Page 1 of 1

Bridging a wifi gap

Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:32 pm
by yertiz
I am putting together a video surveillance project which eventually will probably involve 4 raspis, one for each stable, one for the barn and one to keep a general eye on the stable yard. I have tested out Craig H's fishcam project which seems to work fine across the local network - albeit with a 6 second lag on the video but that is fine for my purposes.

My big problem is getting the signal from the stables/barn to the house as they are 40 metres apart and separated by a public road. There is no way to get networking cable across the road. The house and stable do share power so X10 might technically be a solution but from what I read X10 seems suited to transmitting messages to turn on the central heating or turn off the light rather than streaming video.But I am open to persuasion.

So long distance wifi seems the only answer. When I Google 'wifi boosters' what turns up appears to be designed to boost signals within the house to elimnate dead spots rather than bridge a forty metre gap. I next looked at directional wifi aerials which appear to fit the bill. But I am now way outside my comfort zone. And it's suddenly getting expensive.

Anyone able to offer any insight? Is this the right tool for the job? Do I need one or two? Is installation and set up idiot proof?

Re: Bridging a wifi gap

Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:05 pm
by redhawk
You can boost your wifi signal by using a parabolic dish this improves transmission and reception by making the radio waves travel in a more directionally manner and thus more powerful.
There are plenty of online DIY websites and tutorials on making your own wokfi - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WokFi or home brew parabolic antenna.
Just be aware that both your dongle and router must have a parabolic reflector pointing at one another otherwise it won't work.

I can't say I've ever tried boosting my wifi (it's already good enough) but I have done this with a class 2 bluetooth audio receiver and a cooking wok with some surprisingly good boost in range.

Richard S.

Re: Bridging a wifi gap

Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:08 pm
by DeeJay
yertiz wrote:There is no way to get networking cable across the road. The house and stable do share power
Are you aware of 'Powerline' network technology? Sort of ethernet-over-mains. If it's legal in your neck of the woods, I wonder if it might work well enough over the distances concerned?

Re: Bridging a wifi gap

Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:46 pm
by KenT
redhawk wrote:You can boost your wifi signal by using a parabolic dish this improves transmission and reception by making the radio waves travel in a more directionally manner and thus more powerful.

Just be aware that both your dongle and router must have a parabolic reflector pointing at one another otherwise it won't work.

Richard S.
Just wondered why both ends need parabolic reflectors. I haven't tried parabolic but I did not have a lot of success with a yagi at the receiving end and a standard 'rubber duck' antenna at the other.

Re: Bridging a wifi gap

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:26 am
by yertiz
DeeJay wrote:
yertiz wrote:There is no way to get networking cable across the road. The house and stable do share power
Are you aware of 'Powerline' network technology? Sort of ethernet-over-mains. If it's legal in your neck of the woods, I wonder if it might work well enough over the distances concerned?
I have looked at these but as far as I can see they do not support ARM Linux. The PowerPacket website lists a couple of os unspecified drivers but no indication they work with a raspi. The powerpacket system also seems to need a pci card for each computer. I didn't see it as a runner.

Are you aware of anyone who has got it working with a raspi?

Re: Bridging a wifi gap

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:40 am
by yertiz
redhawk wrote:You can boost your wifi signal by using a parabolic dish this improves transmission and reception by making the radio waves travel in a more directionally manner and thus more powerful.
There are plenty of online DIY websites and tutorials on making your own wokfi - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WokFi or home brew parabolic antenna.
Just be aware that both your dongle and router must have a parabolic reflector pointing at one another otherwise it won't work.

I can't say I've ever tried boosting my wifi (it's already good enough) but I have done this with a class 2 bluetooth audio receiver and a cooking wok with some surprisingly good boost in range.

Richard S.
Yes I had seen those on YouTube but was not sure how successful they were. From what you're are saying I'll need 5 of these. One for each pi and one for the router. It's all beginning to look a bit untidy.

Were you getting 40 metres range with your bluetooth project?

Re: Bridging a wifi gap

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:50 am
by DeeJay
yertiz wrote:
DeeJay wrote: Are you aware of 'Powerline' network technology? Sort of ethernet-over-mains. If it's legal in your neck of the woods, I wonder if it might work well enough over the distances concerned?
I have looked at these but as far as I can see they do not support ARM Linux. [...]

