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Improving wireless reception?

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by Mr.D, Aug 8, 2003.

  1. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Here is where I am with my home network.
    x3 Machines: 1 desktop , 1 HTPC and 1 laptop.

    All have belkin 11g wireless nics.

    File sharing and transfer works fine.
    Radmin works fine from the HTPC to the desktop.

    ICS is operational but is unreliable : distance from host doesn't make any difference.

    Reception from the desktop to the HTPC is usable but not great. Seperation is in the region of 20ft with a couple of walls and one floor in between.

    Moving machines closer does improve reception but is there any other way to get better reception without moving the machines?

    Aerials , software tips???

    Really I'd like to be able to surf the net wirelessly on the laptop and potentially use the htpc to obtain cd track data from the net.
     
  2. MikeTV

    MikeTV
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    If practical, you could try running a cable (speaker cable or something) from one place to another. It will probably act like an antenna. Maybe even wire it to the PC case. I've done this successfully for wireless devices like keyboards and mice to give them a greater range. Never tried it with networking devices. I don't mean you should connect them directly - I just mean place the ends of the wire in the vicinity of the two devices.
     
  3. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    I understand thanks for the tip.
     
  4. BBD

    BBD
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    You can buy aerials to improve range but they around the £100 mark.

    Look here
     
  5. Gerbil

    Gerbil
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    Well if you're using these
    [PCI cards in the desktop and HTPC you're probably losing a lot of signal strength as no matter what you do the case tends to shield most of the antenna.

    My HTPC has a Buffalo PCMCIA 802.11b wireless card in a PCI-PCMCIA carrier and the reception improved a lot with the addition of the Buffalo indoor omni directional antenna, which is really just a five inch stick on a stand and a long enough lead to reach a shelf on a bookcase.

    Belkin look like they do something similar [here, but the antennas always seem rediculously expensive for what they are. $24.99 for that little bit of plastic is a rip off and won't do anything for the laptop anyway.

    You might be better off considering an access point. Without an access point the cards operate in peer to peer (adhoc) mode. With an access point all traffic goes via the access point (infrastructure mode).

    You could purchase an access point and a network card for the desktop and link the two via a crossover cable. You may find this improves reception for the HTPC and laptop as most access points have better antennas than the wireless cards

    Alternatively site the access point in the middle of the house and don't wire it to the network at all. Since all traffic in infrastructure mode flows via the access point you will have effectively reduced the distance between each wireless device.

    Do you know anybody who you can borrow an access point from to experiment before you part with cash? Even an 802.11b access point would do.
     
  6. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Thanks guys I think I'll buy a couple of antennas.
    The desktop is pretty much in the centre of the house.
     
  7. TEK

    TEK
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    You might want to have a quick look at your environment as well and see if there's anything interferring - cordless phones etc. It may sound a bit Feng Shui poncy but having a move about could help. My 54g network has been flawless since I moved the phones away from the rest of my HTPC gear
     
  8. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Good tips thanks a lot.
     

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