replacement hi gain antenna

  Carafaraday 14:06 14 Jul 08

I've just installed new wireless modem router and the connection is fine in most parts of the house although the signal isn't very strong. In one room I can get the signal at the door, but move into the room and its gone. Clearly I only need a wee boost to get the connection I need (I don't need hi speed for games - just email and browsing). I believe I can buy a replacement antenna which might boost the signal. Has anyone tried one of these - an with what result?

I realise I could move the router to a better position in the house - but this is not an option that I want to consider.

  skeletal 15:41 14 Jul 08

The short answer is yes, and it worked. In my case I moved the antenna to the other side of a wall from where the base station sits. This only needed a short length of cable that was easily hidden. As walls (particularly double as mine is) are big attenuators of WiFi signals this gave a huge improvement in performance.
But the antenna itself also gives an increase in signal strength (not massive like the absence of a wall, but given your description you don’t need that anyway). A high gain antenna works by “directing” more signal energy into a narrow beam; they don’t “amplify” the signal. Thus, depending on where you want to pick up the signal, some areas may actually have a weaker signal then before. Just think of the antenna as a torch, while you are in the beam you are fine, go behind it, for example, and you could be in trouble.
And finally, you may make it easier for your neighbours to pick up the signal in the beam, so consider the usual WAP/WEP protection.


  Ditch999 15:45 14 Jul 08

Some routers do not have removable antennas. Check your router first.
It can be easier to upgrade the aerial on the wireless adapter instead sometimes.

  Ditch999 15:48 14 Jul 08

Have a look at the Hawking range click here They have a good reputation but check which connection you have available (if any)

  Carafaraday 15:57 14 Jul 08

Thank you both for your replies.

Ditch999 - Yes - the antenna is removable - just screws in. Have you used any of the Hawking range - they seem quite expensive?

skeletal - thank you for your reply - moving the antenna sounds like a good idea but, of course, I'd need to find one with a cable attached unlike what the static one I've got now. Can you tell me what you have used?

Thanks too for the warning re. security - WAP protection is enabled.

  Ditch999 16:17 14 Jul 08

Not used the Hawking range, as you say, they are dear!
My solution involved buying an aerial extension and removing the aerial from the PCI card and plugging in the extension magnetic aerial thereby bringing the aerial from the back to the front of my desktop. Made a massive difference.
Have you tried changing the wireless channel? Try 1, 6 or 13. You may be experiencing interference from a neighbours network.

  skeletal 16:23 14 Jul 08

It a worryingly long time ago I bought and set up my system but I did some digging and found my antenna (US site, but you may still find on sale in the UK):
click here

It came with a long lead (as it says in the advert).

Note: technology has moved on, there may be better/cheaper alternatives available now. I’ve also just discovered that Buffalo have had a US court injunction slapped on them so they can’t sell stuff ATM.

I expect other antennas, in some cases, would also come with leads.

In my case, I’ve kept everything to Buffalo to ensure compatibility.


  Carafaraday 16:29 14 Jul 08

Ditch 999 - yes, have changed channel - I think it was to 11 which helped. Sadly I think your solution is too advanced for me - I don't do opening up pcs! _ I'm looking for something really simple, like unscrewing antenna and replacing - that's about as far as I'm willing to go.

skeletal - thank you for the link - my modem/router is Dlink so I'll look and see if they have anything suitable.

  Ditch999 16:34 14 Jul 08

I didnt open my PC. The aerial used to sit out the back and it just unscrewed (like the aerial on your router). I then screwed on the 4' extension lead with the magnetic base and screwed the original aerial on to the magnetic base. Cost me £10.

  Carafaraday 16:43 14 Jul 08

Ah, not as brave as I thought, then! Sadly, that doesn't apply to my laptop which is what I want to use wirelessly (the pc has an ethernet connection) but could I use the same sort of thing to replace the antenna on my router/modem do you think? £10 sounds about the right sort of price............

  Ditch999 17:10 14 Jul 08

Yes. The principle is the same. Just unscrew the aerial from the router, buy an extension lead with the appropriate connections on either end, screw the lead on to the router aerial connection and the aerial on to the other end. click here or you can just add a better aerial if you wish click here

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