View Full Version : Wi-fi antennas. Send and receive
03-25-2005, 10:01 AM
Online shopping site is selling antennas for wireless access points, routers and such.
They are cheap, that's nice. However, can the same kind of antenna be used to extend the range on the receiving end? Do antennas work that way? If the cable ends of the antenna can be attached to receiving end, would that represent any risk to the rest of the equipment? I'm no e.e. or anything (obviously), but I'm thinking that the signal leaving the sending antenna would be picked up farther away by the receiving antenna if they were essentially the same.
03-25-2005, 10:22 AM
It's a mixed bag of answers.
A stronger antenna (more gain) on the Router will have both increased sending, and reception gains.
You could add more gain by replacing the antenna on the laptop/PC/other gear... if the antenna on that piece of equipment was designed to be replaced.
Gain is cumulative.
The designs of antennas can be omnidirectional, or directional, depending on design, but in most cases of this type of gear, it's omnidirectional.
All that said, you could have some "technical" (legal) issues with maximum "Effective" power, which is calculated by the actual power applied to the antenna times (x) gain. There is a legal limit, which I've lost track of in the MANY years since I activly played with wireless networking (I did this professionally before any standards were developed).
From a work/not work perspective, if the connectors are the same, and it's designed for the frequency range of your equipment, then you are probably safe. This is the line you were probably looking for in the first place.
03-25-2005, 11:14 AM
If you can put higher-gain antennas on both the AP and the client devices (ie: on the wireless router and your laptop) you'll be better off.
Instead of the router blasting out signal and having to "listen" harder to the laptop, you end up with both devices putting out a more or less normal transmit power. On the other hand, most laptops with built-in WiFi, and most WiFi cards do not have any ability to have an external antenna connected.
What are you trying to accomplish? Do you want to blanket your home with WiFi so you can use a laptop in any room, or do you want to target a specific area?
03-25-2005, 06:31 PM
The intent is.... well, yeah, blanket the house with signal. And yard too. Currently, the wireless router (sans newly ordered antenna) is in the master bedroom. Mrs meanoldman doesn't like to see all those expletive wires. Therefore, I want to move the router/access point to some out of the way location, like the basement. There's not much I can do with the laptops, either they will connect to the with the new arrangement or they won't. But I've also got some desktops around the house using wireless. Now there, I could add an antenna if the pc's won't get all wonking.
For plain surfing it won't make much diff..... but if I set up an in home game server, connect speed and latency etc will make a difference in how often my kid can kill me.
03-26-2005, 01:09 PM
You may need to get a repeater to cover that much territory. Generally, you just stick them out near the edge of your coverage, do a little setup (tell it the name of your network and the encryption keys) and off you go. All they need is electricity.
03-27-2005, 08:59 AM
You can also get a powerline extender for the access point, like this (http://www.computers4sure.com/product.asp?productid=2042575&affid=10000483).
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