Maybe a solution to my WiFi connection problems... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-04-2008, 11:12 PM   #1
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A couple of times I've been near an available network and unable to connect because the MacBookPro picks up too weak a signal. This was especially frustrating when PC users were sitting there in the same room using the wireless connection that I couldn't even see. This weekend, I managed to get on but had barely one bar and the connection kept quitting on me.

So I found this little device called WiFire

It is $79 and plugs into a USB port and then takes over for the internal airport connection. Sitting in my living room I pick up two other WiFi networks, both passworded. With WiFire I pick up nine networks besides my own, three of which are unprotected (which WiFire's connection window shows at a glance.) One of those is strong enough that WiFire can maintain a connection to it, but two of the other unprotected ones do blink on and off.

The device is not without its flaws. It perches, rather than clamps, onto your computer. And although it swivels to pick up the best angle, its cord tends to pull it back to one direction.

What I really hope to be able to do is pick up my Mom's wireless connection when I am up in Washington, but even though she is Line of Sight I think it will be too far away. Still, for getting a more secure connection to legal but weak signals, this will be great, and I'm glad I got it.

Bobbie
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Old 02-04-2008, 11:35 PM   #2
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To get your mother's WiFi check out cantenna
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:06 AM   #3
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To get your mother's WiFi check out cantenna
I looked at those but the reviews on the Mac adapter were so bad I didn't want to mess with it.

Bobbie
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:08 AM   #4
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Quote:
I looked at those but the reviews on the [b]Mac adapter were so bad I didn't want to mess with it.

Bobbie
I'm sorry. <big grin>
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Old 02-05-2008, 06:50 AM   #5
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Being a DIY guy, I have to pass this along...

$10 DIY Wifi antenna with 16dBi gain

Save your money and enjoy a good vibe by DIY.

ConwayBob
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Old 02-05-2008, 08:05 AM   #6
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The problem with the DIY antenna is that it requires a wifi card with an antenna connection, which is fine for a desktop in a last-century sort of way ("These things have cards inside them? How quaint.), but doesn't work for the road warrior. The wifi inside my Dell 9300 seems to work pretty well, but I did get a usb wifi device for my previous notebook that allowed me to put it on the dash or out the window for a better signal, but not a hi-gain one like the DIY provides.
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Old 02-05-2008, 10:29 AM   #7
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This one solved my issues both on the road in the RV and around town as well.
I work out of the RV when on the road for extended runs and this is really a robust solution.
Little pricey, but works for me.

Wave RV
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:57 PM   #8
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Hey Greg, thanks for the link!!

We will buy a new laptop this spring and I have been looking for a wifi antenna. I think this will do it. Thanks again.

David
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Old 02-05-2008, 05:49 PM   #9
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I have an SMC hi-power card with external connectors but seem to be missing some of the parts and SMC won't answer my emails.... This is the card that was once set up for a 125 mile connection!! (Undoubtedly from high places to get line of sight and some careful aiming of YAGI antennas). BTW, if the cantenna is a commercial version of the Pringles Cantenna, the antenna inside is a YAGI -- Very high gain but very directional, like the difference between a rifle and a hand grenade!

There are two cafes and a city hall system, all with free wifi, within reasonable distance from me, but not line of sight. I want to use a sat TV dish to not only amplify reflected signals but also to hopefully screen out other signals on the same channels by highly directionalizing my received signal.

I may wind up just using my Hawking USB gizmo with the fairly directional antenna and the wifi adapter on the end of the USB cable aimed at the center of the sat dish. Right now, the Hawking is waay superior to my internal wifi card.

Here's
an informative sketch showing the difference between standard and directional antennas.
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