View Full Version : Improving wireless signal

31-08-2009, 03:06 PM

Recently moved into a rental home. Older house, which has concrete external walls, and several internal as well where the house has been obviously extended. There are only two phone jacks, through an internal wall from each other. Study at the other end of the house.
Desk has a PCI wireless card. The signal registers as being very low, or none at all. Wife's laptop works fine through the house. Router is a Linksys WRT54G v5.

What can I do to improve or boost the signal?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

31-08-2009, 03:52 PM
You could install a larger antenna on it (potentially best solution), you could install some non-standard firmware and boost the power output, or lastly you could install a repeater access point which would set you back ~$100 (Second-best solution IMO).

31-08-2009, 03:57 PM
You have quite a few options....I'll list them to cheapest to most expensive

1. Buy or create your own antenna
i.e Something like these:

2. Buy another WRT54G or WL-520GU, throw on custom firmware and set it up as a repeater bridge or WDS. Note that your desktop will not need a wireless card anymore as you can plug this into the repeater.

3. Buy a second hand or new Ethernet Over Power pair on TradeMe or at a PC shop

4. Buy a wireless N router with greater range.

Chill: I've never really seen much difference in terms of signal strength and speed by increasing the transmit power, what have you set it to that has made a significant difference?


31-08-2009, 05:24 PM
Yeah I've not seen much either, but then again I wonder if Tomato actually "supports" that option on the WL-520GU ... ?

31-08-2009, 05:31 PM
I've seen marginal gains with DD-WRT on a Linksys WRT54GL by bumping up the tx power. They aren't big enough to bother with though.

31-08-2009, 06:54 PM
Yeah I've not seen much either, but then again I wonder if Tomato actually "supports" that option on the WL-520GU ... ?

Yea...I think it does, because I've tried it and its seemed to increase speed by about 1-3%...

Not really significant enough though

01-09-2009, 12:26 AM
Yeah, boosting power through Tomato doesn't do much though I have seen people turn it up way too high and frying the routers after a while. Simply not worth bothering with.

01-09-2009, 12:34 AM
Get perfect signal and much faster and reliable connection by switching to "ethernet" :lol:

So the laptop works fine even in the same place as the desktop?

Which way does the desktop antenna face? is it located so the signal has to travel through the PC before it gets there?

Sick Puppy
01-09-2009, 12:36 AM
Buy a tube of pringles? :D

01-09-2009, 07:45 AM
There's always a Dork around just when least expected

01-09-2009, 09:51 AM
Nothing wrong with a can of pringles... the cantenna idea is a Yagi-type directional antenna and does actually work


01-09-2009, 07:39 PM
If the laptop works anywhere in the house, you might like to check the position of the antenna on the desktop PCI card. I suppose it is screwed in [sometimes, I have found on service calls, does not always make good connection] and you have tried rotatiing the position.
If you cannot move things much then try an USB wireless dongle via an extension USB cord. Then move the dongle to a position where signals are effective.

01-09-2009, 08:59 PM
Or you could just buy an antenna on the end of an extension and attach that to your PCI card