WiFi repeater

Discussion in 'Campsite Electronics' started by WeRJuliIan, Jun 7, 2014.

  1. WeRJuliIan

    WeRJuliIan If it's "Aluminum", why not "Sodum" and "Uranum"?

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    Warning... Geek alert!
    If you're one of those who believe that WiFi has no place in the campground.. you may want to stop reading now :)

    I'm a shameless technophile, and I've been very disappointed by the "WiFi in all sites" offered at our favourite campground.
    Last time, I went walking with a signal mapper and found their access point... A teeny-tiny antenna on the end of the shower block, at one end of the site.
    We, of course, were at the other end, over the river and through the woods, with pretty much no signal.

    Yes, I could have tethered to my phone, but there was pretty much no signal there either... (another oddity... we have identical phones, we even bought them from the same store at the same time.. hers would connect just fine, mine hardly ever.. harrumph!)

    Sooooo... I want to set up a repeater to snag the very poor signal and create a local hot-spot around our pitch... Anyone done this?

    I've seen a company called Jefa Tech, offering what appears to be a re-flashed Linksys router and a high-gain antenna..

    http://www.jefatech.com/product/RV-KIT-REPEATER/Long-Range-WiFi-Repeater-Kit-for-RVs.html

    ...but they want $170 for it.

    The firmware code they use (DD-WRT) is available free, and I've got boxes of old routers in the back of a closet, so I can do that bit myself... The antenna, though, I will probably have to buy...

    Does anyone have any experience of doing this, how successful was it.. ?




    And, to anticipate the response... Yes, I know you can get directional antennae, but that gets more complex because the repeater uses the same antenna to rebroadcast the local signal, which needs to be omnidirectional. To do that, you're looking at a bridge, and extra hardware to haul around

    Plus, you have to spend a long time up a ladder, aiming them, which is far more effort than I want to put into the project...
    .
    (See, I told you this was a topic for geeks... :) Can't say I didn't warn you... )
     
  2. Phranc

    Phranc New Member

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    Check the Wilson Antenna website. They may have some antenna options that will help you. You may be able to come up with a magnet mount antenna that you connect to the router.

    As for mounting a magnetic antenna, at the hardware store get a flat washer for a one inch or so bolt, and a roll of Eternabond from your RV place. Use the Eternabond to mount the washer on the roof of your camper and set the magnetic base on that.

    (I speak Geek, some.)
     
  3. WeRJuliIan

    WeRJuliIan If it's "Aluminum", why not "Sodum" and "Uranum"?

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    Thanks for the suggestion.... I checked the Wilson site, they seem to be all about CB antennae ... ?

    Mag mounts, no problem... I've already planned to glue on four small steel plates, painted to match the roof, to mate with the magnetic feet for the solar panel/FM antenna/Omni antenna/space-alien-signalling-device mount.. which I need to get round to making soon!
     
  4. davej

    davej New Member

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    With the right router model, and the custom firmware, a dual antenna router can be set up to use one antenna to receive, and the other to transmit, which is how I would solve the directional/omnidirectional part of putting something like this together. In fact, I am using a Buffalo router w/tomato firmware at home as a G speed only access point that lets me choose which antenna to use to send/receive

    Sent from my Le Pan S using Tapatalk
     
  5. RotnMom

    RotnMom Am I there yet?

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    Was quite a geek in my day, when my memory worked! LOL

    I have the exact problem, but at HOME!! After 6 months of tweaking, geeking, hacking, whacking and nearly breaking a window (from the device going through it), our Verizon phones are nearly useless. Even Verizon's tech guys said I was within 4, 8, & 12 miles of 3 towers!! Verizon sold me a $300 'signal grabber' (the aforementioned device that nearly flew). Finally got that POS working and then when I called him back, I could hear him and he couldn't hear me. Wonderful. Turns out my Dish upload signal is SO low, it can't even push a phone signal out. Of course, Verizon blames Dish (I agree with that) and Dish blames Verizon.

    I was also referred to Wilson....for their $400 setup that doesn't depend on DISH at all. So I'm gonna pay hundreds of dollars on phones, $300 more for the POS signal booster, and another $400 to Wilson???

    NO WAY, JOSE. Ain't gonna happen, not ever, never, never ever, yada yada yada.

    I'm waiting for the day I fall and can't even call 911. THEN DH can own a large chunk of Verizon, since they're not only aware of the problem, but ADMITTED they need another tower out here. I even emailed their land department and offered then space on my property for FREE. Of course no response.

    SO, while my problem isn't WiFi while camping (ok, yes it is. I LIKE being hooked up while camping!), maybe one of you better geeks could toss out there something I could buy or try or whatever??? Just a crumb of info? A link maybe?? [:(] [:(]

    Thanks guys and WeRJulIan for bringing this up!!!

    [:D]
     
  6. lugoismad

    lugoismad Active Member

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    1. Go find the cheapest wireless router you can that has detachable antennas, and supports DD-WRT.

    I know the linksys WRT-54G did, but its pretty outdated.

    2. Eat some beans.

    3. Use the can from the beans in step 2 to build this -
    http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Cantenna

    4. Setup your DD-WRT router to be a repeater bridge
    http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Repeater_Bridge


    As far as your phone not working and your wifes does, try without your case. A friend of mine had a case that would block wifi. It was the most ridiculous thing ever.
     
