Beginner needs help

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

I'll soon be traveling in my motor home and want to try WiFi but I am a
total beginner.

I want a high gain external antenna. I can attach the antenna to my TV
antenna so it rotates, but I have no control over vertical or horizontal
rotation. Do some WiFi locations use vertical polarization and other
horizontal polarization? Any recommendations?

I want high power and am looking at the Senao / Engenius NL-2511 CD+EXT2
card. Is this a good choice? Any other recommendations?

I think I saw some software that helps locate WiFi locations. Is there any
free software? Or recommendations?

Thanks for any help,

Dennis
20 answers Last reply
More about beginner help
  1. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Most use vertical polarization. The Engenius is a 200mw card which is 23db
    so the max legal antenna would be a 13dbi = 36 or 4 watts for a point to
    point configuration. The 200mw is really your transmit power and what you
    are going to be interested in mostly is receive power so I would go for a
    bit higher gain antenna and a bit less radio. If you want to really get it
    going try one of these http://www.moonblinkwifi.com/pd_ydi_24.cfm with a
    100mw radio = 34 db. Problem is, yoou might not want to drive around with it
    up....:0). Orinoco are a really good card too.

    Netstumbler is probaly the software you want......its free


    "Dennis Vogel" <dvogel@sprynet.com> wrote in message
    news:Xx8dd.1168$5i5.242@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
    > I'll soon be traveling in my motor home and want to try WiFi but I am a
    > total beginner.
    >
    > I want a high gain external antenna. I can attach the antenna to my TV
    > antenna so it rotates, but I have no control over vertical or horizontal
    > rotation. Do some WiFi locations use vertical polarization and other
    > horizontal polarization? Any recommendations?
    >
    > I want high power and am looking at the Senao / Engenius NL-2511 CD+EXT2
    > card. Is this a good choice? Any other recommendations?
    >
    > I think I saw some software that helps locate WiFi locations. Is there any
    > free software? Or recommendations?
    >
    > Thanks for any help,
    >
    > Dennis
    >
    >
    >
  2. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On Tue, 19 Oct 2004 13:21:59 GMT, "Dennis Vogel" <dvogel@sprynet.com>
    wrote:

    >I'll soon be traveling in my motor home and want to try WiFi but I am a
    >total beginner.

    Welcome to "Learn by Destroying". You've come to the right place.

    >I want a high gain external antenna.

    Why? Are you going for the DX distance record? Perhaps you expect to
    find yourself too far from the hot spot? High gain antennas are a big
    help, but have some limitations. The big one is that they require
    fairly low loss coax cables and weird "pigtail" adapters. Low loss
    implies either fairly short thin cables, or longer big fat inflexible
    ugly cables.

    >I can attach the antenna to my TV
    >antenna so it rotates, but I have no control over vertical or horizontal
    >rotation. Do some WiFi locations use vertical polarization and other
    >horizontal polarization? Any recommendations?

    Yes, but most of the hot spots are vertically polarized. Horizontal
    polarization tends to used by point to point links (in order to
    minimize interference with other users).

    >I want high power and am looking at the Senao / Engenius NL-2511 CD+EXT2
    >card. Is this a good choice? Any other recommendations?

    Maybe you are going for the distance record. Yes, the Senao cards are
    quiet good on both the power output and receiver sensitivity. The
    offer a suitable connector for attaching a pigtail, coax, and then
    antenna. However, you have a problem. Your radio and antenna are
    going to be rather seperated by many feet of coax. That's very lossy.
    You may find that all the money you spent getting a high power radio
    is wasted in the coax loss. The antenna gain can help recover some of
    that, but methinks keeping the loss low would be best.

    The NL-2511 CD+EXT2 is a PCMCIA card which will need to used in a
    laptop. Do you have a laptop? Visualize a 1ft piece of 1/8"D
    flexible coax cable coming out of the PCMCIA card, connecting to a
    1/2"Dia LMR-400 stiff coax cable going to the roof. Do you really
    want that?

    Methink you find a USB radio more useful. Instead of a big fat lossy
    coax cable run to the roof, you have a considerably smaller USB cable.
    The official maximum run for USB is 16ft which methinks should be
    sufficient. The radio would be mounted in some kind of waterproof
    package (plastic electrical outdoor box). The RF will go right
    through the plastic box, so no need for an extra antenna. You may
    need to solder a pigtail to the radio if you insist on a high gain
    antanna. The big advantage of USB is that the radios are cheaper than
    other forms.

    If 16ft or the insipid power output is an issue, there are also
    ethernet connected radios. (WAP54G, DWL900AP+, DWL-2100AP, etc) that
    have a "client bridge" mode. There's also a class of device called
    "game adapters" that will do the same thing. Instead of USB cable,
    you have an ethernet cable. The boxes usually (not always) have
    external RF connectors that will go to your high gain antenna. You'll
    need to supply power to the box, usually via a PoE adapter or just
    with a seperate pair of wires to the power connector. As before, some
    repackaging will be required.

    You can also buy pre-packaged antenna/radio combinations designed for
    outdoor use. See:
    http://www.ydi.com/products/wireless-internet.php
    in the Client Premisis Equipment section. These are rather expensive
    which is why many users roll their own.
    http://www.sveasoft.com/articles/armored/
    (this is actually an access point, not a client radio, but the
    construction and technology are similar).

