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Access Points vs. Antenna - Recomendation please

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Anonymous
May 31, 2004 1:50:24 AM

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

Hey,

A friend of mine just moved into a new house and his family asked me to set
it up for wireless access. They have 5 desktops and a couple of laptops.
The house is fairly large and is also three levels. They are using wireless
because they don't have any Cat 5/5e/6 strung and don't plan on putting any
in.

Based on the size of the house, a single router (even if placed in the
center of the house) would (probably) not be sufficient. So I see two
options. The first is to get wireless access points to act as repeaters and
place them throughout the house (they'll probably need 2-3). The other
option is to place an antenna somewhere in the house, which would act in a
similar manner to a cell for cellphones. This would allow the signal to
propogate throughout the house without having to worry about placing access
points and having someone accidentally unplug them.

Unfortunately, I have next to no experience with the antenna implementation
and was wondering if anyone had any pointers. The network will be 802.11b/g
(b only for backward compatibility, all of the computers will have 802.11g
PCI cards). A recommendation on the type of antenna, or where to get it,
would be helpful.

If you recommend going the other way, using repeaters, does anyone have a
recommendation on what has the best range and interoperability for routers
and access points? My experience with Linksys is that the range isn't
great. Buffalo seems to have ok range but the interface is horrible and
they don't seem to be too popular.

Thanks,
Adam
Anonymous
May 31, 2004 1:50:25 AM

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

On Sun, 30 May 2004 21:50:24 GMT, "Adam Steiner"
<adam@NOstudent-SPAMcomputers.THANKScom> wrote:

>Hey,
>
>A friend of mine just moved into a new house and his family asked me to set
>it up for wireless access. They have 5 desktops and a couple of laptops.
>The house is fairly large and is also three levels. They are using wireless
>because they don't have any Cat 5/5e/6 strung and don't plan on putting any
>in.
>
>Based on the size of the house, a single router (even if placed in the
>center of the house) would (probably) not be sufficient. So I see two
>options. The first is to get wireless access points to act as repeaters and
>place them throughout the house (they'll probably need 2-3). The other
>option is to place an antenna somewhere in the house, which would act in a
>similar manner to a cell for cellphones. This would allow the signal to
>propogate throughout the house without having to worry about placing access
>points and having someone accidentally unplug them.
>
>Unfortunately, I have next to no experience with the antenna implementation
>and was wondering if anyone had any pointers. The network will be 802.11b/g
>(b only for backward compatibility, all of the computers will have 802.11g
>PCI cards). A recommendation on the type of antenna, or where to get it,
>would be helpful.
>
>If you recommend going the other way, using repeaters, does anyone have a
>recommendation on what has the best range and interoperability for routers
>and access points? My experience with Linksys is that the range isn't
>great. Buffalo seems to have ok range but the interface is horrible and
>they don't seem to be too popular.
>
>Thanks,
>Adam

Just put two AP's in. I got a .11G AP and PC card package at
compusa.com for $60. Put one AP on channel 1 and the other on channel
11. Good antenna wire costs a lot but CAT5 to the upstairs AP is very
cheap. Use powerline networking to the remote AP if you can't run CAT5
to it.
Anonymous
May 31, 2004 1:50:25 AM

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

On Sun, 30 May 2004 21:50:24 GMT, "Adam Steiner"
<adam@NOstudent-SPAMcomputers.THANKScom> wrote:

>Based on the size of the house, a single router (even if placed in the
>center of the house) would (probably) not be sufficient.

The first thing I would do is put one in and test it.
Get one with a removable antenna like a Linksys or Dlink or others.
Test it.

If there is a problem you can add a bigger antenna like the ones Radio
Shack sells for $30. Any ham will tell you there is much more
performance to be had and a lot cheaper by improving antennas before
you do anything else.

If that's not sufficient (and I would guess it would be) then consider
adding more stuff. I have a cheapo Belkin Access point, I had a Dlink
wireless router before, both have good signal down the driveway and
out till the middle of the street. There is a power adjustment SNMP
hack for both of those, I have not found it necessary.

If there is a second story put it there if it doesn't work downstairs.
Put it up on a wall, higher is better normally.

Don't plan on more problems than you have. Just get on with it and
test it. Too many variables. You can't engineer it in advance.

BTW, as a matter of engineering, three access points on DSSS is the
maximum to have overlapping for good performance. I was in a
hospital last month, they had Cisco APs all over the place. I could
see 4 where I was standing, and they were on other floors too. They
were complaining about their new gee-whiz wireless network being slow.
Yeah, no kidding!!
Related resources
Anonymous
May 31, 2004 9:25:42 PM

