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howie.stone
2011-04-17, 03:18
It would be so nice to be able to do this.

The obvious answer -- ipeng and an ipod touch-- won't work because my wireless network isn't strong enough. That would have been ideal because ipod docs are easy to take outside.

I could use ethernet to wire a link -- using the electricity circuit to transmit the signal. I've never tried it but it should work. But -- there's no ethernet plug on the ipod or the ipad -- nor, as far as I can tell, on any android kit.

The garden is about 80 feet from the wireless router.

Help!!

andynormancx
2011-04-17, 03:24
Either move the wifi router closer to the garden or install a wifi repeater closer to the garden.

pippin
2011-04-17, 03:26
You could try an antenna booster (higher gain antenna) for the WiFi router.
80 feet should be no distance for a WiFi network in an open area.

toby10
2011-04-17, 03:41
I'd look into why your WiFi can't handle 80 feet. My WiFi G does this even through walls.
Google "basic WiFi tweaks" and there are many simple DIY tutorials to get a better and more robust WiFi signal.
There are even DIY homemade antenna boosters.

howie.stone
2011-04-17, 03:54
I should have mentioned that I use a British Telecom Infinity Router -- I've heard it is one of the most powerful available in the UK. There is no point where I can hook on an antenna -- as far as I can see antennas need an slot to hook in coaxial cable. Shame that -- I had the idea of using an antenna myself.

Has anyone got any experience of/ recommendations for repeaters?

The Infinity router doues have plenty of ethernet sockets and a USB

Atlantic
2011-04-17, 04:33
Has anyone got any experience of/ recommendations for repeaters?



I use the Edimax 7416APN 'range extender'. It has removable antennae, so you might be able to add, I think, an external antenna if you wanted to do so. In the box are a couple of screws to wall mount it. It has a plastic case, and a separate plug-top PSU, so is quite lightweight.

It repeats a signal from a Linksys 'g' wireless AP. I run a couple of SBRs off it, in a very-solid-brick house where even the internal walls are solid brick, so I needed a repeater.

I bought mine from Amazon but had to return it because it seemed to overheat and the wireless would 'just stop'. Amazon replaced it, and the replacement has worked well. There seem to be over 200 comments about it on Amazon, so maybe there's some reading to do :)

regards
Atlantic

JJZolx
2011-04-17, 04:43
I should have mentioned that I use a British Telecom Infinity Router -- I've heard it is one of the most powerful available in the UK. There is no point where I can hook on an antenna -- as far as I can see antennas need an slot to hook in coaxial cable. Shame that -- I had the idea of using an antenna myself.

Has anyone got any experience of/ recommendations for repeaters?

The Infinity router doues have plenty of ethernet sockets and a USB

I assume you don't plan on placing that repeater between the current router and the garden if that means placing it outdoors. So the repeater would also be located in your house.

If you can run ethernet cabling to the point in your house where you'd place the repeater, then you'd be better off with another router instead, configured as an access point and operating on a different wireless channel. Get one where you can replace the antenna with a higher gain unit, just in case you need it to reach the garden.

howie.stone
2011-04-17, 05:40
I use the Edimax 7416APN 'range extender'. It has removable antennae, so you might be able to add, I think, an external antenna if you wanted to do so. In the box are a couple of screws to wall mount it. It has a plastic case, and a separate plug-top PSU, so is quite lightweight.

It repeats a signal from a Linksys 'g' wireless AP. I run a couple of SBRs off it, in a very-solid-brick house where even the internal walls are solid brick, so I needed a repeater.

I bought mine from Amazon but had to return it because it seemed to overheat and the wireless would 'just stop'. Amazon replaced it, and the replacement has worked well. There seem to be over 200 comments about it on Amazon, so maybe there's some reading to do :)

regards
Atlantic

Thanks. Is that with the BT infinity router?

howie.stone
2011-04-17, 05:42
Either move the wifi router closer

Not easy -- it's fixed because it is fibre optic broadband.

howie.stone
2011-04-17, 05:51
If you can run ethernet cabling to the point in your house where you'd place the repeater, then you'd be better off with another router instead, configured as an access point and operating on a different wireless channel. Get one where you can replace the antenna with a higher gain unit, just in case you need it to reach the garden.


