23 October 2007

Drag routing?

Comparing a nominally long-range dLink wireless router with a TP-LINK el cheapo box, to light up a laptop across the highway from the Internet link.

Mr El Cheapo works out about 7-9dB stronger signals (e.g. -69dB across the road instead of -78dB) with my TwinHead DuraBook laptop, yet only claims +3dB for the antenna, which is a short whip about ⅓ as long again as the dLink’s.

That has to be some kind of dipole, but my ARRL knowledge is so ancient that I’ve no real hope of recalling it.

Whatever it is, tomorrow will involve some time playing with RG58 cables, switches and/or hubs, & grunting the router around the building to defeat some structural irregularities which remain.

I’m of the firm opinion that dropping a second router across the road as a bridge will prove far more effective than relying upon Joe Random Tenant having a laptop with good reception — & would also offer the option of a wired connection since the routers typically come with a 4-port hub (some call it “a switch” but generally that’s not quite true).

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