Dual Access Points?

By BlueSky ยท 5 replies
Dec 7, 2004
  1. Hi guys,
    I have a question i'm hoping someone can clarify for me regarding Wireless Access Points:

    Would i be able to use 2 Access Points to improve signal quality? Right now i have an networked AP hooked up to a 15db directional antenna in one room. I am attempting to project the signal through about 3 different walls about 75 ft away. I am getting a fairly weak signal now, even with a desktop 6dbi omni antenna attached to my computer's wireless card.

    I was wondering if i could add in a 2nd AP just inside the room, and then find the "sweet spot" location for that 2nd AP so that it would give me a more solid signal.....is this possible?

  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Have a look at www.belkin.com for their MIMO wireless stuff.
    Otherwise I would advise to lay a CAT5e cable. Much cheaper and more secure and less troublesome than any combination of APs (I think your idea is not possible, antenna to antenna?)
  3. MrDJ009

    MrDJ009 TS Rookie

    Antenna overkill may be your problem. The big guys are great for sending a signal long distance but maybe overkill when trying to reach a client a couple of rooms away. The vertical beam width on the big antennas is pretty narrow. You may want to try experimenting with something a little less powerful (say 5 - 7 dBi) on both the router and the client.

    Another thought is to try increasing the dBi on the antennas on your client computers and see if that improves signal strength. Check the write-up at the following link which discusses improving wireless range. http://www.wirelessnetworkproducts.com/index.asp?PageAction=Custom&ID=21
  4. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    Sounds like you are wanting to Bridge two routers. This would widen the "bubble" and allow you to have a larger coverage space. In most cases, you need two of the same make and model router, one is set in Gateway mode, the other in AP mode. Set them both to the same SSID and channel, you must also put the MAC address of the Gateway into the AP and you'll have to set up the security and other settings exactly the same on both. Fortunately most routers have a section in the interface to use to set it up this way. Check the manual for instructions related to the brand you'll be using, or let us know here. I should be able to walk you through setting up most popular brands.

    PS: stay far away from Belkin, they are junk.
  5. BlueSky

    BlueSky TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The antenna i have on the AP is a Hawking 15db with 80/80 vert and horiz coverage. I also have a 4db omni antenna on the wireless card. I am able to achieve 50% signal strength at times which jumps to a 5mb transfer rate. However this number wildly changes and drops to 0, then back to 20, then 20 45 etc etc etc..... very erratic.
    At times when it drops to 0 i give the omni antenna a hard twist at the connector and the signal seems to jump back up.... leaving me to believe i have a faulty antenna connector. I plan to get another antenna and try again before making any other changes.
  6. MrDJ009

    MrDJ009 TS Rookie

    Narrow horizontal beam angle

    Your 80/80 directional antenna will probably have to be pointed precisely to be received by your wireless client. Omin-directional types have a 360 degree horizontal beam so they cover all directions pretty well. The walls, or wiring within, might could also affect your signal. Try having someone monitor the signal at your client PC while you reposition your 15 dBi for an optimal spot.

    It seems a little odd that you 4 dBi is up and down like that. Could you have some other interference at play?

    I installed a 8.5 dBi omni with 360/15 beams on the roof of my home. My objective is to share my router with other homes in my neighborhood. Within my home my wireless PCs only receive a 20 - 50% signal. Even at these numbers my 802.11b cards maintain their optimal 11 Mbi signals and my 802.11g cards get around 35 Mbi, a little short of their 54 Mbi max. Regardless, internet broadband speeds are much, much lower so the lower numbers are acceptable for me. :approve:
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