How easy is that to do? I'm not a hardcore networking techie.

Atlantic
2011-04-17, 06:10
Thanks. Is that with the BT infinity router?

No. The unit sits on an internal wall picking up a wireless 'g' signal from a Linksys AP (access-point, like a router but without any 'routing' - apologies if you're already familiar with what an AP is) and repeating it into the two rooms where the wireless 'g' signal from the Linksys was too weak for the SBRs to work.

I purchased this unit because I wasn't sure whether repeaters, generally, had to be the 'same manufacturer' as the main router or AP whose signal was being repeated. (Eg, BT, in your case.) Some of the comments on Amazon indicated that this Edimax unit would repeat any wireless 'g' signal, so I got it. It certainly repeats/extends the Linksys's signal ok.

Perhaps there will be some comments about its use with BT Infinity since BT has such a large proportion of the BB market in UK.

On a slightly different subject, have you grasped, ok, that there are two different suggestions for you on this thread?

(i) Repeat the wireless signal from the BT Infinity - for example, by sticking the Edimax unit on a wall near a window looking into the garden (behind a curtain is fine, upstairs would be better than downstairs*).

(ii) Don't repeat the signal at all. Instead, get an additional WiFi AP instead, installed at a suitable (upstairs - preferably*) window overlooking the garden - behind a curtain is fine, which you then connect using an ethernet cable to your BT Infinity. Set the new upstairs AP to use a different channel from the channel used by the BT Infinity.

*Note: If you are in an urban area and your windows, or garden, are to some extent 'overlooked' by adjacent properties, you might be better off not putting your WiFi unit in an upstairs window, but in a downstairs window where its signal will contend with lower-strength signals from other properties. (Signal attenuation - eg from other properties - tends to be greater at lower heights.)

regards,

Atlantic

JJZolx
2011-04-17, 06:10
How easy is that to do? I'm not a hardcore networking techie.

Which part? Running cable or configuring the access point? It's no more difficult than setting up a repeater.

Configuration is typically done through a web interface on the router. Out of the box you would connect a PC or laptop directly to the new router, connect to the router's administrative web page, then change some settings. You would disable the router's DHCP server, set the wireless channel, SSID and wifi password, then change the IP address of the router to be a fixed address on your existing network. Reconnect the PC to your existing network and connect the new router to the old one by connecting between one of the new router's LAN ports (not the WAN port) to a LAN port on the existing router.

Ask questions here if you like. Shouldn't take much to walk you through it.

Jaicee
2011-04-18, 15:03
The most reliable method would be to buy a Wireless Access Point from a computer store, place it near a window facing your garden and connect it to your existing BT modem with a long network cable. This will hopefully give you the range you need but the down side is you may need to run a long cable between rooms.

Using the repeater option mentioned is also good and requires no cables between your router and the wireless access point but is a little more fiddly to setup and in my experience isn't quite as reliable as the first option.

You should be able to do both options yourself by following the manual that comes with the access point but if you can't you would need to get an IT guy to come out and sort it. It should take them 30 mins max to set it all up for you and check your radio can get a signal. It would be worth listing the model you wish to buy here first as most but not all support the repeater function.

howie.stone
2011-04-18, 23:24
The most reliable method would be to buy a Wireless Access Point from a computer store, place it near a window facing your garden and connect it to your existing BT modem with a long network cable. This will hopefully give you the range you need but the down side is you may need to run a long cable between rooms.

Using the repeater option mentioned is also good and requires no cables between your router and the wireless access point but is a little more fiddly to setup and in my experience isn't quite as reliable as the first option.

You should be able to do both options yourself by following the manual that comes with the access point but if you can't you would need to get an IT guy to come out and sort it. It should take them 30 mins max to set it all up for you and check your radio can get a signal. It would be worth listing the model you wish to buy here first as most but not all support the repeater function.

That's clear. Thanks.

But how do I choose one? There are hundreds of these things! There doesn't seem to be any objective measure of their strength or their reliability.

It would be great if someone who has had positive experiences would recommend one.

bobkoure
2011-04-19, 04:35
There's little objective measure of strength because the power output is regulated by, well, not law, exactly; here in the US it's regulated by, FCC regulation.

