Just curious how far your Wi-Fi access point is from your desktop computer

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Just curious how far your Wi-Fi access point is from your desktop computer.

The access point my desktop connects to is about a half dozen miles away.
An antenna is plugged into the RJ45 Ethernet port on the desktop.
The signal strength, even at more than a half-dozen miles, is about -55dBM.

Just curious how far your nearest WiFi access point is from your desktop?

Re: Just curious how far your Wi-Fi access point is from your desktop computer
On 10/9/19 12:52 AM, Arlen _G_ Holder wrote:
[ The usual pointless shit ]

"Ma, call the plumber, the toilet's backed up again."

"I am a river to my people."
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Re: Just curious how far your Wi-Fi access point is from your desktop computer
On Wed, 9 Oct 2019 03:56:13 -0300, pjp wrote:

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Hi pjp,
Thanks for that information where you have a transceiver, like I do,
instead of a cable or dsl modem, about a kilometer away, line of sight.

Our transceivers are essentially equivalent in function to the cable modems
that most people who live in suburbia or in cities have in their homes.

My setup, like yours, is also WISP, where, being rural, we don't have
access to cables or pipelines either - just like you. We have wells. We
have septic systems. We have thousand gallon propane tanks. We even have
our own electrical generators, since the power company is highly
unreliable. (For example, tonight, the power is scheduled to go off, as one
temporal example - for about a day or two - as far as we know.)

The only "utilities" that we have which are public are the electrical and
phone wires, but, like you, we're way too far from the station for DSL to
ever work.

Like you, I have to aim my antenna at the nearest access point by sight,
where there's also an "aimer application" in the radio which beeps ever
faster, and lights up various colors (red orange yellow green blue, etc.)
as our signal strength increases. Since we're in a windy area, we sometimes
need to manually re-align the antennas, where, as you've likely found out,
we can eyeball it pretty closely (within a few decibels anyway).

If you know what equipment you're using, that would be of interest. I'm
using a Rocket M5 from Ubituiti, on the 5GHz spectrum, transmitting at near
or about the legal limit for the USA (which, luckily, is higher than it
seems to be in most other countries for some reason).  

The radios are set to never exceed the legal limit - but they need to be
set up pretty close, since the distance is miles (about 10 km) to the
nearest WiFi Internet access point.

Do you know your transmit power?

I was on the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi spectrum for the longest time, but when I ran
waterfall spectrum analysis, it was horrid how much noise there was from
all sorts of frequencies, not all of which were WiFi signals.  

Even our cellular is a bit dicey where we are, as T-Mobile gave me BOTH a
cellular repeater and a femtocell, so I can either pick up cellular signal
from about 10 or 15 miles away (or so), or, I can pick up the cellular
antenna that is literally inside my house (both work but the femtocell
seems to connect more reliably, based on the software utility on my iOS and
Android cellular devices).

Here's a picture of just some of the access points in my house, where the
iPad shows the physical size of the access points. That black device on the
shelf to the left of the blue router is the cellular repeater from T-Mobile
(all the carriers provide repeaters & femtocells):

Where you are, what do you use for amplifying your cellular signal?

Re: Just curious how far your Wi-Fi access point is from your desktopcomputer
Just curious how far your Wi-Fi access point is from your desktop

The access point my desktop connects to is about a half dozen
miles away.
An antenna is plugged into the RJ45 Ethernet port on the desktop.
The signal strength, even at more than a half-dozen miles, is
about -55dBM.

Just curious how far your nearest WiFi access point is from your
To answer the OP, I use a neighborhood wifi for insecure use.  
Only get about 1/2 block away near my bedroom window.
Move out of the bedroom and connection is lost.

It's 54 Mbps optimum but normally connect speed goes down
to 1 Mbps.

For secure stuff, I still use dial-up.

Re: Just curious how far your Wi-Fi access point is from your desktopcomputer
On 10/9/19 9:36 AM, Gary wrote:
[ nothing of interest ]

Piss off Arlen.

"I am a river to my people."
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Re: Just curious how far your Wi-Fi access point is from your desktopcomputer
On Wed, 9 Oct 2019 10:32:27 -0300, pjp wrote:

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Hi pjp,

Thank you for your information, where it's nice to converse with someone
who has the same or similar WiFi experience as I have, which, we have to
admit, is different from the experience most people have.

For example, we control our modem settings to some extent, whereas, for
most people they likely can't even log in as the administrator, to check or
change a setting, or to upload firmware, or to change the frequency, or
transmit power, or whatever.

As for what you care about most, I agree that download speed is important,
although, for VOIP, jitter is also critical (particularly when it gets over
about 10 ms or so).

Our download speed is often about the same as our uploads - is yours that
way? Out here, most (but not all) the WISP advertises symmetric speeds but
often the upload can be half the download, but just as often, it's more.

Who knows why.

Out here in the mountains, a single tree can encroach into the Fresnel Zone
such that neighbors can have drastically different end results, using the
same equipment.  

Interestingly, and sadly, just like with Windows, sometimes we have to
reboot our "modems" (yes, I know they're not modems, but most people
reading this won't know what a transceiver is, nor that it's, essentially,
a modem anyway) - just to get our speeds back.

o I don't know why.

