Solved

New RV--Help setting up signal booster 5.8/2.4gHz with compatible repeater

I want to set up WIFI on my RV, lots of kits (Alfa WiFi Camp Pro) and compatible hardware that pickup 2.4gHz only, but I want to be able to use 5.8gHz signal too for streaming video, and repeat it for other devices onboard.

I have a AWUS036ACH from Alfa which gets both frequencies, but limited to one USB output.

I need a repeater (like an Alfa r36, 2.4gHz only), that repeats 5.8gHz also.

Maybe there is a simple USB dual band repeater antenna that plugs into my computer, using the computer as the repeater?

Should I forget about trying to get 5.8gHz?

Also, if I use a cable to run the antenna to the roof, will that improve or degrade signal?

I was also thinking about re-purposing the existing RV cable TV antenna and co-ax wiring and plugs installed for WIFI signal instead--good or bad idea?

Thank you, I googled myself silly trying to figure this out myself
Reply to okolepuka
13 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about setting signal booster 4ghz compatible repeater
  1. You are taking the wrong approach I suspect. What you want to use is equipment designed for long range use. Look at ubiquiti or engenius sites.

    Although they sell outdoor repeaters you would be best served by using a outdoor wireless bridge and then connect that to a AP or cheap router running as a AP inside. You want to avoid using your computer as repeater it pretty much turns a expensive computer into something you can't really use because it will slow down the devices passing though it.

    Cost wise it tends to actually be cheaper to use outdoor bridge equipment. The cost of quality microwave cable to connect between your antenna and device is very high. The bridge equipment uses regular ethernet cables.
    Reply to bill001g
  2. So a single outdoor wireless bridge (2.4g or 5.8g, or one for each freq), mounted on the roof, with a POE cable coming down to the power adapter, and a regular ethernet cable out of that adapter to a computer, or to AP router (for WIFI), then...internet access?--is that how that works?

    And can I re-purpose an HDTV antenna and co-ax cable/connectors as WIFI antenna? Is there an adapter that goes co-ax to small WIFI antenna cable? Or is the HDTV antenna useless for WIFI signal?

    My next solution is to Jailbreak my last iPhone 5s, not my current one, to use as non-data charging WIFI tethered hotspot, if I can find a boosting antenna for iPhones.

    Thanks
    Reply to okolepuka
  3. Outdoor bridges usually are single frequency but some can both just one at a time. There are many products available.

    The problem with do it your self methods is the cost of the microwave cable. A satellite dish is a stupid chunk of metal, based on its design it will reflect certain frequencies better and it will do ok with most wifi since they are similar to satellite. The huge difference is a satellite dish has electronics mounted on the dish..a lna...that converts the frequencies to much lower ones that can be carried on cheap coax cable.

    If you use the dish as wifi with no active electronics you now have to carry the high frequency signals. If you were to use RG6 cable the cable would absorb more signal than the antenna adds. You have to use stuff like lm600 or better. This is close to $3/ft plus the cost of the ends which you generally must pay someone to attach since even a small mistake on soldering can cause massive signal loss.

    They make outdoor bridge unit in dish format for going very long distances. Like satellite dishes they have active electronics on the dish and in this case it converts it to ethernet rather than just shifting the frequencies down.
    Reply to bill001g
  4. Be very careful just because you can force to teather with jail break does not mean the ISP can not see that you are tethering. Since almost all charge for tethering they tend to take this very seriously.

    The ISP outright tell you they do deep packet inspection. The headers of a web page request actually contain things like the OS you are running and even stuff like the resolution of your monitor. That alone will tell them it is not a phone. Even if you try to use VPN they can tell if they really want to because the pattern in the packets is different.

    They will likely ignore some abuse but you use enough to hit some threshold they will mail you a massive bill.
    Reply to bill001g
  5. bill001g said:
    Outdoor bridges usually are single frequency but some can both just one at a time. There are many products available.

    The problem with do it your self methods is the cost of the microwave cable. A satellite dish is a stupid chunk of metal, based on its design it will reflect certain frequencies better and it will do ok with most wifi since they are similar to satellite. The huge difference is a satellite dish has electronics mounted on the dish..a lna...that converts the frequencies to much lower ones that can be carried on cheap coax cable.

    If you use the dish as wifi with no active electronics you now have to carry the high frequency signals. If you were to use RG6 cable the cable would absorb more signal than the antenna adds. You have to use stuff like lm600 or better. This is close to $3/ft plus the cost of the ends which you generally must pay someone to attach since even a small mistake on soldering can cause massive signal loss.

    They make outdoor bridge unit in dish format for going very long distances. Like satellite dishes they have active electronics on the dish and in this case it converts it to ethernet rather than just shifting the frequencies down.



