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-   -   advice for a wireless antenna? (http://www.linux-archive.org/gentoo-user/85270-advice-wireless-antenna.html)

Grant Edwards 05-09-2008 10:32 PM

advice for a wireless antenna?
 
On 2008-05-09, brullo nulla <brullonulla@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I have a Gentoo-powered Macbook. I would like to improve its wireless
> receiver capabilities, to be able to connect to weak wireless networks
> for example in my laboratory (I would have legal access to the
> university network, but in my building the signal is extremly weak...
> yes, welcome to Italian infrastructures).
>
> I would like to experiment with a cantenna or something like that.

I've had very good luck with home-made biquad reflectors:

http://martybugs.net/wireless/biquad/
http://www.trevormarshall.com/biquad.htm

I've build both a single and a double biquad using methods
similar to the first page. I use thin-walled brass tubing
instead of copper.

> What do you advice for it? Usb wireless key to use,

You get the key from the network admin, don't you?

> advices on construction, etc.? Anything.

I've collected some cans and some N connectors but haven't
gotten around to building a can/waveguide antenna yet.

--
Grant Edwards grante Yow! I'm changing the
at CHANNEL ... But all I get
visi.com is commercials for "RONCO
MIRACLE BAMBOO STEAMERS"!

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"brullo nulla" 05-09-2008 11:07 PM

advice for a wireless antenna?
 
> I've had very good luck with home-made biquad reflectors:
>
> http://martybugs.net/wireless/biquad/
> http://www.trevormarshall.com/biquad.htm
>
> I've build both a single and a double biquad using methods
> similar to the first page. I use thin-walled brass tubing
> instead of copper.

Thanks, I'll have a look.

>> What do you advice for it? Usb wireless key to use,
>
> You get the key from the network admin, don't you?

I'm talking about the USB wireless adapter (I don't think I can
connect the antenna to my laptop directly),
not the passphrase key...

m.
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Grant Edwards 05-09-2008 11:27 PM

advice for a wireless antenna?
 
On 2008-05-09, brullo nulla <brullonulla@gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm talking about the USB wireless adapter (I don't think I can
> connect the antenna to my laptop directly),
> not the passphrase key...

Ah. I've got a Hawking HWUG1 USB WiFi adapter that works fine
with Gentoo (I had to download driver source from somewhere).
It's got an R-SMA connector for use with external antennas.

--
Grant Edwards grante Yow! Is the EIGHTIES
at when they had ART DECO
visi.com and GERALD McBOING-BOING
lunch boxes??

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Grant 05-10-2008 01:00 PM

advice for a wireless antenna?
 
>> I'm talking about the USB wireless adapter (I don't think I can
>> connect the antenna to my laptop directly),
>> not the passphrase key...
>
> Ah. I've got a Hawking HWUG1 USB WiFi adapter that works fine
> with Gentoo (I had to download driver source from somewhere).
> It's got an R-SMA connector for use with external antennas.

I've had good luck using these together:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833164015

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833164110

Use the rt2x00 driver included in 2.6.24 kernels.

I should mention though, I attached that antenna to a PCI madwifi card
and it works much better. Obviously that won't work for a laptop or
if you want to move the antenna a distance from the computer via USB
cable as opposed to antenna extension cable.

- Grant
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Grant Edwards 05-10-2008 01:44 PM

advice for a wireless antenna?
 
On 2008-05-10, Grant <emailgrant@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> I'm talking about the USB wireless adapter (I don't think I can
>>> connect the antenna to my laptop directly),
>>> not the passphrase key...
>>
>> Ah. I've got a Hawking HWUG1 USB WiFi adapter that works fine
>> with Gentoo (I had to download driver source from somewhere).
>> It's got an R-SMA connector for use with external antennas.
>
> I've had good luck using these together:
>
> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833164015

Yup, that's the one I have. That's a good price on it, too.

> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833164110

I've also got one of those antennas and it's exellent. It
provides a little (1-2dB) more gain as my double-biquad
reflector, but it's a lot cheaper (assuming your time is worth
much), and a bit easier to use, since it will sit nicely on a
table or windowsill.

> Use the rt2x00 driver included in 2.6.24 kernels.

Cool -- it's good to know that the driver has been added to
the kernel sources.

--
Grant Edwards grante Yow! DIDI... is that a
at MARTIAN name, or, are we
visi.com in ISRAEL?

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"brullo nulla" 05-11-2008 05:47 PM

advice for a wireless antenna?
 
On Sat, May 10, 2008 at 3:44 PM, Grant Edwards <grante@visi.com> wrote:
> On 2008-05-10, Grant <emailgrant@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> I'm talking about the USB wireless adapter (I don't think I can
>>>> connect the antenna to my laptop directly),
>>>> not the passphrase key...
>>>
>>> Ah. I've got a Hawking HWUG1 USB WiFi adapter that works fine
>>> with Gentoo (I had to download driver source from somewhere).
>>> It's got an R-SMA connector for use with external antennas.
>>
>> I've had good luck using these together:
>>
>> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833164015
>
> Yup, that's the one I have. That's a good price on it, too.
>
>> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833164110
>
> I've also got one of those antennas and it's exellent. It
> provides a little (1-2dB) more gain as my double-biquad
> reflector, but it's a lot cheaper (assuming your time is worth
> much), and a bit easier to use, since it will sit nicely on a
> table or windowsill.

