Directional WiFi extender/repeater ??

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Fishrrman, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #1
    Hello all -

    I'm looking for a way to "shoot" a wifi signal directionally across a distance of about 200 feet, from one house to another.

    The user in the "target home" is an elderly lady with an iPad who is not computer-savvy in any way. She can use the iPad now in the "source house", but reception in the "target house" is marginal at best, and can often become unusable. Because her use will be limited, it's not really practical for her to sign up for her own internet service. But her relatives in the "source house" have no problem with her piggybacking off of their service.

    The source house has a wifi transmitter in the garage (coupled to a cable modem/router inside). I'm guessing that the connection between is ethernet. There is a clear "line of sight" between the garage window and the target house which is about 200 feet away.

    I realize that most wifi routers are designed to broadcast their signal in all directions. What I need is either a router, or perhaps some kind of "dumb transmitter" or repeater (no routing capabilities) that can output its signal in a directionally-focused stream. This is to be distinguished from something that just broadcasts in a 360-degree profile.

    Has anyone tried setting up such a system?
    Was it practical, to "shoot" a signal about 200 feet or so?
    If so, can you suggest any hardware?
    Cost is also a consideration.
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #2
    http://freeantennas.com

    Check out this web site. They have some tips and also a couple templates you can use to make a free reflector to focus the wifi signal in one direction. Might be enough to get across 200 feet of open space?
     
  3. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #3
    Why not replace the "source" houses router with an AirPort Extreme which then is connected to the cable modem and does the routing. Then get an Express for the "client" house setup to "Extend" the network. This would wirelessly mesh the networks and give the elderly lady better coverage in her home.

    Just because you install an antenna means that the signal will degrade as soon as it enters her home. I would give this a shot!
     
  4. robgendreau macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #4
    I'd forget about Apple products; they all have internal omnidirectional antennas and hence aren't helpful for this situation.

    You don't say what the current router is. If it can accept an external antenna, you can get one that will shoot quite a distance. But that may sacrifice reception elsewhere. A Yagi might work in this application. Whether it's successful can depend on the structure of the house, interference, power of the router, etc.

    If the current router has ethernet, you could get another router/access point that either comes with a directional antenna or that will allow connection of an externa one. You can actually mount an antenna away from the router itself, but be aware that the cable running to it is going to use up some of the power.

    I'd check smallnetbuilder.com for some recommendations. An outside device might work best, perhaps something by Ubiquiti; they make stuff for this sort of thing.
     
  5. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Location:
    Far from here
    #5
    I personally get my Internet connexion from a friend's house, 600m (2000 ft) away.

    I use two D-Link 2100 AP.

    The first one (source) in connected to the router via Ethernet, and has an external omnidirectional antenna (a 2 ft stick).
    Wifi setup : WDS

    The second one (in my home) has a Stelladoradus parabolic external antenna (SD19).
    Wifi setup : WDS or WDS + AP (access point)

    That means that the second D-Link 2100 AP can create a wireless network in my home ("WDS + AP") or not ("WDS").
    Its Ethernet port is connected to a switch to create my local wired network.

    I bought all that gear used from a friend of mine who used it to cover a 1,7 km distance.

    This has been working perfectly for 7 years.

    Now, more interesting for you :

    To cover 200 ft "only", you CAN use these 2 access points with the small antennas that come with : I have installed such a setup and it works perfectly.
    (actually, works up to 100m, depending on the data rate you choose in the user interface).

    You need a clear line of sight between the two antennas.
     
  6. hwojtek macrumors 6502a

    hwojtek

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    A small rural village in western Poland
    #6
    200 feet is like 60 meters? Optical visibility OK? If so, two Pringles cans antennas worked for me in such scenario. I used some el cheapo "laser" pointer duct taped to one of the cans to align them at night.
     
  7. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #7
    Obviously the AirPorts are omni-directional! The point I was saying was replace the router in the source house and set it up. Then get an Express to repeat the signal through the recipient house!
     
  8. MCAsan, Jan 9, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014

    MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #8
    The new TC and Extreme have multiple antennae inside and do beam forming. A TC in one house and an Extreme in the other should be good
     

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