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Old 02-07-2010, 12:05 AM   #1
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Default WIFI Antennas

Any one have any suggestions? I tried a radiolab,,,had to send it back
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: WIFI Antennas

One thing for sure it the Realtek software RTL8187 in not compatable with Mac OS X 10.6.2. I've modified my Wineguard TV antenna to mount my omni directional antenna to. So it stores flat on the roof of the "B" and sticks away up when the TV antenna is deployed. I put booster lifting spring on the Winguard to off set the little extra weight. Pictures to follow. It can all be done for less then $200.00 or for less than price of a RadioLab.
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Old 05-31-2010, 10:39 PM   #3
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Default Re: WIFI Antennas

Which wifi antenna did you end up with?

I see these small desktop antennas on eBay that promise 12 dBi gain.......... they're like 3" x 4 or 5" and cost $10. I have trouble believing that. A two foot + long yagi style gives 16dBi gain.
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Old 06-02-2010, 01:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: WIFI Antennas

Please don't be offended by my query, but why would you need an additional WIFI antenna?
For general mobile access?
I can usually get connected from inside the B to a Starbucks router just with the netbook
antenna/transceiver. Same at most of the freeway rest areas that have free wifi.
If I'm near a hotel/motel with an open wifi connection, I can usually get connected
from a nearby parking lot.

I googled wifi antennas and read the Radiolabs suggestions and it all sounds a bit like snake
oil to me. I thought most of their suggestions were based on "ideal" conditions and they seemed
to caveat everything they recommended based on that (like "individual results may vary").

I also found a discussion of wifi access on another site. I found it sort of interesting.
http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/general ... range.html

Here's one that also looks interesting...I think it's a "yagi" style antenna.
http://www.cantenna.com/
I thought this one was funny in that they suggested you first check your wifi signal strength
using Netstumbler. If you can see a/the target router with your laptop/netbook using Netstumbler,
doesn't that tell you a wifi antenna is probably not necessary?
Anyway, sorry if I'm missing something here. Not meant to offend, just curious.
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Old 06-02-2010, 03:33 PM   #5
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Default Re: WIFI Antennas

I want it to pull in those weak signals when that is the only thing available. For instance, there is a wifi connection nearby that I usually only see at night. Too much interference during the day I guess. If you happened to pass through this area in the day you'd never even know it was there. I think a high gain antenna would let me see that one and connect during the day.
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Old 06-02-2010, 03:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: WIFI Antennas

The Cantenna probably works as advertised.

Wilton did lots of experimenting with homemade can antennas and got good results.

http://windsurf.mediaforte.com/wifi/wifi_antenna.html

http://windsurf.mediaforte.com/wifi/wifi.html

http://windsurf.mediaforte.com/wifi/Alf ... na_Testing
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: WIFI Antennas

"there's a sucker born every minute"

Hey, I resemble that remark

I just bought two antennas on eBay from China. One 10-16dbi omni-directional and one 16dbi yagi style. Total spent $30 - delivered to my door.

I either donated $30 or will get something that works. Either way I'll report back.

Wish me luck!
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Old 06-25-2010, 06:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: WIFI Antennas

I think the cantennas look believable. Functional, is a different animal.
I'm not doubting they can improve your chances a bit, but there's times
you can be next to the router/access point and can't get a signal.
I would be curious to know how your new purchases work out.
Oh, btw, good luck!!!
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Old 06-25-2010, 10:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: WIFI Antennas

I got the two wifi antennas. I pretty well threw away $30

The roughly 18 inch tall 10-16dbi omni-directional is no better than the 4 or 5 inch D-Link antenna that came with the card. It might even be worse. On my wife's PC the signal strength actually dropped one bar with the new antenna. It was less than $10 delivered to my door. What did I expect?

