I've got either a Linksys WRT54G or a Netgear WGR614
I'm planning to mount an outdoor antenna like
Assuming that I hook it up with a
30' antenna cable and mount it at the top of the gable on a 2 story house. What kind of distance do you think I can expect? For the sake of argument, let's assume no trees in the way. In fact there is a large tree in front of where I want to mount it, but I can work with that.
There are too many unknowns to answer your question.
What kind of cable are you going to use? What is the attenuation? How many connectors in the line? What kind of antenna or client radio are you using at the other end?
What speed? Reliability? 6 Mbps with 90% reliability goes a lot further than 54 Mbps and 99.99% uptime.
You'd be better off not using the Linksys. Its a mere 30 mW (15 dBm) power output (forced setting by the Linksys internal firmware that you CAN'T change unless you use the WRT54GL Linux based model and install your own firmware). You can increase the power by a factor of ten for
300 mW (25 dBm), but it won't last very long.
Figure on using Time Microwave LMR-600 cable, about $90 or a 40 ft. length with connectors installed, you'll have less than 3 dB loss. Opps...forgot the lightning arrestor, there's another $40 and an additional 2 dB loss.
You are way better off getting a REAL access point radio and a 12 dBi antenna. You can mount it outdoors with a short low loss jumper. You could probably get the AP and antenna and coax for under... ummm, $360.
How far will it go? Several hundred feet to a laptop's internal card IF you have line-of-sight.
Tell us what your are trying to accomplish and your expectations, and then we can give you an assessment.
Line of sight is an absolute requirement. Trees and the water in them (limbs and leaves) will block the signal. Unless you're planning on cutting it DOWN there is no "work with that". Trimming isn't enough, at least not for any more than a month or two.
Well, in case it doesn't show, I'm new to anything beyond dropping in an AP and going. :-) What I'm trying to do is extend my WiFi out to my back patio and an out building that is about 100ft away. I have a WiFi access point in a 2nd floor closet, in the middle of the house. I just replaced the Netgear I mentioned above with a Belkin
neither will give me much of a signal outside the house. The house is an old farmhouse and has built on to many times, and has several think walls plus an asbestos siding that I think has a wire mesh backing. So, I'm pretty sure I'll need something on the outside of the house. The patio is just below the gable end of my house and the second building is, as I said 100ft from the gable end in the same direction. I had been planning to mount an antenna on the gable end and put the actual access point inside the closet with the other AP and run the antenna cord as I mentioned. I suppose a standalone device would work, but I'm trying to keep my costs down if possible. Under $200 for sure. I currently don't have any POE equipment, so if I need to power the standalone AP over ethernet, I'll need to include an injector.
As for the tree, I am actually planning on taking it out as it is starting to die and is very close to the house. It actually comes about 3 ft. from the gable end I mentioned. I will be replacing it with another new tree that will be off set and not as close to the house. Plus of course I'll have quite a few years until it's as big as the current 30 year old tree. That patio will just be used by laptops, but the machines in the other building will be desktops, and I'll probably get a bridge to retrieve the signal. The outbuilding has a more standard 4" wall with drywall on the inside and wooden siding on the outside, so penetrating it shouldn't be as hard.
Of course, if the other building becomes too much trouble I may just bury a conduit and run cable direct to it.
Hopefully that is enough extra information and the right kind. I appreciate your patience with a WiFi newbie.
Mount the Linksys or whatever you use close to where you are going to point the antenna, even if it means putting it in the nearest bedroom. That way your coax cost and loss will be minimal. If you CAN'T get the unit close to a AC Power outlet, even with an extension cord, you can do a poor man's PoE.
Note that the vertical beamwidth of the Antenna you were looking at is only 15 degrees so might get poor to no coverage on the patio. If your other building is only 100ft away you may find the laptops are below the 3dB beamwidth.
I must have been having some lousy luck a few months ago as I just couldn't get a reliable signal with the antennas a couple of friends purchased. The only way we could get a decent signal was to tilt the omni's downwards. In the end we replaced the omni's with panel antennas with a tilt, the wives considered this to be more aesthetically pleasing.
I had a similar bill to fill. I had coverage on my back patio but not across the yard in my gazebo(wife wanted to use her laptop there). Anyway I had a spare wrt54gs to play with so I set it up for repeater use using DD- WRT software. We move it around to a few places to fill holes in our coverage.