Any easy way to expand my network coverage?

Discussion in 'Home Networking' started by Wagg, May 28, 2009.

  1. Wagg

    Wagg Guest

    I have a mini home network, stretches far enough for what I originally
    needed, now want to get some connection down in my garage, only its a
    good 50 feet away from where the laptop picks up enough signal (just
    the normal router I have had for years) to work well enough on the

    I cant run a wire, it isnt possible, but I wondered if there was
    anything I could do to extend my couverage. Is there such a thing and
    is it simple (and not hugely expensive!)?


    Wagg, May 28, 2009
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  2. Wagg

    Rob Morley Guest

    I don't know what kit you have to hand, or how creative you feel, but
    you could try the old Pringles can directional antennae trick (or
    variations thereon).
    Rob Morley, May 28, 2009
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  3. Wagg

    Chris Whelan Guest

    Do you have a mains power supply to the garage?

    Chris Whelan, May 28, 2009
  4. Wagg

    Wagg Guest

    Hi Chris,

    I have power, but its on a completely different circuit or something.
    Tried those as a friend uses them, but its like there is nothing

    Wagg, May 28, 2009
  5. Wagg

    Wagg Guest

    Ehrm, rather than making something, is there anything I can buy? I've
    already tried one of those N routers (just now in fact) and it extends
    downstairs by about 20 feet, so still 30 feet to go! I dont think I
    have the patience to make something like that!

    Wagg, May 28, 2009
  6. Wagg

    Chris Whelan Guest

    Power line networking would still be your best option.

    If you don't understand why you are unable to use that method in your
    current situation, do you know an electrician who could advise you? It
    might be that a small change to your wiring could make them usable.

    Chris Whelan, May 28, 2009
  7. Wagg

    Dr Zoidberg Guest

    How far from the side of the house nearest the garage is your router?
    You could have an extra access point at that side of the house to give you extra coverage , or if you have mains in the garage then some homeplugs might be an option.
    Failing that it's not too far to run a long network cable to the garage....
    Dr Zoidberg, May 28, 2009
  8. Wagg

    robert Guest

    If Homeplugs dont work I would look at relocating your wireless router
    location to overlook the garage .
    (Mine goes through two 3 foot stone walls, slate roof and 30m of air !)
    You can use a homeplug with an wireless access point to extend the
    network range if you cant move the actual router to a better location.
    robert, May 28, 2009
  9. Wagg

    Wagg Guest

    Hi all,

    right, had someone look at it. The power is three phase, so there is
    its own set of switches and bits, the power comes from the other side
    of the building. There is a main road between me and the building and
    the last wire that was put up got cut through by a lorry or something
    (that was a phone extension). There are no poles nearby without some
    serious re-routing of the wire, so I cant run it that way. Between the
    router (its as far away from the main socket as I can make it to work)
    are two 3 foot cob/stone wals, a small lean to add-on and then there
    is a single road (two lanes either way).

    Would the power being on the other (completely different mains) be the
    reason it wont work? I am going to have to assume so as I know
    nothing, and the electrician doesn't think that the power would trip
    over for the connection, but he's old and has never seen the boxes I
    was referring to!

    Between the router and the edge of the garage is around 50 or so feet,
    maybe a little bit more. I've tried one of these N routers and it
    doesnt seem to extend beyond what the other one did, so its waiting to
    go back.

    Wagg, May 29, 2009
  10. Wagg

    Chris Whelan Guest

    On Fri, 29 May 2009 10:40:48 -0700, Wagg wrote:

    AFAIK, power line networking only works if the sockets are on the same
    phase; also the signal won't pass through an electricity meter, at least
    not without a massive signal loss.

    TBH, it looks like you are stuffed!

    Chris Whelan, May 29, 2009
  11. Wagg

    JTM Guest

    3 phase into property is probaby split to different phases -> different
    areas (or you might have all phases to one part to run eg agricultural or
    industrial machinery)

    If just split up say one for downstairs, different one for upstairs,
    another one for outside then hard luck. But if the outside supply is an
    extension of one of the house circuits, then that might just work
    JTM, May 29, 2009
  12. Wagg

    Wagg Guest

    Hi there,

    I pay a seperate bill for the building. It houses some industrial
    equipment which is used several times a week, but the building is big
    enough to swing a cat or two without too much of an issue. No upstairs
    tho, all power from the main breaker into the switch panel then off to
    the different devices.

    Am I right in thinking that an access point has to be wired into a
    network to work? Or can I put one downstairs (from the router) and
    then one actually in the building itself to increase the distance?

    Wagg, May 30, 2009
  13. You may be able to get something working with APs configured as
    repeaters, as mentioned before - they don't have to be wired into your

    Phil, London
    Philip Herlihy, May 30, 2009
  14. Wagg

    robert Guest

    I am rather surprised that you cant access the router over this sort of
    What sort of walls etc are in between ?
    Can you use an external aerial on the pc/laptop in the garage ?
    Can you move the router so it can "see" the garage through a window ?
    robert, May 31, 2009
  15. Wagg

    Quagmire Guest

    Quick and easy:
    Buy a branded USB stick type WIFI dongle... maybe £20 or less.
    Buy a USB extension lead (how long depends on you !)
    Scrounge an old satellite dish... you probably wont need anything larger
    than a "sky mini dish"
    Waterproof and mount the dongle where the LNB would sit on the dish mount,
    now point at the router !!!! The dish will seem to be at a really "odd"
    angle, pointing at the ground it looks like - but I have had
    great success with this simple setup... and over a MILE to an access point.

    There are 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary...and
    those who don't !
    Quagmire, May 31, 2009
  16. Wagg

    Rob Morley Guest

    The other building is on a different site, with a different grid
    connection - if you can get Homeplug to run over the distribution grid
    you should start your own ISP. :)
    Rob Morley, May 31, 2009
  17. Wagg

    Chris Whelan Guest

    Indeed. Shame the OP didn't point this out originally...

    Chris Whelan, May 31, 2009
  18. Wagg

    Wagg Guest

    One wall is about 3-4 feet thick, made of cob and real stone, the
    other end wall is a little thinner, same kind of material tho.

    Need to have the laptop mobile inside the garage, working on the USB
    dongle idea, but putting an access point or something on the end of it
    so that I can move freely around the workshop.

    To make the router directly see they router I'd have to put it
    somewhere outside, possibly about 6 feet out to get round the edge of
    the building, there arent any windows anywhere near the other side in
    line of sight with the building. I've ordered some home plug things to
    see if I can get the router further over that side of the building,
    but I am not holding out much hope!

    Wagg, May 31, 2009
  19. Wagg

    Rob Morley Guest

    Here's a neat one which might be enough for your needs if you run a
    pair of them, one at each end.

    If your router doesn't have a suitable connector for the cable you'd
    need to swap it for one that does, or use a PC with a suitable wifi
    card as a bridge.

    Here's a commercial version of the cantenna

    which would be more hassle to set up but is suitable for permanent
    outdoor fixing.
    Rob Morley, May 31, 2009
  20. Wagg

    robert Guest

    Okay I accept you have a big problems with the wall ( I have 2/3 foot
    stone rubble walls).
    Putting the USB dongle (in a plastic bag) on a long extension lead
    outside the garage or at least in the roof space may well help.
    I would revisit the option of running a network cable tho' - it can be
    upto 100m - as it is likely to be cheapest option !
    robert, May 31, 2009
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