Maybe someone here who knows more than I do can explain why my speeds jump
when I reboot the modem, where, it's kind of just like Windows, in that
o Why does rebooting the modem instantly "fix" the slow speeds?

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Thanks for your perspective, which, as I noted, most people on cable
wouldn't have the knowledge of, if this conversation weren't public.

Like you, I'm happy with what I can get, over the air, for my WiFi
connection to the Internet - where - I just ran a speedtest (see below),
mine are as follows at the moment (but it changes greatly over time of
course, depending on the weather, the time of day, etc.):

That's about 24/14, which is kind of typical for me, where it can drop to
one tenth that, but rarely get more than double about that speed (which is
pretty pathetic if we compare to typical cable speeds - as the transmission
of the signal over miles takes its toll on lost & jumbled packets).

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Thank you for that perspective on torrenting, where, when I torrent, I
generally add a VPN to the mix (although truth be told, I'm almost always
on VPN anyway, as a matter of habit), where the VPN takes its toll in speed

I don't torrent all that often though, where mostly I watch videos on the
Android phone (or, with emulation, on Windows, where it runs even faster
than on Android due to the memory and CPU advantages of a desktop).

The beauty of watching videos on Android is that, for free (I only use
freeware), we NEVER need a Google Play account (even to subscribe to video
channels on YouTube), and better yet, we never see an inserted
advertisement on YouTube, and we can download any YouTube video, bar none,
at any quality level available, and, better yet, we can strip out the video
so as to listen to the audio (which is what I do most), all offline, so
that we don't have to worry about our bandwidth coming in fits and starts
over the kilometers between our devices and our Internet connection.

The functionality on Android for such things literally wipes iOS off the
face of the earth, where I'll leave it at that, and with this reference:

Given we have slow speeds since our ISP is over the air, it would be nice
if this type of freeware existed on the common consumer desktops!
o Have you been able to get NewPipe freeware running yet on Windows?

In fact, my cellphone battery was dead where I had to watch a YouTube video
on the iOS-based iPad, where it was appalling that iOs users have to see
ads in YouTube (even though I use "Music Tube" and "Video Tube", which are
'supposed' to suppress the Google ads, which, they do - but they insert
their own, which accomplishes nothing useful overall).

As noted, the beauty of Android functionality kills that of iOS, even on
the desktop, where the Android apps run _better_ on the desktop than they
do on Android itself (due to the hardware, of course). (The Mac can't hope
to catch up, as the recent admission by Apple yesterday that Netflix iOS
app will never be on the Mac shows strategically, for the most popular

My point is that video speeds ARE a problem for me, as they are for you,
where we just have to be clever about intelligently choosing free apps
which easily download the videos (or strip the audio) without any added
bandwidth of advertisements.

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Thank you for that additional information about routers and switches,
where, if I snapped a photo of my setup, you'd likely be appalled at the
number of routers and switches entangled in the rats nest.

Basically, when I replace a router, I set up the old router as either a
wired repeater or as a wireless repeater, where, interestingly, again, the
stellar difference between iOS and Android shows up in spades, when you
watch them switch between what are the same access point SSIDs, but
obviously quite different BSSIDs.

As you are likely aware, one of the greatest things about having to figure
out how to get our Internet and cellular in a rural area, is that we learn
how to diagnose and debug signal strength, noise levels, and bandwidth

The utilities available on Android, for example, kill those available on
the desktops, unfortunately ... such as what I have on my Android phone
that I wish were all ported to the desktops (although some are):

Even with free Android emulation on the desktops, the cellphone is better.
o Genymotion tutorial I wrote to help others do what I did on a desktop

o Bluestacks tutorial I wrote to help others do what I did on a desktop

o Andyroid tutorial I wrote to help others do what I did on a desktop

It's just sad that this functionality is almost always either non existent,
or far less powerful, or not free, etc., on the Apple platform... sigh.
o It's a fact iOS devices can't even graph Wi-Fi signal strength over time

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Thank you for that information that you use older desktops, as do I, where
most of mine don't have WiFi built in, but where I just plug a spare
antenna into the Ethernet RJ45 port, and voila - they can pick up signal at
-55 decibels (which is pretty good signal) that is literally coming from 10
kilometers (about 6 miles) away, over the air, line of sight.

Like you, I don't want to depend on wireless (or the cloud); so what I do
for all my devices (iOS, Android, Windows, and Linux anyway), is use them
as USB sticks, which is easy to do for all but iOS but which is also easy
to do on iOS if you know how (which takes a bit of thinking first - but
once you know the trick - any iOS device is turned into a free USB stick in
seconds over USB cable).

Luckily, most of us own all the platforms, so we can switch between them as
we see fit, where a dual boot Linux and Windows, for example, allows us to
use the iOS device as a USB stick, to simultaneously transfer large video
files to and from any device to and from any other device, over USB.
o Simultaneously slide Windows Linux iOS Android files back and forth over USB at 7GB per minute speeds using 100% native devices (no proprietary software needed)

Note that almost nobody knows how to do that simple task from the desktop,
for iOS devices, because it requires knowledge of a trick to WRITE to the
entire visible file system of the iOS device - which isn't in the least
intuitive - but which works great once you know that trick (where even the
ad hoc system files on the iOS device are visible to the desktop user that
knows the simple tricks).