    >I think I saw some software that helps locate WiFi locations. Is there any
    >free software? Or recommendations?

    I'll assume Windoze as Mac and Linux users usually specify what OS
    they're using.
    http://www.netstumbler.com
    http://www.netstumbler.org


    --
    Jeff Liebermann jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    Santa Cruz CA 95060 AE6KS 831-336-2558
  3. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Thanks Jeff, a lot of good information. Thanks to Techmeister too.

    Dennis


    On Tue, 19 Oct 2004 13:21:59 GMT, "Dennis Vogel" <dvogel@sprynet.com>
    wrote:

    >I'll soon be traveling in my motor home and want to try WiFi but I am a
    >total beginner.

    Welcome to "Learn by Destroying". You've come to the right place.

    >I want a high gain external antenna.

    Why? Are you going for the DX distance record? Perhaps you expect to
    find yourself too far from the hot spot? High gain antennas are a big
    help, but have some limitations. The big one is that they require
    fairly low loss coax cables and weird "pigtail" adapters. Low loss
    implies either fairly short thin cables, or longer big fat inflexible
    ugly cables.

    >I can attach the antenna to my TV
    >antenna so it rotates, but I have no control over vertical or horizontal
    >rotation. Do some WiFi locations use vertical polarization and other
    >horizontal polarization? Any recommendations?

    Yes, but most of the hot spots are vertically polarized. Horizontal
    polarization tends to used by point to point links (in order to
    minimize interference with other users).

    >I want high power and am looking at the Senao / Engenius NL-2511 CD+EXT2
    >card. Is this a good choice? Any other recommendations?

    Maybe you are going for the distance record. Yes, the Senao cards are
    quiet good on both the power output and receiver sensitivity. The
    offer a suitable connector for attaching a pigtail, coax, and then
    antenna. However, you have a problem. Your radio and antenna are
    going to be rather seperated by many feet of coax. That's very lossy.
    You may find that all the money you spent getting a high power radio
    is wasted in the coax loss. The antenna gain can help recover some of
    that, but methinks keeping the loss low would be best.

    The NL-2511 CD+EXT2 is a PCMCIA card which will need to used in a
    laptop. Do you have a laptop? Visualize a 1ft piece of 1/8"D
    flexible coax cable coming out of the PCMCIA card, connecting to a
    1/2"Dia LMR-400 stiff coax cable going to the roof. Do you really
    want that?

    Methink you find a USB radio more useful. Instead of a big fat lossy
    coax cable run to the roof, you have a considerably smaller USB cable.
    The official maximum run for USB is 16ft which methinks should be
    sufficient. The radio would be mounted in some kind of waterproof
    package (plastic electrical outdoor box). The RF will go right
    through the plastic box, so no need for an extra antenna. You may
    need to solder a pigtail to the radio if you insist on a high gain
    antanna. The big advantage of USB is that the radios are cheaper than
    other forms.

    If 16ft or the insipid power output is an issue, there are also
    ethernet connected radios. (WAP54G, DWL900AP+, DWL-2100AP, etc) that
    have a "client bridge" mode. There's also a class of device called
    "game adapters" that will do the same thing. Instead of USB cable,
    you have an ethernet cable. The boxes usually (not always) have
    external RF connectors that will go to your high gain antenna. You'll
    need to supply power to the box, usually via a PoE adapter or just
    with a seperate pair of wires to the power connector. As before, some
    repackaging will be required.

    You can also buy pre-packaged antenna/radio combinations designed for
    outdoor use. See:
    http://www.ydi.com/products/wireless-internet.php
    in the Client Premisis Equipment section. These are rather expensive
    which is why many users roll their own.
    http://www.sveasoft.com/articles/armored/
    (this is actually an access point, not a client radio, but the
    construction and technology are similar).

    >I think I saw some software that helps locate WiFi locations. Is there
    any
    >free software? Or recommendations?

    I'll assume Windoze as Mac and Linux users usually specify what OS
    they're using.
    http://www.netstumbler.com
    http://www.netstumbler.org


    --
    Jeff Liebermann jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    Santa Cruz CA 95060 AE6KS 831-336-2558
  4. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Jeff, thanks again. I'm starting over. Sounds like I need a USB box and
    about 10 or 12 feet of USB connector.

    I can put the USB box in a cabinet just inches from the roof and a fixed
    antenna. From what you say it sounds like that would work a lot better.

    Can you recommend a decent vertical antenna?

    Can you recommend a USB WiFi box? And where to purchase these items?

