Traveling in Europe (need good WiFi extension for Windows)

Discussion in 'Wireless Internet' started by Werner Obermeier, May 14, 2015.

  1. Werner Obermeier

    Paul Guest

    They also make imaginative patch antennas.

    And there is no end to how you can build these.
    I don't know if 4NEC2 would do a good job on
    something like this or not. The surface finish
    could be important. Without too much effort, your
    design could be way off frequency.

    We had a hardware designer at work, who designed
    stuff operating at 10GHz, and everything he
    added to his PCB designs was an "art-work".
    So rather than R,L,C discrete components, there
    were lots of little chunks of copper plane.
    Filters of various sorts, were designed out of
    copper planes like the one in the previous picture.
    It kept our CAD librarian amused, adding all these
    weird copper drawings, so they could be placed in a
    layout as a "filter" element in a schematic. The
    library was constructed, from his collection of
    journal publications from universities.

    Paul, May 16, 2015
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  2. []
    My experience had previously been at my friends' in Newcastle, a fairly
    dense urban area; there, I found channel occupancy (using the excellent
    Android graphical utility) was mostly on 1, 6, and 11. I've just looked
    here (small cluster of homes in a rural area - put TN27 0DD into Google
    Maps), using WirelessNetView from (I don't have my
    'phone on), and it's found 3 on channel 1, 6 on channel 11, and 1 each
    on channels 6 and 7, with none on any of the others! (Including mine,
    but as I'm about 3 yards unobstructed from the router ...)
    J. P. Gilliver (John), May 16, 2015
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  3. They also make imaginative patch antennas.

    And there is no end to how you can build these.
    I don't know if 4NEC2 would do a good job on
    something like this or not. The surface finish
    could be important. Without too much effort, your
    design could be way off frequency.[/QUOTE]

    I suspect these are a little beyond what the OP is after (-:
    What line of work are you actually in? (Electronics here, currently
    mostly avionics.)
    J. P. Gilliver (John), May 16, 2015
  4. Werner Obermeier

    Paul Guest

    It was a networking box (cubic meters sized, not desktop).
    And I was an ordinary digital designer. But the core of
    the box was a "physics project", and the guy working at
    10GHz was doing analog gain to get enough signal
    to drive into the physics project at the core.
    So the entire project was multi-disciplinary,
    with the design community looking like Noahs Arc.

    To give some idea, the networking box probably
    would have costs millions per unit, if it was
    ever finished. And much of it was ready (mechanical
    framework finished, many circuit packs finished, and
    so on). I know the mechanical bit was finished,
    because I helped lift it one day :-( But like always,
    there would be years of software to write. Not to imply
    they were behind or anything. Just that, there's a big
    difference between having a "gleaming car in a showroom window"
    versus having "just finished the engine". We were
    almost to the point of "getting the first smoke out
    of the engine". It probably would have taken two
    more rounds of funding, to ship one out the door.
    And the investors were having none of that.

    The main circuit board for the project, had four
    times as many electrical signals inside it, as
    your motherboard. To give some idea of the
    complexity. The poor designer tasked with that
    design, needed around an extra four to six
    months to finish it, because of the mass of
    signals involved (many many data buses).
    "You can't click your mouse fast enough, to keep up".
    I'm surprised the guy didn't suffer hair loss :)
    The CAD tools require you to write scripts to do
    your job, and that's just to reduce wear and tear
    on the mouse. You can do one whole data bus, if
    you write a good script for it. By scripting it,
    if you bumble something, it's just a script change
    and rerun it, to fix the issue.

    It's a challenge just thinking of imaginative names
    for all the bus signals.


    Projects like that, don't come along every day.
    Especially in Canada (our main product now - flaming oil
    tanker cars). This is what we're good at now.

    We Canadians have a weird sense of humor. To illustrate
    this, just the other day there was an article about
    a diamond mine. The company digging the diamonds out
    of the ground, paid $226 dollars per year in mining
    royalties for the right to dig them out. So our government
    coffers are being richly rewarded for our resource-based
    economy. What's not to like. Why, that's enough money
    for around 40 Happy Meals. The profit from one diamond alone,
    would neatly pay the bill.

    Paul, May 16, 2015
  5. That's very interesting that the ethernet over power line connection is
    by *transformer*, and not by circuit breaker panel!

    Here in the states, multiple homes are often serviced over a single step-
    down pole transformer.

    Do these ethernet over mains wifi extentions really work for all houses
    on a pole transformer?
    Werner Obermeier, May 16, 2015
  6. Thank you for clarifying for those not familiar with WiFi decibel

    As you noted, decibels are a ratio against an agreed-upon standard,
    which, for antenna decibels, is a theoretical perfect antenna, while the
    agreed-upon standard for radio power is 1 milliWatt.

    The key takeaway is that if we set up a 2.4gHz WiFi repeater to USA,
    we'll get four times the power with the same equipment. If we set it up
    for Europe, we'll not get the benefit of two additional channels.

    I'm not sure if we lose any channels at 5gHz though.
    I agree that, in most cases, it's not significant at all if you are
    getting a signal that is 20 decibels above the noise, but, when the
    signal is only a few decibels above the noise, antenna gain and receiver
    sensitivity could make all the difference.
    In this case where gain is critical, the loss of two channels would be an
    acceptable tradeoff.

    Do the European channels also differ from the USA on the 5GHz band?
    Werner Obermeier, May 16, 2015
  7. I haven't checked in a while, but I used to use InSSIDer freeware on
    Windows all the time.