If you have a techie friend, I'd suggest just getting one of the routers that can have DD-WRT installed on it. I use an Asus WL-520 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833320023&cm_re=dd-wrt-_-33-320-023-_-Product)as a repeater and it's been flawless.

I'd also suggest newegg.com as a place to look at customer reviews, which is about as close as you'll get to reliability ratings.

All that said, before you start looking at all this - how close are your nearest neighbors? Could you be having an interference problem with one of their routers? If that's a possibility (and if you can), it might be worth changing the 'channel' that your router is using. If it's like the US, it came set to 6. Try 1 or 11. It could be as simple as that.

TheLastMan
2011-04-19, 07:08
That's clear. Thanks.
It would be great if someone who has had positive experiences would recommend one.

Ahem...
...you might want to buy a "G" class WAP, or router acting as a WAP, that has an external aerial, connect it with an Ethernet cable to your BT router - and then buy one of the following items:

http://www.wifi-antennas.co.uk/index.php?target=products&product_id=152

A "friend" tells me they work extremely well.

Mums the word guv... ;)

indifference_engine
2011-04-19, 07:28
It would be so nice to be able to do this.

The obvious answer -- ipeng and an ipod touch-- won't work because my wireless network isn't strong enough. That would have been ideal because ipod docs are easy to take outside.

I could use ethernet to wire a link -- using the electricity circuit to transmit the signal. I've never tried it but it should work. But -- there's no ethernet plug on the ipod or the ipad -- nor, as far as I can tell, on any android kit.

The garden is about 80 feet from the wireless router.

Help!!

An option that I use is to run Squeezeslave on my SBS server and connect the soundcard output to an FM transmitter. All you need in the garden is a plain FM radio. The sound quality isn't as good as with wi-fi but that doesn't matter too much in the garden and I find I get a very good range.

Jaicee
2011-04-19, 08:04
That's clear. Thanks.

But how do I choose one? There are hundreds of these things! There doesn't seem to be any objective measure of their strength or their reliability.

It would be great if someone who has had positive experiences would recommend one.

Something like this would work http://www.ebuyer.com/product/220595

The wireless "N" devices are faster and have better range than the "B" or "G" ones and in particular look out for ones advertised as 300Mbps rather than 150Mbps as these have 3 antenna rather than 2.

The routers with visible external antenna often allow those antenna to be replaced with bigger perhaps directional antenna which might help if your garden is very big but realistically if you can site the extender at a window you shouldn't have range problems unless there are trees in the way (leaves are great at soaking up wireless signals).

bobkoure
2011-04-19, 16:49
...and then buy one of the following items:
http://www.wifi-antennas.co.uk/index.php?target=products&product_id=152
A "friend" tells me they work extremely well.


I gather these are amps to boost past regulation power levels. There's no need for that for your usage. There's also the possibility that one of your neighbors is running one of these, killing your garden reception. BTW, if you do anything like that, please stay away from channel 6, as that's where most folks who haven't a clue are - they won't know what hit 'em.

Personally, I'd first try changing channels, and if that didn't work, spending the ~$35 on a dd-wrt box to use as a repeater. And if that didn't work, I'd think about a directional antenna (replacement or a reflector around the dipole that's already there. But I'd be amazed if you needed this for your application.

TheLastMan
2011-04-20, 03:36
I gather these are amps to boost past regulation power levels. There's no need for that for your usage. There's also the possibility that one of your neighbors is running one of these, killing your garden reception. BTW, if you do anything like that, please stay away from channel 6, as that's where most folks who haven't a clue are - they won't know what hit 'em.
Well that depends...

In the USA most houses are built with timber and plasterboard (drywall). This is fairly transparent to wi-fi so US routers can broadcast a signal easily beyond the boundaries of a house and, in that case, a 500mw booster could well swamp the neighbours signal.

In the UK, most buildings are built with external walls either of solid stone or brick (at least two bricks wide) or with a double skin, brick on the outside and cinder block on the inside with a cavity usually filled with insulation. This is pretty well impermeable to wi-fi at normal domestic router outputs and the only way a signal can get out of the house any distance is via windows and wooden doors. If the windows are double glazed, even that can be tricky.

The result is that using a normal domestic router it is pretty difficult to get a usable signal to extend beyond the external walls of a house for any distance if the router is located centrally within it. Don't be fooled by the fact that you can see a multitude of wi-fi networks in your area, all but your very closest neighbours networks will be unusably weak.

