's do the math. The increase from 23mw to 500mw is: 10 log (500/23) = 13.4 dB which is a substantial increase equivalent to installing a rather substantial antenna. In terms of range, that will yield about 4 times the range (and about 16x the coverage area). So much for the good part.
As you note, the receive path hasn't changed and will be limited by the tx power output of the wireless access point, which is typically about 50mw. All that happens with such asymmetric systems is that the
500mw client does an effective job of jamming other users with its coverage area, while not being able to hear the same stations it is jamming. This is a variation of the "hidden node" problem. I call it an "alligator", which is an animal with a big mouth and small ears. Note that every other data service (cellular, WiMax, etc) has transmit power control, which automagically limits the tx power to only what is needed by the receiver to obtain a decent SNR and corresponding low error rate. Any more signal level is a waste and produces nothing but interference. Wi-Fi, as it was conceived 15 years ago, did not have this feature built into the specifications.
The real answer is that if you want to improve range, do it with a better antenna, not a bigger xmitter. Antennas improve the system gain in both directions and don't have the alligator problem.
Note that some access points are now arriving with 500mw output power. The very common 2wire 2700/2701HG DSL wireless router has a rated power output of 400mw. However, the default setup runs it at about
: > : > Would some type of yagi be better or would a patch antenna be : > : > better...assuming they are both very directional? : > : >
: > : > Looking to do this within a reasonable cost...$100! : > : >
: > : > TIA : > : >
: > : > Brian : > : There is also an RV group where you might find help : > : search via google groups. : >
: > rec.outdoors.rv-travel is one such group but I'd recommend you look into RV : > blogs that have some adult supervision. : >
: LOL and AGREE very much! : I do not go there anymore because the noise level is so bad. : You have any blogs you like or use? : Naw, to be honest I sub to rort a for the grins and giggles. Some there get wound up like an eight day clock sooo easily and the vindictive is a hoot not to mention the twisted world views.
I read it occasionally also but there is no comparison of the crap that gets posted there with the valuable, accurate information that is on RV.NET! And without all the criticism and sarcastic comments. A lot of way over inflated egos on RORT!
It is a forum and broken down into topic areas. Great place to ask how to do something because someone has already done it and can save you a lot of grief. Answers without the bullshit sarcastic remarks too like "if you don't know how to do that you shouldn't own an rv" common on RORT.
Have received and learned much on the forums there.