PDA

View Full Version : Boosting Signal Strength



Minora
2007-10-20, 08:56
Usually the signal strength on my SB is around 20%. For the most part it works well, only occasionally dropping out. It seems to get worse with people walking around the house. With a party coming up and lots of people around, I have a feeling the signal will be too weak, which will mean the SB will be nothing more than a decoration. I am unable to locate router or SB physically closer to each other.

So does anyone have any suggestion as to the best and most cost effective way of increasing signal strength- HW, SW....?

I use a Linksys WRT54G router.

Gibbo
2007-10-20, 09:58
you could try ugrading the aerials on your router for something like this

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/94180

may give you the extra you need.


you can post twice, so can I :-)

SuperQ
2007-10-20, 17:05
Usually the signal strength on my SB is around 20%. For the most part it works well, only occasionally dropping out. It seems to get worse with people walking around the house. With a party coming up and lots of people around, I have a feeling the signal will be too weak, which will mean the SB will be nothing more than a decoration. I am unable to locate router or SB physically closer to each other.

So does anyone have any suggestion as to the best and most cost effective way of increasing signal strength- HW, SW....?

I use a Linksys WRT54G router.

I would try the following:

Change your wifi channel (1, 6, 11 in that order is a good way to test)

Change the orientation of your antennas. Straight up works if the SB3 is on the same floor as the router, if not, you may have to fold them down and point the side at the SB3. The antennas have the worst signal above the tip and below the base of the antenna. The signal from the antennas is kinda bagel shaped.

Gibbo
2007-10-21, 02:19
Maybe it sounds crazy but someone posted on here a little while ago with a link to a site telling you how to build a high gain dish out of some card and foil, may actually work for you if you can find the link, for free its maybe worth a try.

the dish just slots over the aerial on your router.

Ramage
2007-10-21, 04:06
Maybe it sounds crazy but someone posted on here a little while ago with a link to a site telling you how to build a high gain dish out of some card and foil, may actually work for you if you can find the link, for free its maybe worth a try.

the dish just slots over the aerial on your router.

The link you want is: http://www.freeantennas.com/

accel
2007-10-21, 04:31
You could use a custom firmware for your WRT-54G router.
The WRT-54G runs a Linux kind of firmware and therefor the sourcecode is public
In this custom firmware you could boost the output of the wireless signal considerably.
Loading the firmware is as easy as doing an update from the Linksys website.
Read the instructions or the forums though.

See these sites and see which firmware you like best:
http://hyperwrt.org/

or

http://www.dd-wrt.com/dd-wrtv2/downloads.php

or

http://www.polarcloud.com/tomato

SumnerH
2007-10-21, 07:29
You could use a custom firmware for your WRT-54G router.
The WRT-54G runs a Linux kind of firmware and therefor the sourcecode is public
In this custom firmware you could boost the output of the wireless signal considerably.
Loading the firmware is as easy as doing an update from the Linksys website.
Read the instructions or the forums though.

See these sites and see which firmware you like best:
http://hyperwrt.org/

or

http://www.dd-wrt.com/dd-wrtv2/downloads.php

or

http://www.polarcloud.com/tomato

FWIW, I use (and like) hyperwrt. It tries to make minimal changes to the stock firmware compared to the other ones I've seen, but it does add signal boost and a few other key items.

PS: All the WRT54G custom firmwares are free.

bigjp
2007-10-21, 08:31
You could use a custom firmware for your WRT-54G router.
The WRT-54G runs a Linux kind of firmware and therefor the sourcecode is public
In this custom firmware you could boost the output of the wireless signal considerably.
Loading the firmware is as easy as doing an update from the Linksys website.
Read the instructions or the forums though.

See these sites and see which firmware you like best:
http://hyperwrt.org/

or

http://www.dd-wrt.com/dd-wrtv2/downloads.php

or

http://www.polarcloud.com/tomato

I just used the polarcloud link and it worked great!!! My signal strength went from 30% to 70%. Thanks for the links!

Minora
2007-10-21, 12:51
I upgraded from the above site - I see about an increase of 10-15% in signal strength

Thanks

bpa
2007-10-21, 14:53
Although you can increase the signal strength - you need to make the signal/noise ratio improves as well. I found that upping the power didn't provide a better quality stream. I changed the antenna of the router to get a better S/N ratio.

IvanSlade
2007-10-21, 15:16
Just buy yorself a booster. I run a linksys WAG and have boosters around the house.
Best
Ivan

Club1820
2007-10-22, 08:47
Just buy yorself a booster. I run a linksys WAG and have boosters around the house.
Best
Ivan

Can you provide more info? What type of booster are you referring to?