Seems a nice combo, indeed.
A curiosity: by itself, the Hawking USB adapter has more or less
sensitivity than the simple Airport glued to my Macbook motherboard?

m.
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Grant 05-12-2008 10:05 AM

advice for a wireless antenna?
 
> >>>> I'm talking about the USB wireless adapter (I don't think I can
> >>>> connect the antenna to my laptop directly),
> >>>> not the passphrase key...
> >>>
> >>> Ah. I've got a Hawking HWUG1 USB WiFi adapter that works fine
> >>> with Gentoo (I had to download driver source from somewhere).
> >>> It's got an R-SMA connector for use with external antennas.
> >>
> >> I've had good luck using these together:
> >>
> >> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833164015
> >
> > Yup, that's the one I have. That's a good price on it, too.
> >
> >> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833164110
> >
> > I've also got one of those antennas and it's exellent. It
> > provides a little (1-2dB) more gain as my double-biquad
> > reflector, but it's a lot cheaper (assuming your time is worth
> > much), and a bit easier to use, since it will sit nicely on a
> > table or windowsill.
>
> Seems a nice combo, indeed.
> A curiosity: by itself, the Hawking USB adapter has more or less
> sensitivity than the simple Airport glued to my Macbook motherboard?

I think it depends a lot on the maturity of the drivers. As I said,
my Netgear PCI card uses the madwifi drivers and vastly outperforms
the Hawking adapter. The Hawking's drivers are fairly new (rt2x00)
and madwifi has been around for quite a while now.

I do have another rt2x00 adapter that performs noticeably worse than
the Hawking. It's a Linksys and it has no external antenna.

Also worth noting is that this item:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833315075

uses rt2x00 but has some type of failure issue. Possibly heat
related, possibly not. I've experienced it firsthand.

- Grant
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Grant Edwards 05-12-2008 02:13 PM

advice for a wireless antenna?
 
On 2008-05-12, Grant <emailgrant@gmail.com> wrote:

>> A curiosity: by itself, the Hawking USB adapter has more or
>> less sensitivity than the simple Airport glued to my Macbook
>> motherboard?
>
> I think it depends a lot on the maturity of the drivers. As I
> said, my Netgear PCI card uses the madwifi drivers and vastly
> outperforms the Hawking adapter.

What do you mean by "outperform"? I can see how drivers can
affect throughput. The Windows drivers for my Laptop's WiFi
chipset (Intel Pro-something) only get about 1/4 of the
bandwidth that the Linux drivers do.

But, I don't understand how the driver can affect receiver
sensitivity. That's purely a function of the design of the RF
frontend.

> The Hawking's drivers are fairly new (rt2x00) and madwifi has
> been around for quite a while now.
>
> I do have another rt2x00 adapter that performs noticeably
> worse than the Hawking. It's a Linksys and it has no external
> antenna.

--
Grant Edwards grante Yow! Zippy's brain cells
at are straining to bridge
visi.com synapses ...

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Alan McKinnon 05-12-2008 04:02 PM

advice for a wireless antenna?
 
On Monday 12 May 2008, Grant Edwards wrote:
> On 2008-05-12, Grant <emailgrant@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> A curiosity: by itself, the Hawking USB adapter has more or
> >> less sensitivity than the simple Airport glued to my Macbook
> >> motherboard?
> >
> > I think it depends a lot on the maturity of the drivers. As I
> > said, my Netgear PCI card uses the madwifi drivers and vastly
> > outperforms the Hawking adapter.
>
> What do you mean by "outperform"? I can see how drivers can
> affect throughput. The Windows drivers for my Laptop's WiFi
> chipset (Intel Pro-something) only get about 1/4 of the
> bandwidth that the Linux drivers do.
>
> But, I don't understand how the driver can affect receiver
> sensitivity. That's purely a function of the design of the RF
> frontend.

As modified by the firmware in the device. OK, it's not the driver per
se, but it's certainly not the hardware either



--
Alan McKinnon
alan dot mckinnon at gmail dot com

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Grant Edwards 05-12-2008 04:09 PM

advice for a wireless antenna?
 
On 2008-05-12, Alan McKinnon <alan.mckinnon@gmail.com> wrote:

>> What do you mean by "outperform"? I can see how drivers can
>> affect throughput. The Windows drivers for my Laptop's WiFi
>> chipset (Intel Pro-something) only get about 1/4 of the
>> bandwidth that the Linux drivers do.
>>
>> But, I don't understand how the driver can affect receiver
>> sensitivity. That's purely a function of the design of the RF
>> frontend.
>
> As modified by the firmware in the device. OK, it's not the
> driver per se, but it's certainly not the hardware either

Sorry, I don't see how firmware can affect sensitivity. I've
been involved in writing firmware for RF data communications
stuff for a long time, and I've certainly never been able to
affect sensitivity.

--
Grant Edwards grante Yow! I just remembered
at something about a TOAD!
visi.com

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