[nSLUG] Municiple WiFi: Wi-Fire USB Antenna

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Wed Aug 29 14:36:43 ADT 2007

On 8/29/07, D G Teed <donald.teed at gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm not sure if more range would help always.
> I was in a downtown office in Vancouver which had
> wireless down the hall.  I could not connect
> to it very well.  I checked with Netstumbler and
> there were about 20+ access points in the area.
> As Vancouver office towers tend to have more glass
> where others have concrete, this probably makes
> for a lot of signal between buildings.

Plus cordless phones, etc.   You want to make sure that your
router is closer to your machine than any of the others.

The original designers understood that the easy case (one router and
one laptop) was not going to work in the real world.  They assumed
there  would be meshes (3-D in a office tower) and there is a
recommended pattern for assigning frequencies to maximize thruput,
but I think most of the models assume all the routers are controlled
by one organization.

Many routers do automatic frequency assignment, so no doubt in
practice they can find ways to mess up the ideal pattern of
frequency assignments.  At home there are 4 other wireless
routers visible to my upstairs office, and they tend to hop around
in frequencies -- sometimes the majority choose the same band.
I can't tell what bands are being used by cordless phones.

> This was with wireless 802.11g, which only has
> 3 unique channel frequencies, so with all
> that overlap of signal, wireless was useless.
> I'm not up on the new .11n and whether it
> solves this issue.

802.11n does provide more frequencies, but the big advance
has been the discovery that having multiple antennae with only
slightly different locations and orientations greatly enhances
reliability.   At home I use a USB dongle and find that moving it a
few inches makes a difference in the signal.

> On 8/17/07, George N. White III <gnwiii at gmail.com> wrote:
> > There have been big advancesin understanding of how to design 802.11x antennas.
> > Apple is using the technology to hide antennas inside systems with better
> > performance than the old external antennae, but the ideas can also
> > provide better
> > external antennae, e.g., "Wi-Fire USB Antenna gives Access up to 1,000 Feet"
> > <http://hfield.com/wifire.htm"
> >
> > At my house (rural, hilltop location), I can see 4 wireless access
> > points other than  mine, but in Silicon Valley, people report seeing
> > dozens.  In the long run, you may need a better antenna in you home or
> > business to deal with crowded airwaves.
> >
> > --
> > George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
> > Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia
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> >
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George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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