  7. Phranc

    Phranc New Member

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    Take a look at this: http://www.ccrane.com/!ySE!W6InwFkyYJOdJSEknA!/High-Gain-8dBi-24GHz-Outdoor-WiFi-Antenna

    Also, I searched on external wifi antenna at Google and got some other hits, also.
     
  8. lugoismad

    lugoismad Active Member

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  9. WeRJuliIan

    WeRJuliIan If it's "Aluminum", why not "Sodum" and "Uranum"?

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    Surely... in the case of a repeater, local and distant traffic are both birectional...? So having one antenna transmitting and the other receiving isn't going to do it...

    You'd need a Tx and Rx channel, via the directional antenna, to the distant access point.... and a second Tx and RX via the omni antenna for your local devices.

    Or am I misunderstanding your setup?
     
  10. highside pup

    highside pup Active Member

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    I use Jefa Tech, pricey but as a old geek it workers for me and I'm challenged to learn new stuff !!!! I get good results overall .
     
  11. HiFiDave

    HiFiDave Singin round the campfire

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    I didn't want a lot of work to get a hot spot going around our pup so the JefaTech was just the ticket. I asked for it at Christmas so that was my present. I ran it up there with our off air TV antenna. If there is an open wifi signal around, it's going to pick it up and then we have strong signal wifi at our pup. I like it. (I saw similar antennas on the big class A rigs. Ours can get about a flat mile away)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    http://www.jefatech.com/product/RV-KIT-REPEATER

    Wanna get even more "geekie"? Get one of these and make a bishin media center you can Velcro to the back of your T.V.

    http://www.raspberrypi.org/
     
  12. WeRJuliIan

    WeRJuliIan If it's "Aluminum", why not "Sodum" and "Uranum"?

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    That's probably going to be the plan... but I only actually need the antenna.
    Jefa have just re flashed the code in a stock router... I've got lots of them, and the code is public domain for free, so I can save some money to spend on other toys... or an even better antenna :)

    Glad to hear it works well for you, that encourages me to go ahead.
     
  13. HappyFamily

    HappyFamily Member

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    Hubby has made one of these, but with a pringles can :) It worked GREAT!!! But then again, he is a huge nerd.

    Like this: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-make-a-wifi-antenna-out-of-a-pringles-can-nb/


    [LOL]
     
  14. davej

    davej New Member

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    The buffalo router model I use and the tomato firmware lets me pick which of the two antennas it uses to transmit on, and which antenna it recieves woth, so, yes, you could use a directional antenna and an omni and choose rx or tx for either. In theory at least, you could also set it to auto select, and it would choose between the omni and directional antennas as needed.
    Another approach would be to use two wireless routers, one set to function as a wireless bridge using a directional antenna pointed towards the campsite wifi, and the second router with an omnidirectional antenna set up as an AP connected to the first router. In this setup you can assign a completely different wireless channel to the AP than the channel used by the bridge.
    Using two routers lets both devices communicate at full speed instead of the half speed throughput you get with one router functioning as a wireless bridge/repeater

    Sent from my Le Pan S using Tapatalk
     
  15. swordfish

    swordfish Well-Known Member

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    I am using a simple, multi-purpose solution to wifi reception. I got a T-Mobile prepaid hot-spot. [You can get a good one for under $100] If the campground has strong wifi signal, I don't need to use it. If the campground has no wifi or only sends signals to where the laundry room is, I use the hot-spot. Now the question is what if I don't have strong cell phone coverage to reach my hot-spot? I have this 24' aluminum pole (4 connecting sections) staked to the ground with 3-guard wires. My hot-spot is hanging at the top of the pole by a pulley. My digital television antenna is attached at the pole as well. If the top of the pole sees cell phone towers, I get the wifi.

    The hot-spot was originally for emergency use, such as power outage due to hurricane or snow storms. I used to drive to McDonalds and Starbucks to get the free wifi during power outages. Now that is in the past.

    T-Mobile (not the best choice for where I live) has this pre-paid plan: $10 for 1 week or $25 for 1 month. I would consider Verizone first if I have to do it again. But check cell phone maps and compare.
     
  16. Steve88W

    Steve88W New Member

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    There are bi-directional amplifiers that work specifically for cellular signals. It's basically an omni (or directional) antenna on the roof --> amplifier ----> indoor omni antenna. I've installed these for people in fancy houses that build homes up in areas away from the rest of us. They are designed for RV's too. You guys have already addressed the wifi setup that I would try.
    As a note: just because your laptop can "hear" the signal, it doesn't mean you can broadcast back loud enough. Very common problem with public wifi. An external wifi card might have more signal power and adding an external antenna can help a ton.
     
  17. swordfish

    swordfish Well-Known Member

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    Could you recommend one? Does it matter which carrier?
     
  18. swordfish

    swordfish Well-Known Member

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  19. Nascar Fan

    Nascar Fan Active Member

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    We have the T-Mobile Hotspot for our trips and it works pretty good unless there is nothing around (which is most State Parks), If you buy the hotspot from Walmart and buy your prepaid plan from them, you get 2 months of service for $35. DW uses it with the Ipad while we are driving and there are very few places where there is no service.
     
  20. swordfish

    swordfish Well-Known Member

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    That's good to know. I think we picked T-Mobile originally for it's cheaper prepaid plan. That was a year ago. You should try raising your hot spot with a pole in state parks to get reception. It works like magic. I use a small dry-bag from Walmart to protect my hot spot from rain.
     

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