wifi dongle with minimum 1 mile range

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Anarchy99, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. Anarchy99 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 13, 2003
    want to buy a usb wifi dongle and hack it to use a antenna that could get at least a mile range preferably omni-directional but directional would be fine is it possible ?
    any help is wanted suggestions,non pointless opinions,guides ,links,dedicated forums ect.

  2. mklos macrumors 68000


    Dec 4, 2002
    My house!
    Good luck with that one...

    Try a Google Search...it may have been attempted/succeeded before.
  3. Eniregnat macrumors 68000


    Jan 22, 2003
    In your head.
    You won't like my response, as it is virtualy the same as when you about USB Wifi recomendations. I thought it a little suspect when combined with your thread on how do i change my mac address and maybe my ip address. I don't know if I still do. Here is what I know.

    This is a little more than a dongle. In the next couple of years, you might be able to get what your looking for- but likely with another wireless protocol set for software interface, hardware, and data structures. In the meantime, to get that kind do distance, don't live in a city, and have good LOS between the two transceivers.

    Link to a DIY Yagi in a Pringles Can. You can hack the lucent antenna connection by drilling out a part of the battery cover- if your using a PB- do it at your own risk!!!

    For now, AirShare.org is the best place to start for info on wifi, hotspots and mods.

    I know you already have a program like Kismac or iStumbler or MacStumbler so that you can get better metrics on your signal strength. iStumbler now has a Widget that connects to the program if your running it. Kismac is my preferd wireless too.l The OSX provided Airport signal graph is nearly static. It provides 5 points of resolution with no ability to know what the scale is.

    If you choose a directional antenna, which I think might be too much trouble, these tools will help you figure out how best to align it. It's also nice to have a good stumbler for when your out and about- but you already know that. ;)

    USB DONGLE: Hawkingtech offers a nice little portable external wifi router (HWL2A) (with high-gain antenna) that will double as a wifi locator (looks a little like a StarTrek tricorder). This tool can be used as an external router that can directly connect to your mac. It's on my list to purchase, but I haven’t used it. Hack it if you must.

    ALSO USB DONGLE:The DWL-122 by d-link has drivers somewere- and is compatable with Kissmac and Mac. This is a 802-b unit, it's not G. This will give you some advantages with noise reduction and interference robustness, but it is slower. You could hack an antenna- at $40 its not to much a loss should you kill the transmitter.

    WiFi isn't mono directional. The router and the computer are each transceivers. So you can boost your reception and transmission, but that doesn’t mean that the other side has done the same. Adding a better antenna at one end helps only 1/2 the equation- but that can be enough, but not likely 1 mile.

    I tried a variety of passive antennas and passive repeaters and have not had any distance greater than 1/2 mile. (I wanted to use my Tmobile account at my old apartment. I move away, and there is now a Starbucks on the corner).

    There arn't to many USB dongles that are Mac compatable, mostly because all Mac's have an Airport built into them. Companies just didn't find it profitable. If you look at a Kismac forum( Here is a netstumbler one) then you can get better direction.

    Is the 1 mile distance requirement a need or want?

    Things to also consider, remember that walls can be reflectors and baffles to signals. Directional antennas are always more efficient in principle.

    If your want to war-walk with your computer closed, there is insomnia - which is made by the people that do Kissmac. It works for 4 minutes before the kernel puts the computer to sleep.

    Lastly,as stated by mklos, GOOGLE is your friend.

    Don't froget to share what you learn.
  4. Anarchy99 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 13, 2003
    still wondering how well cantenna's work or actual satellites and how none line of sight connections will work and google is good but 2% useful info 98% spam/crap and the more forums and other places just chocked full of useful info the better thanks for the info
  5. toto156 macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2005
    New York NY
    Internet in the hallway but not in the house

    My desktop get interent in the house. I am pickup 17 AVG signalon the desktop. My G4 Power book getsa AVG signal of 35 I just do not understand it. If I go with my laptop in to the hallway I get internet but close the door and it is gone.
    I am talking feet not miles.
    Can someone think of a fix. :mad: :confused:
  6. Will Cheyney macrumors 6502a

    Will Cheyney

    Jul 13, 2005
    United Kingdom
  7. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    It's all about search terms...crap in crap out.

    Otherwise, a mile is extremely hopeful for any form of WiFi...basically you'd have to have a router with an extremely high gain antenna on by itself, and then you'd have to build the antenna out of something a little more precise than a pringles can to get the longest range possible out of it.

    Even if you built it perfectly, if there was a house in the way it'd likely lose almost all of its range.
  8. VanMac macrumors 6502a


    May 26, 2005
    Rampaging Tokyo
    A mile:eek:

    I'm sure the FBI have something......why dont you give them a call on your secure cell.
  9. toto156 macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2005
    New York NY
  10. untamedhysteria macrumors regular


    Jul 31, 2005
    basically getting a mile range is going to be impossible...that is, unless you have extenders connected to generators running for around a mile :D ...but for real, unless you build an extremely powerful antenna (one that is about 3 times the size of an average person) and point it to the direction you are wanting it to go, you aren't going to get nowhere close to a mile range.
  11. toto156 macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2005
    New York NY
    No miles ,,, 20 feet through a metal door

    Oe computer work Laptop does not Help me please.
    I love to couch surf and interent surf at that sametime.
    O I just up to 10.4 Tiger.
    This could be the prblem

    :rolleyes: :(
  12. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    OK I admit I'm tired and have a cold... so my eyes aren't that sharp tonight.

    I read the title as Wife Dongle with minimum 1 mile range and thought...

    Yeah, that'd be handy. Can't say how many times we've gone shopping and I've slowed down to have a good look at the electronics discount table or the discontinued auto parts or some really important stuff and looked up and she's like, not there. So I'm thinking, yeah OK, be cool, and then after about thirty seconds waiting I'm doing a search pattern of the aisles, in expanding concentric circles. This gets some stares when I start intersecting the lingerie department.

    Bugs her no end when I catch up with her and ask her how she got lost.

    So I'm thinking, yeah, 1 mile radius would be cool. Some of those malls are big. Not looking for any recall ability or anything, you understand, just looking to get a leg up on the locating -- Maybe a GPS option would be handy...

    Anyway, thanks for the inspiration Toto

    (Like I said in Photoshop class once: We're not in Canvas anymore, Toto!
    The students didn't get it. Sigh.)
  13. Anarchy99 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 13, 2003
    im still wondering because with big dishes at defcon people got 2 pcmcia cards and did 125 miles directional other than that i dont hear much of long range wifi
    but if people can use 2 big dishes amplifying a crappy but steady signal on standard cards you would think regular i could use a regular dongle amplified by a mini dish for like 1 mile solid

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