Inexpensive point-to-point solution needed

Discussion in 'Wireless Internet' started by JJ, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. JJ

    JJ Guest

    I'm a bit of a newbie to this topic so please excuse my ignorance.

    We live out in the boonies - no cable, no DSL - only internet access
    is via satellite. For various reasons (not the least of which is
    cost) we do not have a satellite hook-up ourselves. However, our
    neighbors just up the hill (about 300' through the trees) do get
    satellite internet. On occasion, we can actually get a weak signal
    off of their wireless (with their leave) - but only certain dell
    laptops are able to even pick it up (my <1 yr old macbook pro
    cannot). And even when we can get a signal, it's sometimes just as
    slow as dial-up.

    We were hoping to set up some kind of point-to-point bridge between
    the two houses so that we could share the satellite internet and the
    cost. At one time, I tried just getting a wireless router, went over
    to their house and set it up as part of the network - but back at our
    house, it just didn't work.

    So, I'm hoping one of you can point me at an inexpensive solution to
    set up some kind of directional wireless bridge between the two houses
    so that we can extend the wireless network to our house in a way that
    will be functional, reliable and easy to set up. Searching around in
    the internet, I only seem to come across solutions geared towards
    larger entities, costing thousands of $$. I'm looking for a solution
    that would run only in the few hundreds of $$, if such exists.

    Ideally, this would be a product that I could buy off the shelf
    instead of something that I have to fashion myself - and something
    that could be added on without any major changes to their current

    Any help appreciated.


    JJ, Dec 11, 2008
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  2. JJ

    seaweedsl Guest

    seaweedsl, Dec 13, 2008
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  3. JJ

    JJ Guest

    Thanks for the suggestions from everyone.
    In HDcom's setup manual, doesn't it say just the reverse? That the AP
    should be "located at the site of the network infrastructure that you
    are looking to associate to"?

    I'm still a bit confused. Would one of the two boxes replace my
    friend's current wireless access point?

    Also, what's POE?


    JJ, Dec 16, 2008
  4. JJ

    Chrisjoy Guest

    That's a good point, John. You can get a two pair outdoor mm fiber
    cable for about $1 a feet in any length. No need for pipes, but should
    be placed under ground frost to extend lifetime. In addition you need
    two fiber converters, $100 each, and a couple of weekends of work. You
    will end up with a silution where your day to day concern is what to
    use your bandwidth for, and not whether or not it's working, If you
    can avoid wireless, do!
    Chrisjoy, Dec 16, 2008
  5. JJ

    Chrisjoy Guest

    Yes. Best cost more than bad.
    I bet they can come up with something, sharing movies and music for
    instance. Is there anything else you need bandwidth for?
    Rock-solid my ass. I have built some wireless networks in my life and
    when it sais watchdog it means software routine, and when it sais
    water proof, it means you need to put it inside a bucket that is acit
    proof unless you want a router (or antenna) if plastic cracks and suck
    in water, and if it sais lightning proof it means it won't put your
    house on fire, but destroy your equipment it will, and if it sais peak
    voltage proof, it doesn't mean a circuit that will reset the µC when
    voltage drops under a certain level like in equipment made by
    reasonable man, oh no, it means your router at best wil reset to
    factory settings. Don't you dare tell me that cunsumer product, here
    under wireless is any good. I know it's shit from long experience.
    Shit that needs daily care. My clear experience with wireless points
    in one direction. If you don't want to use alots of time fixing
    problems, go fiber. It's the best way, specially if you're doing an
    electronic potentional separation with a good local ground, and if you
    live in lightning area, a good lightning deflector. If you got bad
    voltage, which often drops, then you may want to go -48V with
    batteries function as a capacitor. Then you may get something close to
    rock solid. Just make sure you got that fiber to transport data unless
    there is impossible.

    Listen boy. Distance when it comes to wireless is ONLY a fading
    concern. If your fading margin is great enough to for all the weather
    in your district, distance is not relevant. Other than this, longer
    distance got no magical property that makes it less reliable. Power is
    sqr distance. Twice the distance screams for four times the power,
    neither more nor less, to get the same fade margin.
    Chrisjoy, Dec 17, 2008
  6. JJ

    Warren Oates Guest

    True. With all the advances in technology, the high-speed devices, the
    fibre-optics, petaflop processors, we still haven't come up with a
    cheaper way to dig a ditch.
    Warren Oates, Dec 17, 2008
  7. JJ

    JJ Guest

    Within my budget there is no way a trench will be dug to lay any kind
    of wire across this terrain. Lloyd, It's nice to hear of a solution
    that is actually field tested under similar conditions - that is a
    much stronger recommendation than "this should work". This is not a
    critical gov't system, so if it flakes on occasion and needs to be
    jiggered, no big deal. I'm not expecting miracles, just something
    that works right most of the time.


