This page is provided ONLY AS A RESOURCE. We provide no
support, and offer no liability for anything you may find
though this page. Always check with the FCC rules!
Card Info - This page
provided by Seattle Wireless gives a nice list of all the
common cards and WAPs, their connectors, and an idea of their
Networked - Networking
hardware reviews. Plenty of wireless information.
- Figure out what the chances are of Line Of Sight (LOS)
between the two points you want to connect. Notice the
Long/Lat is displayed in the bottom of your window as you move
Network Link Analysis -
This big bad script can give you a lot of useful information.
Although there are a lot of fields, it is still easy to use.
Distance & Bearing Calculator
- Although the earth is flat with this calculator, it is
really handy when used with sites like TopoZone
to figure out where you should be looking for the
receiver\transmitter. This is a fine calculator for short
links, especially if you know you have LOS.
Are trees, houses,
buildings, barns, skyscrapers, hills, carnival rides, huge
lead walls, bushes, and weather going to affect my range? What
Yup. For each "Layer"
(Say 15ft deep) of bushes\trees that your signal goes though,
you can expect it to have 1/2 the power it originally did.
Houses, buildings, barns, skyscrapers and hills will have a
more damaging effect on your signal. These types of structures
will probably stop you dead cold. Your best bet is to climb up
on your roof and establish real Line Of Sight to the other end
of the link. Weather will also have a surprising effect on
your signal. There are a lot of factors, but you may
experience better results in different weather. Birds landing
on your feed\antenna may cause problems. We suggest you put a
sign nearby the antenna that says "Birds: Keep Away,"
if that doesn't keep them away, nothing will.
How much antenna cable can I
use, and what will the results be like?
Although this gets pretty
technical, let's keep it simple. Use LMR400, or a similar
cable that works well for the 2.4Ghz range. Keep that cable as
short as possible. Under 4ft is optimal. If you are using a
WAP, and need it mounted closer to the antenna, do some
research on Power Over Ethernet (POE). Although the DIY
version of POE is only for the brave, it may help you remotely
mount your WAP. If you are going to try this, be extra careful
about your current draw and voltage. Probably a good idea to
test it before you hook up the Cat5 end of things as well!
Even though this sounds like a hassle, Cat5 is way cheaper
This all sounds really
complicated. Do I really have the skills necessary to setup a
long range link?
If you know how to setup and
use the wireless equipment you already have, you probably can
pull this off. It is surprisingly easy. If you have no
experience, and aren't very brave, you'll probably want to
stick to short links (Across the street or under 2 miles) with
good LOS, using good cards\WAPs that have connectors that you
can get an pigtail for. This way you don't have to hack any of
your hardware to bits, and you know the link should work.
This all sounds really easy.
What am I missing?
As long as you understand that
Line Of Sight is necessary, and you have no problem working
with the hardware involved, it is really easy!
What is "Line Of Sight
Line of sight means that you
can stand wherever you are going to mount your antenna, and
see the antenna you want to transmit to\receive from. If you
can stand on your roof, and see your neighbors roof, you are
good to go. If you stand on your roof, and can't see your
neighbors roof, either you need to invest in some binoculars,
or you don't have LOS; if this is the case, why is your
neighbor so far away? Do you live out in the middle of
What's all this garbage
about antenna switching and diversity?
Another complex topic. The best
answer, if you are using an external antenna, is to just turn
it off... if you can. If you can't, your range may be very
limited, and it may take some time to get the WAP to choose
the right antenna. By making sure that the only possible link
is through the antenna you want the WAP to connect to, the WAP
should choose the correct side.
Do I need a better than
"stock" antenna on both ends?
That depends. If you are using
our 9dbi Omni, probably not. We had impressive results using
this antenna outdoors with a standard PC Card wireless card.
If you want to make a long distance link, you'll find better
results using a good antenna on each end. What antennas you
will want to use on each end will depend on the distance apart
the two antennas are.