Go Back   Serif Software Forums > Community > General

Notices

General Discussions that don't relate to a specific Serif product

 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 13th June 2012, 11:15 AM   #1
mjh
The one and only mjh
 
mjh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Michigan USA
Posts: 74,753
mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)
Default How to increase wireless signal?

Good morning, one and all

My friend and her IttyBitty Dell Latitude D-420 are in a physical rehab center.

When she's been there before, the wireless signal was strong and constant, but she was using her old Acer, now RIP.

What we are experiencing now is a weaker signal that cuts in and out regularly making it near impossible for her to watch her German TV shows, do FB and the like.

The wireless network app is Linksys instead of the builtin WIN XP Pro one.

I've spoken to the maintenance man, Bob, a couple of times and his response is that it works. I've also spoken to another patient a couple of rooms down who experiences the same problem.

Is it possible to boost the signal using an external antennae plugged into her computer? If so, which? The local Radio Shack opens in a couple of hours.

Does this also suggest the need for a different router/modem at the facility?
__________________
---------------
T9900, 8 GB RAM, 512 vidram, WIN 7 Ult 64-bit - Chrome
mjh is offline  
Old 13th June 2012, 12:13 PM   #2
mjh
The one and only mjh
 
mjh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Michigan USA
Posts: 74,753
mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)
Default Re: How to increase wireless signal?

Would something like this work? It just seems like an external wireless adapter rather than an antennae.

http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=473
__________________
---------------
T9900, 8 GB RAM, 512 vidram, WIN 7 Ult 64-bit - Chrome
mjh is offline  
Old 13th June 2012, 12:44 PM   #3
RichardS
Master
 
RichardS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Nr Hitchin, UK
Posts: 19,748
RichardS has a brilliant futureRichardS has a brilliant futureRichardS has a brilliant futureRichardS has a brilliant future
Default Re: How to increase wireless signal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjh View Post
Good morning, one and all

My friend and her IttyBitty Dell Latitude D-420 are in a physical rehab center.

When she's been there before, the wireless signal was strong and constant, but she was using her old Acer, now RIP.

What we are experiencing now is a weaker signal that cuts in and out regularly making it near impossible for her to watch her German TV shows, do FB and the like.

The wireless network app is Linksys instead of the builtin WIN XP Pro one.

I've spoken to the maintenance man, Bob, a couple of times and his response is that it works. I've also spoken to another patient a couple of rooms down who experiences the same problem.

Is it possible to boost the signal using an external antennae plugged into her computer? If so, which? The local Radio Shack opens in a couple of hours.

Does this also suggest the need for a different router/modem at the facility?
UK's Maplin sells an external USB WiFi adaptor which has a directional reflector.

You can make your own, using a wok... or even a baking tray. Placing a baking tray beside a laptop PC can also direct its internal antenna.

But also consider interference: Perhaps there is something nearby which interferes with that WiFi channel?
__________________
32-bit Win8.1 Pro, AMD64 3200+, 2GB RAM, 256MB ATI Radeon 200 Graphics
64-bit Win8.1 Pro, 8GB RAM, i5-2320, HD2000 Graphics.
RichardS is offline  
Old 13th June 2012, 12:55 PM   #4
mjh
The one and only mjh
 
mjh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Michigan USA
Posts: 74,753
mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)
Default Re: How to increase wireless signal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
UK's Maplin sells an external WiFi device which has a directional reflector.

You can make your own, using a wok... or even a baking tray. Placing a baking tray beside a laptop PC can also direct its internal antenna.

But also consider interference: Perhaps there is something nearby which interferes with that WiFi channel?
It is a physical rehab center so there in medical equipment, but no major remodeling since she was last in-patient, RichardS.

But I certainly can take in a metal baking sheet as CM has a well equipped kitchen here.

None of the staff seem too concerned that bed-bound patients with laptops.... and there are at least four I've spotted in this wing, have the same problem.


I just read your post to CM and she is much amused. At least now I have some insight for when I next talk to Bob, the maintenance person in charge of WiFi.

How would I tell him to switch channels? Or is that something I would do on CM's system?

THanks, RichardS.
__________________
---------------
T9900, 8 GB RAM, 512 vidram, WIN 7 Ult 64-bit - Chrome
mjh is offline  
Old 13th June 2012, 01:04 PM   #5
mjh
The one and only mjh
 
mjh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Michigan USA
Posts: 74,753
mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)
Default Re: How to increase wireless signal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjh View Post
It is a physical rehab center so there in medical equipment, but no major remodeling since she was last in-patient, RichardS.

But I certainly can take in a metal baking sheet as CM has a well equipped kitchen here.

None of the staff seem too concerned that bed-bound patients with laptops.... and there are at least four I've spotted in this wing, have the same problem.


