Increasing signal strength/hostapd

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Increasing signal strength/hostapd

Postby n_hologram » 2018-03-03 16:37

Hi, I recently repurposed an old netbook to run hostapd. It runs more-or-less as expected. However, I've noticed that the signal strength ranges between 2 and 19dBm less than my home router (WNR3500Lv2). It gets pretty bad in the office, which is at the other end of the house, whereas the home router has no issues reaching that far.

I was wondering if there are any ways to increase the hotspot's signal strength. I was also wondering if the [lack of] power plays a significant role -- for instance, if I threw the same card in a mini-itx motherboard, what are the chances of noticing a meaningful signal increase? Also, I keep seeing antennae advertised that "will" increase power, but since the set I just bought had a negligible increase, I'm skeptical, and advice would be fantastic.

Network card: Atheros AR5BHB92 (mini-pcie), ar9280 (firmware-atheros)
Antennae: Highfine wireless extension
bester69 wrote:There is nothing to install in linux, from time to time i go to google searching for something fresh to install in linux, but, there is nothing

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Re: Increasing signal strength/hostapd

Postby pylkko » 2018-03-03 17:38

You can always increase signal strength with physical tricks but you have to realize that you may brake regulations. One trick is to use a reflective surface and try to aim the signal into a wanted direction. Another is to make your own antenna, it is ridiculously simple, just basically wrapping a conductive wire around Styrofoam or other such material. You will find guides on the internet were people make antennas that shoot wifi over distances of hundreds of meters with stuff costing less than 30 USD or something. However, these might be against regulations. Also, notice that linux kernel adjusts the power of transmission to meet regulations according to what locale you are using.

https://www.blackmoreops.com/2013/10/27 ... h-of-wifi/

So, one hack is to use a locale that allows larger power...
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Re: Increasing signal strength/hostapd

Postby bw123 » 2018-03-03 18:03

pylkko wrote:You can always increase signal strength with physical tricks but you have to realize that you may brake regulations. One trick is to use a reflective surface and try to aim the signal into a wanted direction. Another is to make your own antenna, it is ridiculously simple, just basically wrapping a conductive wire around Styrofoam or other such material. You will find guides on the internet were people make antennas that shoot wifi over distances of hundreds of meters with stuff costing less than 30 USD or something. However, these might be against regulations. Also, notice that linux kernel adjusts the power of transmission to meet regulations according to what locale you are using.

https://www.blackmoreops.com/2013/10/27 ... h-of-wifi/

So, one hack is to use a locale that allows larger power...


I recall reading about the pringles cantenna, pretty long range, maybe up to a mile unobstructed. I think most devices will have a hardware limit to prevent damage coded in the driver, even if the local regs permit higher.
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Re: Increasing signal strength/hostapd

Postby shep » 2018-03-03 19:05

The search terms wifi directional antenna will get you alot of hits on Amazon/Ebay.

Another option is to look at powerline networking. This multiplexes a NIC connection over your houses wiring. The advantages is it is faster and does not need encryption. You can search Newegg networking section for powerline networking.
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Re: Increasing signal strength/hostapd

Postby n_hologram » 2018-03-15 12:41

[Late to my own party due to traveling...]

I love these ideas, especially the Pringles cantenna! I read somewhere that microwave ovens and wifi operate at the same frequency, so hopefully it won't give anyone cancer lol.

After doing some research, I'm wondering if I would benefit more from an omnidirectional antenna. I just want to make sure that it isn't something that will end up being a power limitation from the other hardware (netbook, wifi card). Thoughts on this?
bester69 wrote:There is nothing to install in linux, from time to time i go to google searching for something fresh to install in linux, but, there is nothing

the crunkbong project: scripts, operating system, the list goes on...
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