    It gave you the nice color-coded graphs with channel on the x axis and
    decibels on the y axis, with the BSSID highlighted for the connected SSID
    (which is very useful for hotels and homes with WiFi extenders).
    Werner Obermeier, May 16, 2015
  8. They can provided the outlets in question are on the same tap of the
    transformer or if someone installs RF bridging capacitors in either the
    breaker panel or on an a device that plugs into multiple tap, like an
    electric dryer in the USA that uses two different taps of a transformer.

    Similar to DSL the wire distance between the two or more devices can
    also affect the signal level along with possible electrical interference.

    One can actually setup a network similar to a wired one with one master
    unit at the feed and multiple slave units in say in individual rooms of
    the home. Some slave units can be had with 4 or so Ethernet ports or
    even a wireless access unit built in as well.

    The older units tended to be a bit slow and subject to electrical
    interference but the newer units can do quite well and include security
    like the wireless has so you can block neighbors from just purchasing a
    compatible unit and sucking data from your feed.

    I usually suggest anyone thinking of purchasing units for this that they
    deal with a retailer that will allow them to be returned, no questions
    asked, just in case you find out that there is a problem, like the two
    locations you want to use them are found to be not on the same
    transformer tap and no one wants to install RF bridging capacitors
    either in the breaker box or at a suitable multi-tap outlet like a USA
    dryer uses.
    GlowingBlueMist, May 16, 2015
  9. Sadly, it seems to no longer be freeware:

    (There seems to be a freeware version at, but I don't know
    if that site adds PUPs. I've tried installing it [XP], but it crashes
    for me.)
    J. P. Gilliver (John), May 16, 2015
  10. That's too bad because it was the best freeware bar none, for graphical
    identification of the network, especially when there were multiple SSID's
    of the exact same name (as in a hotel or a home with a wifi extender).

    On Windows, I used to save *every* installer file (in the same hierarchy
    that I used for my installation and menus); so I'm pretty sure if I can
    find that DVD disc, I have the freeware version saved.

    On Android, I use Infolife LLC App Backup & Restore freeware, which saves
    what's effectively the ZIP file onto your flash card at the time of
    installation. That way, you can back up your flash card to DVD disc, and
    you have an automatic copy of every APK installer, in case they no longer
    are available in freeware.
    Werner Obermeier, May 17, 2015
  11. I should mention that it's the same hierarchy, but not the same

    That is, I saved all my InSSIDer installers to:
    c:\software\hardware\wifi\inssider\(various versions go here)

    I installed the programs into:
    c:\apps\hardware\wifi\inssider\(various exe and dll files go here)

    I added a link (shortcut) to the menu at:
    Start Menu > hardware > wifi > inssider.lnk

    I do realize most Windows users ...
    a) Don't save the installers, and,
    b) Don't create a separate start menu, and,
    c) Don't create a separate app hierarchy.

    I realize this is a philosophical take on how to organize every computer
    you've ever used (since the tasks are always the same on all computers),
    but, I just wanted to clarify the statement that the installers, menus,
    and programs are always installed to the same hierarchy.
    Werner Obermeier, May 17, 2015
  12. Werner Obermeier

    Zaidy036 Guest

    If the apartments share a wall have a hole drilled thru it and run an
    Ethernet cable between. Cost probably not exceed other options and can be
    patched if one apartment sold later.
    Zaidy036, May 18, 2015
  13. Werner Obermeier

    Steve Hayes Guest

    I prefer my Bear Extender.

    It works through a wall, but, unlike drilling a hole (think of the
    cost of a drill) it works in any room of the house, and in other
    places where I might want to use WiFi too.
    Steve Hayes, May 18, 2015
  14. I agree. Drilling a hole would work in my own home, but not in
    someone else's apartment just so that my kid could get net signal
    while on a summer visit.
    Werner Obermeier, May 19, 2015
  15. Werner Obermeier

    Steve Hayes Guest

    Especially when the drill you would have to buy to do it would
    probably cost more than the extender gadget anyway.
    Steve Hayes, May 21, 2015
  16. Werner Obermeier

    Char Jackson Guest

    Don't most people have a drill? Even if a person doesn't already have one or
    more, they start at about $30 unless you can wait for a sale or you don't
    mind shopping at Harbor Freight. Prices start at under $20 at HF, but you
    can do much better if you wait for a sale. Heck, you can also buy used and
    probably get down around $10.
    Char Jackson, May 21, 2015
  17. Werner Obermeier

    Ken Blake Guest

    You're talking about an *electric* drill. Holes can be drilled with
    manually-operated drills too, which are considerably less expensive,
    and for someone who doesn't have to drill a lot of holes, they can be
    Ken Blake, May 21, 2015
  18. Werner Obermeier

    Steve Hayes Guest

    So if you're going to visit your cousins in another country, you
    assume they have a drill? A masonry drill, no less, which are usually
    more expensive than wood drills.

    Or would you carry on in your luggage just in case they didn't?

    Or ask them to buy one so that YOU can use their network?

    I'd bet it would weigh more than a Bear Extender, which is a lot
    easier to carry and less hassle to use than a drill.
    Steve Hayes, May 22, 2015
  19. Werner Obermeier

    Steve Hayes Guest

    And how long would it take you to drill through a solid brick wall
    with a manual drill?

    Why go to all that trouble when you can simply use one of these?

    I use mine every day.

    A drill I might use once every three years.
    Steve Hayes, May 22, 2015
  20. Werner Obermeier

    Paul Guest

    The Home Depot has an equipment rental section.
    You could rent a hammer drill for a couple hours
    and use that.

    Paul, May 22, 2015
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