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Please help - DIY directional antennas

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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December 29, 2008 1:48:16 AM

I am setting up a wifi system. I want to shoot the wifi signal about 1000 feet and want to try a DIY antenna.

I can find plenty of info on building parabolic antennas, but I don't fully understand how everything should hook up and what is needed in addition to the antennas. For example, I have a cable modem at the origination point. Is it simply a matter of hooking up a router to the modem and then hooking the antenna up to the router? And what about the destination point? Do I simply buy a second router, hook it up to the accepting antenna? Are there amplifiers or other components involved ?
Thanks

Anonymous
December 30, 2008 12:56:40 PM

The parabolic aerials should be substituted for the router and wireless adapter's existing aerials.

If you want to transmit router to router you will need models which support WDS (wireless distribution system)
December 30, 2008 2:42:18 PM

skewzme said:
I am setting up a wifi system. I want to shoot the wifi signal about 1000 feet and want to try a DIY antenna.

I can find plenty of info on building parabolic antennas, but I don't fully understand how everything should hook up and what is needed in addition to the antennas. For example, I have a cable modem at the origination point. Is it simply a matter of hooking up a router to the modem and then hooking the antenna up to the router? And what about the destination point? Do I simply buy a second router, hook it up to the accepting antenna? Are there amplifiers or other components involved ?
Thanks


You would rather do a bridge link for a reliable connection back to the cable modem. There are a number of ways to accomplish this and here is one of the inexpensive ways assuming you have LOS (Line of Sight). I personally like the Tranzeo product as its an all in one unit and you can ebay a pair pretty cheap.

1. HOME BASE
- Cable mode
- Router
- Tranzeo Bridge (All In 1)

2. RECEIVING END
- Switch
- Tranzeo Bridge (All In 1)

Assuming you have line of site and even if you dont at 1000 feet you could still have some luck depending on whats in your way ... The bridge link will expand your network edge to the receiving end in this example. Now there will be some configuration involved on the bridges, as you would expect. So check back and i will help you with this ...


Related resources
December 31, 2008 1:02:18 AM

Thanks for the replies.

gstefanick:

I have now cleared a path about 15 feet wide through the wooded area that separates the two houses and have a clear LOS. Is a 15 foot wide path sufficient?

Also, you say you can help me with configuration? How would we do that?
Thanks

December 31, 2008 1:37:26 AM

skewzme said:
Thanks for the replies.

gstefanick:

I have now cleared a path about 15 feet wide through the wooded area that separates the two houses and have a clear LOS. Is a 15 foot wide path sufficient?

Also, you say you can help me with configuration? How would we do that?
Thanks



Not likely, how high can you go? You need to be aware of the fresnel zone when doing wireless links.

The config is pretty easy and can be done over IM or via email.

check out this link to see what the bridge looks like

http://cwnp.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=4340
December 31, 2008 2:15:05 AM

Can't get over the trees - they're too tall and the destination point is at woods edge.
Let me further clarify the site:

Starting at the origination point, the signal would travel about 300 feet before entering the wooded area. This is where I have cleared the path, which as stated, is about 15, maybe 20 feet wide. The signal would have to travel the remaining 700 feet through this path.
Are there antennas that have narrow focus? Is there a way to determine the fresnel zone required based on the type of antenna used?
What about 900 mhz? Would this be an alternative in this situation?
Thanks

December 31, 2008 3:22:20 AM

skewzme said:
Can't get over the trees - they're too tall and the destination point is at woods edge.
Let me further clarify the site:

Starting at the origination point, the signal would travel about 300 feet before entering the wooded area. This is where I have cleared the path, which as stated, is about 15, maybe 20 feet wide. The signal would have to travel the remaining 700 feet through this path.
Are there antennas that have narrow focus? Is there a way to determine the fresnel zone required based on the type of antenna used?
What about 900 mhz? Would this be an alternative in this situation?
Thanks



Im thinking cheap unless you have deep pockets ... :)  Sure 900 is an option but can be pretty costly not to mention you will get 2 meg throughput, instead of a cheaper higher throughput option with going with a 2.4 or 5GHz solution.

