Extending wifi range at campground we visit

Discussion in 'Wireless Internet' started by Bob & Geri, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. Bob & Geri

    Bob & Geri Guest

    I am trying to improve the signal and throughput when staying at a
    campground we are at on the weekends. They offer WiFi, but the antenna
    is at one end of the campground and we are at the other.

    My thoughts are to connect an external directional antenna to a
    Linksys WET54g wireless bridge. Connect an ethernet cable between the
    WET54g and a Linksys WAP54G wireless access point. Our laptops would
    then connect to the WAP54G.

    Will this work? Is there anything special we need to know to configure
    this correctly?
    Bob & Geri

    http://www.rbhayes.net
     
    Bob & Geri, Sep 13, 2006
    #1
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  2. First try a better WiFi adapter, like the Hawking HWU54D or HWU8DD. I
    use both regularly in campgrounds, where WiFi implementations seem to be
    pretty, um, basic.

    The problem may be that the park access point has enough power to reach
    you, but your WiFi adapter doesn't have enough power to talk back
    reliably. Most WiFi adapters have output power in the 30 mw range, Those
    two USB-connected Hawking devices have 200 mw of output power.
     
    Dave Rudisill, Sep 13, 2006
    #2
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  3. Bob & Geri

    Bill Kearney Guest

    I do this with a pair of WRT54GS routers on our boat. Works great. The
    first unit connects to the base station as a 'client'. Then the second unit
    is wired into it as an access point. The laptops wireless connect into this
    access point. All you need to do is fire up a browser on a PC, load the
    config page for the first router and find the camp's SSID.

    Be aware that antennas are tricky to align. You want to get one that has
    directional focus but not too tight an angle. Generally the higher the
    gain, the tighter the angles. Both horizontal and vertical coverage areas.
    So going with an antenna with greater than 8dB might seem like a good idea
    but not when you try to get it aimed. I'm sure Jeff and others more
    familiar with directional antenna can offer suggestions here. Just make
    sure whatever mounting scheme you plan on using lends itself to easy setup
    and storage if it's going to get removed while you're on the highway.

    -Bill Kearney
     
    Bill Kearney, Sep 13, 2006
    #3
  4. Bob & Geri

    Bob & Geri Guest

    I am having trouble making these units work together for the some
    reason.

    I am using my neighbors wireless router to test. It has a SSID of
    "linksys" and I can connect to it via my wireless modem and browse the
    Internet with no issues.

    The Linksys wet54g has a directional antenna connected to it and is
    pointed at neighbors network.

    I connected my laptop to the wet54g via the blue ethernet cable that
    came with it. I configured my laptop to have a static IP address of
    192.168.1.55

    In Internet Explorer I go to 192.168.1.226 and sign into the admin
    screen of the wet54g

    I do a site survey - find the network I want which has a 100% signal
    on channel 6 and has encryption disabled . I double click on that
    network and the system resets.

    The SSID is now linksys - on channel 6 - no encryption. The wet54g is
    set for a static ip address


    I now configure my Laptop to get an IP address via DHCP and reboot.

    When I connect my computer get's IP address from the neighbors
    network, via the
    ethernet cabled pluged into wet54g and I can surf the internet

    I then unpluged cable from laptop and search for a wireless connection
    - I find find the wap54g which also has an SSID of "linksys"by default
    and attempt to connect to
    it, but do not receive an IP address .

    Am I doing something wrong?

    Does the SSID of the source router and the WAP54g have to be the same
    or can I
    change the WAP54g to something other than linksys?

    When I try to connect to the WAP54g via the wireless card I have a
    strong signal, just cant get an IP address.





    Bob & Geri

    http://www.rbhayes.net
     
    Bob & Geri, Sep 14, 2006
    #4
  5. Bob & Geri

    Bill Kearney Guest

    I now configure my Laptop to get an IP address via DHCP and reboot.

    And where do you expect it to get this address from?

    How are you configuring the access point? It won't just automagically get
    an IP address from the source network if it's not been configured to do so.

    Change your access point's configuration to use a different SSID. Don't
    just use the default one. Then make sure it's configured to get it's
    address via DHCP. This would assume, however, that the WET has made the
    link to the neighbor's setup. If that's not working then it won't get an
    IP. If it doesn't have an IP then it can't act as an access point.
    No it doesn't have to be the same and it shouldn't be the same. Nor should
    it be on the same channel. You're using one device to make a wireless
    connection, which is then connected by the wired ethernet, in turn shared
    via another wireless setup. Make the SSID and channels different.
    I don't use the shore network for my addresses. I run another subnet on the
    boat, behind the NAT router that makes the connection to shore. Thus my
    on-boat network always has it's own IP addresses.

    -Bill Kearney
     
    Bill Kearney, Sep 14, 2006
    #5
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