    Dennis


    >
    > >I'll soon be traveling in my motor home and want to try WiFi but I am a
    > >total beginner.
    >
    > Welcome to "Learn by Destroying". You've come to the right place.
    >
    > >I want a high gain external antenna.
    >
    > Why? Are you going for the DX distance record? Perhaps you expect to
    > find yourself too far from the hot spot? High gain antennas are a big
    > help, but have some limitations. The big one is that they require
    > fairly low loss coax cables and weird "pigtail" adapters. Low loss
    > implies either fairly short thin cables, or longer big fat inflexible
    > ugly cables.
    >
    > >I can attach the antenna to my TV
    > >antenna so it rotates, but I have no control over vertical or horizontal
    > >rotation. Do some WiFi locations use vertical polarization and other
    > >horizontal polarization? Any recommendations?
    >
    > Yes, but most of the hot spots are vertically polarized. Horizontal
    > polarization tends to used by point to point links (in order to
    > minimize interference with other users).
    >
    > >I want high power and am looking at the Senao / Engenius NL-2511 CD+EXT2
    > >card. Is this a good choice? Any other recommendations?
    >
    > Maybe you are going for the distance record. Yes, the Senao cards are
    > quiet good on both the power output and receiver sensitivity. The
    > offer a suitable connector for attaching a pigtail, coax, and then
    > antenna. However, you have a problem. Your radio and antenna are
    > going to be rather seperated by many feet of coax. That's very lossy.
    > You may find that all the money you spent getting a high power radio
    > is wasted in the coax loss. The antenna gain can help recover some of
    > that, but methinks keeping the loss low would be best.
    >
    > The NL-2511 CD+EXT2 is a PCMCIA card which will need to used in a
    > laptop. Do you have a laptop? Visualize a 1ft piece of 1/8"D
    > flexible coax cable coming out of the PCMCIA card, connecting to a
    > 1/2"Dia LMR-400 stiff coax cable going to the roof. Do you really
    > want that?
    >
    > Methink you find a USB radio more useful. Instead of a big fat lossy
    > coax cable run to the roof, you have a considerably smaller USB cable.
    > The official maximum run for USB is 16ft which methinks should be
    > sufficient. The radio would be mounted in some kind of waterproof
    > package (plastic electrical outdoor box). The RF will go right
    > through the plastic box, so no need for an extra antenna. You may
    > need to solder a pigtail to the radio if you insist on a high gain
    > antanna. The big advantage of USB is that the radios are cheaper than
    > other forms.
    >
    > If 16ft or the insipid power output is an issue, there are also
    > ethernet connected radios. (WAP54G, DWL900AP+, DWL-2100AP, etc) that
    > have a "client bridge" mode. There's also a class of device called
    > "game adapters" that will do the same thing. Instead of USB cable,
    > you have an ethernet cable. The boxes usually (not always) have
    > external RF connectors that will go to your high gain antenna. You'll
    > need to supply power to the box, usually via a PoE adapter or just
    > with a seperate pair of wires to the power connector. As before, some
    > repackaging will be required.
    >
    > You can also buy pre-packaged antenna/radio combinations designed for
    > outdoor use. See:
    > http://www.ydi.com/products/wireless-internet.php
    > in the Client Premisis Equipment section. These are rather expensive
    > which is why many users roll their own.
    > http://www.sveasoft.com/articles/armored/
    > (this is actually an access point, not a client radio, but the
    > construction and technology are similar).
    >
    > >I think I saw some software that helps locate WiFi locations. Is there
    any
    > >free software? Or recommendations?
    >
    > I'll assume Windoze as Mac and Linux users usually specify what OS
    > they're using.
    > http://www.netstumbler.com
    > http://www.netstumbler.org
    >
    >
    > --
    > Jeff Liebermann jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    > 150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    > Santa Cruz CA 95060 AE6KS 831-336-2558
  5. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Don't put the USB device in a "box" made of wood - just plastic would be OK.
    but you want it positioned with the least amount of "stuff" - wood, RV
    shell, cabinets, etc - between the antenna and the signal. (That includes
    trees between you and the access Point.)

    You can get powered USB extensions that allow you to go up to 80 feet or so
    with "active USB cabling"
    http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code=50143653&pfp=BROWSE

    Consider getting a USB adapter that also allows for an optional external
    antenna. That way you could add on an external antenna if necessary. Or you
    could buy a less expensive USB adapter initially and if it does not prove
    successful, dump it and get one allowing an external antenna.
    http://www.buffalotech.com/products/product-detail.php?productid=45&categoryid=7

    Of course, if you go with an external antenna, you want to minimize the coax
    length to reduce power loss. Suggest you look at pigtails and antennas at
    www.fab-corp.com

    Now if you wanted to go low-cost and low-tech, you could configure a DIY
    "tin cantenna" - a do-it-yourself antenna made out of a relatively low cost
    USB dongle (such as the 802.11b D-Link DWL-122 - about $10 if you shop
    around - w/ 7 ft extension cable.) and an old empty 11 oz coffee can. Of
    course you have to do some positioning if the signal is weak, but if the
    signal is weak, you will do that anyway. (Maybe a DIYtripod or portable
    holder for when you place it out a top vent??)
    http://members.cox.net/tulsaalstons/my-tin-cantenna2.htm

    http://members.cox.net/tulsaalstons/Documents/Tin%20Cantenna%20Made%20With%20Compact%20-%20Dongle%20USB%20Wireless%20Adapter%20.htm

    Good luck!


