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Thread: WiFi Extenders

  1. #1

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    WiFi Extenders



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    There has been a number of threads on WiFi extenders.

    Just bought this from ebay:

    41dBm Mini Desktop WiFi USB Booster Planar Antenna Set | eBay UK

    It's a USB wifi booster that comes with two antenna, the first a rubber antenna that gives omni direction (all around) and a flat planar antenna that is directional, a bit like a dish.

    For 23.99 inc p+p I think it's great value and took 8 days to arrive from Hong Kong.

    For example, in my dining room I went from 4 wifi base stations to 12, one going from very poor to excellent. The Planar antenna gave even more.

    So how does it work in the van?

    I parked up in Llandudno, using the laptop I got a couple of signals, when I used the booster with the omni I got loads of signals, including Bt Openzone, the cloud and Mc Donalds.

    With clear line of site from the top of the Great Orme, I used the planar antenna on my dashboard, I could get signals from Anglesey if I pointed the antenna at Anglesey or Loads from Llandudno itself if pointed there.

    The planar antenna could do with a plastic box if it's to be left outside for any time, it comes with a mount and I just fixed that to a piece of ply.

    One word of caution, the booster uses a lot more power than the internal wifi so the battery of the laptop won't last as long.

    Looking around the internet, there are conflicting reports as to the maximum power output a wifi should be, these boosters are between 5-10 times the recommended power. Not a problem if you are away from anything, but use them at home and you could start to cause problems with other wifi users locally.

    Rule is: only use it if you need to, anyway, it flattens your battery quicker when in use.
    Pete,

    Bigpeetee
    Likes - N/A, fofeg101, Firefox, novice1968, fairytooth, snowbirds liked this post

  2. #2
    GeoNomad Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Bigpeetee View Post
    Looking around the internet, there are conflicting reports as to the maximum power output a wifi should be, these boosters are between 5-10 times the recommended power. Not a problem if you are away from anything, but use them at home and you could start to cause problems with other wifi users locally.

    Rule is: only use it if you need to, anyway, it flattens your battery quicker when in use.
    The maximum power you should use is the minimum power that will do the job. You might find that you can adjust the power output in the control software.

    I notice that this uses the same chipset as the Alfa AWUS036H that I have been using and am very happy with.

    If the software that comes with the Techex does not have power adjustment, you might find that the Alfa software will work with your unit. The ability to raise and lower the power both saves your battery, reduces interference to others, and prolongs the life of the transmitter, as it can run hot at maximum power.

    Alfa Driver Downloads

    Another feature of the Alfa software you might be able to take advantage of, is the virtual WiFi hotspot, which lets other nearby laptops, iPhones, etc share your long distance connection - handy if you travel with a partner with her own laptop, or want to use your smartphone's WiFi connection to transfer data, etc.

    Peter

  3. #3

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    OK. Now you have lost me!

    How does a wifi receiver booster manage to boost the output power of other wifi transmitters (access points)? Surely, since the power of most wifi routers/access points (especially domestic ones) is quite low, and would be good for only a short range, the antenna used for reception is not going to make that much difference.

    Is it?

    And, please, stop confusing broadband by ADSL with broadband by 3G. Different technologies and different equipment needed.

  4. #4

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    Well, remember that the connection to a wireless access point is bi-directional.

    The laptop needs to send data as well as receive it. So I presume this unit boosts the transmission power to enable greater range, and incorporates a directional antenna to improve reception of the received data.

  5. #5

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    Wifi (Adsl) routers have a higher transmit power than those either built in to a laptop or a USB Wifi module or the 3G dongle, most of which have a wifi ability.

    If the power output of a laptop is increased the range to a router is increased.

    The antenna either in a laptop is usually a quarter wave, same in a dongle or adapter, so by adding an improved antenna increases the signal in both transmit and receive.

    A higher gain again (a planar, yagi, parabolic) antenna will increase the effective radiated power (ERP) even more. Therefore the distance between the unit and the router.

    Same difference between using a simple loop antenna on the back of a portable, then adding a yagi antenna (Normal TV antenna) increase of received signal.

    Downside of high gain antenna is the narrowing of the beam width, like when turning dish towards satellite.

    So yes improving the transmit power of the remote unit (laptop) will result in longer transmission distance, improving the antenna will improve even more.

    With 3G dongles, by moving the dongle closer to the window by the use of a USB extension cable means that the internal antenna receives a signal that is less attenuated by walls etc.

    The 2400mhz wifi signals are attenuated much more than the 900 MHz 3G, the new 5800mHz for wifi are attenuated even more by buildings, trees etc but it's easier to get more gain from an antenna (size for size)

    Hope that clears up some confusion.

    For the technically couldn't care less, sorry for the length of reply. Post cards are still the option of some!!
    Pete,

    Bigpeetee
    Likes - fairytooth, N/A, JockandRita liked this post

  6. #6
    Lorry Ball Guest
    Well said and very clear.
    some one who knows what he's talking about
    Lorry

  7. #7
    MarcJ Guest
    Here's one from the UK that's weather proof.
    Not quite so much gain as the mentioned at the top of the thread but sounds ok.
    Can't be doing with waiting a month!
    Long range USB antenna NET-WL-USB-CPE2512bg

  8. #8

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    A Month wait?? Mine took 8 days, I got it quicker than other equipment ordered from the UK on the same day. I was very impressed with the service.
    Pete,

    Bigpeetee

  9. #9

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    OK, I've taken your recommendation Pete, and ordered one yesterday. I'll report on how long it takes to arrive.

    I am going to cancel my Virgin Broadband and go with BT, as can pretty much guarantee picking up Openzone or BT Fon anywhere near a built up place espec with an antenna this should be the case. I'll have to go against my principles to subscribe to BT but that's another story. I'll ditch them as soon as anyone else gets on the openzone bandwaggon.

    So it's goodbye to the Three Dongle except for emergency use.

  10. #10

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    I have similar sentiments about using BT, BUT, they do give good coverage using Openzone and FON.

    The broadband works, very little down time, reasonable speed etc.

    Then I hate McDonalds, but their Wifi is usually quite quiet, so they have their use.

    Tried Virgin, started good then went downhill.

    Tried Talk Talk, eventually when got going after 5 months actually quite good, but because of issues with reliability, call centres all around the globe who wouldn't help apart from one man in Durban RSA who actually resolved the problems in 2 Hrs. But never again.

    Now with BT I get signal in most built up areas, and some not so built up.

    Nothings perfect, but as my wife gets 0.5 Gig download per month with her Vodaphone contract, I use her Nokia as a modem, not always fast, but useful when I cant get it for free. This data was given free in addition to her mins and texts.

    We also use Vodafone family, at 5 per month we get free calls between 4 Vodafone numbers, means the girls can always call us at no cost, so even though they haven't got credit they can call us. However, that's not always an advantage!!
    Pete,

    Bigpeetee

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