You maybe fine, without an assessment hard to say for sure... The tranzeo's I recommended are an all in one unit limiting your cost exposure and installation efforts. You maybe fine with them. If not getting a deal on ebay for some cisco 350 bridges and high gain directionals will do the trick..

what is your budget?
December 31, 2008 11:09:27 AM

As for budget, my initial investigations led me to GNS Wireless, which offers 2.4 Ghz bridge kits starting at $379.00:
http://www.gnswireless.com/GNS1150_Wireless_Bridge.htm
and
http://www.gnswireless.com/GNS1140_Wireless_Bridge.htm

However, after reading about fresnel zones and my questionable LOS, I started looking at 900 Mhz options and they recommended this:

http://www.gnswireless.com/GNS1130_900Mhz.htm

(the tech support guy at GNS was very patient and helpful, but my very limited knowledge of the equipment concerned me)

The price quote for the 900 Mhz system was about $1000. I can and will spend that if necessary, but then I started reading about these guys building their own hi gain antenna's and started wondering if I could do this for less, which is what led me to post on this forum. Also, as you noted, Ebay is a great place to pick up used equipment, so I'd like to keep that open as a option as well.

If I could find someone such as yourself to help me do this - perhaps even help me search Ebay for the right equipment - I could afford to pay a small fee for online consulting and still spend less.
What do you think?
December 31, 2008 2:57:43 PM

I will be happy to help for FREE... hows that for a price! I was thinking and this may just work. If you are able to expand each bridge location to the max 300 feet of ethernet on both sides then your delta is just 400 feet! So if you ran cat5 from your home to the bridge to take up lets stay 250 feet and do the same on the other side.. is that doable? can you attach a pix of this 'path'?
December 31, 2008 3:53:26 PM

Great idea. It is possible.
Would I also have to run electrical power to supply each bridge location, or could that be done with POS?

December 31, 2008 3:56:10 PM

One other thing - can I get burial grade ethernet cable to run underground?
I will get the picture you asked for sometime today.
Thanks!
December 31, 2008 5:06:41 PM

I have a picture.
How do I post it?

December 31, 2008 5:46:11 PM

skewzme said:
Great idea. It is possible.
Would I also have to run electrical power to supply each bridge location, or could that be done with POS?



I might suggest the following for installation or mod as you see fit....

Home Depot Run
1) Purchase (2) 5 foot metal poles.
2) 1 Bag of quick crete
3) 1 Box or 700 ft of Outdoor Cat5 cable
- Dig a 2 foot hole and secure with quick crete. this will provide you a sounds foundation for the bridges.

No need for power at the pole at all. Your bridges will be powered by PoE. for a home design I would just dig a trench 2 feet down or so and run the outdoor cat5. Or you can spend the extra cash and place it in conduit.
December 31, 2008 5:46:49 PM

skewzme said:
I have a picture.
How do I post it?


send it to wirelesssguru@wirelesssguru.net


January 2, 2009 1:53:21 PM

you should be fine. puchase a pair of bridges and you should be good to go. before putting the poles in, i would test with the bridges first ...
January 2, 2009 2:13:05 PM

I assume you received the picture? If not let me know.
Also, my search on Ebay for Tranzeo bridges turned up about 20 items, most with different model numbers.
Can you give me a specific model number or link to a specific Ebay listing of the correct Tranzeo product I need?
Many thanks
Tim
January 3, 2009 2:04:49 AM

skewzme said:
I assume you received the picture? If not let me know.
Also, my search on Ebay for Tranzeo bridges turned up about 20 items, most with different model numbers.
Can you give me a specific model number or link to a specific Ebay listing of the correct Tranzeo product I need?
Many thanks
Tim


Tim, I would go ahead and purchase either the 2.4 or 5 GHz bridges. Thats a good price for an all in one bridge. I would just make sure they are 9+ dBi. Also make sure they come with the PoE injectors.
January 3, 2009 4:35:19 AM

Understood.
There's a pair on Ebay for $425.
January 3, 2009 12:26:27 PM

Ok, so if I'm following correctly, the 5a's are 5.8Ghz and the 6000 is 2.4 Ghz, correct?
Would either platform perform better than the other given my application and narrow frenzel zone?
Other contrasts or advantages between the two?
January 3, 2009 2:29:27 PM

skewzme said:
Ok, so if I'm following correctly, the 5a's are 5.8Ghz and the 6000 is 2.4 Ghz, correct?
Would either platform perform better than the other given my application and narrow frenzel zone?
Other contrasts or advantages between the two?


Tim,
I think in your application either will work fine. I would do the 5 GHz bridges if you had options. Just make sure these are set to factory default if you buy them from EBAY. If not, you cant reset them yourself unless you have the logon and pw. If someone changed it you are hosed. So may sure it states the logon and pw or they did a factory reset.
!