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Old 02-17-2015, 02:31 PM   #1
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WiFi

Looking for some Ideas for picking up WiFi signal in campgrounds when their signal does not cover the entire campground
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Old 02-17-2015, 03:27 PM   #2
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Get a hi-gain WIFI antenna that will plug into your USB port on your laptop. Here is a Ebay item # to check: 311019577037
It is a Kasens N9600 WIFI antenna with 80dpi gain which is VERY strong. Should pick up signals a couple miles away. It may be directional so you may have to try to point it in the direction of your source. If you check Ebay you may want to search around for the best price as it varies several dollars. There are other Hi-gain antennas available just make sure it will plug into your USB port.
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Old 02-17-2015, 03:43 PM   #3
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Go to Amazon and search for USB wifi antenna.
There are many to choose from.
Some have decent reviews so they must be seeing improvement.
Good luck!
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Old 02-19-2015, 10:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BooBoo23 View Post
Get a hi-gain WIFI antenna that will plug into your USB port on your laptop. Here is a Ebay item # to check: 311019577037
It is a Kasens N9600 WIFI antenna with 80dpi gain which is VERY strong. Should pick up signals a couple miles away. It may be directional so you may have to try to point it in the direction of your source. If you check Ebay you may want to search around for the best price as it varies several dollars. There are other Hi-gain antennas available just make sure it will plug into your USB port.
Boo boo, do you have direct knowledge of the unit you discuss. It would be nice if RVers would explain the equipment set-up they are using and the performance expierenced. Nothing rings truer than actual feed back from fellow RVers.
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Old 02-20-2015, 12:12 AM   #5
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I have not personally used a signal amplifier that plugs into a laptop. I am a ham radio operator and we are experimenting with hi-gain antennas that attach to a router that is plugged into the laptop. We are looking to transmit over several miles and use them for emergency communications with devices that have low power consumption since everything could operate from a battery. We are using modified routers that have a firmware change to operate at higher power allowed by FCC regulations. We could potentially operate at over 100W of power but we can't contact anyone that can't send a good signal in return. My current antennas have no amplifier other that the gain produced from the antenna (20dbi). I plan to get a WIFI antenna to work with my laptop so I can't give you any other information. Cost seems to be minimal so give it a try. The only thing that separates the men from the boys is the price of the toys.

Just do a Google search for "laptop WIFI signal booster" or "WIFI booster for RV" (almost 350,000 hits) and there is a lot of information. Read the reviews. If you use an external signal amplifier you will need to disable the internal one in the laptop or they will be in conflict. I liked the one I mentioned because it is an outdoor antenna, with 25' of coax cable and is 80dbi gain. They are claiming a 3000 meter range which is just a little over 1 3/4 miles (that would be under perfect conditions). They say it is weather proof but I wouldn't hang my hat on that either. It is 6600mw of power (6.6 watts) which is pretty strong since the laptop signal is less than 1/2 watt, probably more like 100mw of output. I read one of the reviews from someone that was using it in a RV park and said without the external antenna he would have no signal.

WIFI is a VHF 2.5ghz signal so it will work best when there is a clear line of sight to the source. That is why an external antenna is best because you can position it so your RV won't block a weak signal. If you could place it on your roof it would be great. I seem to recall of some that mounted a permanent WIFI antenna on the roof of a MH. Another source of information might be to do a search "WIFI" on this forum, not a lot there but may help. Since you are new to the forum, the search box is on the line at the top of the page that starts with "portal" on the left side. The big search box a the very top is for Google and that won't address RV's.

I'm sure there are full timers that use signal amplifiers all the time but just a chance they will be on the forum. I have been satisfied with WIFI reception so far and don't need to be on the internet every day but anticipate getting the signal booster.
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Old 02-20-2015, 12:24 AM   #6
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I'm sure there are full timers that use signal amplifiers all the time but just a chance they will be on the forum. I have been satisfied with WIFI reception so far and don't need to be on the internet every day but anticipate getting the signal booster.
Pretty much the "go to" among a large number of full-timers is the WiFiRanger.

They basically have 3 different wifi solutions. The main difference from other basic antennas is that those are actually routers.. providing a layer of protection("safe surf") when you're on public wifi.
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Old 02-20-2015, 12:34 AM   #7
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Pretty much the "go to" among a large number of full-timers is the WiFiRanger.

They basically have 3 different wifi solutions. The main difference from other basic antennas is that those are actually routers.. providing a layer of protection("safe surf") when you're on public wifi.
That is true a router will give an added level of protection. The modified routers we use can't be hacked. Others can see the signal we put out but can't connect to it without proprietary software that we use for ham communications. We have tried with other computers, laptops and smart phones but no luck.

I would be interested to see if the software with the external antennas has any encryption.


The WIFI Ranger has 1W output and has a 6dbi gain which is fairly standard with a lot of routers. The advantage is it can be mounted external to the RV and can be mounted high enough to get a good signal. The higher the better.
Wow, $360. You could buy a used Linksys router on Ebay for about $25 and a omnidirectional external antenna with 20dbi gain for another $8, 20' of coax for $20 and have more power. Someone on the forum has done that, I saw it in a search.
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Old 02-20-2015, 01:23 AM   #8
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Wow, $360. You could buy a used Linksys router on Ebay for about $25 and a omnidirectional external antenna with 20dbi gain for another $8, 20' of coax for $20 and have more power. Someone on the forum has done that, I saw it in a search.
How powerful of a transmitter would something like that have?
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Old 02-20-2015, 09:38 AM   #9
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First I want to make a correction. The frequency of WIFI is 2.4ghz not 2.5ghz.
As far as the power of a Linksys router it is 15dbm or 32miliwatts. The power is achieved from the gain (20dbi) of the antenna which will give it an equivalent power of a little over 2watts. With a standard 6dbi antenna on the Linksys modem it would be about 1/2 watt output. There are ways to increase the output of the Linksys WRT54G modem. The FCC says WIFI must be limited to no more than 4 watts total output, transmit power and antenna gain combined, to prevent interference. For each 3dbi of antenna gain the output power is doubled. So the WIFI Ranger is at the max allowable output equivalent of 4 watts since it has a output of 1 watt and a 6dbi antenna.


BTW, when using an external WIFI antenna it may be required that the coax you use should be RG316 with a RP.SMA female plug (reverse polarity) on one end and a RP.TNC male plug on the other end.
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Old 02-21-2015, 02:47 PM   #10
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Trying to get more information on the Kasens N9600 but don't find enough to satisfy me to want to purchase as yet. I would like to see a few reviews but don't find any. Nothing says if it will work with Windows 8. I think I will just use a router hooked with Ethernet cable to my laptop and use a hi-gain external antenna for the time being and if needed add a bi-directional amplifier. A router will also offer a safety factor with encryption. I've got several routers that I am not using so I can pick and choose.
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