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Under The Awning Here is where you can carry on a conversation, just like............well, like you were sitting under your awning at the campsite.

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  #1  
Old 08-06-2011
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Default WiFi booster

I routinely share my internet connection(s) at remote group gatherings, and I've gone through a number of pieces of equipment attempting to get the best range and connectivity. This past year after being frustrated with my last attempts at the Albuquerque Balloon Rally I found a really great solution, the Engenius EOC2611P which is a long-range outdoor access point with 600mW power. It uses PoE (Power over Ethernet) so only one cable is needed (and no cable power loss) and is routinely sold for under $75. As is, it has dual horizontal/vertical polarized antennas, but I use it with a 9dB whip that I already owned, which makes it polarized vertical when raised on the old TV mast, or horizontal if the mast is down.

I did not realize until the current trip that the unit is also a good WiFi bridge. I've seen over 30 WiFi systems at times, and in the park I'm in now there are 9 (2 are park WiFi). I run it into a router which then redistributes it to my local computers.

The one con is that you have to get into the AP using a static IP when it is a bridge, and that IP is normally not in the range that your router is set for. I happen to be using a dual-WAN router, so one WAN is set for DHCP and the other is static in the subnet for the AP. I plug the single cable from the AP to the static WAN and open the AP up in a browser to search for, select, and assign security codes for an available network, then switch the cable over to let the router pick up an IP from the network.

The other alternatives are to use two different routers, or change the networking of a router back-and-forth from static to DHCP.

(the line across the top of the photo is a power line that just happened to be in the wrong place for taking the picture)

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Don Bradner
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Prior: 2004 M380 Double Slide
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  #2  
Old 08-06-2011
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Don,

Do you have any experience with cell phone boosters?

I'm looking at some that give you an external antenna, then require the cell phone (or computer link) to be within "2 feet" of the internal antenna. (Obviously, since they're both on the same frequency, they'll interfere if the internal output is too high.)

But reports on the online "ratings" suggest that you don't really get any more reach ... e.g. if the roof of the RV has "1 bar" then all you'll get is one bar inside.

Your thoughts?
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  #3  
Old 08-06-2011
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Don,

Very cool... great cost effective solution... I think I get it.

Thanks,

NH Bill
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  #4  
Old 08-06-2011
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I've only used hard-wired, but the experience could be applicable. There are four factors: Receiving outside the vehicle (very important with our steel structures), actual signal available at the outside, ability of the antenna to receive that signal, and amplification.

Of those 4, the 4th has proven nearly irrelevant.

As you can see in the picture above, I have a Wilson Trucker mounted in the middle of the old TV antenna mounting plate. That square plate meets the ground-plane requirements of the antenna, and the antenna remains vertical at all mast positions. Cable from there goes inside and is normally in an air card in a router, but I also have the necessary interface cable for my phone.

I have a 3-watt amplifier, but tests with-and-without the amplifier have not shown a significant difference, so I haven't had the amp connected for quite awhile.

I can have zero bars with the phone outside but still get a couple of bars with the antenna connected. That is presumably due to the much superior antenna when compared to the one in the phone.
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Don Bradner
Current: No RV at this time
2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Prior: 2004 M380 Double Slide
Prior: 1990 WB40 "Blue Thunder"
My location: www.bbirdmaps.com/user2.cfm?user=1
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  #5  
Old 08-06-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NH Bill View Post
Don,

Very cool... great cost effective solution... I think I get it.

Thanks,

NH Bill
The $75 Engenius appears to do everything that commercial Exterior Access Points do costing in excess of $1000 - I was amazed at how well it worked when I found it.

I hooked it up at home, and broadcast my local internet connection, then walked around the neighborhood with a laptop getting good reception up to a couple of blocks away with lots over intervening houses.

Quartzsite will be the first real test of how it does with a lot of people connecting, though.
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Don Bradner
Current: No RV at this time
2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Prior: 2004 M380 Double Slide
Prior: 1990 WB40 "Blue Thunder"
My location: www.bbirdmaps.com/user2.cfm?user=1
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  #6  
Old 08-06-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonB View Post
The $75 Engenius appears to do everything that commercial Exterior Access Points do costing in excess of $1000 - I was amazed at how well it worked when I found it.

I hooked it up at home, and broadcast my local internet connection, then walked around the neighborhood with a laptop getting good reception up to a couple of blocks away with lots over intervening houses.

Quartzsite will be the first real test of how it does with a lot of people connecting, though.
Well Don if you don't come up with any further 'must haves' then this up-and-coming Q could prove to be the cheapest camping experience I've ever had with you.

Your Illegitimate Son

ROB
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  #7  
Old 08-06-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonB View Post
I routinely share my internet connection(s) at remote group gatherings, and I've gone through a number of pieces of equipment attempting to get the best range and connectivity. This past year after being frustrated with my last attempts at the Albuquerque Balloon Rally I found a really great solution, the Engenius EOC2611P which is a long-range outdoor access point with 600mW power. It uses PoE (Power over Ethernet) so only one cable is needed (and no cable power loss) and is routinely sold for under $75. As is, it has dual horizontal/vertical polarized antennas, but I use it with a 9dB whip that I already owned, which makes it polarized vertical when raised on the old TV mast, or horizontal if the mast is down.

I did not realize until the current trip that the unit is also a good WiFi bridge. I've seen over 30 WiFi systems at times, and in the park I'm in now there are 9 (2 are park WiFi). I run it into a router which then redistributes it to my local computers.

The one con is that you have to get into the AP using a static IP when it is a bridge, and that IP is normally not in the range that your router is set for. I happen to be using a dual-WAN router, so one WAN is set for DHCP and the other is static in the subnet for the AP. I plug the single cable from the AP to the static WAN and open the AP up in a browser to search for, select, and assign security codes for an available network, then switch the cable over to let the router pick up an IP from the network.

The other alternatives are to use two different routers, or change the networking of a router back-and-forth from static to DHCP.

(the line across the top of the photo is a power line that just happened to be in the wrong place for taking the picture)

Don your Greek is impeccable!! Sounds like a very affordable investment for much improved internet... Thanks!
__________________

Ryan and Michelle Saari
Timberlake Products Group, Inc.
1985 PT36
1983 FC35RB Left me for Atlanta!
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https://www.timberlakeproductsgroup.com/
https://www.ebay.com/str/timberlakeproductsgroup
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  #8  
Old 08-06-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbokitty View Post
Don your Greek is impeccable!! Sounds like a very affordable investment for much improved internet... Thanks!
Ryan,

I think you mean geek, don't you?

NH Bill
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  #9  
Old 08-06-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NH Bill View Post
Ryan,

I think you mean geek, don't you?

NH Bill
Well, u'h... Greek for the most part 'cause I didn't understand nary a word of it?

Greek, Geek? yes...
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Timberlake Products Group, Inc.
1985 PT36
1983 FC35RB Left me for Atlanta!
Clearwater, Florida
https://www.timberlakeproductsgroup.com/
https://www.ebay.com/str/timberlakeproductsgroup

Last edited by Turbokitty; 08-06-2011 at 07:35 PM.
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  #10  
Old 08-07-2011
cemjam cemjam is offline
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Ryan,

I am with you!!! I can not understand any of it, but I have to have it. LOL Thanks Don this was an interesting read! Loved it!!
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