Author Topic: Free wifi with pringles can antenna. Help?  (Read 4705 times)

oldladystache

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Free wifi with pringles can antenna. Help?
« on: December 06, 2014, 07:35:14 PM »
I just moved into my senior housing community, and there's free wifi in the clubhouse building about 800 feet from my place. I'm in the clubhouse using the free wifi now.

I've read lots of instructions about how to make a directional antenna and get access to signals too far away for the regular methods. Unfortunately there seems to be some information missing. I know how to make the antenna, but I don't know what to do next. (and I'm not too eager to build it myself.)

What I'd really like is someone to sell me a complete system, from antenna to wireless router, so all I have to do is point it in the right direction and plug it in. I haven't been able to find such a thing though.

I assume it would work in my case. I'd have to point it through my neighbor's place, across the street, and down a little. If I don't do that I'll have to either walk to the clubhouse every time I want to use my computer, or pay to have internet wired into my place. I'd rather not spend the time or the money.

Can one of you smart people point me in the right direction, either showing me a link to someplace that sells what I need, or maybe if you've done it for yourself you could do it for me and earn a little cash. Or failing that, showing me instructions that are detailed enough that they don't assume I know what to do next?

Thanks to anyone who can help.


DCJrMustachian

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Re: Free wifi with pringles can antenna. Help?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2014, 12:21:23 AM »
To get an extended range, the antenna needs to be connected to the wifi device at the clubhouse and pointed towards your place.  If you can install an antenna in the clubhouse, the cost is reasonable enough that you should go with something professional: https://www.google.com/search?q=directional+antenna+wifi

If you can't install equipment at the clubhouse, maybe your next door neighbor can pick it up on his property and you guys could put in a wireless bridge with antennas that you each could use for free internet.

Boz86

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Re: Free wifi with pringles can antenna. Help?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2014, 08:20:22 AM »
I have a friend living on a boat and he uses this Amped Wireless model http://www.amazon.com/Amped-Wireless-Wireless-300N-Adapter-UA600/dp/B004MDWCCA/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1417965269&sr=1-1&keywords=amped+wireless+ua600
He says as far as ease of installation "the average golden retriever could do it." Just put the disk in the computer and follow the directions.

Another friend, who also lives on a boat, likes this bullet http://www.amazon.com/Ubiquiti-BULLET-M2-HP-Outdoor-802-11-M2HP/dp/B002SYS22E/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1417964678&sr=1-1&keywords=ubiquity+bullet#customerReviews

The bullet requires a little more technical knowledge, and the reviews say that although it's advertised as outdoors it lasts much longer if protected.

m8547

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Re: Free wifi with pringles can antenna. Help?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2014, 12:48:33 PM »
To get an extended range, the antenna needs to be connected to the wifi device at the clubhouse and pointed towards your place.

No it doesn't. Ideally you would have a directional antenna on both ends of the link, but it doesn't sound like the people that operate the clubhouse want to beam all their wifi to one person's house.

A directional antenna at one end of the link will give about half the gain of having it at both ends. Wifi is bi-directional, so the router and the receiver are both transmitting and receiving. Because of reciprocity, a better transmitting antenna makes a better receiving antenna. http://www.antenna-theory.com/definitions/reciprocity.php

It also sounds like what the OP wants is something that can pick up the signal and relay it through another wireless router to make it work normally inside the house. Rather than have to plug a computer into a carefully aimed pringles can and have to sit in one place. That could be hard to do because it requires either a specialized router that can relay a signal, or it requires something like plugging one router into another. There could be interference between the short range signal and the long-range signal, even if they are on different channels.

If any of the exterior walls are brick or stucco, it probably won't work. If any nearby neighbors have wifi on a nearby channel (most of the channels overlap except 1, 6, and 11. Each channel overlaps with the two higher and lower channels), it probably won't work.

See how far from the clubhouse you can detect the signal with your laptop. If it works a long ways outside the clubhouse then you might have a chance of getting this to work.

FastStache

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Re: Free wifi with pringles can antenna. Help?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2014, 01:08:14 PM »
You need an antenna with a lot of gain. You might even need to put it outside to get enough signal. You can play with the free space loss equation and get a rough idea how strong the signal is coming into your home. 

1. Use your pc close to the router. Your WiFi card should report power. Record distance.

2. Increase distance and repeat.

3. Use free space loss equation, assuming a clear path and figure out power at your house.

4. Hope no one near you is using the same channel, or use a very directional antenna.

oldladystache

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Re: Free wifi with pringles can antenna. Help?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2014, 07:35:59 PM »
Well, I've finally tried something. I ordered
http://www.ebay.com/itm/290943414029
and when it comes I'll cross my fingers and hope it helps.

The other day I walked back to my place with the laptop on, and it lost the signal within 50 or 60 feet from the clubhouse. So most likely I won't get a big enough increase to make this work. And I'll have to plug the laptop into the cable. Which won't be the end of the world, but I've learned to like the mobility I'll lose.

I don't know if I can get away with mounting it high and outside. I'll worry about that when I'm sure it won't work from inside.