    I should have specified, its not a dish, like sat TV dish. Its a long range (big/mechanically adjustable) terrestrial HDTV antenna.
    Reply to okolepuka
  6. bill001g said:
    Be very careful just because you can force to teather with jail break does not mean the ISP can not see that you are tethering. Since almost all charge for tethering they tend to take this very seriously.

    The ISP outright tell you they do deep packet inspection. The headers of a web page request actually contain things like the OS you are running and even stuff like the resolution of your monitor. That alone will tell them it is not a phone. Even if you try to use VPN they can tell if they really want to because the pattern in the packets is different.

    They will likely ignore some abuse but you use enough to hit some threshold they will mail you a massive bill.


    Thanks for that, good to know. Thats why I was going to use my last iPhone, which is not connected to a carrier anymore. If I understand correctly what I read elsewhere, the carrier-less, jailbroken iphone can pick up and repeat (hotspot) WIFI signal, with the right Cydia apps.
    Reply to okolepuka
  7. Is see a wifi repeater, it likely would be easier to load dd-wrt on a old router instead. The problem with the way most repeaters work is they require the main device to be running WDS. Many place disable this to avoid abuse. dd-wrt could run as a router/repeater but you would have to have to dedicate one of the radios to the wan.

    Still your main problem is going to be the antenna cable costs. People used to do crazy stuff like put routers in waterproof boxes so they could put them outdoors close to the antenna. The outdoor bridge is just a variation of that and it is now so cheap a bridge costs almost the same as just a antenna.

    A HDTV antenna operates on much lower frequencies. It likely would not even increase the signal level of wifi. Again because it is low frequencies it can use the cheaper coax cable.
    Reply to bill001g
  8. So, an outdoor wireless bridge setup, it would work like this (just the right half of the diagram--"Remote Location")?

    This ("Remote Location" only) hardware setup would allow me to pick up various free/pay WIFI service signal on the road?

    In this diagram "Main Location" would be any WIFI signal, regardless of hardware. Am I understanding this right?

    Reply to okolepuka
  9. That is the basic idea. It should work fairly well....the key issue is many times the "main location" does not use directional antennas. It will help that you use one on your end but the signals only go so far and you want to be up as high as you possible can to get over any obstructions. WiFi is line of sight even heavy bushes or trees can absorb a lot of the signal.
    Reply to bill001g
  10. bill001g said:
    Is see a wifi repeater, it likely would be easier to load dd-wrt on a old router instead. The problem with the way most repeaters work is they require the main device to be running WDS. Many place disable this to avoid abuse. dd-wrt could run as a router/repeater but you would have to have to dedicate one of the radios to the wan.

    Still your main problem is going to be the antenna cable costs. People used to do crazy stuff like put routers in waterproof boxes so they could put them outdoors close to the antenna. The outdoor bridge is just a variation of that and it is now so cheap a bridge costs almost the same as just a antenna.

    A HDTV antenna operates on much lower frequencies. It likely would not even increase the signal level of wifi. Again because it is low frequencies it can use the cheaper coax cable.

    The cable wouldnt have to be long, I could get away with 3 or 4 feet, from roof to inside cabin, straight down.

    So if I understand there are a couple solutions:
    A router firmwared with DD-WRT and a good antenna.
    Or a wireless bridge setup, with directional antenna.
    I should specify, I dont expect to get WIFI way out in the sticks, out camping--I just want to get a decent signal from a reasonable range.

    So should I send the ALFA back to Amazon?

    Could I bother you for a basic shopping list of what I'd need?
    Reply to okolepuka
  11. Life is so much easier using a tool..ie a outdoor bridge.. that is designed for the purpose you want rather than hacking stuff together.
    Reply to bill001g
  12. I like the sound of that.

    Another quick thing, while I was researching this, I looked into "wardriving", because I figured thats kind of what I'm doing, minus the hacking.

    How does wardriving hardware differ from an outdoor wireless bridge setup, etc.?
    Reply to okolepuka
  13. Best answer
    The reason people used alfa years ago was mostly it was one of the few devices that had a chipset you could put in promiscuous mode and it had external antenna. Although alfa tries to pretend it is high power and can go more distance that is not really completely true. Unlike desktop cards or routers there are some USB based devices that are optimized to conserve power and be physically small. These do not transmit at full legal power but alfa is no better than any other model that does transmit at full power. Alfa does not make their own wireless chipsets so they will perform exactly the same as another device that uses the same chips.

    The other main thing is wardriving was mostly reception only. Large antenna help reception more than transmission. When you actually want to use it for communication the far end needs to be able to hear you and in most cases that means it needs directional antenna also. This is why directional antenna only on 1 end does not function as well.
    Reply to bill001g
Ask a new question Answer

Read More

Hardware WiFi Compatibility Wireless Network USB