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752 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 148942 6-Jul-2014 11:07
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This is not a thread about wifi saturation and what to do about it. I'm fortunate to have a bit of space between the neighbours on three of the four boundaries. I can of course pickup signal from their radios, but not much I can do about that.
What I would like, is to be a good neighbour and lead by example and control the scope and falloff of my own wifi.

Doing a survey at the boundaries, I can see some places that the signal has unnecessary reach.
I've tried the standard things like changing the position of the routers, the antennas and the size of the antennas, but most of this has resulted in incremental drops.
Sheilding the antennas from certain directions and focusing towards where I need signal, would be idea. Most of the tinfoil solutions I've seen, increase the focus forwards. That doesn't actually solve the problem, as I don't want to deaden one direction and amplify another.

Am I also shooting myself in the foot by giving my neighbours and their 'Auto' channel-choosing routers the opportunity to take domination of the channels I currently enjoy?

Looking for some ideas and comments.

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  Reply # 1081784 6-Jul-2014 11:27
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Hi, I didnt see that you mentioned trying to use 'half power / reduced power' on the router settings for WiFi.  Have you tried that. Obviously it will decrease coverage. 

May I suggest a lead fence ! 





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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1081785 6-Jul-2014 11:32
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^ Did indeed. Made very little difference. A drop by a couple of dbs.

Meow
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  Reply # 1081794 6-Jul-2014 12:10
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If they've got WPS enabled on their routers just break in and change all of their channels to 1 or something - actually on second thought don't do that as it is rather illegal.

This is the problem with the 2.4GHz band (and even the 5GHz band now), since everyone has WiFi the bands are growing congested. The only thing I can recommend is getting something like a UniFi Pro which tries to combat congestion, the only downside of going to a UniFi is the fact you need a PC with the controller software on it or a cloud controller.

The other solution is getting some wireless access points you can adjust the power on and putting them over your house with really low power (like Mikrotiks) and using Ethernet either by those powerline adapters or running cables to feed the access points.




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  Reply # 1081798 6-Jul-2014 12:18
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I wouldn't worry too much. Drop the power down a bit and just try to stay on a different channel from them.




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752 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1081799 6-Jul-2014 12:23
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Yes, I like the idea of having APs on the outer walls focusing in, rather than a centralised wireless router beaming out.
Does the Miktrotiks gear offer finer power tuning compared to say a Tomato or DD-WRT consumer AP?

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  Reply # 1081801 6-Jul-2014 12:31
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fahrenheit: Yes, I like the idea of having APs on the outer walls focusing in, rather than a centralised wireless router beaming out.
Does the Miktrotiks gear offer finer power tuning compared to say a Tomato or DD-WRT consumer AP?


They do indeed however not too user friendly :) on their default modes however they are very good at blocking out noise, by far the best router I have ever had.














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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1081921 6-Jul-2014 17:52
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michaelmurfy:

They do indeed however not too user friendly :) on their default modes however they are very good at blocking out noise, by far the best router I have ever had.


Thats very nifty.

I spent much of the day experimenting.


I've run out of time today, but I think I'll live with the improvement until I come up with something better. The metal is from a thin baking tray and I think something ten times thicker would be more effective.

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  Reply # 1081976 6-Jul-2014 18:50
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Material thickness only helps with your metal origami holding its shape. At these frequencies tinfoil is fine (if you can get it hold its shape) as the rf doesn't penetrate and runs on the surface (skin effect).
Reducing the power by a little will have a greater effect for your neighbours than for you as its not a linear loss with distance.

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  Reply # 1082002 6-Jul-2014 19:02
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I like you.
Your intentions are good.

Wifi is something that would work much better if neighbours worked together instead of trying to over-power each other.
Smaller cells of coverage means you can make much better reuse of channels in a smaller area.

A drop of 3db is actually half the power level.
So if you recieve a signal at -70db and lower your power by 3db so the signal drops to -73db then you have *halved* the power output.
Its a logarithmic scale like the Richter scale. Every 3db increase is double the power.

There is a surfboard template you can cut out here which makes a good deal of difference
http://www.freeantennas.com/projects/template2/

Also you may find someone who has their router at one end of the house, trying to get a signal through three or four walls to the other end. Using high power has the side effect of the signal also going through one wall, across the yard, and into the neighbours house.

Check out the guide in my signature - you may find it an interesting read.




Ray Taylor
Taylor Broadband (rural hawkes bay)
www.ruralkiwi.com

There is no place like localhost
For my general guide to extending your wireless network Click Here






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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1082029 6-Jul-2014 19:46
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oxnsox: Material thickness only helps with your metal origami holding its shape. At these frequencies tinfoil is fine (if you can get it hold its shape) as the rf doesn't penetrate and runs on the surface (skin effect).

Thanks. Saves me from going overboard on more expensive materials.

Reducing the power by a little will have a greater effect for your neighbours than for you as its not a linear loss with distance.

On the stock firmware, its already as low as it goes. There are three settings 'High', 'Middle' and 'Low'. I'm not sure if third-party firmware would allow it to be set lower, but I'll probably end up flashing it sooner, rather than later.

raytaylor:
A drop of 3db is actually half the power level.
So if you recieve a signal at -70db and lower your power by 3db so the signal drops to -73db then you have *halved* the power output.
Its a logarithmic scale like the Richter scale. Every 3db increase is double the power.


Didn't realise that. That is quite an improvement then.

Thanks. I'll have a read.

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