WiFi Antenna required

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by barryd, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. barryd

    barryd Read Only Funster

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    Hi

    I have been reading through various posts about wifi antennas but haven’t found anything conclusive as to what the best product is for my needs. When in Europe I need something that will pick up unsecured or free wifi spots so I don’t necessarily know where they are. I think this rules out directional antennas. I therefore think I need an omni directional antenna. I have also learnt that the higher the DB gain the better. I have come across this Long range USB omni antenna this is 15DB which seems quite high compared to some.

    I also found this from the USA which sounds very good but would rather buy in the UK if possible

    RadioLabs Wave RV WiFi Antenna


    I reckon I can rig something up so I can clip it to the top of the rear ladder and then just run the cable through the window. Not ideal as I would prefer something permanently mounted but I don’t know if such a product is available that can be left up while you are on the move. I think the aerial is 2 meters long so probably unwise to leave it mounted.

    I’m not fussed (within reason) how much it costs I just want it to work.

    Any advice appreciated
     
  2. AdgeRas

    AdgeRas Read Only Funster

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    Hi.

    Just looking at the first link you sent, I found the following

    Faculty-X Homeplug WiFi & Wireless Antenna Systems

    This seems to be even more powerful;
    Max output power
    [FONT=Eurostile,Eurostile][FONT=Eurostile,Eurostile][FONT=Eurostile,Eurostile]20 – 34 dBm
    [/FONT]
    [/FONT]
    [/FONT]Radio sensitivity
    [FONT=Eurostile,Eurostile][FONT=Eurostile,Eurostile][FONT=Eurostile,Eurostile]Up to -109 dBm

    Thank you for posting this thread as you have caused me to find something I had not realised was available. We get our first MH in about 2 weeks time and I think maybe I this is something I need to get.

    Cheers.

    Adge.
    [/FONT]
    [/FONT]
    [/FONT]
     
  3. barryd

    barryd Read Only Funster

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    Hi Adge

    I did come across the RepeatIT and did consider it but on reading the instructions I think its directional meaning you have to point it at the wifi source. This is fine if you know where it is but not always practical if wild camping and not sure where the wifi signals may come from. It would be great however if there was anyone out there that was actually using one of these who could perhaps confirm how it works and if its any good.

    For a while now I have been considering the best method of Internet access when out of the UK (I have a vodafone 3G dongle for here) and this seems to be the best option. I looked at French sim cards and they are a nightmare to fathom out and of course when you move countries your in the same situation. We toured for 3 months in the summer and only very occasionally got an internet connection if you were lucky. It was like loosing a limb and I think we could have got so much more out of the trip by having the internet.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2009
  4. AdgeRas

    AdgeRas Read Only Funster

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    Thanks Barry

    You sound far more like me than Ras; "It was like loosing a limb"; Rasmus reackons when we are on the road we should not be wanting the TV and the Internet. Lol :Rofl1: Thats rich from a guy who is almost stapled to his PC and or TV when we are at home.

    I dont wish to be on the internet all the time nor watching TV that much, but I do feel, like yourself that having access to email and essential internet solutions as well as TV is good when you are away from home for a long trip.

    Thanks for pointing out the 'directional' fact with that antenea I showed you, I am seeing our MH dealer soon and will ask if he has any advice, and will share it with you.

    Cheers

    Adge
     
  5. Frankia

    Frankia Read Only Funster

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    We are in Germany at the moment and over the last couple of months have been travelling from the north German coast down to Dusseldorf then the Mosel valley. From there we went down the Alsase then slowly up to Paris for the Paris motorhome show then back across to the Mosel where we are at the moment.

    In all that time we only got a couple of free wifi and found very little unsecured - Europe seams to take security a bit more seriously than in the UK. Also places like Mcdonalds are more difficult than the UK as when you log on to a Mcd in Germany you are asked for your mobile 'phone No so they can send you a password for 1 hours use. The problem is you have to have a German mobile!

    We have now bought an unlocked dongle from Aldi (only available in Aldi Germany at the moment) and a payG SIM for Aldi Talk which gives internet access within Germany for 1.99euros per 24hrs or 14.99 euros per month. The Aldi Talk uses the E plus mobile provider which is not full HSDPA but uses EDGE which gives a reasonable speed but not by any means fast.

    As the dongle is unlocked I will be using it with my T mobile SIM in the UK and buying a Portuguese SIM when we go there for the winter. As the dongle is capable of HSDPA it should work well on those systems.