In summary, because we have such slow Internet connections, we have to keep
"stuff" off the Internet, where we learn how to be self sufficient
connecting to WiFi access points which are miles away over line of sight,
and working around the need for wifi by using wires inside the house
whenever possible (e.g., USB works great for large video file transfers and
for backups of entire mobile devices to and from networked storage devices,
all without adding anything to the desktop or mobile device by way of
special software).

You just have to know the tricks, such as some of these:
o Do you have a working cross-platform PASSWD database for Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, & Android on your home LAN?

o Can we come up with a free, ad free, cloud-free calendaring system that works with Windows and Linux and mobile devices?

In summary, if you know the technical tricks, people like us, on very slow
Internet connections, find that there's almost never a need to use the
"cloud" to store our private data (e.g., calendar, photos, backups,
passwords, etc.) and we find tricks for viewing movies without ads and we
find ways to watch movies for free offline without the inevitable hiccups
of fits and starts that would happen over our slow connections were we to
attempt streaming over the air.

Thanks for all your information where it's nice to know what others do when
they are forced to figure out ways to make use of Wi-Fi access points miles
away from their desktops.

Re: Just curious how far your Wi-Fi access point is from your desktop computer
On 10/9/19 1:52 AM, Arlen _G_ Holder wrote:
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Wifi access point is off, I use ethernet.

Re: Just curious how far your Wi-Fi access point is from your desktop computer
On 10/9/2019 6:57 AM, Gavin wrote:
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Mine too.  Where my machines are, catercorner on first floor to modem on  
2nd floor I get about 3X speed with ethernet vs wifi.

Re: Just curious how far your Wi-Fi access point is from your desktop computer
Pay attention folks.
Our resident cesspool of useless discussions isn't talking about
your in the house WiFi modem.
He's talking about Wireless internet service.

"I am a river to my people."
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Re: Just curious how far your Wi-Fi access point is from your desktop computer
On 10/9/2019 9:03 AM, Fox's Mercantile wrote:
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Close enough.  Perhaps once speeds reach wired, none will need wired.
But not me as towers are behind a hill where I live.
I involves the home and is an on topic topic.

Re: Just curious how far your Wi-Fi access point is from your desktop computer
On Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at 9:22:19 AM UTC-4, Frank wrote:

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Not really. You will find that this particular troll does not ask a question unless it has a rigid, fully conceived answer. And the posts are not to gather information, but rather to see itself engaged and meaningful.  

Repeat, do not feed the troll!

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA  

Re: Just curious how far your Wi-Fi access point is from your desktop computer
On Wed, 16 Oct 2019 13:54:13 -0000 (UTC), Dan Purgert wrote:

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Hi Dan Purgert,

THANK YOU for that correction!
Mea culpa!


I respond to all purposefully helpful posts, where I _appreciate_ that you
found my statement above to be materially wrong (where, if I am
accidentally wrong, I admit it as soon as it's pointed out, if not sooner).

It's a characteristic of an adult.

As you may recall, I state that I aim for 100% credibility on material
facts, even after decades on Usenet, where you must admit to attain
anywhere near that kind of credibility on Usenet for material facts puts me
on the level of people like Marek Novotny, rest his soul.

I strive for 100% credibility because I own adult belief systems:
a. I base my initial belief system on assessment of facts, and,  
b. If (and when) assessment of facts change, I modify my belief system  
Such that my belief system is _always_ based & bolstered, by facts.

You may find that I harp on the trolls, where there are resaons for that
o The trolls infest any potluck picnic like gnats swarming around food
o The trolls have no intention to add value - they troll for amusement
o Hence, once the trolls infest a Q&A thread - the potluck is ruined

I try to swat the trolls ... to make it "less fun" for them to troll
o But, as William Unruh astutely noted ... that also adds to the noise
Where the hope is that the trolls find some other potluck to infest
(Where, the record shows, I don't feed them when they infest other threads)

Trolls like nospam apparently base their belief system on the results of a
coin toss (as far as anyone can tell), since they always fail this simple
test of their claims, when it comes to asking them for underlying facts:
o Name just one

I'm completely different from most Usenet posters (IMHO), Dan,
o For one, I avoid idle worthless useless chitchat threads
o For the other, I author threads that literally pry fact out (if possible)

To that end, Dan, in terms of valuable adult facts...  
o You can _always_ ream me with facts - and I will THANK YOU when you do.

Here's a reference, for example, on the Apple newsgroups, about facts:
o wrong, by badgolferman  
  > Has anyone here ever admitted they were wrong publicly in the  
  > newsgroup even when proven so?  How can everyone always be right?  
  > Maybe some consider it a sign of weakness if they concede a point,  
  > but it's actually a sign of humility and maturity.  
Notice that "adults" have no problem adjusting their belief systems:
It's the common trolls (listed prior) who, IMHO, have a problem with facts.

When confronted with mere facts, in general, they respond with hatred.
o Why? I don't know why.

