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WRT54GS and Hawking Hi Gain Antenna?

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Wireless Routers' started by ColoradoSkier, Jun 11, 2004.

  1. ColoradoSkier

    ColoradoSkier Network Guru Member

    I just received a new WRT54GS yesterday, and will be setting it up this weekend. While I was at MicroCenter yesterday, I also noticed a Hawking Hi Gain antenna for a very reasonable price. Does anyone here have experience with adding one of these antennas to the WRT54GS or WRT54G? Wondering if there truly is a performance gain.
  2. bummpr

    bummpr Network Guru Member

    Quite frankly, I have not noticed a huge difference in signal strength or expanded coverage. Perhaps it's because I only purchased one antenna...they recommend two for the Linksys gear (one for each Linksys antenna).

    Don't be fooled by the retail packaging about "works with all major brands". You still will have to purchase a additional special connector to attach to a Linksys box.
  3. ColoradoSkier

    ColoradoSkier Network Guru Member

    Oh, I thought it came with the needed connector. I am installing the Sveasoft firmware on the router this weekend, be interesting to see what the combination of the antenna and the firmware do.
  4. scf05ya

    scf05ya Guest

    Hawking Hi Gain antenna

    Yes, I tried the Hawking 6dBi and was disappointed. I thought that a a more powerful 12dBi omni directional antenna would be best and contacted a respected supplier that knows Linksys routers. They told me that in their experiance the GS model must have the firmware upgrade to have any decent effect with any antenna but the originals.

    Found this site, with hopes someone has 'hands on' experiance with antenna and firmware changes with the GS.

    I'm new at this so will tread slowly and see how others are making out with their set ups.

  5. ColoradoSkier

    ColoradoSkier Network Guru Member

    Well, I hooked everything up this weekend. I was in a rush, so I didn't do as much testing as I could have. I installed the router, with the Hawking antenna, and then got the laptop working. Carried a nice strong signal out to the garage - roughly 50 feet away and upstairs. Next I am going to install the Sveasoft firmware and turn up the power a bit to see what happens. Probably get to do that tomorrow.
    Elfew likes this.
  6. elias4444

    elias4444 Network Guru Member

    Any results yet? I bought the wmp54gs pci card, and even though the wrt54gs router has sufficient range for me, I need something to reposition the antenna on just the client (the wmp54gs). Anyone have experience just using a different antenna like that?

    Or, how many of you think I should just get a wusb54g and forget the whole speedbooster thing?
  7. Toxic

    Toxic Administrator Staff Member

    well a better antenna would possibly make the signal strong so your file swapping/shring between each pc on your lan would be faster. however it really depends on you needing faster bandwidth on your lan and not for surfing or downloading from the net.
  8. elias4444

    elias4444 Network Guru Member

    Well, for those other web-browsing denizens searching for the answer:

    I bought a hawkins directional antenna from my local CompUSA this morning and hooked it up to my wmp54gs. I've got a SOLID signal, and the antenna is sitting on top of my desktop (while the computer got to stay underneath). I even have the antenna sitting behind my speakers, and it STILL has "excellent" signal strength. Definitely a better situation than before with the default antenna stuck on the back of the computer.

    The only issue I've found thus far is that the Hawkins antenna comes with a fairly short cord (about 1 meter in length). It's long enough to position better than the default dongle-antenna, but still quite short, limiting just how far away you can put it. So far though, it doesn't seem to matter...the signal strength is strong even if I point the antenna in the opposite direction of the router.

    SpeedBooster technology is still working - it's apparently not dependant on the antenna technology in any way. I've also NOT experienced any of the driver problems that others have spoken of with the wmp54gs (many have said that it's hardware compatibility issues with the motherboard - I'm running an Asus A7N8X deluxe and seem to be just fine).

    Hope this feedback helps!
  9. Westwind

    Westwind Network Guru Member

    WRT54GS and Hawking Antenna

    I just bought a linksys wrt54gs and a hawking 9dB external antenna with a 30ft extension cable. I can not get any good signal out of the hawking antenna. It seems like the other built in antenna is working but not the hawking one. I tried changing the firmware to hyperWRT but it did not help. I am going to try dd-wrt tonight.

    Anyone with suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  10. zgamer

    zgamer Network Guru Member

    I've used a pair of compusa branded 9db omni's and gotten from no signal to about 50% signal strength.
  11. no-talent-ass-clown

    no-talent-ass-clown Network Guru Member

    Re: WRT54GS and Hawking Antenna

    This is more than likely because you have such a long extension. That is why most antenna's only come with 1 meter of cable, because anything after that goes against your db gain. So, a 30ft cable with 9db gain probably equals no change. Try it with a meter or so cable and see how it works.
  12. XCOM7

    XCOM7 Network Guru Member

    I have a GS and I bought 1 15dbi Hawkins Anntena I know have covarage from one end of my apt complex to the other. :)
  13. davidsonf

    davidsonf Network Guru Member

    Re: WRT54GS and Hawking Antenna

    I missed Westwind's post in this forum... but a couple days later he posted the same basic question in the "HyperWRT Firmware", and hopefully he did see the long reply that I posted there.

    Given the continued thread here, and some of the mistaken information posted long ago in this thread, I'm going to paste the previous reply here too. With only a little editing, and with one additional comment: the firmware has nothing to do with it! Good antennas are just as good with the stock Linksys firmware, and bad ones are just as bad even with third party firmware.

    Here's what I wrote in the other forum, three days ago:

    There is exactly one trick with an external antenna: short feedlines. Unfortunately for your setup, 30 feet is not a short feedline. The results you are getting are almost guaranteed, unless you want to spend some real money on feedline (extremely low loss, and extremely high cost).

    Generally (but not always) the smaller the cable, the higher the loss. Definitely, the longer the cable, the higher the loss. Even a short length of the coax cable used for TV feedline will have a huge loss at the 2400MHz frequencies used by 802.11b/g radios.

    If you must use a length of feedline of more than a foot or two, you'll need to look at something like semi-rigid coax, called heliax, in sizes larger than 1/2" in diameter. But even with that you don't want to do 30 feet of it. Best advice is to keep it less than 15-20 with heliax, and less than 15 feet with regular low loss 1/2" diameter coax. With any of the really thin low loss cables, don't go more than 1-2 feet.

    Here are some raw numbers. I'm using 3 dB, the half power point,as a reference. Note that a 6 dB loss reduces the distance a radio will work over to about half.

    RG-174, 1/10th inch diameter coax has a loss of 3 dB (half of your power) in just 5 feet. RG-58CU 1/4" diameter cable has a loss of 3 dB in 8 feet. RG-142 1/5" diameter cable loses 3 dB in 12 feet. Even low loss premium polyfoam RG-58 will lose 3 dB in 15 feet.

    If we switch to looking at larger sizes of coax, RG-213 low loss 1/2" cable, will lose half the power in 25 feet. Any of LMR400, LM400, or CNT400 (all actually the same) will lose half the power in 40 feet. (You can see where 10-15 feet of this is too not bad!)

    Now, if you really have to run 30 feet, think about heliax. LDF4/50A loses 3 dB in 72 feet. LDF5/50A loses 3dB in 116 feet! This is good stuff! Your 30 foot run would have a loss of about 1.3 dB with LDF4/50A and about 0.8 dB with LDF5/50A. (The cable will cost more than the WRT54G...)

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