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Wes Bischel
10-02-2006, 1:07 AM
The other year we added a wireless router to our computers for the laptop. The desktop unit is hardwired in. It works okay, but when I take the laptop to the other end of the house, or just outside, the signal drops off or is lost. I was reading up on routers and came across a lot of information on "flashing" specific routers with new firmware called DD-WRT. Anyone done this, or know of this? It sounds interesting, but I would rather not go through the hassle of buying a new router and messing with it, if it's not really worth it.
Here's one page I found on it:
http://www.lifehacker.com/software/router/hack-attack-turn-your-60-router-into-a-600-router-178132.php

Any thoughts?

Wes

Ian Abraham
10-02-2006, 4:51 AM
Upgrading the routers antenna might give you the extra range without the risk of turning it into a brick?

Ian

Don Baer
10-02-2006, 12:39 PM
I had the same problem. You can get a range entender. you just plug it in some where between your laptop and the router. It takes a week signal and makes it strong again. It about $100.00. or as an alternative for the same money you can get 2 power line ethernet adapters. Plug one into you wall next to the router plug the cat cable intoit and a router port. Then plug one into a wall plug where your laptop is. Connect a cat cable into it and you laptop and your in business. The system uses your household 110v to transmit data. Thats what I am using right now and it works great. The cost is about the same maybe a little less. The good part of this system is you can add more computers just by adding another box to any 110 outlet. The speed is the same as if you were rigt next to your modem.

Glenn Clabo
10-02-2006, 12:59 PM
Wes,
When I installed my newest router I had the same problem. Then one day we noticed that everything was working fine...and all I had done was move it a few feet from where it was. Our cells do the same thing in this house for some reason...there is a spot where you can't get a signal...but if we move 2 feet...bingo. Worth a try...it's a cheap fix.

Wes Bischel
10-02-2006, 6:57 PM
Thanks guys, great info to try/look into.
Glenn, I have moved the thing around, but I suspect it's lack of performance is due to two things - the construction of the house, and the fact that the router is a cheapo unit. :rolleyes:
Don, I did come across a few types of extenders, but I figure the money may be better spent on a good router first! Of course that still may not solve the problem, but it's better to start with a good foundation. I'll keep the extender systems in mind.
Ian, I have been looking into antennas on your suggestion. I did find a few sites that suggested to try a deflector before buying anything. So I'll give that a try first - it's cheap - my kind of solution.:D
Thanks again for taking the time - I have a lot of things to think about!

Wes

Joe Pelonio
10-02-2006, 8:03 PM
Wes,

We finally gave up and ran cables. Unfortunately if there are other people in the neighborhood (like ours) with other wireless networks, baby monitors etc. you lose the connection due to interference. When we logged on we'd get the choice of 6-8 networks of which only one was ours. Lots of Boeing and Microsoft employees in the neighborhood so it's saturated with networks. And the homes are not that close together, 1/3-1/2 acre lots.

Wes Bischel
10-05-2006, 3:51 PM
Well, I made a reflector and it did help - enough to get by for now.:rolleyes: :D Considering all it cost me was an old file folder, some aluminum tape (which I had) and 15-20 minutes, it was a good investment.
Joe, to your point, I typically only pick up one other network - on a good day three, so our area isn't too bad - yet. I would like to get the router centered in the house, but I will need to run a phone line and AC power - at minimum, power and a ethernet cable (so the base computer isn't running wireless) Oh, so many projects, so little time.:o

Thanks again,
Wes

Jack Hogoboom
10-05-2006, 6:26 PM
Wes,

I added extention antennas to my wireless router which helped some. I also tried a repeater (also called a range extender). It would help with the dead spot, but inexplicably would destroy everyone's Internet connection on a daily basis.

If you have a chance, check out the Make Magazine website. I believe it is www.makezine.com. It is like a "hip" version of Popular Mechanics and they post all kinds of cool, simple to make things, including some neat homebrew ways to increase the performance of your antenna.

Good luck,

Jack

Wes Bischel
10-05-2006, 8:40 PM
Jack,

Cool magazine! Looks like fun. I did come across a number of versions of the cantenna - and what is done with them:rolleyes: Quite an education.:o

Thanks for the link! I suspect I'll find too many neat things to do.

Wes

Boyd Gathwright
10-05-2006, 9:26 PM
Wes, can you give us a pic or two of your REFLECTOR. I personally would like to see just how you massaged it in to being. I think all would be interested in just how you managed it also.;)

Thanks

.


Well, I made a reflector and it did help - enough to get by for now.:rolleyes: :D Considering all it cost me was an old file folder, some aluminum tape (which I had) and 15-20 minutes, it was a good investment.
Joe, to your point, I typically only pick up one other network - on a good day three, so our area isn't too bad - yet. I would like to get the router centered in the house, but I will need to run a phone line and AC power - at minimum, power and a ethernet cable (so the base computer isn't running wireless) Oh, so many projects, so little time.:o

Thanks again,
Wes

Wes Bischel
10-05-2006, 11:14 PM
Boyd,

Nothing too impressive, but I found a few different sites that made them. I used the template found here:

http://www.freeantennas.com/projects/template2/index.html

The connectivity seemed about the same, but the speed went up from 18-36Mbps to 36-54Mbps on average. It was a bit more stable - the connection wasn't dropped as often. Still not super, but it worked when I needed it.

I used some aluminum tape on the back of the square part, others I have seen use mesh, some use aluminum foil. Anything available I guess.:) I made it as easy as possible since I was laid-up in bed on my back - it's not as easy as I thought to put the tape on - who knew.:D

Wes

Boyd Gathwright
10-05-2006, 11:37 PM
.... As long as it works, that's what counts.

Thanks :)



Boyd,

Nothing too impressive, but I found a few different sites that made them. I used the template found here:

http://www.freeantennas.com/projects/template2/index.html

The connectivity seemed about the same, but the speed went up from 18-36Mbps to 36-54Mbps on average. It was a bit more stable - the connection wasn't dropped as often. Still not super, but it worked when I needed it.

I used some aluminum tape on the back of the square part, others I have seen use mesh, some use aluminum foil. Anything available I guess.:) I made it as easy as possible since I was laid-up in bed on my back - it's not as easy as I thought to put the tape on - who knew.:D

Wes