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  Reply # 1131994 19-Sep-2014 10:35
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Increasing WiFi power levels doesn't necessarily fix anything. It does however make the 2.4Ghz band even noisier which is why it is unusable in some environments now.

Even if somebody created a 50W access point you've still got your phone or tablet with a small aerial that needs to communicate back.





Hmm, what to write...
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  Reply # 1132012 19-Sep-2014 10:57
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I wonder if the OP had problems with the power line device because he had each end on different phases? Might at least be worth a look. He did say it was an old farm house so it might be a 3 phase installation.






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  Reply # 1132072 19-Sep-2014 12:00
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mdooher: I wonder if the OP had problems with the power line device because he had each end on different phases? Might at least be worth a look. He did say it was an old farm house so it might be a 3 phase installation.



I suspected this was the issue I had on the power line devices - my house is newish - but the lack of any signal indicated completely different power loops..

Hmm, what to write...
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  Reply # 1132079 19-Sep-2014 12:09
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hobsonlea:
mdooher: I wonder if the OP had problems with the power line device because he had each end on different phases? Might at least be worth a look. He did say it was an old farm house so it might be a 3 phase installation.



I suspected this was the issue I had on the power line devices - my house is newish - but the lack of any signal indicated completely different power loops..


If you have single phase then something I have seen is the signal being blocked by the RCD. Ie if you have 2 separate circuits fed off different RCDs. Obviously a power meter will also block the signals so if you had say a separate meter for a garage or a sleepout etc this will cause issues.

By the way theses are good thing...you don't want the data to be able to be read by your neighbor

edit, I have also seen these work across RCDs as well, depends on brand




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  Reply # 1132117 19-Sep-2014 13:28
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Just to satisfy anyone's curiosity, the electricity in this old farmhouse goes back to at least the 1950s, if not further. RCD is unknown. The wiring is conduit, emerging from an old-style wooden powerboard. Fuses are of the wired variety. Delivery is indeed 3-phase. Neutral line is connected to earth and is common throughout the house. Electrocution is undoubtedly more likely. However, we do use energy-efficient lighting everywhere.




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  Reply # 1132131 19-Sep-2014 13:49
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Sounds like you're best running a cat5e cable between the desktop room and the other end of the house. This should be relatively easy for a handyman if you have underfloor access, there are a few step by step guides if you search for structured wiring installation guides. Most of them will be overkill for what you want, but show how to cut a hole in a wall, drill down or up, and run cable between the two points and attach a keystone wall socket at each end. If you don't have underfloor access it is a bit more tricky.

The switch in the desktop room will act as the hub, and you can also connect a wireless access point directly to the switch there to cover that end of the house. For the other end of the house, attach a LAN cable from the switch to the rj45 socket you will have installed in the wall. The underfloor cat5e cable then goes to the other end of the house, then from the rj45 socket in the keystone on the other end of the house, connect another wireless access point. Use the guide in one of the previous posts to set up a single SSID to cover the whole house.

If it is impractical to run a cable under the house/down from the roof space, try again with the powerline with built in wireless AP from the desktop room to the other end of the house and hope it's on the same phase etc.


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  Reply # 1132132 19-Sep-2014 13:50
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What about just putting in a WAP with a really strong signal? Thread about that here. You have the return problem, but if you can get the new router even part of the way via an Ethernet cable it should help a lot. 




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  Reply # 1132138 19-Sep-2014 13:58
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timmmay: What about just putting in a WAP with a really strong signal? Thread about that here. You have the return problem, but if you can get the new router even part of the way via an Ethernet cable it should help a lot. 


That would be a good first try, as you will be buying one anyway. Could disable the wifi on the RBI router, and put the new WAP in the desktop room and see how far signal goes. Then mess about with sending a cable to place it in a more central area of the house if required for full coverage.