    --
    Bob Alston

    bobalston9 AT aol DOT com
    "Dennis Vogel" <dvogel@sprynet.com> wrote in message
    news:bhcdd.1358$5i5.850@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
    > Jeff, thanks again. I'm starting over. Sounds like I need a USB box and
    > about 10 or 12 feet of USB connector.
    >
    > I can put the USB box in a cabinet just inches from the roof and a fixed
    > antenna. From what you say it sounds like that would work a lot better.
    >
    > Can you recommend a decent vertical antenna?
    >
    > Can you recommend a USB WiFi box? And where to purchase these items?
    >
    > Dennis
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >>
    >> >I'll soon be traveling in my motor home and want to try WiFi but I am a
    >> >total beginner.
    >>
    >> Welcome to "LearnbyDestroying"
    >>
    >> >I want a high gain external antenna.
    >>
    >> Why? Are you going for the DX distance record? Perhaps you expect to
    >> find yourself too far from the hot spot? High gain antennas are a big
    >> help, but have some limitations. The big one is that they require
    >> fairly low loss coax cables and weird "pigtail" adapters. Low loss
    >> implies either fairly short thin cables, or longer big fat inflexible
    >> ugly cables.
    >>
    >> >I can attach the antenna to my TV
    >> >antenna so it rotates, but I have no control over vertical or horizontal
    >> >rotation. Do some WiFi locations use vertical polarization and other
    >> >horizontal polarization? Any recommendations?
    >>
    >> Yes, but most of the hot spots are vertically polarized. Horizontal
    >> polarization tends to used by point to point links (in order to
    >> minimize interference with other users).
    >>
    >> >I want high power and am looking at the Senao / Engenius NL-2511 CD+EXT2
    >> >card. Is this a good choice? Any other recommendations?
    >>
    >> Maybe you are going for the distance record. Yes, the Senao cards are
    >> quiet good on both the power output and receiver sensitivity. The
    >> offer a suitable connector for attaching a pigtail, coax, and then
    >> antenna. However, you have a problem. Your radio and antenna are
    >> going to be rather seperated by many feet of coax. That's very lossy.
    >> You may find that all the money you spent getting a high power radio
    >> is wasted in the coax loss. The antenna gain can help recover some of
    >> that, but methinks keeping the loss low would be best.
    >>
    >> The NL-2511 CD+EXT2 is a PCMCIA card which will need to used in a
    >> laptop. Do you have a laptop? Visualize a 1ft piece of 1/8"D
    >> flexible coax cable coming out of the PCMCIA card, connecting to a
    >> 1/2"Dia LMR-400 stiff coax cable going to the roof. Do you really
    >> want that?
    >>
    >> Methink you find a USB radio more useful. Instead of a big fat lossy
    >> coax cable run to the roof, you have a considerably smaller USB cable.
    >> The official maximum run for USB is 16ft which methinks should be
    >> sufficient. The radio would be mounted in some kind of waterproof
    >> package (plastic electrical outdoor box). The RF will go right
    >> through the plastic box, so no need for an extra antenna. You may
    >> need to solder a pigtail to the radio if you insist on a high gain
    >> antanna. The big advantage of USB is that the radios are cheaper than
    >> other forms.
    >>
    >> If 16ft or the insipid power output is an issue, there are also
    >> ethernet connected radios. (WAP54G, DWL900AP+, DWL-2100AP, etc) that
    >> have a "client bridge" mode. There's also a class of device called
    >> "game adapters" that will do the same thing. Instead of USB cable,
    >> you have an ethernet cable. The boxes usually (not always) have
    >> external RF connectors that will go to your high gain antenna. You'll
    >> need to supply power to the box, usually via a PoE adapter or just
    >> with a seperate pair of wires to the power connector. As before, some
    >> repackaging will be required.
    >>
    >> You can also buy pre-packaged antenna/radio combinations designed for
    >> outdoor use. See:
    >> http://www.ydi.com/products/wireless-internet.php
    >> in the Client Premisis Equipment section. These are rather expensive
    >> which is why many users roll their own.
    >> http://www.sveasoft.com/articles/armored/
    >> (this is actually an access point, not a client radio, but the
    >> construction and technology are similar).
    >>
    >> >I think I saw some software that helps locate WiFi locations. Is there
    > any
    >> >free software? Or recommendations?
    >>
    >> I'll assume Windoze as Mac and Linux users usually specify what OS
    >> they're using.
    >> http://www.netstumbler.com
    >> http://www.netstumbler.org
    >>
    >>
    >> --
    >> Jeff Liebermann jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    >> 150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    >> Santa Cruz CA 95060 AE6KS 831-336-2558
    >
    >


    ---
    Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
    Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
    Version: 6.0.778 / Virus Database: 525 - Release Date: 10/15/2004
  6. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On Tue, 19 Oct 2004 17:37:11 GMT, "Dennis Vogel" <dvogel@sprynet.com>
    wrote:

    >Jeff, thanks again. I'm starting over. Sounds like I need a USB box and
    >about 10 or 12 feet of USB connector.

    Yeah, methinks that would would work. I still prefer the ethernet
    client radios instead of USB because of the ease of connecting
    external antennas. However, others have pointed out reflector type
    antennas (coffee cans, tuna cans, sheet aluminium, carboard covered
    with aluminium foil, etc). Lots of fun playing with antennas.

    >I can put the USB box in a cabinet just inches from the roof and a fixed
    >antenna. From what you say it sounds like that would work a lot better.

    Well, by "cabinet" I hope its something RF transparent (plastic, pvc,
    glass) and not wood, concrete, or anything that might get waterlogged.
    2.4GHz does not go through water or anything wet. However, that
    applies only if you use an internal (patch) antenna. If the antenna
    is external, whatever you want.

    >Can you recommend a decent vertical antenna?

