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View Full Version : Cheapest way to fix weak wireless signal?



nicketynick
2008-01-19, 11:07
A friend just bought a DLink WBR 1310 wireless router which is on the second floor, and the WUA 1340 USB Adapter for his PC in the basement. The signal is too weak, and he claims he can't do anything about placement, although I'm going over tomorrow to check it out. His budget is pretty tight - what's generally the cheapest way to extend the wireless? Just by adding another WBR1310 and use it as an access point/repeater? (I'm assuming it can be configured for this? usually referred to as WDS mode?) The antennas are generally more expensive, aren't they?
Thanks all!

amcluesent
2008-01-19, 11:13
>what's generally the cheapest way to extend the wireless? M<

A cantenna?

nicketynick
2008-01-19, 11:20
>what's generally the cheapest way to extend the wireless? M<

A cantenna?

I thought you were joking until I googled it! In Canada here - so can't pop over to the shop to buy this, plus I can get a wireless router on sale just about as cheap....

JJZolx
2008-01-19, 12:41
He's using one of these?

http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=477

I think you might get better reception with a card with an antena. You could even add an antenna on a leash if the PC is located so that it shields the card's onboard antenna.

http://www.dlink.com/products/?sec=0&pid=475

nicketynick
2008-01-19, 12:58
He's using one of these?

http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=477

I think you might get better reception with a card with an antena. You could even add an antenna on a leash if the PC is located so that it shields the card's onboard antenna.

http://www.dlink.com/products/?sec=0&pid=475

Thanks for the response JJZolx. According to the link, that USB adapter is supposed to come with a leash so you can place it to maximum effect - I've asked him to confirm he got it in the Canadian packaging.
Reviews I've seen on these Dlink products have been pretty bad, might be better to spend a bit extra for the Linksys?

bpa
2008-01-19, 13:22
You don't need a special leash - just an ordinary USB cable to allow the dongle to be moved around.

Make a cardboard and tinfoil parabolic reflector and put in on the dongle, and point to the router.

http://www.freeantennas.com/projects/template2/index.html

nicketynick
2008-01-19, 14:01
You don't need a special leash - just an ordinary USB cable to allow the dongle to be moved around.

Make a cardboard and tinfoil parabolic reflector and put in on the dongle, and point to the router.

http://www.freeantennas.com/projects/template2/index.html

Huh, now that's a clever idea. How would you place the dongle within the centre of the reflector so that the antenna is in the focal point?

bpa
2008-01-19, 15:49
It doesn't have to be very accurate but the template shows where a dipole antenna should poke through - as a start I'd put the USB dongle in the same place as if it was a dipole.

See http://www.freeantennas.com/projects/template2/Windsurfer_Pic.JPG

Use Netstumbler to measure strength of signal - so not just position and orientation in room but also position of dongle in relation to reflector.

j.e.f.f
2008-01-22, 09:01
Definitely try the free DIY antenna options here, but if that doesn't seem to work, AND he can get his hands on an old Linksys WRT54G, flash it to DD-WRT and crank up the transmission power. Worked great for me when I lived in a condo building with 10 other wireless networks in range.

Google for DD-WRT, and be sure to read the instructions first.