View Full Version : wireless broadband antenna
10th May 2012, 00:00
I have a marginal signal 15 kms distance from the towers in a sort of a hollow.
My phone signal improves if I go out on the deck, but browsing the net on my iPhone reminds me of dial up days.
My question is, does anyone have direct experience of improving a wireless broadband service through any type of antenna / router combination.
I don't stream movies and my music downloads are infrequent.
I have examined various schemes from an antenna on the tv pole connecter to a router with wifi for the smartphone to a USB stick extension antenna (wire type) to a simple extension USB connector with the USB stick hung in a window.
I don't want to go the whole hog if I don't have to and will progress through the options in order of expense.
10th May 2012, 08:31
ok, the cheapie extension result.
with the stick on a 3m extension cable and hung in the front window I get .6142mbps on a theoretical 1mbps on wireless. In the rear window I cant even connect, so this is an improvement...
Yeah, I can't be bovvered to post the photographs yet again of my home made reflector, - they've been here twice before - but get some polished aluminum sheet, cut a bit about 6" by 12", curve it roughly into a parabola section and fix it some 2"-3" behind the wifi antenna. In my case I shaped it to steer the mystic rays away from the front of the house (road passes there) and instead blast 'em across towards my bedroom where the activity takes place. The computation activity, that is, these days. Gave me a couple of extra bars on the smartphone.
Messing about with home-made reflectors and signal strength is almost as much pleasure as messing about in boats, but dryer.
P.S. I have a few surplus-to-requirements satellite dishes here, range in size from 60cms to 100cms (oval so offset), hanging the smartphone from the LNB mounting and pointing the dish towards our local town achieves amazingly increased responses even though the frequency is quite different.
10th May 2012, 15:41
Same ideas that I use
I have a one week problem each year using my vacation home without my normal ISP. So I try to find a friendly neighbor and suck off them (didn't work because they couldn't remember their router password).
I then attach my antenna to an extendable pole (tree trimmer) and move it arround my yard searching for my more distant neighbors without security to their wireless. Kind of catch as catch can. Disadvantage is the length of USB runs to my desktops inside my house, but it gets me by with PPRune access :)
Assuming wired Internet isn't available where you are, then the choice is between some kind of parabolic reflector behind a conventional antenna, or a Yagi-type if you can find one for sale for the right frequency band where you are.
They are available, and up on a pole pointing in the right direction will do a good job.
Height is important. Radio range in miles is approx 4/3 times square root of height in feet. Adjust for hills etc in the way.
10th May 2012, 17:05
High-tech wallpaper keeps neighbors from stealing Wi-Fi - msnNOW (http://now.msn.com/money/0510-wifi-blocking-wallpaper.aspx)
High-tech wallpaper keeps neighbors from stealing Wi-Fi
The French think of everything. Scientists in Grenoble have developed wallpaper (http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2012/05/wi-fi-blocking-wallpaper-protects-your-web-fortress-by-keeping-neighbors-out/) that keeps your Wi-Fi signal inside your house in the ultimate preemptive strike against neighborly Wi-Fi theft (other than simply setting a password, that is). The silver crystals that coat the paper are arranged to "block certain wireless frequencies," including that of a Wi-Fi router. If you'd rather forgo that effective, free password method we talked about earlier to cover your walls with this product, we totally understand -- we rather like the metallic snowflake effect ourselves. You'll just have to wait until it's available in 2013.
I wonder if this will work in my tinfoil style hat
10th May 2012, 17:22
Wifi blocking wallpaper has been available for the last 5 years from DuPont.
10th May 2012, 22:29
I can't get over the radical drift effect of this thread!
11th May 2012, 00:52
I see we are in the same general area of the empire. :ok:
It's all a tradeoff between convenience, effectiveness and cost. What you have achieved so far is a pretty good result. (My Huawei 169 seems to be unhappy with any USB extension cable beyond about 1 metre).
If your USB stick has provision for an external antenna input, you could connect either a mag base mobile phone antenna for the band your ISP uses (mine uses the Optus network), or even a small yagi type antenna to get the best possible (but probably most expensive) option.
I've used the first option with good results up at Rawnsley Park to get a usable signal from the Hawker cell. It still involves a hike up the hill but that's what I'm usually there for anyway. :).
PM me if you want to discuss specifics.
11th May 2012, 06:35
I just don't get the issue people have about "wi-fi theft" these days. All one has to do is use WPA encryption, use a long random password, and keep the password private.
As for antennas, a dandy set of designs is available:
Long Range Wi-Fi (http://www.ab9il.net/wlan-projects/wifi1.html)
Parabolic antennas using hacked satellite TV dishes, yagis, and an easy spiral on pvc tubing. Good for miles and miles.
Telephone service is another matter - who wants to hack an iphone to use an external antenna?
High-tech wallpaper keeps neighbors from stealing Wi-Fi
The only problem is that being French, the wallpaper will be in a zig-zag pattern in contrasting colours of bright blue, orange, greeen and red. Not only can't you steal the wifi, five minutes after entering the living room you have a violent migrane and can't see enough to steal anything.
This, BTW, is NOT a joke and is not insulting to the French (for whom I have great affection). It is just true.
Of course if you really want to improve your smartphone/wifi reception throughout your entire house, you just buy something like this at your local surplus equipment store:
and erect it on the opposite side of your house from a suitable but weak signal.
Planning permission ? naah......
11th May 2012, 20:16
I think it may have been a typing error but you missed out brown and beige from the mix, also that the ceilings and possibly the doors would have benefited from the improvements !
A TD I know but I might add that in this community here you can enter any house and see by the decor what nationality the owners are.
As a more serious question and a return to the thread, I wonder if anyone living near a large metal-clad building (a factory perhaps) finds it acts as a wifi reflector of sorts ?
11th May 2012, 21:16
hard to quantify, but my experience is that a metal clad (or metal framed) building is more likely to block both wifi and 3G signals
12th May 2012, 06:42
Well, Milo, in theory a metal clad/framed building would have that metal "earthed" (due to it being built on and into the ground) so that would turn it into a Faraday Cage of some sort. Signals would get out through windows and doors, but the metal would be likely to block the signal at every other angle. That's before we think of the signal attenuation due to it having to go through brick/concrete/stone walls.
PS. In THEORY, at exactly the right angle, you could reflect a signal off a metal clad building. Ain't going to be easy though.