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  Reply # 1132244 19-Sep-2014 16:22
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That is exactly what I have decided. The way this house is laid out, it is awkward running any cable anywhere. Everything is on a different level and you have to drill through multiple walls and beautiful old wood paneling or tear up 80 year-old floors (can't be done without destroying them), etc. I have manged to run a couple cables (one cat5 to the desktops, one voip phone) but would rather not have to repeat that. On the basis of advice received here (thanks guys) I bought a 5-port Ethernet switch that is on the way and I just ordered a TP-LINK TL-WA801ND 300Mbps Wireless N Access Point. Also, a very generous reader of this forum has offered to send me some redundant Ethernet cables. The switch will route the Ethernet connection to the desktops in the computer room, hopefully solving that one. I shouldn't need wireless there and it also avoids the additional complication of usb dongles. The TP-Link will replace the wi-fi portion of the gateway device, which only has an internal aerial. My hope is that the new AP will have sufficient sensitivity and signal strength to provide adequate wi-fi coverage to the other end of the house but even if it doesn't it still has two important advantages. First, I can shift it in the right direction by running an Ethernet cable part way. Second, it has an external aerial, giving me the possibility to boost the signal with a reflector or if necessary even add a 15db outdoor aerial. Either way this should ultimately give satisfactory wi-fi coverage where we want it.

 

 

This has been quite a journey but yet again thanks to the kindness and generosity of Geekzone users I have learned much. Only a few days ago I could never have written the above paragraph. There is still an awful lot I don't know but I have gained confidence and I now feel able to make the decisions I need to. Thanks again to all for the very useful help and advice.

 





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  Reply # 1132605 20-Sep-2014 10:58
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Yes, credit to GZoners for their untiring generosity. But credit to you, also, for picking this stuff up so quickly.

Good luck. Let's know how it pans out.



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  Reply # 1138141 26-Sep-2014 12:07
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I was asked to report on my experience with everything after it was all set up so here goes. First, the Ethernet switch is perfect. So simple and effective. All the desktops in the computer room are running off the one connection with no issues at all. Couldn’t be better. I just wish everything worked this well.

 

 

The D-Link WAP wasn’t quite as straightforward but eventually I got it set up and working the way I wanted. I have to say I am pretty impressed with the quality, professionalism and customer service of this company. I am not being paid to endorse them, I just find their stuff so much better than a lot of other rubbish I have had bad experiences with.

 

 

I had high and maybe unrealistic hopes for the D-Link WAP. I started by setting it up next to the gateway device since that is where the connection is and I wanted to do a comparison. I was disappointed to find that there was almost no difference at all in the strength of the signal around the house. I have no prior experience with wi-fi or wireless routers so had nothing to compare my gateway device to and I had hoped that the D-Link would have a stronger signal, especially as it has external antennas and the gateway device does not.

 

 

An important advantage of the new WAP is that it can be moved around on a long cable, which the gateway cannot because of its connection to the RBI antenna. I had decided I did not want to mess around with trying to extend the existing wi-fi signal, which is why I bought the D-Link. I wanted something I could feed with an Ethernet cable.

 

 

Moving the WAP closer to the desired reception area did help, of course, but running a new cable has turned out to be even harder than I thought it would. It is almost like this house was specifically designed to make that as difficult as possible. So I decided first to see what difference, if any, a parabolic reflector might make since I only need reception in one direction. I wasn’t able to do this with the gateway device because of the internal antennas.

 

 

What a difference! Without the reflector the signal downstairs varies from weak to very weak. With it the signal jumps up to four bars and very good. The only problem is that the position and angle of the WAP is critical. If it is shifted even a tiny bit the signal falls away again. I will try to attach a photo of my construction in case anyone is interested.

 

 

I received a compliment on the speed with which I picked this all up and my thanks for that, but I should point out that I am not a complete novice, I just did not have prior experience with networking since I only ever had access to standalone computers and dial-up Internet. Again, thanks to those who helped me along the way with this. Geekzone is a wonderful resource and I have learned much here from all who so generously share their time and expertise.

 

 

 





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