[Q] Asus RT-N16 + Outdoor Antenna Settings?

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by Scott109, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. Scott109

    Scott109 Serious Server Member

    I recently purchased the Hawking HOD10IP outdoor antenna along with a 26ft cable to run it into the house. According to their web page it's supposed to be plug and play.. I knew that was too good to be true.

    I've tried plugging the antenna into each of the antenna ports on the router but i'm not getting any better of a signal outside. About 100ft from the router and i'm at -81dbi (Thick walls).

    So far i've tried each of the antenna ports on the router, i've tried manually setting the send and receive antenna to both "A" or both "B" in the advanced wifi settings. I've also tried adjusting the TX Power up to 50-60mw but still, nothing.

    What am I missing?
  2. mvsgeek

    mvsgeek LI Guru Member

    I suspect that a 26ft cable is negating any benefit you may be getting from the antenna, especially if it's not a good quality cable. Given my limited knowledge of such matters, I've learned that antenna cable length and quality are critical factors. Toastman and others have posted detailed formulas concerning signal loss per foot of coax. You should be able to find further info on this forum.

    FWIW my "main" RT-N16 broadcasts to several homes in a rural subdivision, up to about 1500ft away. It's connected to a Hyperlink 120 degree mast-mounted panel antenna via a 10ft 400-series cable. In advanced settings, send & receive antennas are set to "A" (that's the one closest to the power jack), TX power is set to 60. Signal strength from the secondary routers varies between -45dBm and -70dBm depending on distance, intervening trees, weather, sunspots, UFO's, and quality of antenna/cable combo at the receiving end.

    If it's feasible, try connecting the antenna directly to the router (i.e. remove the 26ft cable from the equation) and repeat the signal strength measurement.
  3. Scott109

    Scott109 Serious Server Member

    Thanks for the reply. This will certainly help since I had no idea which side was A and which side was B. The cable i'm using is a 26ft Trendnet Cable. I'm unable to test it without the cable and if it doesn't work then I'll just return it to amazon. We don't have too many UFO's out here so i'm hoping it will work out :D

    What I'm thinking could also be causing the issue is how close I have it mounted to our satellite dish. I'm going to try mounting it elsewhere and see what happens as well.
  4. digiblur

    digiblur Networkin' Nut Member

    I would recommend returning it and doing it the proper way. Something like a Ubiquiti Picostation or Nanostation M2 depending if you need directional or omni coverage. Run the one ethernet cable from the main router to the unit outside and call it day.
  5. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    The attenuation of most normal cable is far too high to use 26 feet. Looking at the picture of the Trendnet cable, it looks too thin to be anything special. 400 series cable is pretty much the industry norm. Andrews Heliax is often available surplus.

    But the easiest and most effective way to completely eliminate cable losses is to do away with the cable or use just the smallest possible length. We usually do this by mounting the complete Access Point outdoors in a waterproof plastic box on a pole. It doesn't matter then how far away the antenna site is, because we use just cheap CAT5 cable to communicate with the router. You will find many illustrations of this type of installation on the web. There are also many commercially available solutions, as Digiblur mentions. Some of them even have more sensitive receivers and run higher power.
  6. mvsgeek

    mvsgeek LI Guru Member

    I recently bought a couple of these Panel Enclosure Antennas from L-Com (formerly Hyperlink). Pop the plastic case off a WRT54GL, and it fits very nicely inside. Add a POE injector kit (available on eBay for a few bucks) and you have a self-contained 14dBi antenna/router combo which only requires a CAT5 connection.
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