WiFi to the garage

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by William Hamilton, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. Hi, I am looking at connecting PCs in my garage via WiFi to the house.
    The distance is around 30' to 40' from house to garage. WiFi AP is a
    WRT54G with a few walls between it and destination.

    Should I look at setting up a connection specifically for connecting
    house/garage or is it possible to boost the WRT signal and use a PC card
    with external antenna for garage reception (I have an old laptop I could
    use as a bridge if required). If this would work... any recommendations
    on PC cards with external connections?

    It is not practical to run cables.

    Suggestions and tales of experiences welcome.

    W
     
    William Hamilton, Jan 2, 2006
    #1
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  2. William Hamilton

    BB Guest

    "William Hamilton" <> wrote in message
    news:dpaf4m$25r$...
    > Hi, I am looking at connecting PCs in my garage via WiFi to the house.
    > The distance is around 30' to 40' from house to garage. WiFi AP is a
    > WRT54G with a few walls between it and destination.
    >
    > Should I look at setting up a connection specifically for connecting
    > house/garage or is it possible to boost the WRT signal and use a PC card
    > with external antenna for garage reception (I have an old laptop I could
    > use as a bridge if required). If this would work... any recommendations
    > on PC cards with external connections?
    >
    > It is not practical to run cables.
    >
    > Suggestions and tales of experiences welcome.
    >
    > W


    I've done exactly what you require. I have a ADSL Modem WAN'd to a
    wired/wifi router in the house. This router is "bridged" to an access point
    in the garage which is wired to a regular switch in the office in the
    garage. PCs are then wired to the switch obviously.

    Having the AP and router in "bridge" mode is the key for me. None of the
    Linksys routers had this as I recall (correct me if I'm wrong), and the only
    gear I could find to fufill my requirements was 11g stuff from Belkin. Modem
    through to switch is totally Belkin and I'm nothing but impressed with it,
    unfortunately it's modem/router did not have bridge mode, therefore the
    seperate ADSL modem and wifi router.

    The router is about 15m from the AP in the garage. The signal is *very*
    strong and stable and I never have connection issues, even though the AP is
    inside a steel Skyline garage.

    If anyone can come up with a better way of doing it with newer gear (I've
    been set up for 12 months now) I'd like to hear it as it's time for an
    upgrade...

    BB
    NZ
     
    BB, Jan 2, 2006
    #2
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  3. William Hamilton

    steve Guest

    William Hamilton wrote:

    > Hi, I am looking at connecting PCs in my garage via WiFi to the house.
    > The distance is around 30' to 40' from house to garage. WiFi AP is a
    > WRT54G with a few walls between it and destination.
    >
    > Should I look at setting up a connection specifically for connecting
    > house/garage or is it possible to boost the WRT signal and use a PC card
    > with external antenna for garage reception (I have an old laptop I could
    > use as a bridge if required). If this would work... any recommendations
    > on PC cards with external connections?
    >
    > It is not practical to run cables.
    >
    > Suggestions and tales of experiences welcome.


    A key item is what your garage is clad with.

    My garage is galvanised iron and wireless does not penetrate it well enough
    to be reliable.

    So I drilled a 3mm hole in the wall and ran the lead wire to a DSE 7dB 10"
    omnidirectional antennae through it....and then used the magnetic base of
    the antennae to attach it to the wall (as luck would have it, on the lee
    side of the garage - or the wind will blow it about).

    You then orient the horizontal plane of the antenna so that it will best
    reflect to / from the access point. For me, this means setting the antenna
    about 20 degrees off the vertical so that the signal can go down a slight
    incline, bounce off a parked vehicle, and then back to house - on a similar
    20 degree angle, this time upward from the side of the car.

    Like this, I can get 100% excellent throughput into and out of the garage.

    If that vehicle isn't parked there, there is one next to it almost all of
    the time, but the signal declines about 15%, but is still very usuable. If
    neither vehicle is there, then the horse float picks up the slack and I can
    just make the connection.

    One day, my wife parked the ute right in the path of the signal up on the
    bank in front of the garage and I was lucky to get more than 128k
    equivalent on the local network - never mind the internet. The signal was
    being almost completely physically blocked in both directions.

    One alternative I have not tried is setting up a sheet of flat steel
    opposite the front of the house and the garage and seeing of that will
    remove my dependence on where the vehicles or horse lfoat are parked.

    Wireless can be fiddly.....but when you get it tuned in right, it works very
    well. It may take some experimentation to get the antanna locations and
    orientations best - much like setting a TV antenna to get the best signal
    from the local transmitter.
     
    steve, Jan 3, 2006
    #3
  4. William Hamilton

    steve Guest

    steve wrote:

    > William Hamilton wrote:
    >
    >> Hi, I am looking at connecting PCs in my garage via WiFi to the house.
    >> The distance is around 30' to 40' from house to garage. WiFi AP is a
    >> WRT54G with a few walls between it and destination.
    >>
    >> Should I look at setting up a connection specifically for connecting
    >> house/garage or is it possible to boost the WRT signal and use a PC card
    >> with external antenna for garage reception (I have an old laptop I could
    >> use as a bridge if required). If this would work... any recommendations
    >> on PC cards with external connections?
    >>
    >> It is not practical to run cables.
    >>
    >> Suggestions and tales of experiences welcome.

    >
    > A key item is what your garage is clad with.
    >
    > My garage is galvanised iron and wireless does not penetrate it well
    > enough to be reliable.
    >
    > So I drilled a 3mm hole in the wall and ran the lead wire to a DSE 7dB 10"
    > omnidirectional antennae through it....and then used the magnetic base of
    > the antennae to attach it to the wall (as luck would have it, on the lee
    > side of the garage - or the wind will blow it about).


    I have a DSE 802.11b/g AP connected to a DSE ADSL external router...which
    terminates the ADSL. The AP has had it's antenna replaced with a second 10"
    DSE Omnidirectional 7 dB antenna....for greater range.

    The house is steel cladding - like the garage - so this is what causes my
    troubles - I can't get cell phone reception reliably either (so barely use
    that thing anymore).
     
    steve, Jan 3, 2006
    #4
  5. William Hamilton wrote:
    > Hi, I am looking at connecting PCs in my garage via WiFi to the house.
    > The distance is around 30' to 40' from house to garage. WiFi AP is a
    > WRT54G with a few walls between it and destination.
    >
    > Should I look at setting up a connection specifically for connecting
    > house/garage or is it possible to boost the WRT signal and use a PC card
    > with external antenna for garage reception (I have an old laptop I could
    > use as a bridge if required). If this would work... any recommendations
    > on PC cards with external connections?
    >
    > It is not practical to run cables.
    >
    > Suggestions and tales of experiences welcome.
    >
    > W


    Thanks for your responses. I have purchased a D-Link bridge and
    external antenna along with a new antenna for the WRT54G. I was able to
    pickup a weak signal from the garage (actually more like 60' from house).

    I will report on success.

    W
     
    William Hamilton, Jan 3, 2006
    #5
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