After many hours of trying to get the settings just right, just now I was able to tremendously extend the WiFi range of my laptop, as a test, simply by connecting a Ubiquiti NanoBridge M2 feedhorn (sans dish antenna) to the Ethernet port. Here is my signal strength at the feedhorn, as seen through the laptop:
Notice the noise is a tiny at -99dBm while the signal strength is huge at -44dBm (with a SNR of -44 - -99 = 55, if I did the math right).
This gets me 130Mbps between my Linux laptop & the home broadband router.
Here are the network settings that were necessary to make this work:
And, here are the access-point specific wireless settings to make it connect to my home broadband router's SSID:
With the dish antenna, that Nanobridge M2 has a gain of 41dB (i.e.,23dBm transmit power + 18dBi antenna gain), which is far too powerful.
Since that calculates (if I did the math right?) to over 12 Watts, I had to lower the gain by removing the dish ... which dropped the gain down to 23dBm + 3dBi, or 26dB (which is a 0.4 Watts).
Even that was far too powerful for use in my house, so I dropped the transmit power of the feedhorn radio down to 6dBm, so with the 3dBi feedhorn-only gain, the screenshots above are at 6+3=9dB (0.008W) EIRP.
Even with the gain reduced as low as I could make it, I still got a connection strength of -44dBm and a connect speed of 130Mbps, so, it's at least a proof of concept that this is one way to extend the WiFi range of your laptop.
My goal will be to try to connect to my home broadband router from a mile or two down the road... so that's what I'll try next.
PS: Jeff Liebermann should be proud of me!
Here's the howto I wrote up ... (it can also be used at coffee shops!) BEGIN: How to use a Nanobridge M2 as your laptop wireless NIC!
- I reset the Nanobridge M2 radio to default settings as per this video: formatting link
I connected the POE to the Nanobridge M2. I reset the Nanobridge M2 back to factory defaults by holding the reset button down for 10sec (until all LEDs flashed)
- I set the Nanobridge M2 to be the Linux laptop wireless NIC as per this video: formatting link
- I turned off the wireless NIC inside the laptop with the hardware switch. Note: I could just as well have run this command on Ubuntu 13.10: $ sudo ifconfig wlan0 down
- I set the IP address of the laptop to be on the 192.168.1.XX subnet. $ sudo ifconfig eth0 192.168.1.99 $ ifconfig (make sure eth0 is 192.168.1.something & that wlan0 is not up)
- I physically connected the Nanobridge M2 to the eth0 port of the laptop.
- I pinged the Nanobridge M2 $ ping 192.168.1.20 PING 192.168.1.20 (192.168.1.20) 56(84) bytes of data. 64 bytes from 192.168.1.20: icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.572 ms 64 bytes from 192.168.1.20: icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=0.460 ms 64 bytes from 192.168.1.20: icmp_seq=3 ttl=64 time=0.286 ms etc. (control C to escape)
- I logged into the Nanobridge M2 $ netscape 192.168.1.20 (ubnt, ubnt)
- I set the "Network" tab as follows: AirOS:Network Router (default is Bridge) WLAN Network Settings->DHCP (default is DHCP) LAN Network Settings->IP Address->192.168.10.20 (default is 192.168.1.1) [x]Enable NAT [x]Enable DHCP Server Range Start=192.168.10.100 Range End =192.168.10.200 Change->Apply
- I rebooted the Ubuntu PC (with the wlan0 card still turned off)
- I set eth0 to be on the same (new) subnet as the Nanobridge M2: $ sudo ifconfig eth0 192.168.10.101
- I pinged the radio: $ ping 192.168.10.1 PING 192.168.10.1 (192.168.10.1) 56(84) bytes of data. 64 bytes from 192.168.10.1: icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=1.15 ms 64 bytes from 192.168.10.1: icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=0.255 ms 64 bytes from 192.168.10.1: icmp_seq=3 ttl=64 time=0.310 ms etc. (control + C to escape)
$ ping 192.168.10.20 PING 192.168.10.20 (192.168.10.20) 56(84) bytes of data. 64 bytes from 192.168.10.20: icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=1.71 ms 64 bytes from 192.168.10.20: icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=0.308 ms 64 bytes from 192.168.10.20: icmp_seq=3 ttl=64 time=0.242 ms etc. (control + C to escape)
- I logged into the Nanobridge M2: $ netscape http://192.168.10.20 (ubnt, ubnt)
- I set up the "Wireless" tab to connect to the home broadband router SSID: AirOS:Wireless SSID->Select (I sorted the signals by signal strength & encryption) I selected my WPA2-PSK encrypted network SSID. I scrolled to the bottom & hit select. Change->Apply
Note: I also had to set the DNS server by turning off DNS proxy Primary DNS server = 188.8.131.52 Secondary DNS server = 184.108.40.206
Once I set up DNS (which wasn't described in the video), I was able to connect to the Internet, and, in fact, am using this connection to type this up to help myself (in the future) and others.
END OF: How to use a Nanobridge M2 as your laptop wireless NIC!