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

"Steevo@my-deja.com" <steevo@my-deja.com> wrote in message
news:j85lb0tcsoujqsa10olpi25qkdtjun4n9f@4ax.com...
> On Sun, 30 May 2004 21:50:24 GMT, "Adam Steiner"
> <adam@NOstudent-SPAMcomputers.THANKScom> wrote:
>
> >Based on the size of the house, a single router (even if placed in the
> >center of the house) would (probably) not be sufficient.
>
> The first thing I would do is put one in and test it.
> Get one with a removable antenna like a Linksys or Dlink or others.
> Test it.
>
> If there is a problem you can add a bigger antenna like the ones Radio
> Shack sells for $30. Any ham will tell you there is much more
> performance to be had and a lot cheaper by improving antennas before
> you do anything else.
>
> If that's not sufficient (and I would guess it would be) then consider
> adding more stuff. I have a cheapo Belkin Access point, I had a Dlink
> wireless router before, both have good signal down the driveway and
> out till the middle of the street. There is a power adjustment SNMP
> hack for both of those, I have not found it necessary.
>
> If there is a second story put it there if it doesn't work downstairs.
> Put it up on a wall, higher is better normally.
>
> Don't plan on more problems than you have. Just get on with it and
> test it. Too many variables. You can't engineer it in advance.
>
> BTW, as a matter of engineering, three access points on DSSS is the
> maximum to have overlapping for good performance. I was in a
> hospital last month, they had Cisco APs all over the place. I could
> see 4 where I was standing, and they were on other floors too. They
> were complaining about their new gee-whiz wireless network being slow.
> Yeah, no kidding!!

Thanks Steve. I definitley did not know about having too many access
points causing the network to slow down. I'll probably pick up a wireless
router and a seperate access point and see where that gets me. I only
figure I'd need more than one due to my experiences with having to go
through walls.

--Adam
Anonymous
June 2, 2004 1:51:53 PM

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

"Steevo@my-deja.com" <steevo@my-deja.com> wrote in message
news:j85lb0tcsoujqsa10olpi25qkdtjun4n9f@4ax.com...
> On Sun, 30 May 2004 21:50:24 GMT, "Adam Steiner"
> <adam@NOstudent-SPAMcomputers.THANKScom> wrote:
>
> If there is a problem you can add a bigger antenna like the ones Radio
> Shack sells for $30. Any ham will tell you there is much more
> performance to be had and a lot cheaper by improving antennas before
> you do anything else.
>
Do both the LinkSys antennas need to be replaced or will one bigger antenna
work without screwing-up the wave pattern?

Tx,

Ham
Anonymous
June 2, 2004 3:04:13 PM

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

On Wed, 2 Jun 2004 09:51:53 -0700, "Hamish McStill"
<chap2003@hotmail.com> wrote:

>> If there is a problem you can add a bigger antenna like the ones Radio
>> Shack sells for $30. Any ham will tell you there is much more
>> performance to be had and a lot cheaper by improving antennas before
>> you do anything else.
>>
>Do both the LinkSys antennas need to be replaced or will one bigger antenna
>work without screwing-up the wave pattern?

No, you can replace one.
Those antennas are for diversity, they compare the signal between
themselves and pick the one that works best. Not sure how effective
that is but one will be fine in most cases. Plenty of wifi gear has
only one antenna today.

The $30 radio shack kit has both, by the way.
Anonymous
June 3, 2004 5:26:55 AM

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

"Steevo@my-deja.com" <steevo@my-deja.com> wrote in message
news:8i5sb0tr5h2rgro1q6kfu8k82ofjuqpl9h@4ax.com...
> On Wed, 2 Jun 2004 09:51:53 -0700, "Hamish McStill"
> <chap2003@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> >> If there is a problem you can add a bigger antenna like the ones Radio
> >> Shack sells for $30. Any ham will tell you there is much more
> >> performance to be had and a lot cheaper by improving antennas before
> >> you do anything else.
> >>
> >Do both the LinkSys antennas need to be replaced or will one bigger
antenna
> >work without screwing-up the wave pattern?
>
> No, you can replace one.
> Those antennas are for diversity, they compare the signal between
> themselves and pick the one that works best. Not sure how effective
> that is but one will be fine in most cases. Plenty of wifi gear has
> only one antenna today.
>
> The $30 radio shack kit has both, by the way.

Do you have a link or part # to the Radio Shack antenna? And do you get
significantly better range with it?

Thanks.
Anonymous
June 3, 2004 11:33:13 AM

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

On Thu, 03 Jun 2004 01:26:55 GMT, "Adam Steiner"
<adam@NOstudent-SPAMcomputers.THANKScom> wrote:

>> The $30 radio shack kit has both, by the way.
>
>Do you have a link or part # to the Radio Shack antenna? And do you get
>significantly better range with it?
I haven't tried or even seen them, but if they are 5dbi and the
original ones are 2, they would have twice the ERP. Every 2db is
double, that is a logarithmic scale.

I saw them on their site the other day, I am sure you can find them.
Anonymous
June 3, 2004 12:18:33 PM

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

"Steevo@my-deja.com" <steevo@my-deja.com> wrote in message
news:bidub0doeogmd3kgtu7u6k684am8lu5ian@4ax.com...
> On Thu, 03 Jun 2004 01:26:55 GMT, "Adam Steiner"
> <adam@NOstudent-SPAMcomputers.THANKScom> wrote:
>
> >> The $30 radio shack kit has both, by the way.
> >
> >Do you have a link or part # to the Radio Shack antenna? And do you get
> >significantly better range with it?
> I haven't tried or even seen them, but if they are 5dbi and the
> original ones are 2, they would have twice the ERP. Every 2db is
> double, that is a logarithmic scale.
>
> I saw them on their site the other day, I am sure you can find them.