I just read your post to CM and she is much amused. At least now I have some insight for when I next talk to Bob, the maintenance person in charge of WiFi.

How would I tell him to switch channels? Or is that something I would do on CM's system?

THanks, RichardS.

RichardS

How about tin? I just found a bundt cake insert as well as an 8" flat disk.

Is any particular metal better than another? I can take a small stainless steel saucepan. Remember, there may also be physical space limitations.

Thanks
__________________
---------------
T9900, 8 GB RAM, 512 vidram, WIN 7 Ult 64-bit - Chrome
mjh is offline  
Old 13th June 2012, 01:13 PM   #6
RichardS
Master
 
RichardS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Nr Hitchin, UK
Posts: 19,748
RichardS has a brilliant futureRichardS has a brilliant futureRichardS has a brilliant futureRichardS has a brilliant future
Default Re: How to increase wireless signal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjh View Post
How would I tell him to switch channels? Or is that something I would do on CM's system?

THanks, RichardS.
I think that the tech. would need to switch the channels of the wireless access point... if that really is the problem.

Peter Cochrane using a baking tray:
http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/cio...-tray/39748171

WokFi Article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WokFi

People have used all sorts of things for boosting WiFi and mobile phone signals. There often used to be articles, illustrated with photos of Pringles tins modified for use as signal boosters.

But ever since I gave a presentation explaining that Pringles tins were the wrong dimensions to be efficient, Pringles have been on "special offer."
__________________
32-bit Win8.1 Pro, AMD64 3200+, 2GB RAM, 256MB ATI Radeon 200 Graphics
64-bit Win8.1 Pro, 8GB RAM, i5-2320, HD2000 Graphics.
RichardS is offline  
Old 13th June 2012, 01:24 PM   #7
mjh
The one and only mjh
 
mjh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Michigan USA
Posts: 74,753
mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)
Cool Re: How to increase wireless signal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
I think that the tech. would need to switch the channels of the wireless access point... if that really is the problem.

Peter Cochrane using a baking tray:
http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/cio...-tray/39748171

WokFi Article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WokFi

People have used all sorts of things for boosting WiFi and mobile phone signals. There often used to be articles, illustrated with photos of Pringles tins modified for use as signal boosters.

But ever since I gave a presentation explaining that Pringles tins were the wrong dimensions to be efficient, Pringles have been on "special offer." ;)
I found this one but haven't read it yet.

http://www.instructables.com/id/%22P...cookware-refl/

I'll go read your links after I find her elastic beading thread.

LOL.
__________________
---------------
T9900, 8 GB RAM, 512 vidram, WIN 7 Ult 64-bit - Chrome
mjh is offline  
Old 13th June 2012, 01:29 PM   #8
mjh
The one and only mjh
 
mjh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Michigan USA
Posts: 74,753
mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)
Default Re: How to increase wireless signal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjh View Post
I found this one but haven't read it yet.

http://www.instructables.com/id/%22P...cookware-refl/

I'll go read your links after I find her elastic beading thread.

LOL.
And, speaking of Pringles' cans. I'm looking at four empty round Royal Dansk Luxury Wafers cans

So....
__________________
---------------
T9900, 8 GB RAM, 512 vidram, WIN 7 Ult 64-bit - Chrome
mjh is offline  
Old 13th June 2012, 01:50 PM   #9
mjh
The one and only mjh
 
mjh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Michigan USA
Posts: 74,753
mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)
Default Re: How to increase wireless signal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjh View Post
And, speaking of Pringles' cans. I'm looking at four empty round Royal Dansk Luxury Wafers cans

So....
OK, I read the articles.

Seems like a wok strainer would work and if I can't find one here, there is a KMart and supermarket in this town. The closest thing I've found in this kitchen to a parabolic and wire shape is the deep fryer basket, so that's now on my pile of 'antennae signal boosters'.

Do I really need a second and external WiFi adapter?

Since I have a five bar signal here I can't test anything in advance.
__________________
---------------
T9900, 8 GB RAM, 512 vidram, WIN 7 Ult 64-bit - Chrome
mjh is offline  
Old 13th June 2012, 02:30 PM   #10
RichardS
Master
 
RichardS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Nr Hitchin, UK
Posts: 19,748
RichardS has a brilliant futureRichardS has a brilliant futureRichardS has a brilliant futureRichardS has a brilliant future
Default Re: How to increase wireless signal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjh View Post
OK, I read the articles.

Seems like a wok strainer would work and if I can't find one here, there is a KMart and supermarket in this town. The closest thing I've found in this kitchen to a parabolic and wire shape is the deep fryer basket, so that's now on my pile of 'antennae signal boosters'.

Do I really need a second and external WiFi adapter?