I think perhaps it that their belief systems aren't based on facts  
o Facts scare them (like facts about Santa Claus might scare a child)
o Facts instantly DESTROY their belief systems.

This is, IMHO, far more common on Apple newsgroups simply because Apple
MARKETING is so far and above Linux & Windows marketing that the difference
in the user base (IMHO), is night and day - but we leave that for a
separate discussion on what type of people are more swayed by (admittedly
clever) Marketing, whereas I suspect the Linux folks are least affected:
o What is the most brilliant marketing move Apple ever made?

For me, facts _bolster_ my belief system
o More correctly, an adult logical assessment of those facts does

The people whose belief systems aren't based on actual facts
o But more so on (admittedly brilliant) marketing
Are the ones who, IMHO, are the ones most spouting their bullshit on Usenet
(e.g., people like "Snit", and "nospam", and "Chris", and "Lewis", etc.)

But even the Windows newsgroups has these types of people whose belief
systems are (apparently) backed up by exactly zero facts, where, they too
fail the most obvious of the simplest test of imaginary belief systems:
o Name just one

BTW, as a glaringly example of those who prove they can't possibly ever add
even one iota of adult value, you may note that Char Jackson just moments
ago made some of the most ridiculous claims humanly possible in this post
1. I could get attempt to reason with Char Jackson  
   (which would take a month, and he'd still never accept any facts)
2. I could just ignore his always utterly worthless posts
   (at the risk that _others_ would believe what he wrote)
(Pick one.)

Hence, I repeat I will ignore the aforementioned trolls in this thread.

Getting back to your on-topic calculations, I will agree that my quick
assessment of Paul's data in that sentence of the maximum for point to
point must be wrong - where I don't do "point to point" fixed setup design
all that often (actually, almost never).

What I do mostly is point to multipoint
o For example, I paint the pool or barn or distant driveway gate
o Or, I vastly increase the range of a standalone laptop or desktop

Where, all I need to do those tasks, reliably, & legally, are facts.

Hence, what I love is that you reamed me with facts.
o You can _always_ ream me with facts - as I love facts.

My belief system is based on facts!
o The one fact I'd love to know more about is the typical router power

If we compare these $100 "tranceivers" such as the ones Paul and I refer to
as the simple-to-use "Ubiquiti PowerBeam" transceivers ... they clearly can
transmit at least up to the legal limit in EIRP (isn't that correct, Dan?)

Luckily the math is easier for these PowerBeam radios since they're
essentially a one-part unit, where the radio, physically, is literally the
"horn" of the antenna itself, as they snap together into place such that
there is no "pigtail" accessible to the user; there is only Ethernet.

So while there _will_ be losses we didn't account for, they should be as
minimal as Ubiquiti could have made them for these units, don't you think?

Given the PowerBeams are cheap, light, small, and, most to the point, still
vastly more powerful than a typical similarly priced SOHO router, I'm glad
Paul picked up on this PowerBeam, as I would like to start by making it the
canonical suggestion for people on this newsgroup to start with, who want
to increase their range.

I based that mostly on the fact that the price (about $100 give or take)
for the entire unit is "about what they pay" for a typical SOHO router,
and, more importantly, because the installation is about as simple as it
gets (i.e., I assess setup to be about the same as for a typical router).

Just like a router, you sit it on a shelf (or bolt it to a pole), and you
plug in the cat5 cable to your computer - and you log in (ubnt/ubnt) to (as I recall), and you set it up:

o You just vastly increased your Wi-Fi range for your laptop/desktop/phone!
a. You either plug it into your laptop to get from the pool to the house
b. Or you paint the pool from the house so your laptop/phone works far away
All with the same router setup ease as what you have with a common router.

Either way (access point for your computer or network card for your
computer), for about what people here pay for their puny routers, they get
actual power (up to the legal power limit for your country).

BTW, let me ask you, Dan (or others), what's a "good name" to refer to what
I said above was a "network card"?

Here's what you're doing at the pool:
o You have the PowerBeam plugged into your laptop Ethernet port.
o That gives you the maximum point-to-multipoint power available
o For about the same price you pay today for a typical SOHO router

What would you 'call' that setup in a colloquial conversation?
(Pretty much, that's what most of the people were arguing about.)

Just like we say "aiming an antenna" or "balancing tires", everyone knows
what we're talking about, what would you call this setup in a colloquial
conversation (i.e., you only get a couple of words to play with)?

 As per FCC 15.247("Operation within the bands 909-928 MHz,
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This is nice to know about fixed point-to-point operation, where our WISP
who works with us need to know and deal with all of that.

While people on this ng 'can' set up a fixed point-to-point arrangement,
wouldn't you say, Dan, that the most common obvious usage of this
technology, for these computer newsgroups, would be point to multipoint,
where, as shown above, they can plop their laptop at the pool, which can be
hundreds of feet from the house, and still get good signal strength.

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This is very nice to know, Dan, as we "set up" point-to-point radios for
our WISP provider all the time - but where we simply use the settings they
give us to use. We also maintain the radios (e.g., we update the firmware,
and tweak settings, as per the WISP team; but we don't design the setup
itself anymore (we did in the past, but, as you can tell from all the spare
radios in the grandkids' playroom, we screwed up a lot before we finally
ended up with what we're using now on our rooftops.