    Sure, but you need to tell me how far you wanna go, over what kind of
    terrain, whether you have line of sight, and some clue as to hardware
    on both ends. They, we do a fade margin calculation:
    http://www.ydi.com/calculation/som.php
    to see how reliable the connection will be. 10dB is the absolute
    minimum fade margin. An omni antenna will be the easiest to deploy
    and install, but since you have a rotator, why not use it? Look at
    patch (panel) or reflector (dish) type antennas:
    http://www.fab-corp.com

    I have a few customers in trailer parks and have a little experience
    in making them work. The metal boxes are pure hell as they create
    reflections that cause multipath problems. I found that shooting
    across the trailer rooftops is a loser. The best results so far was
    hanging the radio in a nearby tree, about 4 ft above the roof line.
    That was a ethernet client radio, not USB as the cable would have been
    too long. I've had to use directional antennas not to get sufficient
    gain to talk to a distant access point, but to reduce or eliminate the
    reflections caused by bounces from behind the antenna. An omni will
    pickup these reflections with equal strength, while a directional
    antenna will pickup almost nothing from behind the antenna pattern.

    >Can you recommend a USB WiFi box? And where to purchase these items?

    I'm not sure what to recommend. I prefer the tiny "dongle" type of
    USB radios because they are easy to modify and install at the focus of
    a dish, coffee can, or other reflector. The larger boxes are easier
    to mount on a roof (inside a plastic NEMA box), but require soldering
    to attach a pigtail. I have a Netgear MA-101 USB radio that I use
    with Netstumbler in the car to map access points. I also have a Dlink
    DWL-122 for the same purpose. I really can't recommend any USB radio
    simply because I don't use them enough to get sufficient experience.


    --
    Jeff Liebermann jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    Santa Cruz CA 95060 AE6KS 831-336-2558
  7. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Jeff - A bit more about what "ethernet" connected radios can be used in
    place of USB? Any that easily (no soldering) support external antennas

    --
    Bob Alston

    bobalston9 AT aol DOT com
    "Jeff Liebermann" <jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us> wrote in message
    news:1tvan01gsdvchdpksmpcncadchf16hd44k@4ax.com...
    > On Tue, 19 Oct 2004 17:37:11 GMT, "Dennis Vogel" <dvogel@sprynet.com>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>Jeff, thanks again. I'm starting over. Sounds like I need a USB box and
    >>about 10 or 12 feet of USB connector.
    >
    > Yeah, methinks that would would work. I still prefer the ethernet
    > client radios instead of USB because of the ease of connecting
    > external antennas. However, others have pointed out reflector type
    > antennas (coffee cans, tuna cans, sheet aluminium, carboard covered
    > with aluminium foil, etc). Lots of fun playing with antennas.
    >
    >>I can put the USB box in a cabinet just inches from the roof and a fixed
    >>antenna. From what you say it sounds like that would work a lot better.
    >
    > Well, by "cabinet" I hope its something RF transparent (plastic, pvc,
    > glass) and not wood, concrete, or anything that might get waterlogged.
    > 2.4GHz does not go through water or anything wet. However, that
    > applies only if you use an internal (patch) antenna. If the antenna
    > is external, whatever you want.
    >
    >>Can you recommend a decent vertical antenna?
    >
    > Sure, but you need to tell me how far you wanna go, over what kind of
    > terrain, whether you have line of sight, and some clue as to hardware
    > on both ends. They, we do a fade margin calculation:
    > http://www.ydi.com/calculation/som.php
    > to see how reliable the connection will be. 10dB is the absolute
    > minimum fade margin. An omni antenna will be the easiest to deploy
    > and install, but since you have a rotator, why not use it? Look at
    > patch (panel) or reflector (dish) type antennas:
    > http://www.fab-corp.com
    >
    > I have a few customers in trailer parks and have a little experience
    > in making them work. The metal boxes are pure hell as they create
    > reflections that cause multipath problems. I found that shooting
    > across the trailer rooftops is a loser. The best results so far was
    > hanging the radio in a nearby tree, about 4 ft above the roof line.
    > That was a ethernet client radio, not USB as the cable would have been
    > too long. I've had to use directional antennas not to get sufficient
    > gain to talk to a distant access point, but to reduce or eliminate the
    > reflections caused by bounces from behind the antenna. An omni will
    > pickup these reflections with equal strength, while a directional
    > antenna will pickup almost nothing from behind the antenna pattern.
    >
    >>Can you recommend a USB WiFi box? And where to purchase these items?
    >
    > I'm not sure what to recommend. I prefer the tiny "dongle" type of
    > USB radios because they are easy to modify and install at the focus of
    > a dish, coffee can, or other reflector. The larger boxes are easier
    > to mount on a roof (inside a plastic NEMA box), but require soldering
    > to attach a pigtail. I have a Netgear MA-101 USB radio that I use
    > with Netstumbler in the car to map access points. I also have a Dlink
    > DWL-122 for the same purpose. I really can't recommend any USB radio
    > simply because I don't use them enough to get sufficient experience.
    >
    >
    > --
    > Jeff Liebermann jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    > 150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    > Santa Cruz CA 95060 AE6KS 831-336-2558


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  8. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Dennis Vogel <dvogel@sprynet.com> wrote:
    > I'll soon be traveling in my motor home and want to try WiFi but I am a
    > total beginner.