Thanks.

ob_kook
2007-10-22, 08:52
You could buy a WAP54G and place it in a second location. I did that as well as used the hyperWRT and increased coverage dramatically.

Mark Lanctot
2007-10-23, 06:02
The DD-WRT firmware can turn a WRT54GL into a booster.

The term is actually "WDS" (Wireless Distribution System).

Note that DD-WRT can also turn the WRT54GL into a bridge, i.e. it intercepts the wireless signal and implements a wired LAN on the other side, connected via wireless to the rest of the LAN. This is advantageous for the SB because the WRT54GL's antennas are much better than the SB3's, it may get a good signal where the SB3 wouldn't - plus the antennas are adjustable and upgradeable.

Other 3rd party firmware may or may not be able to do this.

The WRT54GL is usually cheaper than the equivalent booster or bridge.

pfarrell
2007-10-23, 06:40
Mark Lanctot wrote:
> The WRT54GL is usually cheaper than the equivalent booster or bridge.

The WRT54GL is a ton cheaper than their Access Point as well.

I bought one a week or two ago, it was all of $3 more than the non-L version

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

dick
2007-10-23, 08:04
I had a similar problem and considered a booster, repeater and the cheapest wireless access point that can be run in repeater mode. My main issue is that my house is L-shaped and the signal had to pass through 2 brick walls to get to the SB. It just wasn't good enough for playing flacs. In the end I chose a mains network solution from Netgear. OK, it's a more expensive way to do it but it gives me 4 sockets @ 85Mbs which should be plenty for the SB and any IP based PVR I may set up in the future.

mudlark
2007-11-05, 13:51
The DD-WRT firmware can turn a WRT54GL into a booster.

The term is actually "WDS" (Wireless Distribution System).

Note that DD-WRT can also turn the WRT54GL into a bridge, i.e. it intercepts the wireless signal and implements a wired LAN on the other side, connected via wireless to the rest of the LAN. This is advantageous for the SB because the WRT54GL's antennas are much better than the SB3's, it may get a good signal where the SB3 wouldn't - plus the antennas are adjustable and upgradeable.

Other 3rd party firmware may or may not be able to do this.

The WRT54GL is usually cheaper than the equivalent booster or bridge.

Mark I am trying to use a wireless bridge to connect my second SB3 into my system. The idea is the wireless bridge can be placed in a better position than the SB3. I've got the bridge to work with a desktop pc, but when i try the SB3 it doesn't seem to want to connect to the server using the previous wired settings. Have you any instructions, or ideas that will help?

Cheers,

Mike.

dwc
2007-11-05, 16:54
Is the antenna in the SB3 a dipole? Where is it centered, etc? I am trying to see if I can make a parabolic for it, based on the free antenna designs.

-Dan

Mark Lanctot
2007-11-06, 06:40
Mark I am trying to use a wireless bridge to connect my second SB3 into my system. The idea is the wireless bridge can be placed in a better position than the SB3. I've got the bridge to work with a desktop pc, but when i try the SB3 it doesn't seem to want to connect to the server using the previous wired settings. Have you any instructions, or ideas that will help?

Cheers,

Mike.

Try a static IP?

I haven't tried WDS but I hear it's quite finnicky. Don't count on equipment from two different manufacturers working together - often equipment from the same manufacturer won't interoperate.

Mark Lanctot
2007-11-06, 06:42
Is the antenna in the SB3 a dipole? Where is it centered, etc? I am trying to see if I can make a parabolic for it, based on the free antenna designs.

-Dan

There are two internal antennas like this one (the secondary antenna in the SB2):

http://www.slimdevices.com/photos/inside_squeezebox2/8.jpg

I don't see how this can be made parabolic or even directed externally for that matter.

mudlark
2007-11-07, 15:16
Try a static IP?

I haven't tried WDS but I hear it's quite finnicky. Don't count on equipment from two different manufacturers working together - often equipment from the same manufacturer won't interoperate.

I've tried a static ip address, but no success. I've emailed belkin to see if they can help.

dwc
2007-11-09, 10:50
There are two internal antennas like this one (the secondary antenna in the SB2):

http://www.slimdevices.com/photos/inside_squeezebox2/8.jpg

I don't see how this can be made parabolic or even directed externally for that matter.

Thanks Mark,

Can anyone say where the antennas are located in the SB3 case? Right side, left side, etc?