For this group, I think we should mostly speak about point to multipoint,
since I can easily see everyone here possibly having a need to either
extend the range of the access points surrounding the house or to extend
the range of a single piece of computer equipment such as an Ethernet
enabled laptop or desktop.

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Thank you Dan, for pointing out a statement I made that I based on an
incorrect interpretation of the rules that Paul kindly provided.

I'm always eager to be reamed with actual facts that are materially

Adults form belief systems which should be based on facts.
o All my belief systems, are therefore, bolstered by facts.

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Thank you Dan for pointing that out, which, in the aforementioned reference
threads, I saw that Jeff Liebermann also pointed out.

In the case of the Powerbeams though, Dan, it seemed, at first, like it's
impossible to exceed the legal limits, since the transceiver is literally
part of the antenna (there is no pigtail, for example, accessible to the

However, in another post, Johann Beretta found an error in my assessment of
the facts, which I agree with, where he provided accurate information which
explained the following "can" happen if you wish to "lie" during the setup
(where I didn't consider such a bold-faced lie to even be possible).

For the device that Paul mentioned, which is described in this spec sheet:

The router "wireless" setup tab shows two options for the antenna:
a. Feed Only (2x2) 3 dBi
b. 400 (2x2) 25 dBi

When you select the first option, you can separately set the transmit power
to the maximum of 26 dBm, where you can't exceed the legal limits by doing

When you set the second option, which is just the feedhorn itself (which,
interestingly, will work just fine - but who would bother?) you can
increase the transmit power setting only to 12 dBM.  

As Johann Beretta noted:
 > Both options are legal as long as you select the TRUTHFUL option.  
 > It's perfectly legal to run a Powerbeam feedhorn in a standalone situation.
 > However, why the fuck anyone would ever do that is beyond me.
 > Nevertheless that doesn't change the fact that it is legal (if odd)  
 > to do so.
However, where you can get into trouble is when Johann noted:
 > It is absolutely illegal to LIE in the configuration and choose the Feed
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So, I stand corrected on my assessment that you can't set up the PowerBeam
to an illegal power settings - simply because it didn't occur to me that
people could/would lie on the router setup options.

So when people ask "are you buying licensed or unlicensed equipment", I'm
kind of wondering "why" they ask that, where, to me, it's sort of like them
asking "are you robbing banks" every time you purchase a ski mask.

Sure, you can purchase a ski mask and use it to rob banks, but, let's be
adults in this thread with purposefully helpful intent and let's stop
wasting our time accusing people of attempting to exceed legal limits.

What Dan Purgert & Johann Beretta proved with facts is that you "could" lie
in the router setup, which will enable you to exceed limits - but there's
no reason to do so (as far as I can tell), nor is there any desire to do
so. (Hence, wasting our time with accusations of robbing banks is something
people like "Good Guy" & "Diesel" & most of the apologists do - but adults
can generally add on topic value without playing their silly games).

However, this useful corrective discussion points out something useful to
share with the groups on this Usenet potluck - which is that this PowerBeam
is, perhaps, one of the best suggestions for people on this newsgroup who
want to try their hand at increasing their range, for about the same cost
they paying today for what I consider to be anemic box store consumer


For the remainder of _this_ discussion, I think we should concentrate on
those PowerBeams that Paul happened to astutely pick out of the bunch!
In that picture, the nanobeams and powerbeams are on the shelf since
they're pretty small (about the size of a large salad bowl, while the
rockets are on the floor (they're sturdy as all hell - where you'd be happy
to know those are all stainless steel bolts, for example, and there is
other wind & weatherproofing that you'll love to see when you see it).

The Bullets are even smaller in and of themselves (also at about $100)
 <https://www.ebay.com/i/264481061466 ($18 used)
But the Ubiquiti bullets need to be screwed directly to an antenna, so I
would only recommend, for this group, the bullets if they want to put an
omni (whip) antenna onto the bullet, which makes it really nice for the
middle of the house, for example, or if you want to walk around with a
bullet in your hands:

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Hmmm... Dan ... I'm ok with deferring to your knowledge, I really am.
But that means I must have read Paul's page 12 wrong then.

Can you help clarify why my take on this one line in Paul's reference,  
is different from yours with respect to this exact situation:
o PowerBeam M2 400, max 26dBm, antenna 18dBi

Paul's page 12 is titled "Maximum EIRP in 2.4 GHz", where the chart is for
"directional signals", and where line 5 of that chart (in dark blue) shows:
o Max Power = 26 dBm, Max Antenna Gain is 18dBi, EIRP is 44 dBm (25 Watts)

The PowerBeam M2 400 on my shelf fits that line perfectly.
o Is it that this chart is NOT showing what the legal limits are?

Another point where we seem to differ, although not by a lot, is what the
commonly available EIRP is of most home routers that are in this same $100
price range.