The 16dbi yagi style might be better. At least it is not worse. I was in my basement when I did the testing. I will try it outdoors when I have time. It is very directional.
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Old 06-26-2010, 05:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: WIFI Antennas

I wonder if a more parabolic dish style might work better. Sorta like the cantennas.
You might be able to place your D-link antenna at the focal point somehow.
I think there are some ExpressVu, Dish Net, or Directv portables that might do the trick
(some are fairly cheap I think from when I was trying to figure out portable satellite for the van).
Kinda like the sound amplifying dishes you see them using on the sidelines at a CFL
or NFL game or other sporting events to pick up the on-field sounds and noise.
Of course, you'd need to know where the wireless router or base access point was physically
located, to aim the thing.
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Old 06-27-2010, 12:07 AM   #11
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Default Re: WIFI Antennas

A dish would work great. I don't know how to figure out the focal point though.
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Old 07-04-2010, 04:58 AM   #12
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Default Re: WIFI Antennas

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
A dish would work great. I don't know how to figure out the focal point though.
Voila!
http://www.satsig.net/focal-length-parabolic-dish.htm
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Old 07-04-2010, 01:08 PM   #13
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Default Re: WIFI Antennas

Thanks Mike. Someday I will play around more with this stuff. I have a small dish in the basement doing nothing........
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Old 07-04-2010, 01:11 PM   #14
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Default Re: WIFI Antennas

Here's a link to inSSIDer:

http://www.metageek.net/products/inssider

Quote:
inSSIDer

Genuine geeks, whether professional or casual, need Wi-Fi tools that help troubleshoot WLAN networks. With inSSIDer, MetaGeek has created a gift that keeps on giving. Our award-winning, open-source Wi-Fi scanner software, inSSIDer, is an alternative to network scanners like NetStumbler. One big difference: inSSIDer actually works with Windows Vista, Windows 7, and 64-bit PCs.

Did we mention that it's FREE? you can download inSSIDer today for free and level-up your network scanning and troubleshooting capabilities. Once you give inSSIDer a try, please help us spread the word to the farthest reaches of Geekdom by telling your friends about MetaGeek's free Wi-Fi scanner software that works with the current generation of Windows operating systems.
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Old 07-04-2010, 04:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: WIFI Antennas

I've tried Netstumbler, and frankly can't figure out what it's really good for.
Do you use it at all, and why or for what?
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:25 PM   #16
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Default Re: WIFI Antennas

inSSIDer is very much like Netstumbler.

I use it for testing my antennas. You can have the programs scan continuously for wifi signals. It a lot easier than repeatedly clicking refresh if you using a directional antenna.
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Old 07-04-2010, 11:21 PM   #17
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Default Re: WIFI Antennas

Is it possible to get your pc/laptop to try to connect to a wifi network it finds,
using some built in tool in Netstumbler? Or is it a tool to find a network, then quickly hit
refresh on your laptop to see if you can then connect to it?
I'll download a copy and install it later and mess around with it.

Or does Netstumbler have an auto-refresh to scan more often for nearby wifi signals?
(I can't remember, as I uninstalled NS a while ago after not really finding it much use)
I guess that would be a nice feature to have built into the laptop itself.
So if somebody fires up their router as you pass by, you'd see it? (Ours is on all the time).
One thing I did notice about NS, is that even though I have my wifi router set to not
broadcast the SSID, Netstumbler sees it's name anyway. And we also have the access encryption
enabled, so I'm not sure how it figures it out.
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:25 AM   #18
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Default Re: WIFI Antennas

I don't think either program gives you the option to connect to networks you find. That would be useful. I use the tool built into Windows to connect to a network.
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:43 AM   #19
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Default Re: WIFI Antennas

Me too. I just refresh and scan and connect if I can using the laptop network scanner.
I see NS has some sort of GPS thing built in, but I can't figure out how, or if, it works.
That would be a bonus, for pointing you in the right direction if it finds a wifi source.
A GPS compass for aiming the dish or cantenna or whatever.
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