    As an RVer in this area, you will find one of three situations:
    1- You are stopped near a McDonald's or Starbucks where the signal is strong
    enough that you don't need a high gain antenna.
    2- You are in a campground that provides WiFi in the park. Here an
    external antenna would be useful, not necessarily a high gain antenna.
    3- You are roadside, or in a campground with no WiFi.
    Without cooperation from the WiFi source, like a high gain antenna
    pointed in your direction, you are probably out of luck. Signal
    probably won't go past the limits of the RV park.

    #3 is a guess, and could collide with the experience of some
    signal poachers, but I suspect the range is no more than a half mile.

    #1 and #2 are both satisfied by a USB adapter, like Jeff suggests. Maybe
    permanently mounted outside, maybe just run out through the roof vent when
    you want it.

    #1 Starbucks or McDonald's require a subscription. #2 might be
    subscription, but is most likely pay-per-night. #2 might be expensive
    enough that you hang out at a McDonald's to get your internet fix every day
    or so.

    SBC/Yahoo just announced a $1.99 per month add-on for WiFi for their
    existing DSL customers which covers some McDonalds, but I see you are with
    Earthlink. If you have T-Mobile cellular, they have an add-on covering
    Starbucks.

    If you subscribe, you have some locator guides as to where to expect the
    next WiFi outlet. I used to stay at KOA Kampgrounds when travelling on
    ad-hoc vacations for the same reason. I could find a reasonable campground
    in roughly the area where I wanted to be the next night.
    http://www.koa.com/hotspotzz/index.htm shows wireless KOA sites, powered by
    http://www.hotspotzz.com/ which is a subscription service that has
    locations at KOA and some trendy coffee shops.
  9. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On Tue, 19 Oct 2004 16:57:38 -0500, "Bob Alston"
    <bobalston9NOSPAM@aol.com> wrote:

    >Jeff - A bit more about what "ethernet" connected radios can be used in
    >place of USB? Any that easily (no soldering) support external antennas?

    An "ethernet" connected radio is just a client radio. Many access
    points have client mode features (WAP11, DWL-900AP+, DWL-2100AP,
    WAP54G, etc). There are also the various "game adapters", but these
    require some care in selection. If they require the Ad-Hoc mode to do
    bridging, they may not have a client mode feature. I'm too lazy to do
    a survey of every possible client device, but if you have one in mind,
    I can RTFM and try to decide if it might work.

    The client mode bridges I listed above all have external antenna
    connectors (R-SMA, or R-TNC). It's easy enough to attach pigtail
    between the connector and an external antenna.

    I don't consider the lack of a connector to be an issue. Make or buy
    a pigtail from an N-connector and some thin coax (RG-188a/u or .141
    semi-rigid). Remove whatever claims to be an antenna and solder the
    coax end of the pigtail to where the antenna was connected.

    What do you have against soldering? If you can build your own
    antennas, you should have enough manual dexterity to do some
    soldering. Like everything else, it does take some practice.


    --
    Jeff Liebermann jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    Santa Cruz CA 95060 AE6KS 831-336-2558
  10. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Thanks everyone for the great help. I settled on a YDI USB-Ant 2.4GHz 18dBi
    Flat Panel USB Antenna.

    I'm hoping to get free Internet access from time to time in my travels. Once
    every three days will do.

    Dennis
  11. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Dennis Vogel <dvogel@sprynet.com> wrote:
    > Thanks everyone for the great help. I settled on a YDI USB-Ant 2.4GHz 18dBi
    > Flat Panel USB Antenna.

    $169.00 for the YDI? The mini-usb in a can would be less than $30.

    Hawking HWU54D Hi-Gain Wireless-G Directional USB 2.0 Network Adapter
    http://www.hawkingtech.com/prodSpec.php?ProdID=208
    HAI6SDP Directional 6dBi WiFi Antenna with a built in HWU54G Wireless-G
    USB2.0 Network Adapter is ~$60.

    > I'm hoping to get free Internet access from time to time in my travels. Once
    > every three days will do.

    Netstumbler would be your friend. Some libraries and some hotels offer
    free service to their guests. If I only wanted access for an hour or two
    every three days, I'd be inclined toward parking in Starbucks parking lots.


    --
    ---
    Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley (Lake County) CA USA 38.8-122.5
  12. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 00:16:23 +0000 (UTC),
    dold@XReXXBegin.usenet.us.com wrote:

    >Dennis Vogel <dvogel@sprynet.com> wrote:
    >> Thanks everyone for the great help. I settled on a YDI USB-Ant 2.4GHz 18dBi
    >> Flat Panel USB Antenna.

    >$169.00 for the YDI? The mini-usb in a can would be less than $30.

    Yeah, it's expensive, but it works. Let's play dollars and sense with
    the do it thyself method.

    USB radio $50 (Netgear WG111)
    USB extension cable 10ft $10
    18dBi panel antenna $50 (Fab-Corp)
    Outdoor NEMA 4 box $18
    Pigtail (RG-188 to N-male) $12
    Misc (mounting hardware) $10
    =====
    $150
    Close enough.

    >Hawking HWU54D Hi-Gain Wireless-G Directional USB 2.0 Network Adapter
    >http://www.hawkingtech.com/prodSpec.php?ProdID=208
    >HAI6SDP Directional 6dBi WiFi Antenna with a built in HWU54G Wireless-G
    >USB2.0 Network Adapter is ~$60.

