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Picking Up Weak Broadband Signals


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has anyone used an Alfa USB Wireless WiFi network Adapter with 5dBi Antenna as on this link?

 

http://www. amazon. co. uk/Alfa-AWUS036H-802-11b-Wireless-network/dp/B002WCEWU8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342427542&sr=8-1#productDetails

 

Is it any good, and will it work on my Sony Vaio with Vista when I'm abroad?


Hyundai Santa Fe CRD auto + Burstner Belcanto 525 TL

 

http://www. oldagetraveller. net/

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Hmm a promising looking devise and quotes a massive 1 watt of radiated power (1000mw) ,i would personally find a suitable external antenna preferably a directional one for this unit as a caravan / camper / building can be a bad signal blocker so having the ability to plug in to the antenna socket on the unit is a fantastic bonus being able to seek better signals from free un-obscured air outside .

I have not seen what other devises are about but im sure you have had a good look, someone will be along soon with some more advise im sure.

Edited by avondale4

meandcaravan.jpg.e9cf995ee8c89b08e26d261aa10c0fc4.jpg2008 Bailey Senator Wyoming -2004 green oval Landrover discovery 2 td5-2005 Smart forfour.

 

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I've got one of these and found that it works well with my Windows 7 laptop. I can't see any reason why it won't work with Vista. I can usually get a good signal just sticking the receiver onto the inside of the caravan window, but it's also easy to thread the extension lead out of the window and stick it on the caravan side. Range is very good and I only use it when the built-in laptop wireless adaptor can't pick up a signal or it is very weak.

 

John M

2017 Skoda Superb Estate 2. 0 Tdi 190; 2014 Swift Challenger 530SE + Powrtouch Evolution

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I've got one of these and found that it works well with my Windows 7 laptop. I can't see any reason why it won't work with Vista. I can usually get a good signal just sticking the receiver onto the inside of the caravan window, but it's also easy to thread the extension lead out of the window and stick it on the caravan side. Range is very good and I only use it when the built-in laptop wireless adaptor can't pick up a signal or it is very weak.

 

John M

I found mine exactly the same with my old notebook and laptop on Win7. Many a time I've been able to pick up free wifi (bt hotspots as they are my provider from off site.) when we have been away. As I mainly use an android tablet now it's no good for that as there are no drivers and no power to the usb port on it.

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One advantage of these is that you can connect an even better antenna to improve your range .

2018 S-Max Titanium 2. 0 Tdci (177. 54bhp,180ps,132kw) Powershift + 2015 Unicorn III Cadz, Ventura Marlin porch awning

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Yes I have had the earlier lower powered one for years and it is extremely good. Mine has worked with Windows XP, Vista and now with 7.

I have an alternative "yagi" directional aerial that can be screwed in in place of the provided omni aerial. The yagi is rarely needed, it does improve the chances of picking up narrow beams like trying to pick up a line of sight between closely site caravans/motorhomes, or trained on a remote cottage; mine I mount on a photographic tripod. Would not buy it again for the use it has given me but can and do confidently recommend the Alfa Networks AWUS series of adaptors.

It works as an alternative to the laptop's inbuilt wifi system, not using any part of that.

Whilst it is a 1000mW unit I think you will find that during the software install it resets to the lower legal limit allowed in the UK [if I recall to 500mW]

 

edit: with mine probably because of its age I go to Alfa Networks support site for more modern Windows drivers; another good reason is it comes with a mini DVD which can cause problems with some DVD readers.

Edited by JTQ
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1000mW only help with your upload, unless you've got a decent receive level then it really doesn't make much difference what your transmit power is. 500mW and a decent high gain antenna will give you better performance than 1000mW and a lower gain one.

2018 S-Max Titanium 2. 0 Tdci (177. 54bhp,180ps,132kw) Powershift + 2015 Unicorn III Cadz, Ventura Marlin porch awning

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Thanks for the positive responses guys. I think it can go on my Christmas list now!.


Hyundai Santa Fe CRD auto + Burstner Belcanto 525 TL

 

http://www. oldagetraveller. net/

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I’ve no experience of this unit so can’t comment but maybe just a comment on your connection strategy. ..

 

This unit connects directly to your laptop via USB, providing Internet access to one device. Do you have a smartphone? Maybe an iPad or do the (grand) kids have laptops etc? If that’s the case, you might find a wifi range extender a better strategy.

 

They too have high gain antennas and most have external antenna support but critically, they create a local wifi network that multiple users can connect to across the single connection to the base station / source network.

 

They are also cheaper.

 

I personally use the TP-Link TL-WA730RE (http://www. amazon. co. uk/dp/B003UZFSDG) but there are many such products available.

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One advantage of these is that you can connect an even better antenna to improve your range .

 

Whilst I agree with this statement, just a word of clarity. Theoretically, 5dBi is the maximum gain possible from an omnidirectional antenna; higher gains can be achieved with directional antennae. Improved signal strength can be achieved by reducing the attenuation (reduction) in signal strength by, for example, positioning the antenna outside the caravan.

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A question or two re the "extender"?

I can see that being and extender, ie taking in a signal and creating its own field. it thus extends the total range.

However surely it has to be somewhere it can gather enough signal to create the new zone?

So it is not quite the same device as a high gain adaptor which can be used local to the laptop, the extender might need to be put somewhere between the primary source and the laptop? So it needs to have a higher gain than the laptop to be able to pull in more than the laptop.

Clearly for multi users and those without USB connections it can be very useful, just not confident it adds much to gathering weak remote signals as the Alfa does.

 

Thanks for any comment that helps my understanding.

Edited by JTQ
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The extended network is a red herring. Considering just receipt of the base station signal, it would have the same electronics as the Alfa (wifi is a global standard) and comes with a 5dBi antenna like the Alfa (though I personally connect mine to an external wifi antenna) and in a similar way to the Alfa it’s position within the caravan might improve signal receipt.

 

The extended network might offer a better (extended) signal for 30m or 100m but this is likely to be irrelevant if you’re connecting to it from inside a 5m long caravan or worst case maybe 8m in the awning.

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