Hawking HWU8DD Dish any good for extending WIFI range ?

Discussion in 'Wireless Internet' started by wbsurfver, Dec 16, 2007.

  1. wbsurfver

    wbsurfver Guest

    I am interested in a way to extend my laptop range so that I can
    connect to WIFI networks that are farther away. Perhaps when I am at
    my mother's house and I might want to hook into some neighbors WIFI or
    when I am camping. I stay at a campground in Maine and I have to be
    close to the main building to get the WIFI, but if I had better range
    I could stay at one the nicer sites in the back. This hawking unit
    seems to have some good reviews though I guess it's a bit delicate,
    any recommendations on this or similar units ?

    wbsurfver, Dec 16, 2007
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  2. wbsurfver

    DTC Guest

    If you don't have a clear line of sight, nothing is going to work more
    than a hundred feet or so. If you put it on a plastic box and extend the
    USB cable to the roof, it might work.
    DTC, Dec 16, 2007
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  3. I bought one but it has never worked well for me. It shows a boosted
    signal, yet is intermittent. Usually I use the MN-510.
    Lone Haranguer, Dec 16, 2007
  4. I bought one a year ago and swear by it. Here's my early review on Amazon:

    I continue to like it so well that I put in in my Amazon store connected to
    my RV travel blog, along with other books, magazines, and camera that I
    personally recommend because they were helpful to me.

    Camille Carnell Pronovost, Dec 16, 2007
  5. wbsurfver

    wbsurfver Guest

    I am slightly confused by the many varying reviews, some bad, many

    Can people be more specific what works and doesn't ? I use my laptop
    for various web surfing, watching youtube, connecting to work via VPN.

    As for 100 feet limitation mentioned in one of the posts - at this
    very moment I am connected to my neighbors WIFI which is going through
    2 walls of our house a small pine forest and the distance must be 250
    feet or more to their house and I am getting a decent signal using the
    built in WIFI on my HP laptop, though the strength does seem seems to
    vary sometimes, it's usually plenty adequate.
    wbsurfver, Dec 17, 2007
  6. wbsurfver

    DTC Guest

    It might work well weel with a clear line of site.

    If you are fine with "seem to vary at time" and "usually" plenty of
    signal, then may work for you.
    DTC, Dec 17, 2007
  7. Does your laptop have an external antenna connector? How do you feel
    about adding one?
    You might find it useful to disclose the maker and model number of
    your laptop.
    Sure, as long as you have permission from the owner.
    Well, let's make some assumption and play with the numbers. The range
    of a typical USB device, with a built in 0dBi or worse antenna, is
    somewhat worse than what you would get with a typical MiniPCI laptop
    using diversity antennas at the top of the LCD frame. The only real
    benifit to USB is that you can relocate it and its antenna to a more
    favorable location.

    For the sake of guesswork, let's assume that the tx power outpuit of
    the USB adapter is about the same as the MiniPCI card in your
    unspecified laptop. If I assume a 0dBi antenna gain for the laptop,
    and 8dBi for the dish thing, then the range improvement will be:
    10^(8dBi / 20) = 2.5 times
    That's probably worth the effort.

    Incidentally, I ran the numbers on the Hawking dish and a flat panel
    equivalent and found that it really does have almost 8dBi gain:

    However, I wouldn't do it that way. Methinks you will probably need a
    bigger gain antenna, with perhaps 12 to 14dBi gain. That will yield 4
    to 5 times improvement in speed. You can do it with your existing
    MiniPCI card by adding an external antenna, or using a PCMCIA card, or
    USB device with an external antenna connector.

