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Old 10-01-2008, 06:36 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
4,243 posts, read 12,767,359 times
Reputation: 3796

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Looking for a guru in the north of Boston area willing to do a housecall. Issue is trying to get a strong enough signal to the wireless in my sister's room which is in an addition in the back of the house. My father purchased a booster (NetGear or Linksys or something), but he can't get it to work. (I applaud him for trying considering he's 80 something years old.)

If you fit the bill, or know of someone who does, please DM me so we can chat. If you're from another part of the world and have some suggestions, I'm very willing to read them here!

Brief details:
3 computers - my father's (XP), my mother's (XP), my sister's (98 - to be upgraded to XP shortly)
Comcast is the ISP - my father's computer is Mission Control with the modem and it's on the second floor of the house; my mother's is also on the second floor a couple of rooms away and connects by wireless; my sister's is on the first floor in a single-story wing off the back of the house (about 30' away from Mission Control with numerous walls and a roof inbetween) and her wireless works because she can pick up a signal from a neighbor, but she can't pick up the signal from Mission Control.

My father did find a decent computer repair shop for past problems, but they don't do housecalls. I'm looking to find someone to go to their house and once and for all get my sister's computer online.
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,543 posts, read 55,469,830 times
Reputation: 32286
30' isn't far, which likely means a lot of metal in-between, or the signal is on the same channel as the neighbor's wireless and getting drowned out. Try changing channels, and if that doesn't work, consider running a network cable.
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:28 PM
 
19 posts, read 69,556 times
Reputation: 15
Have you tried a newer model router? Wireless-N routers are suppose to have greater range. If you have, then maybe you can try those powerline adapters. They convert your electrical outlets into ethernet drops. It may not work on older homes, though. If that doesn't work then you'll have to pull cables.

good luck
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Old 10-01-2008, 04:01 PM
 
28,622 posts, read 40,604,922 times
Reputation: 37303
There are times I wish I would bookmark thosepages that get my attention, this wasn't one of them, for which I apologize.

I saw a site that had instructions for building parabolic reflectors to the antennas of a router. Sounded easy and was made from common components. Some tin and, I think it was foam or card board, cut to a parabola that the tin connected to. Supposedly added range to a wireless signal.

If I can find it again I'll post it here.

Can a cable be added to get the router any closer to your sisters room w/o losing the other wireless connection?

I have noticed here that the angle of the antenna does make a difference. I am below my router and if the antenna is vertical I get a weaker signal than if it is parallel to the floor.
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Old 10-01-2008, 04:04 PM
 
28,622 posts, read 40,604,922 times
Reputation: 37303
Well this is not the one I originally found, but hey, there's nothing wrong with overkill!

Skip to item 11 for the conclusions.

Home made WLAN 802.11 Antennas (http://www.educypedia.be/electronics/Wlan-antenna/wlan-antennas2.htm - broken link)

Here's the search in Google:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...earch&aq=f&oq=
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Old 10-02-2008, 06:51 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
4,243 posts, read 12,767,359 times
Reputation: 3796
Quote:
(harry chickpea) 30' isn't far, which likely means a lot of metal in-between, or the signal is on the same channel as the neighbor's wireless and getting drowned out. Try changing channels, and if that doesn't work, consider running a network cable.
Sorry I'm such a duh with this stuff ... channel? Is that something changeable on the hardware (like a simple dip switch or something?) or is it a setting changed in a properties boxes that can be found somewhere?

Quote:
(hokiedokie) Have you tried a newer model router? Wireless-N routers are suppose to have greater range. If you have, then maybe you can try those powerline adapters. They convert your electrical outlets into ethernet drops. It may not work on older homes, though. If that doesn't work then you'll have to pull cables.
It's all Comcast equipment (other than the booster my father bought), so I don't know the age of the router. It is an older house -- built in the 60s, in the days when the phone company charged a monthly fee for each and every phone outlet, so only two were originally installed, and electrical outlets were far and few between since code didn't require a ton of them at the time. The addition, built about five years ago, has its circuitry directly from the main phone and electrical panels.

Quote:
(Tek_Freek) I saw a site that had instructions for building parabolic reflectors to the antennas of a router. Sounded easy and was made from common components. Some tin and, I think it was foam or card board, cut to a parabola that the tin connected to. Supposedly added range to a wireless signal. ...

Can a cable be added to get the router any closer to your sisters room w/o losing the other wireless connection?

I have noticed here that the angle of the antenna does make a difference. I am below my router and if the antenna is vertical I get a weaker signal than if it is parallel to the floor. ...

Well this is not the one I originally found, but hey, there's nothing wrong with overkill!
Skip to item 11 for the conclusions.
Home made WLAN 802.11 Antennas
Here's the search in Google:
Google
Interesting project, the reflector - might be fun to try (my father likes to putter in his workshop).

Yes, antenna angle does make a difference here for me, too -- my desktop is below it to the east, and my laptop, also below it, but to the west -- if I've dusted around the router and changed the antenna by mistake - signal weakens -- who'd a thunk a little thing like that could make a huge difference.

To all of you --- many, many thanks for giving suggestions!

Question (and I apologize for not being technically-minded) --- is a 'booster' and a 'repeater' the same thing? While wandering the 'net I found a wireless repeater gizmo that is placed sort of anywhere in a house (with experimentation for effectiveness) between the router and the wireless adaptor that's trying to get a signal, and this gizmo relays the signal forward.

Second Question - running cable
1) if the router was placed in the attic to get it a bit closer to my sister's computer and if it was still hardwired to my father's Mission Control computer, would that lengthy cable weaken my father's connection? (say it was a 25' cable). Oh, my sister's computer is 50' away, not 30' - my mistake. OR
2) if my sister's computer was also hardwired to the router, meaning about 50'+ of cabling, would that length weaken her connection?
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Old 10-02-2008, 07:18 AM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
11,727 posts, read 11,309,113 times
Reputation: 7700
Properly installed and connected Cat 5e cable is easily transparent at 200 ft. or more. You will probably get a faster connection between the PC and the router with cable that with wireless.
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Old 10-02-2008, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
4,243 posts, read 12,767,359 times
Reputation: 3796
Quote:
Originally Posted by mensaguy View Post
Properly installed and connected Cat 5e cable is easily transparent at 200 ft. or more. You will probably get a faster connection between the PC and the router with cable that with wireless.
Thanks mensaguy ... I'll forward that info to my father!
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,543 posts, read 55,469,830 times
Reputation: 32286
"Sorry I'm such a duh with this stuff ... channel? Is that something changeable on the hardware (like a simple dip switch or something?) or is it a setting changed in a properties boxes that can be found somewhere?"

You'll want to read the manual. Changing it is usually via the software.
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Old 10-03-2008, 05:56 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
4,243 posts, read 12,767,359 times
Reputation: 3796
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
"Sorry I'm such a duh with this stuff ... channel? Is that something changeable on the hardware (like a simple dip switch or something?) or is it a setting changed in a properties boxes that can be found somewhere?"

You'll want to read the manual. Changing it is usually via the software.
Thanks harry chickpea -- I thought that was the case, but I don't like to assume anything!
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