Tuesday, October 11, 2011

wifi anyone?

when people look at wireless routers they sometimes ask linksys or d-link, wireless b, g or n... but have you ever asked yourself what the TX output wattage is? how many external antennas you can hook up, or how far you can send a 2.4ghz signal without an external amplifier?

well, thats what i think of every day..... i need rage, range is the name of the game, and im here to win it.
when you boil it all down, most routers are the same..... other than the number of antennas, however... most routers now have internal antennas (ill cover that later)... so usually u can only find routers with 2 external antennas. thus, its all about the antennas!

18 dBi tx antenna (top) and a 13dBi rx antenna (bottom)


you might think that this requires some special equipment.... well, thats only part true. i have the antennas running off of a linksys wrt54g version 3.1. this is a VERY common home router, however i have made a few modifications.


first off, its time to shed the shitty linksys firmware and upgrade to a linux based firmware, there is a lot of debate between dd-wrt, open wrt, and tomato (i myself have only used dd-wrt... so i cant give my input) but dd-wrt has everything we need. i wont go into how to install dd-wrt, as im saving that for another tutorial... but as you can see below, it unlocks a LOT more features.

the main ones we want, is the TX output wattage (as raising this will increase signal strength), as well as being able to choose what antenna to use for sending and receiving data (tx and rx respectively).

after that, we need to get the antennas. i got mine from deal extreme. they were surprisingly cheap. if anyone decides to do this project, i suggest getting the two 18dbi ones.... the bottom antenna was advertised as 15 to 18 dbi, but when i received it, it was actually a 13dbi gain.... oh well.

now, the connectors on a linksys router are rp-tnc connectors. male rp-tnc to be exact... this means you need a FEMALE rp-tnc on the cable that will connect to the router. now, the 18 dbi antenna that i bought had a male rp-sma, which means i needed a female rp-sma for the cable. these both were purchased on ebay, for about a dollar for each connection, with 99 cent shipping. the cable is a special type of thin set coax known as LMR-195. it has much less signal loss than rg-58 cable. i picked up 50 feet of this as show me cables.


i cut and crimped the connections myself, and it all works wonderful. in all, i het a theoretical range of ~ half a mile, and a tested range of 800 ft (going through 2 houses and a few trees).

if you are interested in making your own, here are some helpful links:
http://dd-wrt.com/site/index
http://tinyurl.com/proantenna (the ACTUAL 18dbi antenna)
http://tinyurl.com/failantenna (the 13dbi gain antenna, note: this uses n-type connectors... not sma)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linksys_WRT54G_series

11 comments:

gog said...

i want an antenna like that. looks deadly.

The Sorrow said...

Thanks for the tips man

Major.Mack said...

nice work.

Give Everything said...

wow this is such a nice work! i always complain for loosing wifi when im in my room!

blorriepoes said...

really thats interesting, good job!
+1

rooble said...

I wish I could modify my router to improve it, but I wouldn't know where to start.

Michael Westside said...

I'm telling you man, that thing is gonna give you cancer.

pv said...

wow man that set up looks incredible, i could def use that in my house for all my devices

My 2 Pesos said...

Very informative! (:

river-wind said...

That's awesome. Weekend Project!

Buy CNC Machine said...

good work!Wireless router is faster connected router and easily connected.

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