    USB radio with connector:
    Higher gain panel antennas:
    Jeff Liebermann, Dec 17, 2007
  8. Even tech support at Hawking couldn't solve my problem. Device Manager
    shows the hardware to be working. It shows a 47% signal but refuses to
    connect. I can connect to the same signal with my Microsoft MN-510 from
    the same location. Any solutions? Otherwise it will continue to
    collect dust in the closet.
    Lone Haranguer, Dec 17, 2007
  9. wbsurfver

    wbsurfver Guest

    Ok, I'll look into that when I have some time.
    HP Pavilion dv 1000, which I purchased in May of 2006
    That's an interesting one ... for one, it depends on how often I
    would want to use the network at various places. My sister suggesting
    asking the people, but they might say no ..
    I do feel funny about it, but what is the legality ? That seems to be
    a murky question and from searching the web you get conflicting views,
    some saying it's illegal, others saying it's perfectly legal. My
    suspicion is that tens of thousands of people are borrowing other
    people's WIFI without permission, and I've scarcely heard of any legal
    action except a few cases. Perhaps the manufacturers in the future
    will make that harder to do, or who knows ?

    Thanks also for the many technical details, I will have to look into
    that as well when I have time
    wbsurfver, Dec 17, 2007
  10. wbsurfver

    Pegleg Guest

    Guess if you ignore any legal aspects (which probably vary state by
    state) it comes down to a moral issue...if you are so inclined. The
    other individual has paid to have the service, you have not. Just
    because the individual is not educated thoroughly in how to secure the
    system does that mean it is "free game" for anyone who wants to use it?
    I suspect that since you have such a cavalier attitude (or call it
    scofflaw attitude) toward this situation probably are not completely
    honest in other situations!


    U.S. Navy Retired
    Support Our Troops,
    Question The Policy!

    All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words:
    freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.
    Sir Winston Churchill
    Pegleg, Dec 17, 2007
  11. wbsurfver

    wbsurfver Guest

    I was sort of saying I wasn't sure what the legal issue was exactly
    and that it seemed hard to figure out.
    No, but I might think of your approach as a capitalist based
    approach, a socialist based approach might be in a futuristic
    scenario, the hardware detects what users are on your router and if
    they use a moderate bandwidth under some amount that the system would
    allow for such, possibly credit you some amount of money and charge
    them some modest amount.

    I actually trespass all over the place walking across farmland in
    search of fresh air and excercise along with deer, birds and other
    wild animals against landowners knowledge ..
    A clear threat to national security.
    wbsurfver, Dec 17, 2007
  12. wbsurfver

    wbsurfver Guest

    It also occurred to me that my mother one time told me these same
    neighbors (who have the unsecured WIFI going) where dumping grass
    cuttings and other things on our property. Going over and complaining
    to them, or trying to dispute where the property boundary was didn't
    sound like a fun thing for me to do.

    Another thing that happened was that when all these new houses where
    built, my mother decided to be neighborly and go introduce herself to
    the neighbors, these rich people that live over there. When she got to
    their door, she told me they wouldn't open the door and called the
    police saying there was someone on their property.
    wbsurfver, Dec 17, 2007
  13. wbsurfver

    Pegleg Guest

    Are we currently living under that fantasy scenario? No...so that does
    not apply!
    Or their permission! A simple request usually results in a granted
    response (based on my own experiences). A case of personal respect!

    You are a piece of work!
    Pegleg, Dec 17, 2007
  14. wbsurfver

    wbsurfver Guest

    Well, we could use all kinds of arguments if we really wanted.
    Corporations, lawyers do that all the time. I could claim for instance
    that their WIFI device is intruding on my airspace in my house. I
    didn't ask them to broadcast WIFI into my living room and did not
    grant such right of way. Some elecrtonic traffic such as power lines
    emit electromagnetic radiation and would could claim such things might
    possibly alter one's cells or brainwaves, who knows. Cell Towers are
    another example. I don't know why I'm arguing the case in some sense,
    maybe I have been corupted by watchng too much TV, that's it, they are
    corrupting my mind and I never granted them that right !!!
    wbsurfver, Dec 17, 2007
  15. wbsurfver

    Pegleg Guest

    Please seek professional help!