Since I have a five bar signal here I can't test anything in advance.
It's really a question of trying this. Using a reflector may not be enough to help. It's also possible that the WiFi service has too many users.
__________________
32-bit Win8.1 Pro, AMD64 3200+, 2GB RAM, 256MB ATI Radeon 200 Graphics
64-bit Win8.1 Pro, 8GB RAM, i5-2320, HD2000 Graphics.
RichardS is offline  
Old 13th June 2012, 02:39 PM   #11
jacksjacobs
Senior Member
 
jacksjacobs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Bognor Regis, South Coast, UK
Posts: 3,867
jacksjacobs is a splendid one to beholdjacksjacobs is a splendid one to beholdjacksjacobs is a splendid one to behold
Default Re: How to increase wireless signal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjh View Post
RichardS

How about tin? I just found a bundt cake insert as well as an 8" flat disk.

Is any particular metal better than another? I can take a small stainless steel saucepan. Remember, there may also be physical space limitations.

Thanks
If you want to use a mesh paraboloid, like a strainer, use one with holes as small as possible, a wire grid no larger than about 5mm - in both directions. Some strainers have close circles, but well spaced radials.

The wavelength of the WiFi signal I have is 2.4 Ghz, which means the radio waves have a wavelength of about 120 mm. The grid size ought be a small fraction of a quarter wave, 30mm (=120/4).

Also, chromium plated steel is not the best. Nickel plate would be better. If you can press aluminium foil smoothly against the reflector, especially if it's an open grid, this could be quite effective. Metals like chromium and iron have poor conductivity compared with aluminium, nickel, copper and brass; reflector surfaces can lose quite a lot of signal in absorption.

Anyway, you won't get the best antenna reflector out of a strainer designed for cooking, rather than its microwave performance.

Flat reflectors - a baking tray, or the bottom surface of a saucepan, may serve to direct the signal better from a router antenna awkwardly placed in relation to the PC antenna. It won't magnify the signal, as such.

Putting a wireless dongle at the focus of a curved reflector may well give good magnification. But it will need to be pointed at the router antenna.

All this from memory, so I stand to be corrected on various points (like the need for a small spacing in the circular direction in a grid reflector - as opposed to the radial spacing).

You never know how good you can get until you try.

Good luck.
__________________
Jack J

funny cats

Last edited by jacksjacobs; 13th June 2012 at 02:45 PM.
jacksjacobs is offline  
Old 13th June 2012, 02:45 PM   #12
mjh
The one and only mjh
 
mjh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Michigan USA
Posts: 74,753
mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)
Default Re: How to increase wireless signal?

Thank you both

I'm off shortly and will report back.

Jack - I did find two small strainers with a fine mess.... so that will be first effort. I'll also pack some aluminum foil.
__________________
---------------
T9900, 8 GB RAM, 512 vidram, WIN 7 Ult 64-bit - Chrome
mjh is offline  
Old 13th June 2012, 02:49 PM   #13
jacksjacobs
Senior Member
 
jacksjacobs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Bognor Regis, South Coast, UK
Posts: 3,867
jacksjacobs is a splendid one to beholdjacksjacobs is a splendid one to beholdjacksjacobs is a splendid one to behold
Default Re: How to increase wireless signal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacksjacobs View Post
If you want to use a mesh paraboloid, like a strainer, use one with holes as small as possible, a wire grid no larger than about 5mm - in both directions. Some strainers have close circles, but well spaced radials.

The wavelength of the WiFi signal I have is 2.4 Ghz, which means the radio waves have a wavelength of about 120 mm. The grid size ought be a small fraction of a quarter wave, 30mm (=120/4).

Also, chromium plated steel is not the best. Nickel plate would be better. If you can press aluminium foil smoothly against the reflector, especially if it's an open grid, this could be quite effective. Metals like chromium and iron have poor conductivity compared with aluminium, nickel, copper and brass; reflector surfaces can lose quite a lot of signal in absorption.

Anyway, you won't get the best antenna reflector out of a strainer designed for cooking, rather than its microwave performance.

Flat reflectors - a baking tray, or the bottom surface of a saucepan, may serve to direct the signal better from a router antenna awkwardly placed in relation to the PC antenna. It won't magnify the signal, as such.

Putting a wireless dongle at the focus of a curved reflector may well give good magnification. But it will need to be pointed at the router antenna.

All this from memory, so I stand to be corrected on various points (like the need for a small spacing in the circular direction in a grid reflector - as opposed to the radial spacing).

You never know how good you can get until you try.

Good luck.
I've looked up bundt cake, and if the tin is the ring shape, with the well in the middle - I don't think that would help at all.
__________________
Jack J

funny cats
jacksjacobs is offline  
Old 13th June 2012, 02:50 PM   #14
mjh
The one and only mjh
 
mjh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Michigan USA
Posts: 74,753
mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)
Default Re: How to increase wireless signal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacksjacobs View Post
I've looked up bundt cake, and if the tin is the ring shape, with the well in the middle - I don't think that would help at all.
Yup, that's it. I'll leave that at home.
__________________
---------------
T9900, 8 GB RAM, 512 vidram, WIN 7 Ult 64-bit - Chrome
mjh is offline  
Old 13th June 2012, 02:52 PM   #15
mjh
The one and only mjh
 
mjh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Michigan USA
Posts: 74,753
mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)
Default Re: How to increase wireless signal?

