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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware » Networking » Wireless
High power wifi cards
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mbutts


Joined: 11 Nov 2006
Posts: 231
Location: sitn on an iceburg waiting for my next meal to swim by.

PostPosted: Sat 01 Mar 2008, 06:03    Post subject:  High power wifi cards
Subject description: Anyone have a preference on currently available models?
 

I am trying to find out which desktop wifi cards (Puppy compatible )currently available in US local retail stores have the best range. I have been looking through the forum and found some older info on transmit power and range.
A friend of mine would like to set up an old desktop as a second computer to work with their network. The last time I did any research into wifi cards was back when 802.11 G was just coming out. At the time I was interested in a B card with high power and good range.
We are leaning toward 2.14r 1.01 or 3.01 on the machine. To make it easier for them, it would be nice if they could just go down and pick up one from a local retail store like Walmart, Best Buy, or Staples. WEP would be nice but range is more important.
Any one care to share what they are using and comment on any comparisons they have done on different cards?
I'm sure I could spend 3 or 4 more hours reinventing the wheel by reading up on the current chipsets and then going one by one and seeing if anyone has gotten them to work in Puppy and then finally seeing if they are available from local stores.
I don't like going to stores and reading advertising hype. I prefer actual user feedback. Also on the new chipsets, has anyone played with changing the tx power output? Or is that software adjustment still available on newer chipsets?
tnx, martin

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Aitch


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 6825
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Sat 01 Mar 2008, 08:28    Post subject:  

Hi, mbutts

I'm not using wifi at the moment, but last year I was living in
a place where my only connectivity was via wifi AP
& there were several others in the locale which caused problems,
so I made a simple reflector with tinfoil around my aerial
I found that signal strength/direction was more important than o/p
as I tried several different cards
I have found some links you may find useful, using different approaches:-

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/427927/how_to_boost_your_signal/

http://www.usbwifi.orcon.net.nz/

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Ad-Hoc

The last one is a Uk based wifi aerial specialist, who have yagi setups for building to building/ or other/ long range use,
however their 15db twigs are very good

I'm sure there are US eqivalents, or their postage is w/w

An ordinary wifi card will do 1Km or more, with a good aerial!

How far do you need?

PS don't forget you only need to reach an AP & it's probably your Router aerial you need to increase gain on
After doing mine I got over 35 APs in range and massive gain on my required AP with a [directional] reflector

Aitch
Edit
2nd Eric's support for both Asus & Belkin [F5D7000] PCI cards
note eric's was pcmcia
I think, but stand to be corrected, that both used RT2500 chipset
avoid usb wifi, unless specifically supported for puppy

Last edited by Aitch on Sat 01 Mar 2008, 13:34; edited 3 times in total
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Caneri

Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 1580
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sat 01 Mar 2008, 09:44    Post subject:  

Hi mbutts,

I've used the D-Link DWL-G520 pci card for awhile now and find it very good. Signal went through 2 floors no problem.

I also used an Asus Wifi-G-AAY pci for a time. The Asus has an antennae that is on a 1 foot cable. This makes it nice if you have interference as you can move the antennae around a bit...sometimes a small move gives big results.

For pcmcia cards the Belkin F5D7010 and the DLINK-WNA-1330NA works good for me.

In my experience anything that says Broadcom run away into the night screaming and leave it on the shelf.

Eric

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GeoffS

Joined: 24 Feb 2006
Posts: 427
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sat 01 Mar 2008, 16:51    Post subject:  

A couple of thoughts -
USB devices have a BIG advantage over PCI cards, the USB thingy can be placed where the best connection is obtained. The antenna on a PCI card is either attached directly to the card which is almost never an ideal location or has a short coax cable. At the frequencies these things operate on (2.4Ghz) ANY coax introduces losses.
High quality long (3 - 4 metre) USB cables have no affect.
Cheers
Geoff
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Aitch


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 6825
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Sat 01 Mar 2008, 17:55    Post subject:  

GeoffS

Yes agreed, but I tried about 4/5 different import USB thingies
& not one would work with puppy including a linksys,
which I had expected to work

I think I did manage eventually to get one working,
but encryption was limited to wpa or not at all

However like you said long usb cables don't lose gain
I've recently seen an aerial booster using a satellite aerial reflector
& a usb thingy, with an extension lead made with 2 usb to network
converters to about 20mtrs length!!

Note: it's not this story, but one similar, but I can't find it again
This one uses 'proper hi-grade coax'
http://people.wallawalla.edu/~Rob.Frohne/Airport/Primestar/Primestar.html

This article goes further & shows why good aerials improve security
http://www.trevormarshall.com/byte_articles/byte1.htm

mbutts
there's more to wifi than most people are aware of,
especially to do with power/aerials/security Smile
People are amazed when I say that wifi can travel many
hundreds of miles on a 'standard card'
http://www.engadget.com/2007/06/19/venezuelans-set-new-wifi-distance-record-237-miles/

Far enough?

grin

Aitch
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