My research shows, for example, that the venerable (yet old) WRT54G is a
puny 14dBm or 15 dBm (as I recall from a prior post) plus about 2dBi or
3dBi from the omni antennas, which provides paltry range compared to, oh,
say, a 600mW bullet and 8 dBi omni attached, which is actually the same
size (or even smaller) than the WRT54G would be (although they're different
"things" since one has a switch attached while the other does only DHCP
over the one RJ45).

Note, for about the same price, the difference in range is huge, which,
after all, is what we're talking about extending in this thread.

By the way, since this thread is all about adding value as our contribution
to share with this Usenet potluck, I thank those below for their answers:

o Johann Beretta can 'see' visitor center access points 60 miles away

o pjp connects to his Internet over WiFi about 1 kilometer away LOS

o Gary connects to a neighborhood WiFi about 1/2 block away

o He experienced a dozen home in a valley connected to a single DSL  
o <

o Gavin uses only Ethernet

o Frank uses Ethernet because the speed is 3X for him

o Desktop isn't WiFi; but other computers are "right next" to the DSL modem

o Her desktop has no wifi while her WiFi router feeds the house fine

o "about 2 metre but sometimes as little as about 5 cm"

o "exactly 51 inches"

Note: This thread is perfect for two types of people above:
a. Those whose desktops do NOT have WiFi (they only need an RJ45 port)
b. Anyone who needs far greater WiFi range than what they already have

The goal of this thread is to (a) inform and (b) learn more about how
anyone with Ethernet-enabled computers can vastly extend their range.

Re: Just curious how far your Wi-Fi access point is from your desktop computer
On Wed, 16 Oct 2019 03:06:46 -0000 (UTC), Dan Purgert wrote:

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Hi Dan Purgert,

Thanks for reminding us the rules are different for...
o Point-to-MultiPoint [e.g., 2.4GHz is 36dBm (4watts)]
o Point-to-Point [e.g., 2.4GHz could be as high as 158 dB]
o Frequency (e.g., 5GHz has different rules per frequency band)
Based on
o Antenna gain (i.e., for Point-to-Point but not for multipoint)
As described here: <https://www.air802.com/fcc-rules-and-regulations.html
o And, of course, by country, as shown here:

But, it seems the US is always the best anyway...  
o Are they?

For example, for fixed Point-to-Point it's 1 watt (+30 dBm) minus 1 dB for
each 3 dB of antenna gain greater than 6 dBi
<FCC Part 15.247(b) and (c), and Part 15.407(a)>

So it's not just a single number.
o But it's my understanding that the radio won't "let" you exceed limits
(That understanding is literally from conversing with Ubiquiti support.)

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BTW, I said I wouldn't respond to trolls in this thread, but your post
"seemed" purposefully helpful, where I'm always glad to be reamed by facts
(I _love_ facts - and - in fact - I live and breathe by sharing and up
taking facts), so I decided to take the risk by responding to what seems
like a purposefully helpful post of yours above, in your implied intent).

I just searched since we had covered the fact that routers are atrociously
weak (they won't even tell you the power in most cases - you have to go
back to the FCC documents in many cases).

The first hit is this one:
o Power Levels and Amount of Radiation
But that didn't help much but explain what we already quibbled about.

This second hit looked more promising
o How to calculate increase of home wireless router range?

Where there was an interesting rule of thumb which can help people here
figure out much power they need.

For example, it was stated in that thread:
o 3 dB increases the range by 140%
And, it was stated in that thread:
o 6 dB doubles the range
So if you needed double the range, something like
o 10 dB will get you a reliable connection

Later on in that thread, these numbers came out for typical routers:
o  "typical models seem to run between 15 dBm and 20 dBm"

That thread said the classic WRT54G router is 28 mWatts (about 14 dBm)

Where this seemed to be a good rule of thumb for value calculation:
a) Power gain = Power2/Power1 = 251/28 milliwatts = 9x power gain
b) Range gain = sqrt(Power gain) = sqrt(9) = 3X range gain
c) Range = original range * range gain = 100 feet * 3 = 300 feet total

If we add the 2 dBi that this post from a very reliable person claims the
rubber ducky antenna gives us, we get about 14 dBm + 2 dBi = 16 dB for the  
classic WRT54G router.

I tried to find a listing on the net of the router specs, but they seem to
try to hide some of the most important comparitive information, like dB.

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Searching the Google archives, I find this thread about my radio:
o How many decibels does this router radio REALLY output?

There they discuss my radio, which turns out to be, for Paul an...
o Ubiquiti PowerBeam M2 400, which is only 26 decibels of transmit  
o into an 18dBi antenna, which is legal for point-to-multipoint

Again, I don't think the router software "can" exceed legal limits,
according to what I've seen from Ubiquiti support personnel, but, maybe
they can exceed limits - I don't know - I never needed them to since
they're powerful enough to paint what I need painted.

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While setting these powerful radios up is no more difficult than setting up
your much weaker SOHO router at home, I will repeat that it's my
understanding that you can't exceed the legal limits - based on what
Ubiquiti personal have told me...  

But if you can, then all I need are real facts, as I love facts, but I
don't do well with guesses since anyone can guess about anything they want.