    JJ, Dec 17, 2008
  8. JJ

    seaweedsl Guest

    How ugly. Another Euro-troll?

    Who wouldn't agree that wires are more reliable? Still, this is not
    a critical mission, and nobody gets hurt if it's down 3% of the time
    or whatever.

    Over a couple of years of using consumer grade wireless in a local
    network, I've had minor niggles with client devices and Windows, but
    really, wireless bridging does work. As for wired, which I always
    try to implement first, yes we've had one fail that was somehow nicked
    a year after installation and was a bear to track down. I'm cautious
    when installing, but over hundreds of meters, things happen.

    When wireless fails it's about dealing with the endpoints (or
    interference) When wired fails, it could be anywhere. I get nervous
    when one of my wired clients has a problem. Usually it's at the
    endpoints as well, though.

    That said, for 300 feet of forest, wire is the way to go, if you have

    If not, try to get some Nanostations up above the treetops. Since
    your neighbor is up the hill from you, his end may be easier. In both
    cases, the house is a good place to start for getting altitude, but
    doesn't always serve you. In that case, to get the wireless device
    up high without installing a tower, I put the device on a long pole
    then lift it into the tree using my tallest ladder and strap it to the
    tree, which provides extra altitude and support. If I have a 20' pole
    and a 16' ladder, then I can get 35' -40' of height that way. Wind
    is sometimes a problem with this approach, but not too bad in our
    case, with wide beamed antennas. Line of sight is more imporatant.
    Run your ethernet wire from there to the house and throw a cheap AP/
    switch/router on the end of it.

    seaweedsl, Dec 17, 2008
  9. JJ

    JJ Guest

    It's just impractical to try and lay a trench through the trees - and
    going around via the road would be thousands of feet. Plus, I
    wouldn't ask my neighbor to dig up his property. Laying some kind of
    tougher wire overland or suspended is not an option for other
    reasons. Getting up above the trees is also not practical. At 40' is
    just where the foliage (hemlock needles mostly) is thickest. The
    first 20' or so is mostly scattered bare trunks. So unless I'm going
    up 60-80', it's better to go low than high.

    As I originally stated - I can get a weak signal right now, as is,
    with no special equipment. That's what gives me the most hope of
    success. A dell laptop in our house can access the internet (though
    often not much faster than dial-up) from our neighbor's wireless
    router sitting in their house. Macs consistently get nothing though.
    Given that I can lock up on the weak signal with certain computers
    with the current setup, I'm hoping that some beefed up wireless relays
    (such as the ubiquity products discussed above) plus a standard
    wireless router in our house will get respectable coverage in our
    house for any wireless device.

    I'm going to give it a try anyway. I looked at the ubiquiti products
    and am not sure which model to make the attempt with though - either
    go all out with the Powerstations (more expensive but presumably a
    higher chance of success) or try with the nano-station or loco, which
    could work just fine because, as noted, we can already get a weak
    signal with no booster.

    JJ, Dec 17, 2008
  10. JJ

    Chrisjoy Guest

    On Dec 17, 12:52 pm, "Lloyd E. Sponenburgh"
    Listen up, boy.

    There is nothing madigcal about distance as you claimed. You offer no
    valid argument to support this claim. I think what ever I want about
    your schooling. So far you have shown nothing else but being a
    clueless moron.

    There is no such thing as rock solid wireless link in the sumsumer
    marked. Consumer marked offer you only crap.

    Those were the two claims you put forward, and yet not able to support
    with reason. You're a charlatan.
    Whatever you like to call a guy who's not worry about pointing out the
    This is far below my dignity to answer directly.
    Chrisjoy, Dec 17, 2008
  11. JJ

    westom1 Guest

    Do not screw around with rediculous ideas such as fiber optics
    (since copper wire is more than sufficient for those who needs much
    higher reliability such as your telco).

