Join Early Retirement Today
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-03-2010, 06:04 AM   #21
gone traveling
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 3,855
Originally Posted by Sam View Post
A somewhat related question: Most of today laptops have built-in wifi. Most of them lack the physical support for external antenna. Is there way to get around this limitation?
Sure. I've seen clip-on's and attachments. Just Google it ...

Here's an example:

Better WiFi

rescueme is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-03-2010, 06:21 AM   #22
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 2,155
Thanks. But that's a little different. You are simply adding a new wifi and not using the built-in. I was wondering about enhancing the signal for the built-in.

Sam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2010, 10:14 AM   #23
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 10,894
Originally Posted by Sam View Post
A somewhat related question: Most of today laptops have built-in wifi. Most of them lack the physical support for external antenna. Is there way to get around this limitation?
I don't know from personal experience. The guy at this site shows how he bought an add-on WIFI card for his laptop (cheaply) and soldered the antenna leads to it. He also claims that some other brands of these cards have an external antenna jack, which would make things a lot simpler.
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2010, 01:13 PM   #24
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,929
You betcha!

This fella did a bit of soldering and fabrication, and turned the card slot into an external antenna connection and mount point that connects to the internal card.

Yet another laptop wifi antenna mod

Most folks find it easier to just put a WiFi card with an antenna jack into the card slot, though, and hook an external antenna through that.
M Paquette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2010, 06:29 PM   #25
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,564
Originally Posted by M Paquette View Post
This fella did a bit of soldering and fabrication...
He probably didn't return Apple's calls when they were asking him to consult on the iPhone 4 antennae upgrade...

The book written on, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2010, 09:40 PM   #26
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,510
Originally Posted by kramer View Post
I think you have a choice of a more elaborate setup with an antenna attached to the outside of your RV or a simpler setup that simply connects to your laptop with a 1 or 2 meter cable.

I purchased a WiFi extender 9 months ago. I live in hotel rooms and furnished apartments and many times the signals were not strong enough (in fact, most times). It has made a tremendous difference, almost so much so that I can't believe that I traveled without one before.

A WiFi extender can rectify distance problems much better than geometry problems (e.g., obstacles). Additionally, make sure that any WiFi extender includes 802.11 n, which is roughly twice the range of 802.11 g (all those that support n will support g, also, but will only use n if the router you are connecting to supports it).

I did a lot of research for the correct WiFi extender for my netbook (I also value portability highly, maybe not as important for an RV-only user). Here is the one I bought for $40, I have been happy with it, using it at this very moment, only weights about 2 ounces and I can clip it to my netbook if I am on the go:

The n3: 802.11n Wireless-N Long Range WiFi USB for Macs & PCs

It also helps the WiFi connection to be more reliable.

Using a WiFi extender burns through battery power much faster. That is because it is transmitting at a much higher power than your native WiFi chip in your laptop. Any good one, including mine, takes 2 USB slots (although I think it still works with 1, just transmits with less power in that case).

Reporting back on results for my Rokland N3 I purchased for $40 based on advise given in the thread.

The N3 gives me about a 10db improvement over the internal card and antenna in my Dell Vostro 1710. Sometimes that 10 db is important, sometimes not..... If you have a barely detectable signal, it seems to bump it up to fully usable.

Right now DW and I are camped in northern New Hampshire doing some hiking and "leaf peeping." We're about 400 yds from the campground admin building. When I asked about WiFi at check-in, the manager suggested that I wouldn't be able to receive the signal at my campsite but was welcome to come up to the office and sit there when I wanted to access the Internet.

Once we had camp set up, I checked WiFi and found that the Dell was detecting the WiFi signal but the signal strength was described as "weak." The analysis tool showed the signal as -83 dbm. Attempts to access the the Internet failed.... My home page would attempt to load but never completed.

I disabled the Dell internal card, plugged the N3 into the usb port and hung the antenna near the ceiling of the camper. Now the WiFi signal is "normal." The analysis tool is showing the signal at -70 dbm to -74 dbm (varying over time).

I'm very pleased with the N3. This is exactly what I wanted it to do. I'm now looking at buying an extension usb cable so I can get the antenna higher. The cable that came with the N3 is only about 4 ft. I may also experiment with a directional antenna.

Thanks everyone for all the help!
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2010, 06:03 PM   #27
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,127
Wow, thanks for the feedback, I am so happy it has worked out for you!

That product has worked for me everywhere. I helped a friend set up the most popular competing product. It worked just as well, but the set up was much more difficult. In fact, he had completely given up on getting it working properly before he asked me to help him.

Yes, I agree that the next largest benefit will be found by better antenna positioning. Please keep us posted!

kramer is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Security on Municipal WiFi Service kaneohe Other topics 1 11-28-2009 07:37 PM
WiFi on PDAs TromboneAl Other topics 11 04-15-2008 11:31 PM
Improved WIFI While Traveling yakers Other topics 9 01-20-2008 05:26 PM
PC not reading Maxtor external drive cube_rat Other topics 6 04-21-2006 07:17 PM
Need a pair of External Laptop speakers............... Cut-Throat Other topics 1 02-08-2006 03:05 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:27 PM.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.