OK, Plan B might be...... pick up her signal from mobile cell phone.

How would I do that.... move the wifi connection via mobile phone to the computer?
__________________
---------------
T9900, 8 GB RAM, 512 vidram, WIN 7 Ult 64-bit - Chrome
mjh is offline  
Old 15th June 2012, 05:20 PM   #16
RB1
New Member
 
RB1's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 23
RB1 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: How to increase wireless signal?

If this of help I use a TP-Link TL-WN822N with a 1.5mL extension cable on the laptop which seems to work well in our building (lots of brickwork & approx 20m from router).
http://www.tp-link.com/en/products/d...odel=TL-WN822N
As others have pointed out it may be interferrence from other sources, change of position of equipment, etc
Good Luck
RB
__________________
Website:
RB Sport & Travel
Photo Gallery
RB1 is offline  
Old 15th June 2012, 07:59 PM   #17
mjh
The one and only mjh
 
mjh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Michigan USA
Posts: 74,753
mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)
Default Re: How to increase wireless signal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RB1 View Post
If this of help I use a TP-Link TL-WN822N with a 1.5mL extension cable on the laptop which seems to work well in our building (lots of brickwork & approx 20m from router).
http://www.tp-link.com/en/products/d...odel=TL-WN822N
As others have pointed out it may be interferrence from other sources, change of position of equipment, etc
Good Luck
RB
Thanks, I've just spoken with the maintenance man again.... seems like it's been 'broken' for over a year now. Modem has been replaced. The connection to the internet is lost every 20 minutes or so. So, that is one issue. The other issue is the signal strength and that is now resolved.

SOlution: phone in orders rather than try to place them on that flaky system and use connectivity for 'social' things knowing the signal will be lost. Grrrrrrrr.....


All of the kitchen equipment is back in its proper places.
__________________
---------------
T9900, 8 GB RAM, 512 vidram, WIN 7 Ult 64-bit - Chrome
mjh is offline  
Old 15th June 2012, 09:00 PM   #18
ggrussell
Expert
 
ggrussell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Maryville, TN USA
Posts: 8,104
ggrussell is a jewel in the roughggrussell is a jewel in the rough
Default Re: How to increase wireless signal?

Or just try something like this from Hawking.

Some cell phones have a 'hotspot' feature although the carrier may charge extra for that feature.
__________________
Intel i7 4770k, 16GB, Kingston 240GB SSD, Hitachi 1.5TB HD, ATI HD7870, Sony TD20 3D, Sony TRV740 8mm digital, Sony SLT-A65VK for still images, Windows 8 Pro Media Center, 64bit
Gary Russell -- TN USA

Last edited by ggrussell; 15th June 2012 at 09:06 PM.
ggrussell is offline  
Old 15th June 2012, 09:24 PM   #19
mjh
The one and only mjh
 
mjh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Michigan USA
Posts: 74,753
mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)mjh has nothing more to prove (nirvana)
Default Re: How to increase wireless signal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ggrussell View Post
Or just try something like this from Hawking.

Some cell phones have a 'hotspot' feature although the carrier may charge extra for that feature.
We can get a mobile MiFi ATT... two year contract, $1,200.00 plus hardware. She should be back home in a month. So the expense is not justified.

In the olden day, two years ago, we both had a $25.00 per month plan with AllTel/Verizon which provided a dongle to connect the phone to the computer system. It boosted speeds to almost 1 MB as opposed to dialup which we both had at the time.



Thanks Gary.
__________________
---------------
T9900, 8 GB RAM, 512 vidram, WIN 7 Ult 64-bit - Chrome
mjh is offline  
Old 16th June 2012, 11:32 AM   #20
jrkay
Regular Member
 
jrkay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Fordham, Colchester
Posts: 159
jrkay has a spectacular aura about
Default Re: How to increase wireless signal?

I have been using this particular reflector for many years now and it works a treat.

http://freeantennas.com/projects/template2/index.html

John
__________________
http://www.millrind.co.uk
The Millrind Press http://issuu.com/jayarkay/docs
jrkay is offline  
 

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"Easy Wireless" Tim General 0 25th January 2008 12:25 PM
Wireless? Winston Mattuis General 16 10th July 2006 06:20 PM
Wireless Broadband Winston Mattis General 7 1st December 2004 03:20 PM
Wireless networking Martin Taylor General 5 11th December 2003 11:05 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 11:32 PM.