    6dBi antenna gain is about what you'll get with a PCB substrate patch
    antenna. Even a coffee can is better than that. 8dBi is what an
    elevated patch antenna will deliver. 14dBi is about what you'll get
    with 4 of patch antennas on a panel. Would you put that Hawking radio
    on the roof of a camper? Waterproof?


    --
    Jeff Liebermann jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    Santa Cruz CA 95060 AE6KS 831-336-2558
  13. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    I talked to a salesman on the phone and they wanted $350.00. Another company
    wanted $279.00.

    I went to EBay and found one just ending and got it for $129.00 plus
    shipping, or about $140.00.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5725668229

    I'm very happy with the deal.

    Thanks again everyone for all the good information,

    Dennis


    >
    > >Dennis Vogel <dvogel@sprynet.com> wrote:
    > >> Thanks everyone for the great help. I settled on a YDI USB-Ant 2.4GHz
    18dBi
    > >> Flat Panel USB Antenna.
    >
    > >$169.00 for the YDI? The mini-usb in a can would be less than $30.
    >
    > Yeah, it's expensive, but it works. Let's play dollars and sense with
    > the do it thyself method.
    >
    > USB radio $50 (Netgear WG111)
    > USB extension cable 10ft $10
    > 18dBi panel antenna $50 (Fab-Corp)
    > Outdoor NEMA 4 box $18
    > Pigtail (RG-188 to N-male) $12
    > Misc (mounting hardware) $10
    > =====
    > $150
    > Close enough.
    >
    > >Hawking HWU54D Hi-Gain Wireless-G Directional USB 2.0 Network Adapter
    > >http://www.hawkingtech.com/prodSpec.php?ProdID=208
    > >HAI6SDP Directional 6dBi WiFi Antenna with a built in HWU54G Wireless-G
    > >USB2.0 Network Adapter is ~$60.
    >
    > 6dBi antenna gain is about what you'll get with a PCB substrate patch
    > antenna. Even a coffee can is better than that. 8dBi is what an
    > elevated patch antenna will deliver. 14dBi is about what you'll get
    > with 4 of patch antennas on a panel. Would you put that Hawking radio
    > on the roof of a camper? Waterproof?
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    > Jeff Liebermann jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    > 150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    > Santa Cruz CA 95060 AE6KS 831-336-2558
  14. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Dennis Vogel <dvogel@sprynet.com> wrote:
    > I went to EBay and found one just ending and got it for $129.00 plus
    > shipping, or about $140.00.

    > http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5725668229

    Interesting. The moonblink web site offers it for $169.
    ebay sales that conflict with the sellers own web site fascinate me.
    This looks like a continuing sale. There's another one open on ebay now.

    > I'm very happy with the deal.

    As Jeff added up the prices, I would agree, for your RV application.
    Neat, tidy, professional appearance. I would still prefer the $10
    solution, but then I'm not neat and tidy.

    This panel would be better on the front of the RV, rather than on the roof.
    It isn't one of the flat/round TV antennas popular for RV use. It is a
    panel antenna that wants to be vertical. Having it mounted on the front of
    the RV would allow you to point toward the source, like parking at
    McDonald's, facing the restaurant.

    It is noted as a "weatherproof" assembly. I wonder if it would be happy on
    the front of an RV driving into a rainstorm. It might need to be inside
    the front window.

    The documentation refers to Orinoco a few times, and the client looks like
    the Orinoco Client Manager. Good card, inside a USB box.

    --
    ---
    Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley (Lake County) CA USA 38.8-122.5
  15. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Hi Clarence,

    I'm going to mount it on the TV antenna boom. When I raise the antenna the
    panel will be vertical and I can rotate it.

    Dennis


    > > I went to EBay and found one just ending and got it for $129.00 plus
    > > shipping, or about $140.00.
    >
    > > http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5725668229
    >
    > Interesting. The moonblink web site offers it for $169.
    > ebay sales that conflict with the sellers own web site fascinate me.
    > This looks like a continuing sale. There's another one open on ebay now.
    >
    > > I'm very happy with the deal.
    >
    > As Jeff added up the prices, I would agree, for your RV application.
    > Neat, tidy, professional appearance. I would still prefer the $10
    > solution, but then I'm not neat and tidy.
    >
    > This panel would be better on the front of the RV, rather than on the
    roof.
    > It isn't one of the flat/round TV antennas popular for RV use. It is a
    > panel antenna that wants to be vertical. Having it mounted on the front
    of
    > the RV would allow you to point toward the source, like parking at
    > McDonald's, facing the restaurant.
    >
    > It is noted as a "weatherproof" assembly. I wonder if it would be happy
    on
    > the front of an RV driving into a rainstorm. It might need to be inside
    > the front window.
    >
    > The documentation refers to Orinoco a few times, and the client looks like
    > the Orinoco Client Manager. Good card, inside a USB box.
    >
    > --
    > ---
    > Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley (Lake County) CA USA 38.8-122.5
    >
  16. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Dennis Vogel <dvogel@sprynet.com> wrote:
    > I'm going to mount it on the TV antenna boom. When I raise the antenna the
    > panel will be vertical and I can rotate it.