Are you aware of anyone who has got it working with a raspi?
I use them 24/7 to create a network *within* my own home instead of running utp cables. That's all they do - no drivers are needed. They just give you a 'virtual cable' between two points - and those endpoints can be 'meshed' if there are more than 2.

This is the product I am using. http://www.tp-link.com/common/subject/p ... /TL-PA211/ There are many variations of speed and socketing available from this supplier and others.

Re: Bridging a wifi gap

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:48 am
by yertiz
I use them 24/7 to create a network *within* my own home instead of running utp cables. That's all they do - no drivers are needed. They just give you a 'virtual cable' between two points - and those endpoints can be 'meshed' if there are more than 2.

This is the product I am using. http://www.tp-link.com/common/subject/p ... /TL-PA211/ There are many variations of speed and socketing available from this supplier and others.
Many thanks for that. They claim up to 300 metres range so should be fine. I'll order a couple from Amazon to check they work for me.

Re: Bridging a wifi gap

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:17 pm
by lazarus78
yertiz wrote:
I use them 24/7 to create a network *within* my own home instead of running utp cables. That's all they do - no drivers are needed. They just give you a 'virtual cable' between two points - and those endpoints can be 'meshed' if there are more than 2.

This is the product I am using. http://www.tp-link.com/common/subject/p ... /TL-PA211/ There are many variations of speed and socketing available from this supplier and others.
Many thanks for that. They claim up to 300 metres range so should be fine. I'll order a couple from Amazon to check they work for me.
Also, do not attempt to plug them into a power strip, especially a surge protector. They will work very poorly, if at all. For best results they need to be directly in an outlet, and ideally, on the same circuit.

Re: Bridging a wifi gap

Posted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:48 am
by yertiz
lazarus78 wrote:
yertiz wrote:
I use them 24/7 to create a network *within* my own home instead of running utp cables. That's all they do - no drivers are needed. They just give you a 'virtual cable' between two points - and those endpoints can be 'meshed' if there are more than 2.

This is the product I am using. http://www.tp-link.com/common/subject/p ... /TL-PA211/ There are many variations of speed and socketing available from this supplier and others.
Many thanks for that. They claim up to 300 metres range so should be fine. I'll order a couple from Amazon to check they work for me.
Also, do not attempt to plug them into a power strip, especially a surge protector. They will work very poorly, if at all. For best results they need to be directly in an outlet, and ideally, on the same circuit.
Thanks for the heads up. I can avoid the power strip but they will be on separate circuits.

Re: Bridging a wifi gap

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:21 pm
by stevhorn5
Without knowing your budget, it's hard to give advice...

but, you might want to look here:

https://store.ubnt.com/unifi.html

Re: Bridging a wifi gap

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:25 pm
by TideMan
I have a similar project to the OP: transmitting from the house to the garage 30 m away.
I tried PowerLine, but it seems to balk at passing through separate power boards (i.e. RCDs etc): one in the garage and one in the house.
It works OK within the house, but not to the garage.

So, I'm back to wireless.....
In my case, iwconfig tells me I get 95/100 link quality, but only 55/100 signal level, and SSH bombs out every few minutes, yet my iPad can pick up the signal in the garage OK.
Doesn't that mean that the Access Point is shouting loud enough and I only need to invest in a larger set of ears for the RPi?

Re: Bridging a wifi gap

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:10 pm
by yertiz
stevhorn5 wrote:Without knowing your budget, it's hard to give advice...

but, you might want to look here:

https://store.ubnt.com/unifi.html
Thanks for the link. I was anticipating a total bill in the order of £200 so the Unifi options looks a touch expensive. But if the powerline solution doesn't work I may yet get desperate enough to spend more.

Re: Bridging a wifi gap

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:16 pm
by yertiz
TideMan wrote:I have a similar project to the OP: transmitting from the house to the garage 30 m away.
I tried PowerLine, but it seems to balk at passing through separate power boards (i.e. RCDs etc): one in the garage and one in the house.
It works OK within the house, but not to the garage.

So, I'm back to wireless.....
In my case, iwconfig tells me I get 95/100 link quality, but only 55/100 signal level, and SSH bombs out every few minutes, yet my iPad can pick up the signal in the garage OK.
Doesn't that mean that the Access Point is shouting loud enough and I only need to invest in a larger set of ears for the RPi?
This sounds worrying as my first thought would also have had it operating through 2 power boards. Looks like I will have to find a better route.