    John Navas provided better alternatives in a first post that asked
    important (and ignored) questions. Get a directional antenna. These
    will work even through obstructed environments. The problem is not so
    much line of sight. Interference many times is due to reflections
    (also seen as ghosting on a TV).

    Two types of antennas are yagi or helical. Yagi are most often
    available. To eliminate ghosting, helical would be a good choice.
    Simpe router modified to connect to a directional antenna is a best
    (inexpensive) solution. Easy to test. Setup a router with
    directional antenna. Test using a WiFi computer that also measures
    signals in dB (don't even waste time with '5 bars' signal strength).
    Learn how far that antenna and router can be located from the

    Otherwise install a copper connection between both buildings. Other
    facts (that every telco uses) makes the copper solution perfectly
    westom1, Dec 17, 2008
  12. JJ

    westom1 Guest

    Telcos only use fiber where greater data is required. The OP
    entitled his objective - "Inexpensive" solution. Fiber provides no
    additional advantages. If copper wire was so unreliable, then why did
    it connect to all buildings in every town? We even once had a phone
    in the woods - also used copper. Even it never failed. So why spend
    so much more money for same data rates and same reliability. The OP
    said "Inexpensive". Copper wire is more than sufficient as it was
    even 100 years ago - and especially for those slow data rates. OP is
    not asking for the gold plated solution.
    westom1, Dec 17, 2008
  13. JJ

    Chrisjoy Guest

    Yes, because one must be a troll if one is not homosexual sweet to
    everyone and everbody, right?
    Wireless Is Rock Solid guy?
    Where can one apply to get to be a judge of that?
    I don't believe you. In fact, I think you're a lyar, and I've got
    every reason to believe so. If you want to prove me wrong, send a copy
    of your log book that shows you have systematically written down the
    status of your link.
    Let me undetstand this right. Did a bear dig up your cable? If so, I
    think you have found a problem with wire that wireless lacks. Where
    did you want to lead us with this story?
    In my experience, a cable only fails at one place, those very rare
    time it actually fails. When it breaks at one place, it's very easy to
    identify where, and if you cannot see it with your eyes, you can do it
    with a simple measure instrument, regardless it being fiber or twisted
    If so, you did not get equipment with a watchdog. The cheapest
    watchdog is a timer box for $10 that turns it off and on once a day.
    I did manage to go though about 1000 feets of forrest in a testbed I
    put up, using 21dB parabolid antenna at both sides running 11Mbit
    radio, 15dBm. It could be stable for a week, but after a rainy day, I
    would be happy to get one packet though in a hundred. Forrest
    represent only fading problem easily managed by adding power, but
    forrest in combination with water you got an unmanageable signal chaos
    where practically every wave are distroyed by another, out of phase.
    That would be a good idea if cheap is of the essence. He may be better
    off running the antennas 45' polariazed to eliminate the reflective
    occean effect trees got after a rainy day.
    Good idea. and remember to put it out on a strut three feet from the
    trunk, and get rid of all the branches ten feet arount it in x and y
    direction, when z is line of sight.
    This is a low cost project using wide beams. Unfocused beams won't be
    a problem. And if he want to break a record making it cheap, he would
    make the antenna himself, using two plates (one antenna) of one by one
    feet aluminium and copper or brass and form a cavity/patch. This way
    he will get about 18 dBi at best. A good thing not only becaus it's
    cheap, but because cavity/patch principle get more gain out of areal
    than example a parabol, and is a better receiver than a yagi. This
    would set him back about $5. Two Dlink bridges must be easy to get
    hold of at eBay for less than $20. They were sold for less than $100
    when new.. Now he needs something water proof to put it inside, that
    got no metal in it. Two large wash buckets cost less than $2 (remeber
    that the antennas ground plane is 10*10 inches; and about 2 inch deep
    if cavity). Now he needs a thin coax cable to get from antenna to pbc.
    If he mounts the bridge backside antenna, it need only to be three
    inch long, and get close to no cable and connector loss. Now it's just
    tp and power cable. Both is less than $0.25 a feet. It he wants to be
    clever he may wants to feed the bridge with DC over tp. Then you will
    need a higher valtage DC power supply than the bridge needs, to take
    care of the loss of voltage over the tp cable. How to calculate this
    is easy. Now the squirrels can gnaw off your cable without getting
    electrified to death. You will then end up with a P2P system for less
    than $110 including 200' of tp cable, which is close to half of the
    budget. This includes both sides. Remember to choose blue buckets
    instead of red or yellow. Much easier to see in a forrest:)
    Yes, this can never be stressed enough. Not only do you need line of
    sight, but the special Fressnel kind of line of sight.
    I would rather say bridge. They are cheaper and doesn't include all
    stuff you don't need. Dlink had a boundle of these for less than $100
    five years back. They sold ten thousands of them. Should be possible
    to get hold of two used ones. Because, this is low budget. If it
    wasn't fiber would be the way to go. That the both of us agree upon.
    Chrisjoy, Dec 17, 2008
  14. JJ