I still think, from past experience on the net, from somewhere, that a
typical SOHO router is pretty damn weak - but I'll look up some to figure
out what I can find by way of FCC documents, which usually are the best
source for transmit power and antenna gain.

Thankfully, this thread begins to share how to improve our WiFi range.

Re: Just curious how far your Wi-Fi access point is from your desktop computer
Don't Feed the Troll!

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA

Re: Just curious how far your Wi-Fi access point is from your desktop computer
On Thu, 17 Oct 2019 21:20:27 -0400, Paul wrote:

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Hi Paul,

In summary, all pjp needs is to be able to "see" each antenna.

I agree you can go pretty far line of sight, as you just shared with us,
where I happen to live on a mountain surrounding Silicon Valley, where I
can likely see for more than 20, maybe 30 or more miles in some directions,
but only five or ten miles in others.

At WiFi frequencies, the distance pjp can attain will depend on how "clear"
his line of sight path is from the home to the RV.

If he can "see" the antenna, then, in our experience, the obstructions in
the Fresnel Zone aren't going to kill his signal, as long as he chooses a
powerful enough setup.

In the clear, I doubt there is a single Ubiquiti CPE radio that wouldn't
treat 1 kilometer as child's play though. A kilometer is nothing for WiFi.

What pjp needs, mainly, is simply the following:
a. A radio at his house that can see the radio at his RV.
b. A radio at his RV that can see the radio at the house.

I didn't think of this, until you brought up distances, but pjp doesn't
really even need AC power at the RV since these radios are about as
flexible as anything on this planet when it comes to power supplies.

They're usually able to handle from about 12 VDC to about 24 VDC at about 1
amp to 2 amps peak, which, if pjp only wants the radio working when he's
literally sitting in the RV, he can do by mooching off the RV battery.

I haven't ever needed to do that; but it sure seems possible (and, if not,
one of the folks on this ng will be glad to ream me with facts).

The main requirement pjp needs is each radio has to each the other.
o The radios are about $100 (give or take) depending on the radio

For example: <https://www.ui.com/products/
o Bullet <https://www.ui.com/airmax/bullet-ac/
o LiteBeam <https://www.ui.com/airmax/litebeam-ac-gen2/
o NanoBeam <https://www.ui.com/airmax/nanobeam-ac-gen2/
o PowerBeam <https://www.ui.com/airmax/powerbeam-ac-gen2/

I've never used them, but maybe these "nanostation" pairs would work:

They're designed to mount with "no tools" (or so they say).

Re: Just curious how far your Wi-Fi access point is from your desktop computer
On Fri, 18 Oct 2019 05:19:14 -0000 (UTC), Arlen _G_ Holder

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  If the system/signal is circular polarized, the Fresnel  
  zone will have no effect, because a deflected circular  
  polarized signal changes rotation upon deflection and the  
  result is to become virtually invisible to the receiver,  
  regardless of whether it arrives in phase or out of phase.  
  For example, a RHCP signal that hits a street, or a wall,  
  or anything else, then becomes a LHCP signal, and is  
  therefore invisible to the RHCP receiving antenna, regardless  
  of whether it arrives at the receiver in-phase or out-of-phase.  

In other words, if you happen to be using circular (or at least
elliptical) polarization on your link, you can forget about the
Fresnel Zone.  Most Wi-Fi hardware uses linear (vertical and
horizontal) polarization.  With linear polarization, the problem is
that at various radii from the direct line of sight, the direct signal
cancels with a reflected wave, forming "rings" of high and low signal
levels.  The rings with no signal or total cancellation are where the
reflected path is some multiple of 1/2 wavelength longer than the
incident path.  This does NOT happen with circular polarization, where
the polarization changes "sense", where the polarization changed from
(for example) RHCP to LHCP when reflected.  The receive antenna "sees"
both the incident RHCP wave, as well as the LHCP reflected wave.
However, since the receive antenna cannot hear the wrong "sense", it
only "sees" the incident RHCP wave and no cancellation occurs.  So, if
you want to build a link that isn't ruined by Fresnel Zone effects,
think circular polarization.

Also, if your path goes from a mountain top, to ground level in a
valley, and you have to deal with a temperature inversion layer,
chances are good that when the inversion layer is particularly
noticeable and at some specific altitude, the signal will disappear
for a while when it decides to wander off along the inversion line.
You might be able to visually see the other end of the link, but can't
get a decent RF signal along the same path.

Also, please consider the effects of fade margin or system operating
margin.  This is how much stronger the signal happens to be than some
reference level, usually somewhere near a minimum usable signal level
or BER (bit error rate).  This fade margin statistically translates to
the amount of time per year your link will be down.
    SOM      Reliability     Downtime
     dB        Percent       per year
      8         90           876   hrs
     18         99            88   hrs
     28         99.9           8.8 hrs
     38         99.99         53   mins
     48         99.999         5.3 mins
     58         99.9999       32   secs
For wi-fi, I like 20dB as a good but arbitrary fade margin for

Lastly, the various link calculations and data sheet specifications
tend to be for the BEST case situation.  In other words, reality sucks
and your results will follow accordingly.  Whatever happens along the
path, environment, or with the equipment, will ALWAYS increase losses
and decrease range.  I can post (for find in the Usenet archives) how
I do a link calculation if anyone wants it.

