What antenna gain to use

Discussion in 'Networking Issues' started by HORSEMEN, Mar 12, 2006.


    HORSEMEN Network Guru Member

    I have a BEFW11S4 for the house. Hooked to a direcway satellite system. It has work flawlessly for 4 years.
    Now I want to get internet down to my shop. After reading many posts I have basically fingered out that I need to have 2 wireless access points bridged, with external antennas. And a router for the shop. The cable runs for each antenna should be 50 feet or less. The shop is 300feet from the house and is in CLEAR line of sight.
    What gain antenna would be recommended, I haven’t been able to get any idea of the expected distance from a given gain of antenna.
    I have been toying with the idea of upgrading the system to wireless G. But it seams that the new hardware versions are not desirable.
  2. bluebox

    bluebox Network Guru Member

    This is a bit more complicated than it appears at first. Longer cable runs loose a significant amount of gain. WAY more than most realize. That is also a function of the type of cable you use. But 50' is a VERY long run for this type if application and most antenna cable runs can easily be greatly reduced.

    You should try and locate the router closer to the antenna - since you have to run cable anyway, you are better off running a long network cable to the router, rather than long antenna cable runs. Network cable can usually go 300' before you start to see issues with loss, while every single foot of antenna cable has significant loss.

    As far as gain goes, I would actually suggest that you use a highly directional setup. This will give you the following:

    a - Certainty of high enough gain for your application.
    b - More secure connection by virtue of keeping the signal out of the airwaves where others shouldn't be able to see it.
    c - Less interference/noise because you have highly isolated the communications path.
    d - Creating less interference for others within range.

    I think just about any quality dish-based antenna would work for your range.
  3. vincentfox

    vincentfox Network Guru Member

    Why would you want 50 foot antenna runs? Just get a couple of RooTenna unit from PacWireless, stuff a WRT into each one and mount them pointed at each other on an outside wall. You can use outdoor-rated Cat5 to get data and power to them, it's a lot cheaper than low-loss antenna cable.

    If you want a plug-n-play version of this, there's the BlueBox product from BrainSlayer of DD-WRT firmware project.

    HORSEMEN Network Guru Member

    I can reduce my max run to 20' on the cables I think. I was going to use LMR400 cable, the loss would be 4dbi per 100’. The bridge units need to be inside do to the swings in weather. Snow in winter and 100+ in summer.
    I got my eyes on a pair of YAGI 13.5 dbi directional antennas. As for up grading to wirelessG I found some Linksys WRT54GC for 40.00 ea. new. The only thing is, if I can use them to bridge between the two buildings.
  5. vincentfox

    vincentfox Network Guru Member

    No the GC has no alternate firmware or functions beyond what is written on the box. Even some of the things that are supposed to work on it, don't. Get the GL from Newegg, $55 after rebate.

    HORSEMEN Network Guru Member

    Will the GL work for both the bridges?
  7. vincentfox

    vincentfox Network Guru Member

    Yep, GL can do just about anything provided you program them for it.

    Your antenna are overkill if you have clear line of sight. I'd actually dial back the power below 28 mW for high-gain and short distance.

    HORSEMEN Network Guru Member

    Cost is a factor. What would be the most reliable? And easiest to setup, for the money.
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