    Drawbacks:

    It helps to be able to speak German as the instructions are only in German as is the connection software.

    The set up for the German SIM asked for a German address - Got round that by inputting the address of the manufacturer of the motorhome!

    I think this is the way to go if you are going to spend a lot of time in Europe given that much of the "free" wifi is now unavailable even if you had a good antenna.

    n.b. the dongle comes with an extention USB cable and has an antenna socket so it can be placed in a good position to pick up when the 'phone signal is low. It also has a card slot which will take up to an 8Gb micro SD card - handy if you want to take data with you as you don't need another media stick.

    After buying this we are at the moment on a stelplatz which has a free wifi with a reasonable speed but as I said above they have been few and far between.
     
  6. barryd

    barryd Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for the replies. My vodafone 3g dongle is unlocked (apparantly). The issue with using Sims is that they see hard to purchase, almost impossible to get working if you dont speak the lingo and the are country specific. If somebody said to me here is a euro sim where you can access the internet anywhere in western Europe and it costs say £30 per month I would snap their hand off.

    We did find a few unsecured networks in France but you had to be right on top of them. Often bars, cafes and hotels etc have them. It is a worry that its going to still be difficult but I really dont know what the solution is otherwise. May have to explore the SIM route again.

    Cheers
    Barry
     
  7. AdgeRas

    AdgeRas Read Only Funster

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    Thanks Bernie.

    :Cool: Maybe you should buy a couple of extra dongles from Aldi whilst there and sell them to MHF members when you get home.

    Guten Reise

    Adge
     
  8. Boo

    Boo Read Only Funster

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    Thats the one I bought, can be used inside and outside, I get a good signal from mcDonnalds which is over 5 miles away.....................see, mcD's are good for something if not edable food :BigGrin:

    Boo
     
  9. Frankia

    Frankia Read Only Funster

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    I did consider buying a few for sale in the UK - By the way I forgot to mention the price for the dongle is 59.99 euros and the SIM costs 12.99 but comes with 10 euros credit - compares very well with those availble in the UK or for that matter on contract here in Germany.

    The problem is I would have to give free German lessons as well!

    I hope that Aldi will start doing the same thing in the UK at some point - It appears this deal with Aldi Germany started back in June.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2009
  10. barryd

    barryd Read Only Funster

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    Hi

    So you bought and use the RepeatIT. A few questions then

    Where do you use it and how often to you pick up unsecured networks?

    Is it directional and if so do you therefore need to know where to point it?

    Do you have it permanently mounted and if so where?

    Can you use it inside the van or does it need to be on the roof?

    Cheers in anticipation

    Barry
     
  11. Boo

    Boo Read Only Funster

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    Hiya Barry,
    All McD's, Post Office's and most large hotels are unsecured connections, as for the locked ones, well, lets just say there is a way round it :Wink:

    Mine sits in my windscreen at the moment as I have a choice of 6 connections nearby but when I had it on the roof I even picked up laptop connections.
    All I do is boot up my p.c then move it around until i find the strongest signals.

    I just used the brackets it came with onto the awning bolt, never moved while travelling as it is tapered and so has not much wind resistance :Smile:

    Hope this helps mate.


    Boo
     
  12. barryd

    barryd Read Only Funster

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    Thanks Boo

    This may be a better option then as you can use it inside. The ariel will have to be mounted.

    Regards
    Barry
     
  13. lebesset

    lebesset Read Only Funster

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    and how big is the box please ; looks good , but how far would it stick up including the bracket

    I would only want a roof mounting , and from experience would want a directional one , much more efficient , and you just rotate the the mast to find the best signal ; much easier than a sat dish!
     
  14. barryd

    barryd Read Only Funster

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    Hi

    Im sure Boo will be along to advise but from the site I found it on it says this

    Dimensions 240 x 160 x 60mm 1.5kg
    Cable length 5 metres


    Faculty-X Homeplug WiFi & Wireless Antenna Systems

    Sounds like from Boos previous post you can use it inside the van as well. I reckon Im going to get one.
     
  15. Ash

    Ash Trader - Service & Repairs Life Member

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    had mine from here wifi-antennas.co.uk :thumb:
    Ash
     
  16. Wall-E

    Wall-E Read Only Funster

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    WiFi Antenna/mobile phone.

    Hi,
    Going slightly off topic does anyone know of a similar product that will bring mobile phone signals within range, for a mobile phone . None of the network providers coverage reaches were i want to use my mobile, (Secluded site) but just over a mile away they all give full coverage, which is a pain.
    Wall-E.
     
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