    Pegleg, Dec 17, 2007
  16. wbsurfver

    wbsurfver Guest

    What kind of professional help are you refering to ?
    wbsurfver, Dec 17, 2007
  17. wbsurfver

    Dean Guest

    To my knowledge, all WiFi adapters make is an affirmative action to
    allow an open source. The default position is to say "NO" and enter
    some form of encryption. And encryption is the recommended set-up.

    As a lawyer, I would argue that failing to encrypt is tacit approval
    of use. I might well lose the case but would gladly take it on.

    Additionally, in an area where I can see many un-encrypted signals,
    how can I tell one whose owner doesn't want freeloaders from one who

    Dean, Dec 17, 2007
  18. This is one symptom of a date/time mis-match.

    Check that the clock is close on the equipment on both ends.
    Robert Bonomi, Dec 17, 2007
  19. I have one of those (dead) in my office. Customer plugged the wrong
    power supply into it and blew up something. I keep wanting to fix it
    but never have the time. Nice laptop. Uses an Intel 2200BG wireless
    card with u.FL antenna connectors. You should be able to easily bring
    out the antenna port labeled "Main" to the outside using a u.FL to SMA
    pigtail. Bug me if you need ideas and sources.
    They usually say it's ok, especially if you're just passing through.
    I've gone into businesses and asked for the WPA key for casual use.
    Reactions vary from total panic to "no problem". It seems to depend
    on what I look like. If I look like a hacker with evil intentions,
    results will not be favorable.

    Various states have laws making unauthorized use of someone's computer
    "network" to be a crime. Prosecution and arrests have been few and
    spotty. Mostly the legal establishment doesn't see any money to be
    made from such prosecutions and has therefore avoided them. Due to
    this lack of interest and due to numerous dropped cases, there are few
    decisions and precedents. This creates an atmosphere where pundits
    offer widely varying opinions. Eventually, there will be some
    clarification but at this time, it's the Wild West of Wireless out

    There are also numerous laws that overlap what you're doing. For
    example, if you download stolen copyrighted content, you will probably
    be charged with a DMCA violation, not a wireless access violation.

    There's a web pile that has a list of applicable laws by state, but as
    usual, I can't find it.
    Dunno. I have a simple rule of thumb. Put yourself in the position
    of the broadband owner (or service provider). Would you want someone,
    as yourself, in the manner you're proposing, to use your broadband
    system? If yes, the proceed. If not, then kindly let your conscience
    be your guide, not the hair splitting letter of the law.

    Incidentally, laws were made because people couldn't figure out how
    they should act. Apparently, we've lost the ability to make such
    simple moral decisions and replaced this ability with mountains of
    All too true and correct. The current fashion in computer crime is
    that anything that is easy to do, difficult to enforce, and expensive
    to prosecute, is considered acceptable.
    I've tried (and partially failed). Search this newsgroup for "secure
    by default". The problem is that many wireless routers are totally
    insecure out of the box. Unfortunately, they will also function set
    to the defaults, so many clueless wireless router owners just plug and
    play. Some manufacturers, such as 2wire, have a clue and ship their
    products with a preconfigured password, SSID, and WEP/WPA key.
    However, most others are wide open on arrival. That may change, but
    apparently only after a manufacturer is deemed partially liable for
    consequential damaged arising from their default product
    Good luck and get a bigger antenna than 8dBi. Think of it as doubling
    your range for every 6dB of antenna gain (minus something for the
    coaxial cable losses).
    Jeff Liebermann, Dec 17, 2007
  20. Connect to what make and model wireless router? Have you tried
    connecting to other wireless access points?

    How do you have the encryption configured? If WEP encryption, use the
    hex key instead of ASCII to avoid a possible ASCII to Hex conversion

    Any particular operating system? Have you tried the HWU8DD on a
    different computer?
    Does your unspecified router have any logging features? Does your
    Hawking HWU8DD have any connection diagnostics? If so, what do they
    offer? If running XP or Vista, there are operating systems based
    connection diagnostics.
    Jeff Liebermann, Dec 17, 2007
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