Some older houses (such as mine) also have solid brick internal walls. This even makes getting a wi-fi signal from room to room pretty difficult! Solid walls and fitted carpets makes laying ethernet problematic and disruptive. Hence a continual search in the UK for a solution that will provide a LAN connection consistently around a house. Multipath "N" routers are popular, but even these will struggle to broadcast oustide the house. Using PowerPlug devices on your electrical circuits is growing in popularity, but older wiring and modern circuit breaker technology can reduce the usefulness of that.

It is no wonder that some people resort to a booster to overcome the physical barriers. My "friend" uses a parabolic directional antenna in the highest part of the loft pointing down through the house so leakage outside the house is minimised.

Don't worry about health concerns, the regulations are in place to allow wi-fi networks to co-exist without interference rather than for any health reason. Standing 2m from a 500mw boosted antenna would mean that energy is spread over a roughly 50 square metre spherical surface, or 10mw per square metre. Put a wall or floor between you and the antenna and energy levels are barely measurable. A modern GSM mobile phone has an output power of at least 1w (1000mw) and you are usually a lot closer to your mobile phone than you are to your WiFi antenna!

Using a single 500mw booster in your loft will subject you to a massively lower radio energy level than you get from the 100mw wireless antenna in the laptop you are using right now ;)

Jaicee
2011-04-20, 03:44
Try the house I'm in at the moment. Not just solid brick between rooms but 10"+ of stone. Wifi can be hard to pickup 10 meters away from the hotspot in a different room.

Strategically placed repeaters and POE are the only way to get a decent signal throughout.

TheLastMan
2011-04-20, 04:24
Try the house I'm in at the moment. Not just solid brick between rooms but 10"+ of stone. Wifi can be hard to pickup 10 meters away from the hotspot in a different room.

Strategically placed repeaters and POE are the only way to get a decent signal throughout.
Sounds like you have a real problem there.

By the way, POE is "Power over Ethernet". That is the technique of providing electrical power to network devices (WAP, router, switch) using spare conductors in the ethernet cable rather than a separate power cable. Used most often in commercial buildings where WAPs are located above ceilings and in walls where it can reduce cable clutter.

I think you mean "HomePlug" or "Powerline" networking which you could abbreviate to EOP, "ethernet over power" ;)

Jaicee
2011-04-20, 04:31
Sounds like you have a real problem there.

By the way, POE is "Power over Ethernet". That is the technique of providing electrical power to network devices (WAP, router, switch) using spare conductors in the ethernet cable rather than a separate power cable. Used most often in commercial buildings where WAPs are located above ceilings and in walls where it can reduce cable clutter.

I think you mean "HomePlug" or "Powerline" networking which you could abbreviate to EOP, "ethernet over power" ;)

Yes you're right, I got the acronym the wrong way round. I should know better since I work in IT!

bobkoure
2011-04-21, 05:13
Don't worry about health concerns, the regulations are in place to allow wi-fi networks to co-exist without interference rather than for any health reason.
I'm familiar with power laws and wasn't worried about health issues, just clobbering your neighbors wifi.

If you can get reception indoors at a window that faces your garden, then a repeater sounds like the cheapest / least intrusive solution - or is there something I don't know about UK glass?

howie.stone
2011-06-30, 07:06
I thought I would add a note about how this resolved itself -- just for the archive.

The heart of the problem in a way was the ipod touch -- which wasn't good enough to pick up the wifi signals. In fact I now pick up streams , without any repeater, to about 100 feet away from the router, using a Roberts internet radio (which plays streams of FLAC files). I needed to install TVersity on my computer -- but it's easy to use and free. Either the ipod is poor at picking up wifi or the Roberts Radio is excellent or both.

Searching via the Roberts radio is fine.

pippin
2011-06-30, 07:33
The iPod is definitely poor at picking up signals.
I mean: Do you see an antenna in that device? A vertical one? At least 3 inches long? Without any connection to other metal parts (OK, without more than one)? Bingo! The Antenna is behind a small patch at the back of the device and you rarely hold an iPod in the right orientation (not that it would help with an antenna of that form factor).
iPad is even worse.