Friday, February 15, 2013

the big boost











Just like magic...UPS showed up at 5:46PM.  Unboxed the new USB wifi antenna, plugged it in, and the device driver loaded automatically.  Comes with 2 antennas - I put in the longer one.  Disabled the wireless lan (internal antenna) and BOOM!
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0035H4164/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I have to say that I am quite impressed with how this extended my wifi range for my netbook.  Tomorrow I will keep walking to see what my new range really is.  47,60,44,0,W,0

15 comments:

Deb said...

That's cool!

Under The SC Sun said...

I've been thinking about C.Crane's USB WiFi antenna 3 extended range antenna for my own use. $99.00 is a bit steep though. I don't know how it would compare to your choice.

Vic said...

That's pretty cool John. It'll be interesting to see how far you get tomorrow.

Unknown said...

Hopefully your wifi router has a tall antenna too. The vertical (dipole) antenna creates a doughnut shaped area of effect. A taller antenna doesn't "collect" more radio energy. It creates a wider, flatter doughnut, giving you more range IF your laptop has the power to transmit back as far. Your laptop and router work best if they are "equals". With more distance, your wifi also has to manage with more interference, though you probably don't have much to be concerned about in the desert. There is also the "Fresnel" effect whereby nearby metal interferes with wifi even if you have clear line of sight. Imagine your wifi has a sort of "surface tension" that gets stuck on things. Your laptop's body causes some of this interference. Your new device is not a "USB antenna". It's a completely new wifi network adapter. You can improve your range even more by connecting it through a passive USB extension cable and raising the antenna up away from the ground. My experiments have shown that a free aluminum foil antenna like the tiny parabolic Windsurfer (free plans online) works as well as an expensive add-on antenna. Folks have also gotten miles of reliable range out of pairs of "cantennas" pointed directly at each other. You could use your own wifi from the Grubshack!

John Wells said...

Thanks Unknown...I have already researced all your suggestions. The solution I have presented is a quick fix. The point of this post is really more about how inefficient netbook or laptop internal antennas are and how this new external "wifi network adapter" has greatly increased my range. FYI - the Grubshack no longer exists.

remmij said...

happened to catch the last part of your wifi adapter test/experiment & the screen debut of the Northwest corner of the BenBud enclosure - pretty amazing that those little tech bits were lounging in Phoenix ~ 24 hours earlier, then streaming the tfl environs to the planet as the sunset and Bud was checking you out as you ambled back to the casa. The only bug that jumped out was the microphone/sound quality... maybe because it was pointed away from you? was just a bit difficult to hear what you were saying... all in all, very impressive though - good luck @ the swamp - any idea of about what time that will occur? maybe Google will send you a pair of their GooGlasses to test... if they are wifi capable?
also wonder how much the adapter taps your netbook battery?

Unknown said...

John, Have you considered running "Tomato" or "DD-WRT" on a wireless router that will allow you to tweek the output of the radio?

Unknown said...

http://lifehacker.com/344765/turn-your-60-router-into-a-user+friendly-super+router-with-tomato

shawn said...

Yep, Amazon Prime works great. I ordered 3 pair of jeans with it Thursday, arriving Monday, free standard shipping with no extra charge.

Allen Hare said...

That's amazing.

Darin said...

John - I ordered this same wifi adapter as I run into similar issues getting a signal within parts of my house. Seeing how good your reception improved outside made the decision to purchase this adapter easy.

Thanks!

WGZ said...

You're just a warehouse of knowledge!

Chris Miller said...

I got to meet our new buddy Manny. I told him The Miller's are either going to be his new best friends, or worst nightmare lol.

Amazon prime has always come thru for us. No matter how far out we've lived.

Chris Miller
Our180.com - One Family's Journey To Finding True Happiness

Craig said...

Amazon is fanfriggintastic!!

Un Paisano said...

WOW! 9", I guess size DOES matter....... Did the 9" antenna come with the dongle or was that extra? Looks like the dongle only comes with a 4" antenna.