    I was thinking about shopping for free wireless connections while you were
    driving down the road. Maybe it would work well enough while collapsed for
    that purpose. Netstumbler and a GPS can plot the locations of wireless
    hotspots onto a mapping program like Microsft Streets and Trips or Delorme
    Street Atlas.

    If it's mounted on an antenna mast, watch out for it being too close to the
    roof of the RV. That's quite a large reflector. Jeff could probably speak
    to required clearances. I think he made a comment earlier about shooting
    across the tops of mobile homes.

    ---
    Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley (Lake County) CA USA 38.8-122.5
  17. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    I'll remember that and mount it as high as possible. I use to mount my
    bag-phone directional antenna on the TV mast.

    My trusty 3 watt bag phone has almost never let me down in the last six
    years of traveling, but analog is going away and no one will program it
    anymore. But it was very slow anyway (but dependable).

    I definitely will be looking for free hot spots. I found one site that lists
    many locations. Any other hints on how to find them?

    Dennis


    > > I'm going to mount it on the TV antenna boom. When I raise the antenna
    the
    > > panel will be vertical and I can rotate it.
    >
    > I was thinking about shopping for free wireless connections while you were
    > driving down the road. Maybe it would work well enough while collapsed
    for
    > that purpose. Netstumbler and a GPS can plot the locations of wireless
    > hotspots onto a mapping program like Microsft Streets and Trips or Delorme
    > Street Atlas.
    >
    > If it's mounted on an antenna mast, watch out for it being too close to
    the
    > roof of the RV. That's quite a large reflector. Jeff could probably
    speak
    > to required clearances. I think he made a comment earlier about shooting
    > across the tops of mobile homes.
    >
    > ---
    > Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley (Lake County) CA USA 38.8-122.5
    >
    >
  18. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Dennis Vogel <dvogel@sprynet.com> wrote:
    > I definitely will be looking for free hot spots. I found one site that lists
    > many locations. Any other hints on how to find them?

    Because they are free, the lists aren't maintained in as fastidious a
    fashion as a commercial list, but there are a few.
    A Google search for 802.11 free hotspot returns 207,000.

    Here are some I use.
    http://www.boingo.com/search.html
    http://www.ezgoal.com/hotspots/
    http://www.bbwexchange.com/mblast/mblast_portal.asp?hdnPortalID=CAWISPS
    (change CAWISPS to something else for non-California search)
    http://www.stayonline.net/hotels.php
  19. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    I just got the Hawking USB and the performance is impressive. I have
    used it outdoors in the rain simply putting it in a ziplock freezer
    bag- no problems.

    I tried this route because I like the idea of the antenna and the
    receiver being as close as possible and therefore having no loss of db
    on the cable or the cable connections.

    The Hawking gave me very close to double the strength of 3 other
    wireless USB adapters tested.

    Mike

    > >
    > > >Hawking HWU54D Hi-Gain Wireless-G Directional USB 2.0 Network Adapter
    > > >http://www.hawkingtech.com/prodSpec.php?ProdID=208
    > > >HAI6SDP Directional 6dBi WiFi Antenna with a built in HWU54G Wireless-G
    > > >USB2.0 Network Adapter is ~$60.
    > >
    > > 6dBi antenna gain is about what you'll get with a PCB substrate patch
    > > antenna. Even a coffee can is better than that. 8dBi is what an
    > > elevated patch antenna will deliver. 14dBi is about what you'll get
    > > with 4 of patch antennas on a panel. Would you put that Hawking radio
    > > on the roof of a camper? Waterproof?
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > --
    > > Jeff Liebermann jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    > > 150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    > > Santa Cruz CA 95060 AE6KS 831-336-2558
  20. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    And you can use USB extension cables to extend the distance with NO loss of
    signal, since it is digital on the USB cable.

    --
    Bob Alston

    bobalston9 AT aol DOT com
    "M. Im" <schoeps@earthlink.net> wrote in message
    news:e2a7a064.0410211415.7fcd644@posting.google.com...
    >I just got the Hawking USB and the performance is impressive. I have
    > used it outdoors in the rain simply putting it in a ziplock freezer
    > bag- no problems.
    >
    > I tried this route because I like the idea of the antenna and the
    > receiver being as close as possible and therefore having no loss of db
    > on the cable or the cable connections.
    >
    > The Hawking gave me very close to double the strength of 3 other
    > wireless USB adapters tested.
    >
    > Mike
    >
    >> >
    >> > >Hawking HWU54D Hi-Gain Wireless-G Directional USB 2.0 Network Adapter
    >> > >http://www.hawkingtech.com/prodSpec.php?ProdID=208
    >> > >HAI6SDP Directional 6dBi WiFi Antenna with a built in HWU54G
    >> > >Wireless-G
    >> > >USB2.0 Network Adapter is ~$60.
    >> >
    >> > 6dBi antenna gain is about what you'll get with a PCB substrate patch
    >> > antenna. Even a coffee can is better than that. 8dBi is what an
    >> > elevated patch antenna will deliver. 14dBi is about what you'll get
    >> > with 4 of patch antennas on a panel. Would you put that Hawking radio
    >> > on the roof of a camper? Waterproof?
    >> >
    >> >
    >> >
    >> > --
    >> > Jeff Liebermann jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    >> > 150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    >> > Santa Cruz CA 95060 AE6KS 831-336-2558


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