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Need noob help... wifi repeater needs moar gain

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#1 curtong


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Posted 22 July 2018 - 05:03 PM

I'll try to keep it short, but there is a lot to cover.


Where I camp in the summers, there is a lodge and a campground.  On the side of the lodge is a Nano (Ubiquiti, I think) broadcaster pointed directly at the campground.  It is only maybe 1000' away, but obscured by trees and a small hill.  At best I can sometimes get connected if I chant a voodoo phrase and the moon is in a good mood.  Most of the time I get "can't connect to this network".  So a few years ago (when I was even dumber than I am now) I bought a Netgear WN2000RPTv3.  After placing it in multiple sites around the campground, it is spotty to say the least.  Most of the time it won't get an IP from the Nano and therefore no internet.  But, given the fact that I did find one spot that occasionally sees 12-15dbm, I'm hopeful that I can improve upon that with some righteous hacking.


I pulled the repeater apart and noticed that the antennas on the board are ridiculously pathetic.  It looks like soldering on some bulkhead SMA connectors should be super easy.  Get something like this: https://www.amazon.com/DANUC-Wireless-Extension-Bulkhead-Repeater/dp/B01KJS6C1I/ref=sr_1_85?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1532291820&sr=1-85


Follow my thinking and correct me where I'm being stupid:  If I were to do two bulkhead SMAs in my box and some cable extensions, would the attached drawing work?  I have an old satellite dish and I was thinking I could replace the LNB with the second mast and put the dish on a utility pole with a little less obstruction, run the coax inside the shed to the hacked repeater box, then the other 6dbi mast on the outside of the shed for my little piece of the campground and my family who all camps near me.


Will it work? 

What type of mast should I put in the dish?  Just the second 6dbi omni, or a flat directional antenna? 

Should I skip the dish and buy a Yagi? 

Or make a biquad?


The second attachment is a photo and shows what I'm up against.  I'm standing in front of my trailer on my patio. The blue arrow points to the lodge down over the hill.  The red arrow shows the shed at Dad's trailer.  The yellow arrow shows the utility pole.  I know it's a ton of vegetation, but since I can get some reception, what is the best hi-gain way to pull in signal from the Nano 1000' away from that pole?

Attached Files

Edited by curtong, 22 July 2018 - 05:04 PM.

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#2 curtong

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Posted 22 July 2018 - 05:41 PM

Another couple questions I thought of...


Is there an app/software I can use to aim the dish (signal strength meter) or does that have to be part of the firmware in the repeater itself? (that will help me decide if I hack this repeater or get one that will accept DDWRT... cause the firmware in this repeater sucks.)


can I use RG58 as my coax or is it not properly shielded?  The reason I ask is because I already own about 300' of it.

Edited by curtong, 22 July 2018 - 05:45 PM.

#3 Replicator


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Posted 23 July 2018 - 01:29 AM

A directional antenna will give you the strongest signal as long as you have it pointed at your target, omnidirectional is a weaker signal but gives you a 360 view so to speak.

The RG58 should be fine with SMA connections to the box.


Another alternative may be running a high gain (lets say 8dbi +) Arial on an Alfa USB network adapter from the device your trying to connect (I assume its a laptop/desktop/.......if not you would probably then need a patch lead to your tablet/cell which is a bit of messing around.


Try your hacked repeater idea first with a directional pointed at the nano..... hopefully it does the trick.


Check this out!


Netstumbler is a great free, open source Wifi analyser!

The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear!
CEH, CISSP @ WhiteHat Computers Pty Ltd


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