Note:  I had some surgery Monday, am recovering normally, but feeling
lousy.  I need some time to recover.  Please forgive me if I don't
reply to questions and comments immediately.

Bah Humbug(tm).
Jeff Liebermann     snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D    http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Just curious how far your Wi-Fi access point is from your desktop computer
On Fri, 18 Oct 2019 08:26:47 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

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Hi Jeff,

I hope you feel better.  

Thanks for the details on the Fresnel Zone calculations.
o Obviously all our stuff is typical Ubiquiti CPE

We often push through foliage, but, of course, we prefer not to.
o And even then, only for short distances or sparse foliage

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It's nice to know that the polarizations matter.

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We're only using Ubiquiti (& some old Surfnet Mikrotik) wifi CPE stuff.

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This "inversion layer" may be why some paths, which are about the same in
length (all less than ten miles for example), have vastly different signal
strength using the same rooftop devices to the same source access point.

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In my situation, I'm only about 6 miles from the WiFi AP, where I generally
get about -55 dBm on a Rocket M5 which, for me, is good enough.

It's mountain top to mountain top, so I'm not sure "if" an inversion layer
is involved, as the heights are within a thousand feet or so of each other.

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I don't profess to understand this stuff like you and Johann Beretta do,
but what I "think" you're calling the fade margin is what I colloquially
refer to as the "headroom", which is that I strive for a dozen decibels
above what works.

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I'll take 20 decibels above a working signal any day!

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On this, I fully agree with you, in that, for example, the nanobridge M2
"should" work, and 'does' work, but for various degrees of "work".

When we went from the NanoBridge M2 to the NanoBeam M2, all of a sudden,
with no other change, we got 3 to 8 decibels better signal strength. Who
knows why or how.

Then, over time, we went to the much bigger Rockets, where we progressed
from the M2 to the M5 due to noise considerations, where, at the moment, at
about 6 miles distance for our WiFi access point, the Rocket M5 with a 34
dBi dish (maybe it's a 30 dBi dish?), our signal is fine at around -50 dBm
with good quality metrics and noise floors around 104dBm (as I recall).

Heck, since I feel uncomfortable guessing, let me log into the rooftop
radio and take a peek (I hate that "certificate error" we get every time)
o Signal strength = -56 dBM (chain0/chain1 -58/-59dBm
o Noise Floor = -104 dBm
o Transmit CCQ = 76.5%
o TX/RX Rate = 144.444 Mbps / 144.444 Mbps
o airMAX = enabled
o airMAX Quality = 97%
o airMAX Capacity = 75%

That has no problem using a WiFi access point about 5 to 6 miles away.

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I looked up a few articles on how far people push through foliage.

Here's the first hit explaining that "it's complex":
  "foliage attenuation is a function of a multitude of parameters,
including frequency, foliage depth, tree types, foliage thickness, leaf
density, leaf size, branches, trunks, humidity, wind speed, height of the
tree relative to the antenna heights, path length through foliage, etc."

Lots of forum threads talk about WiFi penetration of foliage:
o Effect of Wind on Foliage Obstructed Line-of-Sight Channel at 2.5 GHz
o Ubiquiti Nanostation M2 & M5 penetration of 1.1km and 7 treetops
o 500 meters of foliage
o Networking over 0.5km with trees in line of sight
o How severe is the attenuation of trees?
o 2.5 KM link(right tools) through trees
o High throughput foliage penetration
o Outdoor wifi through wooded area
o Device Selection for Tree Penetration?  
o Another 5ghz trees question
o Best Wi-Fi frequency for penetrating woods
o 2 kilometers with 500 meters of forest in between
o How much signal do Trees block?
o Non line of sight (NLOS) considerations for wireless  
o Any Ubiquiti equipment able to punch through trees?
o WiFi to gate camera through trees
o Ubiquiti Nanobeam for Point-to-Point wireless through some trees?
o Long range (1000') outdoor WiFi connection transmission question
o Does *anything* work through trees ?
o Need to make a link over tree covered terrain
o WISP and the love of Trees and Rural

In the end, we just pop up a radio on each end and try it out.

We check signal strength, and, if it's good, we leave it working.
If not, then we deal with changing things around.

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Please get better.  

You've helped advise us many times over the years, which we appreciate.

If only the trolls would disappear, Usenet would be a lot more valuable.

Asking questions & sharing useful information on Usenet for decades.

Re: Just curious how far your Wi-Fi access point is from your desktop computer
On 10/20/2019 10:38 PM, Arlen _G_ Holder wrote:
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PerhSps they would if you STFU about them/  Maybe it is self inflicted.

Re: Just curious how far your Wi-Fi access point is from your desktop computer
It seems that  recently said:  

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Jeeez. You dont realize you are the trolls that should stfu you idiots.

Re: Just curious how far your Wi-Fi access point is from your desktop computer
On 10/21/2019 1:35 PM, Elder Jones wrote:
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If Arlen stops his silly stuff I'd stop too.  He has to show his  
superiority.  Just as you had to reply.  See how it works.

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