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> Wifi Antenna, Report on WiFi Antenna
Florida Native
post Aug 10 2008, 07:14 AM
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After some disappointing reception results on our recent 3 month camping trip out West, I decided to buy a WiFi antenna to improve WiFi reception results. I checked around the internet and ended up buying “The Wave” which is a marine and RV WiFi antenna. I had checked it our without camping by driving around in our small town and using my inverter and laptop in my truck. Results seemed very good. I got to check it out in a great camping situation yesterday at Cedar Key, Florida. The campground advertised WiFi and at check in I asked the ranger about it. She said that you had to come to the office or be on the porch right out side the office and it didn’t even reach to her trailer right behind the office. I had had this sort of thing happen before. After setting up at our site very far away from the office. I set up my Rube Goldberg extension pole with the antenna on top and checked it out. My laptop had no signal at all. After switching over to the antenna, I had a signal and was able to connect to the internet and surf at broadband speeds. I will be using this system a lot I am sure. Check out link to see photos of my el cheapo extension pole obtained from Lowe’s paint department and rubber bands obtained from a head of broccoli.

http://www.linandnancy.com/cedkeyswan1.html


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Lindsay Richards
http://www.linandnancy.com
Formerly Lindsay Richards
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John Blue
post Aug 10 2008, 08:16 AM
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Lindsay,

First off very nice photo shots. We have a lot to see and do here in FL.

I wrote up The Wave system couple years ago as a good system for Wi-Fi due to long range and one we have works very well in most places we travel to. A good Wi-Fi antenna will change the range. Happy to see it works well. tongue.gif


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pianotuna
post Aug 10 2008, 11:14 AM
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Hi Lindsay,

Did you happen to check how far you were line of sight from the office? Lovely paint pole picks! I'm currently using metal clamps and bungee cords--velcro would be an improvement for sure.

QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Aug 10 2008, 07:14 AM) *

I checked around the internet and ended up buying “The Wave” which is a marine and RV WiFi antenna. <snip> The campground advertised WiFi and at check in I asked the ranger about it. She said that you had to come to the office or be on the porch right out side the office and it didn’t even reach to her trailer right behind the office. <snip> Check out link to see photos of my el cheapo extension pole obtained from Lowe’s paint department and rubber bands obtained from a head of broccoli.

http://www.linandnancy.com/cedkeyswan1.html



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Don
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FosterImposters
post Aug 10 2008, 10:33 PM
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Lindsay...great photos! You know the saying: "Necessity is the mother of invention" You've done it! cool.gif
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Florida Native
post Aug 12 2008, 02:00 PM
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Line of site, was about 50 yards, but their WiFi router was inside of a concrete building had to go thru several concrete block walls. The ranger indicated she had no reception only about 50 feet away. Have to report, we had 2 nights on the trip with no WiFi reception at all. We were out in the boondocks at state parks and had no cell phone recepton either. Doesn't work everywhere, just enhances a weak signal. All in all, I am very glad I bought it. I just bought a XM radio and really like that too.


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pianotuna
post Aug 12 2008, 03:15 PM
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Hi Lindsay,

Thanks for the "range" report.

I'm currently at my brother cottage and can barely connect without my fancy Alfa 500 and Antenna. Makes a huge difference to thru put.

one flaky connection with internal laptop card
one less flaky with Alfa card and 2 db antenna
one good connection with Alfa card and 15 db antenna (inside RV)
four signals (3 of them open) with alfa, 15 db antenna at 6 foot height
four signals (3 open) with alfa, 15 dp Antenna and a "Lindsay pole" to raise the Antenna above the height of the RV signal strength 50%, 60%, 50% and 12% (12% is wep so was not too interested in it).


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Don
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Lee and Fran
post Aug 12 2008, 04:29 PM
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I have one of these USB type antennas Attached Image I bought at wallmart. Last winter I was able to not only get the wifi from the park I was in at a length of over 500 feet but was able to tap into someone a block away as well. And it just sat in the window of my rv.


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pianotuna
post Aug 12 2008, 04:57 PM
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Hi Fran and Lee,

Nice looking wifi adapter!

My current "range" record is 4300 feet. That was without the "Lindsay" pole so I'm sure I can do better now.