Just bought a set yesterday, Radio Shack Part No.278-844. They are on the
Web Site and found a store that had them in stock. They are similar in
appearance to the original LinkSys antennas but about two inches longer. I'm
still evaluating the effectiveness.

Ham
Anonymous
June 3, 2004 7:05:20 PM

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

On Thu, 03 Jun 2004 07:33:13 -0700, Steevo@my-deja.com wrote:

> On Thu, 03 Jun 2004 01:26:55 GMT, "Adam Steiner"
> <adam@NOstudent-SPAMcomputers.THANKScom> wrote:
>
>>> The $30 radio shack kit has both, by the way.
>>
>>Do you have a link or part # to the Radio Shack antenna? And do you get
>>significantly better range with it?
> I haven't tried or even seen them, but if they are 5dbi and the
> original ones are 2, they would have twice the ERP. Every 2db is
> double, that is a logarithmic scale.

I believe that's 3db = twice the power. Twice the power does not translate
even close to twice the distance though. The power should be inversely
proportional to the square of the distance.

--
Barry
Anonymous
June 3, 2004 8:46:46 PM

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

"Hamish McStill" <chap2003@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:i66dnaeOgo8_3CLd4p2dnA@comcast.com...
>
> "Steevo@my-deja.com" <steevo@my-deja.com> wrote in message
> news:bidub0doeogmd3kgtu7u6k684am8lu5ian@4ax.com...
> > On Thu, 03 Jun 2004 01:26:55 GMT, "Adam Steiner"
> > <adam@NOstudent-SPAMcomputers.THANKScom> wrote:
> >
> > >> The $30 radio shack kit has both, by the way.
> > >
> > >Do you have a link or part # to the Radio Shack antenna? And do you get
> > >significantly better range with it?
> > I haven't tried or even seen them, but if they are 5dbi and the
> > original ones are 2, they would have twice the ERP. Every 2db is
> > double, that is a logarithmic scale.
> >
> > I saw them on their site the other day, I am sure you can find them.
>
> Just bought a set yesterday, Radio Shack Part No.278-844. They are on the
> Web Site and found a store that had them in stock. They are similar in
> appearance to the original LinkSys antennas but about two inches longer.
I'm
> still evaluating the effectiveness.
>
> Ham

Could you let us know what your thoughts are (after you've evaluated)?
Thanks.
Adam
Anonymous
June 3, 2004 9:28:39 PM

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

"Adam Steiner" <adam@NOstudent-SPAMcomputers.THANKScom> wrote in message
news:47394e3d12e8d7896382c5693048668c@news.teranews.com...
> Could you let us know what your thoughts are (after you've evaluated)?
> Thanks.
> Adam

What I'm doing is roaming my house with my Dell Axim/Socket Wireless card
and recording signal strength and quality using the original antennas, the
radio shack range extenders and the range extenders with two different
"homemade" reflectors to get an idea as to what makes a difference. Not a
scientific evaluation but one that will tell me what works best in my house.

Placement of the router seems to loom as an equally or more important factor
which I'm trying to get more info on. I guess up high and in the middle of
the house is best but not always doable! Not against a wall, not by a tv,
etc. Would like to put mine in the attic in the middle of the house (single
story) but two desktops are wired and don't want to go wireless with
them...just my laptop and my pda.

Anyone have some sage advice on placement of the router in a home?

Ham
Anonymous
June 4, 2004 4:44:16 AM

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

"Hamish McStill" <chap2003@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:gMadnVujOKYwXyLdRVn-gw@comcast.com...
>
> "Adam Steiner" <adam@NOstudent-SPAMcomputers.THANKScom> wrote in message
> news:47394e3d12e8d7896382c5693048668c@news.teranews.com...
> > Could you let us know what your thoughts are (after you've evaluated)?
> > Thanks.
> > Adam
>
> What I'm doing is roaming my house with my Dell Axim/Socket Wireless card
> and recording signal strength and quality using the original antennas, the
> radio shack range extenders and the range extenders with two different
> "homemade" reflectors to get an idea as to what makes a difference. Not a
> scientific evaluation but one that will tell me what works best in my
house.
>
> Placement of the router seems to loom as an equally or more important
factor
> which I'm trying to get more info on. I guess up high and in the middle
of
> the house is best but not always doable! Not against a wall, not by a tv,
> etc. Would like to put mine in the attic in the middle of the house
(single
> story) but two desktops are wired and don't want to go wireless with
> them...just my laptop and my pda.
>
> Anyone have some sage advice on placement of the router in a home?
>
> Ham

Hmm, well if you're moving the router around, does that mean your desktops
are wired to the wall, or do you have cables strung? Maybe in a crawlspace
above the house, though I'm not sure how that works out heatwise and all...

--Adam
!