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  1. #1
    jcr1
    Guest

    Default Long Range Wireless Network

    My sons house is about 500 m away, just around the corner of a small hill (not quite line of sight). On a slight angle both my place and my sons are line of sight to a well built haybarn.
    I have been thinking about extending my wireless network (802.11.b) to my sons place then we could easily share the same farm management software (his fiancee is a great record keeper and she would get a buzz out of using the LIC software that I use).
    I know that signals can be strengthened, but is it possible to bounce them around a corner?
    I have a redundant Ihug satellite dish on the roof, I wonder if that could somehow be utilised to extend my network?. Possibly mounting it on the haybarn.

  2. #2
    drb1
    Guest

    Default Re: Long Range Wireless Network

    Put a relay/hub on/in the barn, and sell the dish to cover cost.

    D.

  3. #3
    Growly
    Guest

    Default Re: Long Range Wireless Network

    When you say just out of line of sight, how just do you mean?

    Powerful dishes can penetrate to some extent, and considering that it's only 500m it shouldn't make tooooo much of a difference.

    The alternative is to do as drb1 says - place a repeater or access point on the barn.

    If you read around, especially in places like www.nzwireless.org, there'll be tips on converting satellite dishes to the 2.4 Ghz spectrum (for 802.11 b)

  4. #4
    Pete O\'Neil
    Guest

    Default Re: Long Range Wireless Network

    500m and LOS is easy peasy, im assuming you own the haybarn? or have permission to use it? Im assuming your a farmer? Most farmers i know are pretty handy and skilled with tools, if this is the case you can save yourself some cash.

    First of all the barn will need a omni directional antenna, depending on the angles you might be able to get away with 180 degree antenna. Unfortunatly omni directional antenna arent the easist to make so unless youve got access to a good mill and drill press you may have to buy one. An antenna such as this would do the job or you may need the 360 degree unit. The hay barn will also need power as you'll need a AP (access point) connected to the antenna, thus creating a bridge between your network and your sons. You could consider stashing the AP inside the barn and running coax cable up to the antenna, but this will degrade the signal and the cable isnt cheap ($7 per m). The best thing to do would be mount the AP as close as possible to the antenna in a waterproof container. This is the most cost effective way and will offer the best performance, if you do it this way have a look into PoE (power over ethernet).

    You havent told us what exisiting network you son has, so i'll assume he has one single PC. There are many ways you can go about connect you son to the omni on the barn, does the PC itself have LOS to the barn e.g is there a near by window? Having to connect through walls and tree will require a more powerful antenna and add to the costs. If the PC has LOS through a nearby window then a simple PCI wifi card with detachable antenna should be enough, try it first with the stock antenna. If it doesnt work a homemade biquad or cantenna will do the job easily.

    Because youve got an existing wifi network at your house your probably going to have add another AP, use one AP for your network at home and use one AP to bridge the connection between yourself and your son. Once again a AP with detachable antenna is preferable, first try it with the stock antenna, if that doesnt work a homemade biquad or cantenna will do.

    Sorry this was a bit of a rush job, will post back later with a few more details, feel free to ask some questions.

  5. #5
    jcr1
    Guest

    Default Re: Long Range Wireless Network

    Thanks Pete; I do own the barn, but it doesn't have power (I wonder, would solar panels provide enough?).
    My sons place has extremely good LOS, straight down 2-3 paddocks, so maybe the stock antenna would do the job. I have looked at the cantenna site - interesting.
    I could possibly need some kind of boost from my place as my office is on the opposite side of the house from that facing the barn.
    The angle would be a lot less than 180 degrees, I would say. In fact I think if I could get on top of the house plus a few feet I would have LOS to my sons.
    He only has one computer - a 400mhz laptop running Win2K.

  6. #6
    metla
    Guest

    Default Re: Long Range Wireless Network

    Mount it on a mast,ignore the barn.

  7. #7
    Pete O\'Neil
    Guest

    Default Re: Long Range Wireless Network

    The only problem is that with trying to connect to your son your going to have to bridge to network connections. By network i many anything, the laptop on its own is a network. The AP's or Wifi cards used to bridge the two networks cant be connected to by clients, so if you or your son wish to walk around your house with a wireless network you'll each need a seperate AP/wifi card.

    Im not to sure how clear i am so ive draw a very crude drawing. Its going to be a pain in the ass to fit an external antenna to the laptop, is the laptop likely to always be in one place or does your son want to be able to move it around? Option one will connect you to your son and allow you to both move around as you please, where as the second option will limit how mobile your son can be. Because the AP with the omni has to be mounted so high to get LOS to your son you wouldnt be able to connect to it.

  8. #8
    jcr1
    Guest

    Default Re: Long Range Wireless Network

    > is the laptop likely to always be in one place or does your son want to be >able to move it around?

    He would probably not be too concerned if it was in one place.

    I already have 2 network cards in my main computer, one connects to my wireless AP & the other to my wireless internet service interface unit. So to use another AP, does that mean I'll need another NIC?

    I can already roam around the house & section, with my laptop, connected to my network & that, to me, beats an ethernet cnnection.

    Thanks for the diagram, Pete, I think I should scout around when the weather improves & just see where the most convenient point is for LOS to the cottage.

  9. #9
    Duck
    Guest

    Default Re: Long Range Wireless Network

    Before investing in solar power I would do some research on WiFi and passive repeaters to see if anyone has been successful; this guy apparently has been ...:

    http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20020207.html

  10. #10
    Billy T
    Guest

    Default Re: Long Range Wireless Network

    Passive repeaters do work (that is two aerials back to back, one pointing to the source and the other to the end destination.

    If the link path is not too long you will succeed. The technique has been used to get TV reception into valleys and other obscured places for many years.

    Cheers

    Billy 8-{)

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