QUOTE(Lee and Fran @ Aug 12 2008, 04:29 PM) *

I have one of these USB type antennas Attached Image I bought at wallmart. Last winter I was able to not only get the wifi from the park I was in at a length of over 500 feet but was able to tap into someone a block away as well. And it just sat in the window of my rv.



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Don
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Florida Native
post Aug 13 2008, 11:22 AM
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If I had known you guys were going to steal my paint stick extension rod idea, I would have gotten my patent earlier. Just kidding. Another neat trick I did with the storage of the entention pole. It is too long to store in the basement, so I had to come up with a better way in the coach. I stand it up behind a chair and then extend it up to the base of a cabinet and make to exactly the right length to cause a little friction so t won’t fall over. I got to go buy some more broccoli as I broke a rubber band.


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RLM
post Aug 16 2008, 01:53 PM
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Here's a really cheapo wi-fi antenna idea. For other useful information on the subject, click on the related articles.

http://www.dailywireless.com/features/home...antenna-060107/
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Florida Native
post Aug 17 2008, 12:47 PM
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I decided to go with the paint stick extention concept after my wife kept complaining about having to stand on the roof of the coach holding up the antenna in the rain.


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pianotuna
post Aug 17 2008, 02:53 PM
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Hi Lindsay,

Doesn't your wife know that rain will make her hair grow?

I've come across a better "paint pole". It is intended for changing light bulbs in ceilings and does a "triple" extension to a total height of 11 feet. I blame YOU for this Lindsay. You've turned me into a pole monster! LOL

QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Aug 17 2008, 12:47 PM) *

I decided to go with the paint stick extention concept after my wife kept complaining about having to stand on the roof of the coach holding up the antenna in the rain.



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Don
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pianotuna
post Sep 7 2008, 09:04 AM
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Hi all,

On a listserv someone posted another external wifi antenna. It comes with an 8 foot cable and mounting hardware. It's a bit cheaper than the WaveRV and claims a 20 db increase in signal.

Here is a link:

http://www.rvwifi.us/


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Don
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John Blue
post Sep 7 2008, 10:34 AM
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pianotuna,

Only two problems I see. A tree branches will remove this pole in one hit and cable is 8 feet long. So you need to set with laptop on steering wheel with cable out the window and hope for no rain due to short cable. With Wave you can move to anyplace that works best inside or outside Motorhome. If I remember right WaveII has a 400 mwatt output and that helps a lot. Wave has a very long range and I only use it if the Apple laptop will not pick up Wi-Fi sig. In most cases I do not need it but it works great.


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pianotuna
post Sep 7 2008, 11:25 AM
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Hi John,

Unfortunately if you read the fine print the WaveII has only 200 "real" milliwatts. The rest they get from the db on the antenna (I don't like this kind of "adverlie"). I've yet to find something that does more at a price I feel comfortable paying. There are some one watt booster amplifiers (for ~$250.00)--but you still need an adapter and a power source. Paradoxically my Alfa 500 would have to be replaced with a lower power wifi adapter to use such a booster amp--the input calls for a maximum of 100 mw.

My Alfa 500 "claims" 500 mw but when you read the documentation it is 200 in North America. Just like the WaveRV they claim 500 because the antenna that comes with the unit is 2db which more than doubles the 200 mw that it really is.

I agree on the tree branch. They do have a longer cable as well I think 14 feet? Check the website.

Like you I try first with just my laptop, then I add the Alfa into the mix--then I try the alfa with my sieve parabolic holder, then add my 15 db antenna, and finally move to a painters pole outside the RV. My max range so far is about 4500 feet--and that was without the mast from inside my RV.

Some one has done a very spiffy install of an Antenna added to their batwing. Here is a link to it:

http://www.bornfreervclub.org/bulletin_boa...05_24rb_125.pdf

Now if I were not quite so lazy and had a bit newer RV......

QUOTE(John Blue @ Sep 7 2008, 10:34 AM) *

pianotuna,

Only two problems I see. A tree branches will remove this pole in one hit and cable is 8 feet long. So you need to set with laptop on steering wheel with cable out the window and hope for no rain due to short cable. With Wave you can move to anyplace that works best inside or outside Motorhome. If I remember right WaveII has a 400 mwatt output and that helps a lot. Wave has a very long range and I only use it if the Apple laptop will not pick up Wi-Fi sig. In most cases I do not need it but it works great.



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Don
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