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antenna for pcmcia wireless card

Discussion in 'PC hardware help' started by dragnandy, Dec 2, 2007.

  1. dragnandy

    dragnandy Regular member

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    i got a pcmcia wireless card for my computer and i got a 10db antenna. but when i connected it, it didnt have a big difference. would adding a 10db antenna add some wireless range for my computer? is there a way to check? i looked at the antenna and stuff but there was nothing. anybody know how to find out?
     
  2. RottenKid

    RottenKid Member

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    What about your wireless router, Upgrading one is pointless, because the other end is still weak. Also what was the Db rating on the original attenna. Larger antenna's sell themselves based on Db, but its might not be much of an upgrade if your original was like 7Db.
     
  3. dragnandy

    dragnandy Regular member

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    i cannot tell what the db strength of the stock antenna is because it doesnt say and came with my pci to pcmcia card. it looked cheap and stuff so i got a 10gb. the point for me getting this router is so that i can get some connection with farther routers and such. if i also upgrade my wireless card's antenna strength, do i also need to change the antenna of the router too? or can i just get a strong enough antenna for my card that it will be able to conenect with the router.
     
  4. cee43ja1

    cee43ja1 Regular member

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    the thing with antennas is that people think they will get a better range; not true with all antennas.

    -if you just replace the antenna with one that has a higher dBi, you're going to get minimal range increase but stronger signal.
    -if you replace the antenna with an outdoor type antenna (antenna placed outside and connected via cable), then you're going to get range (not sure if it applies to wireless cards) and signal strength.

    also, the router is part of the problem. it's still going to produce the same amount of range, even if you upgrade the wireless card antenna; you're just getting better strength, not range. the router only produces a certain amount of power with official firmware, to preserve the router life. switching over to third party firmware gives you the option to change the power output (anything over the "safe" limit will require internal cooling)
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2007
  5. dragnandy

    dragnandy Regular member

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    so there is no way for the router to extend its range? or the wireless card to extend its range? changing the antenna only strengthens the signal, so how can i make it so that my wireless card would be able to connect to a router that is far away?
     
  6. cee43ja1

    cee43ja1 Regular member

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    if you combine an outdoor antenna with third party firmware and cooling mods to your router, then you'll get range far away. i've read that some people have claimed signal blocks away.

    you'll need to switch the router to third party firmware, so you can increase the wireless power output. you'll need to know what brand, and model the router is, before you load third party firmware, as some routers require preparation before loading third party firmware. improper installation can result in a bricked router.

    also, the placement of the router, area conditions, construction of the house, etc. plays a major role in signal. remember, the signal has to pass through the walls, so it will start to get weaker.


    if you're bumming off a neighbors connection, then you're out of luck, because i know there are some people who use their neighbors connections; always encrypt your connection.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2007
  7. dragnandy

    dragnandy Regular member

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    it seems like itll take a lot of work just to get that router to get more signal huh? no im not 'bumming' off my neighbors routers though. i guess ill look into third party firmwares when i get time. thanks for your help guys.
     
  8. cee43ja1

    cee43ja1 Regular member

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    it's the official firmware that's holding back the potential of the router. the wireless power is set to 28mW, and can't be turned up, unless the firmware update changes it.

    with third party, you have full control over the router. my WRT54GS v5 is pushing 84mW (safe limit without cooling), upgraded antennas to the linksys HGA7T 7dBi set, and is cooled with a vga heatsink and fan. the warranty is voided because the router was opened, and third party firmware is loaded, but at least my signal is more clear and strong, and range is farther.

    if you do go with third party firmware, make sure you have money for another router, just in case the router your working on bricks.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2007
  9. dragnandy

    dragnandy Regular member

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    does the type of wireless card also change the range it has? like i had two laptops this one time and i was connecting to my friends router like next door to see if itll work. but one did and one didnt.
     
  10. cee43ja1

    cee43ja1 Regular member

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    usually laptops use the same internal wireless card. but if you use a pcmcia external wireless card, then it might have a difference in range, since the antenna is not blocked by the other laptop components.
     
  11. dragnandy

    dragnandy Regular member

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    well you see, the pcmcia card i have i took from a laptop because the motherboard broke, and i decided not to fix it and give it the heave-ho. and before i used the pcmcia card, i have been using a wireless usb thing for internet. and its fine, but i thought that a internal pcmcia card plus a 10dbi antenna would be better.
     
  12. cee43ja1

    cee43ja1 Regular member

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    instead of using a pci to pcmcia converter, just use a wireless pci card, like THIS one. that one would fit your solution since it has rangebooster, but i can't guarantee anything, since i don't use a wireless pci card.
     
  13. dragnandy

    dragnandy Regular member

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    lets say that if my card had two outlets for antennas like that card you showed me, would adding 2 antennas increase the range or strength of the signal? because before you said adding a stronger antenna does not increase the range much.
     
  14. cee43ja1

    cee43ja1 Regular member

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    if the wireless card has two antennas, then it's better to keep it that way because it's designed to use two antennas. it's able to pick up one signal twice, theoretically strengthening your signal.

    adding higher gain antennas would increase the signal, but it's still not much because the signal still has to pass through walls. adding outdoor high gain antennas would be better since the antenna is not disrupted by the walls, therefore getting better signal.

    the best thing to do is to increase the router's signal first, before trying to upgrade the wireless card signal. linksys has a few tips on how to increase your router's signal HERE
     

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