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Boosting wifi signal

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Boosting wifi signal

Postby Gargoyle » Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:45 pm

Here's my setup- the cams are about 100 and 120 feet from my router. My laptop still shows 2 bars of signal, and it can connect, but that's not enough for the cams, so I put a range extender half way in between, so now they are about 20 to 60 feet from the range extender. Now I can see a full 5 bars of signal at the cameras. I also added 7dB antennas on 5 foot extension cables, and mounted the antennas up high so they have a clean shot at the range extender- the only thing in between are branches of a pine tree.

The camera at 40 feet (an 8910) from the range extender connects adequately, although it stutters and regularly drops signal for a few seconds. The one at 60 feet (an 8905) can not connect at all- the ip camera tool doesn't see it. When I had it at 50 feet it worked as well as the other one; moving it the extra 10 feet in a straight line, nothing new in the way of the signal, killed it.

To repeat, my laptop sees 5 full bars of signal. The range extender has two 9dB antenna, the cameras have 7dB antennas. It seems there is an inherent weakness in these cameras that they need an incredibly strong wifi signal to even appear on the ip camera tool.

Is there anything else I can do to boost it?
Gargoyle
 
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Re: Boosting wifi signal

Postby Gargoyle » Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:40 pm

Update- I upgraded the 8905 from the 11.25.2.44 firmware to the .46 firmware, changed the direction the router antenna were pointing, and switched the camera from a 7dB antenna on a 5 foot extension cord to a 9db screwed directly into the camera. Not sure which of these actions did the trick, but its working now.

The reason I had a 7dB on an extension, when the extension does cause some power loss, was to get the antenna outside in the open. Without that the antenna is behind some wire fencing, and I thought that could interfere; however either that isn't the case, or the 9dB without an extension is much stronger.
Gargoyle
 
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Re: Boosting wifi signal

Postby Gargoyle » Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:29 pm

Further followup- this thing is so touchy, it's frustrating. It worked pretty solidly all day, but I needed to adjust the aim of the cam this evening. Moved it just a little; only enough to move the tip of the antenna (its a pretty long one, about 14" long) by 1/2 inch. During the day the last 1/2" poked out through the metal fencing, this pulled it in and I lost the signal. Readjusted the antenna, poked an inch out through the fencing, but now it was 2" further from the range extender than before. No luck.

Rebooted the camera. Rebooted the range extender. The other cam coming through that range extender continues working fine. Switched to the other antenna. Switched back, this time reorienting the antenna so 2" stick out through the fencing. Nothing is working.

Is the internal wifi circuitry that flaky on these things?

Any suggestions are more than welcome!
_______________________
edit to add: I brought the cam inside, plugged it in about 20' from the range extender and it came on. I took it back out, plugged it in and it was working; unfortunately the aim was off, I had to adjust it a tiny bit, barely moved the antenna and lost the signal. After a reboot and repositioning of the antenna I finally got it working again, but it is quite intermittent. It probably appears in the IP camera tool for about 10 or 20 seconds out of every minute.
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Re: Boosting wifi signal

Postby CamUser » Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:17 am

You must have some kind of interference.

I have an 8918 in a shed about 60-70' from the house that works fine. Shed has a metal roof. Inside the house is a dLink router set as an access point with an auxiliary antenna.

What else do you have running on 2.4Ghz?
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Re: Boosting wifi signal

Postby Gargoyle » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:21 pm

your setup sounds pretty similar to mine, except that I have the range extender. I'm guessing 30' from the router to the extender, and perhaps 50 to 75 feet from the extender to the camera. The extender has two antennae, a 7db and a 9db.

nothing else on 2.4Ghz. My portable phones are 6.0

The laptop shows 5 bars and connects fine from the same location. The area where I have the camera is enclosed with chain link and 1/2" welded wire, I tried the 7dB antenna on a post 4 feet above all that, with a straight shot to the router- nothing in between but trees.

I lowered the security from WPA2/TPIK to WEP and that improved the connection considerably. I'm now connecting pretty well with the 9dB antenna inside the fenced area, so the signal has to travel through the fence. (I don't have an extension cable for that antenna, the 7dB came with a built in 2 meter extension cable).

When it was on WPA2 the IP camera tool couldn't even see the camera.
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Re: Boosting wifi signal

Postby TheUberOverLord » Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:32 pm

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Re: Boosting wifi signal

Postby CamUser » Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:25 pm

Gargoyle wrote:The area where I have the camera is enclosed with chain link and 1/2" welded wire, I tried the 7dB antenna on a post 4 feet above all that, with a straight shot to the router- nothing in between but trees.



Ohh, geeze, you've got it inside a Faraday Cage (of sorts).

The reception or transmission of radio waves, a form of electromagnetic radiation, to or from an antenna within a Faraday cage are heavily attenuated or blocked by a Faraday cage.




The raised antenna above it should help, but 2.4Ghz doesn't like trees very well either. Maybe reposition the antenna?


I'm not sure how the encryption type affected signal strength, but whatever works I guess.
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Re: Boosting wifi signal

Postby Gargoyle » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:11 pm

OK, I downloaded the inSSIDer tool- neat.

I'm on several acres, there is a neighbors house perhaps 250 feet from my cameras. I can pick up his wifi from the cameras.

Here's what I'm getting:
my range extender. Channel 3+7 rssi -79 max rate 300
My router. Channel 3 rssi -90 max rate 18
Neighbors router. Channel 6 rssi 91 max rate 54

What is with my router showing two channels, 3+7?
Is the fact that it shares channel 3 with my router normal, since they are on the same network?

Per wikipedia, "the higher the RSSI number (or less negative in some devices), the stronger the signal. So the strongest signal is the range extender.
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Re: Boosting wifi signal

Postby Gargoyle » Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:00 am

Update- I lowered the FPS to 15 on the camera nearer the router, and to 10 on the camera that is further away, and since I did that the image and connection has been pretty reliable and steady. (fingers crossed, I hope I don't jinx it by saying that).
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