    Stephen Guest

    you are not comparing like with like.

    if you dig a trench at xx $ / metre, then the cost of whatever you put
    in it vanishes into the noise. Fibre makes sense cos it is more
    flexible - if you have power both ends.

    but why is an overhead wire out of the Q? after all that is how a
    phone line would get strung thru a wooded area....
    Stephen, Dec 17, 2008
  15. JJ

    Chrisjoy Guest

    We are talking about wireless 802.11b/g and now you introduce Wi-Fi.
    Try to stay focused.
    He cannot use neither access point nor wireless router in this setup.
    The alternative I was refering to is outdoor router + subscriber unit,
    which is far more expencive. If two access points or two wireless
    routers can be put up in bridge mode, either as a master and slave or
    two masters, they are bridges as they run. What it sais on the
    wrapping is not relevant.
    Right, and that bridge functionality is what he needs in this setup to
    be able to drag out tp cable to a high point in the trees. Or did you
    find a client with an ethernet interface that is cheaper than my
    Chrisjoy, Dec 17, 2008
  16. JJ

    Chrisjoy Guest

    Meaning you did not understand it? If so, how are you able to conclude
    something from it?
    An access poing cannot bridge. If an access point is able to run as a
    client, it's no longer an access point. You're confused.
    LOL. You're writing it, but you obviously do not understand it.
    I didn't think you had anything meaningful to say either.
    I didn't think you would be able to provide a reasonable reply either,
    dumb f*ck.
    Chrisjoy, Dec 18, 2008
  17. JJ

    Chrisjoy Guest

    What is it with you and those two words, crackpot? Are you religious
    Chrisjoy, Dec 18, 2008
  18. JJ

    DanS Guest

    802.11x IS commonly referred to as WiFi.

    I think you were mistakenly thinking WiMax.

    And note....all *802.11x* is bridging. There are other systems that are
    routing and not bridging, that also operate in the 2.4GHz band.
    DanS, Dec 18, 2008
  19. JJ

    Stephen Guest

    different countries seem to vary.

    here (UK) BT the incumbent telco likes stringing cables via poles for
    the last 100m or so to each house.

    however - the OP mentioned going thru a wood and not wanting to put in
    a duct, so stringing a cable thru the trees seems like 1 possible
    Stephen, Dec 18, 2008
  20. JJ

    JJ Guest

    I appreciate all the discussion of the merits of cable Vs. wireles. I
    totally believe that a cable would provide a much better signal, but
    really, a cable is just not going to happen, buried, strung up, or
    just lying on the ground.

    So, back to wireless signals. I looked more closely this morning at
    the tree situation, and what I noticed was, that by sheer luck, the
    desk where the dell laptop sits that gets wireless reception just
    happens to coincide with what is just about the only decent line of
    sight from anywhere in our house to the room in my neighbor's house
    where the wireless router sits. Just one scrawny bare ~3" trunk in an
    otherwise unobstructed 6-8' wide swath - and I'd happily cut that
    sucker down. Everywhere else is fairly crowded, so the antenna
    location would be pretty obvious.

    Another question about obstacles though. What about the walls of the
    house? In this case, on our side, there is no window, just a wall.
    On their side, a sliding glass door. With all this talk of Fresnel
    distance and obstacles in the path, etc, what's up with the walls?
    How much signal am I losing by going through the walls? If I put my
    power-station 2 (or whatever) inside the house as opposed to mounted
    on the outside, how much of the signal strength am I really losing?
    Are trees more of a show-stopper than the walls of a house because
    they contain water?


    JJ, Dec 18, 2008
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