Airport range

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by DVDSP, Jun 28, 2003.

  1. DVDSP macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Location:
    Southwick, MA
    #1
    I know that a while back I read somewhere that it was possible to increase the range of you Airport network with an external antenna. I only saw this the one time and have never seen any other references.

    Is it possible? We frequently take my wifes iBook outside or next door and sometimes we go out of range or get a weak signal and I'd like to improve that.

    Also, we don't use an Airport Base station, we just enable Internet Sharing through my G4 that has the cable modem.

    Thanks,
     
  2. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    iowa
    #2
    Yes of course. The Airport card has an industry standard antenna connector that normally connects to a small antenna that's snaked through the side panel of your G4 (that's where you'll want to do the antenna modification, otherwise you'll have cables trailing from your iBook). So just get another antenna (an 802.11b compliant one, Apple sells a number of them), open your G4, unplug the internal antenna, and plug the new one in. Depending on whether you get an omnidirectional or a directional antenna, you may need to position it. And of course you'll have to find a way to get the cable inside your computer (you shouldn't run it with the door open for long periods).

    Directional antennas are stronger than omnidirectional, or I should say have longer ranges, but obviously it's only in one direction (about a 30degree radius if I remember right) so it's not always easy.

    pnw
     
  3. MacVault macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2002
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    #3
    I would like to add an antenna port to my 12" Powerbook. Does anyone know of any plans or info on doing this? It shouldn't take much - just a splitter and drilling a hole in the case, or something like that. It would be really handy to have the ability to add an external antenna to my powerbook so that I can use a directional to pinpoint signals when I go wardriving!

    I know Apple has put external antenna ports on the new G5, I wish they had done it to the powerbooks - the powerbooks need them because the aluminum case really weekens the signal compared to the iBook's plastic case.
     
  4. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
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    #4
    well, i could be wrong (i don't think so), there's no such thing as a splitter-- if you want an external antenna, you'll have to disconnect the internal one. So it's not exactly an "on the fly" solution to bad reception-- an external antenna is a permanant solution. That said, there is a company out there that makes antennas that attach to PB cases-- Don't remember the name but do a google search... i'm sure they also provide plans for doing it...

    pnw
     
  5. MacVault macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2002
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    #5
    I was wondering if a splitter would work but I remember back to when I worked for a wireless ISP a couple years ago and we used the same type of wireless equipment as Apple does, and we used RF splitters on the broadcast towers with no problems, and now that I think about it, Apple must usa a splitter in their products to accomodate the placement of two antennas - as in the antennas on each side of the powerbook displays. I don't see why a splitter wouldn't work, except that it may lower the gain of each antenna.
     
  6. mrjamin macrumors 65816

    mrjamin

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2003
    Location:
    Strongbadia
    #6
    surely it'd atleast half it? Splitters are generally evil things as you lose a lot of quality and gain when you split any electrical signal
     
  7. DVDSP thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Location:
    Southwick, MA
    #7
    Sure enough, I did a search at the Apple Store and came up with 1 directional and 1 Omni (both from Dr. Bott). Prices are decent and the range extension should cover what we need.

    Thanks for the input,
     

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