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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-27-2008, 11:34 PM
dgates
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

Currently, we have two DSL lines:

EAST SIDE OF HOUSE: in an add-on "office" room separated by thick
walls). This DSL line leads to a Linksys WRT150N router, which is
connected one computer and three TiVos.

WEST SIDE OF HOUSE: in the living room. This DSL line leads to a
Linksys WRT300N router, which is connected to one laptop, and one
color printer.

We are about to get rid of Line #2, the DSL line in the living room,
leaving only the DSL line in the office, and we would like all devices
to be connected to that one router. However, the wireless signal gets
very weak as it travels through the thick walls of the add-on room and
across the house.

Can we increase that signal -- either by boosting it at the source, or
by adding something like a "repeater" somewhere in the middle of the
house?


Years ago, we had some kind of "booster" device that connected
directly to our old router. The old router had removable antennae,
and this booster device sat right on top of it, connected to the
router by two wires. The booster looked almost exactly like the
router -- blue, and about the same size. It had its own antennae.

I notice that the antennae don't come off of our current WRT150N, so
that might hurt the "booster" idea.


Another solution...? We're about to have a spare WRT300N just sitting
around. Perhaps we could park that somewhere in the middle of the
house and it could pass the signal along...?

However, I've heard comments like "Adding a repeater splits the signal
in half."


The number one use for our bandwidth, by a longshot, will be from the
computer in the office, the one about six feet from the WRT150N. The
only other devices that might even come close would be the TiVos --
say, if we watch YouTube videos, or decide to watch a Netflix movie on
demand.


I hope I've provided enough information for someone to help us with
our choice. Do we already have all the devices we need, or do we need
to buy some additional "booster" or "repeater?"


Thanks in advance.

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 12-27-2008, 11:48 PM
John Navas
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

On Sat, 27 Dec 2008 16:34:51 -0800, dgates <dgates@somedomain.com> wrote
in <j1idl4lgom027c2jb6fnr6jvc8n1adcop0@4ax.com>:

>Currently, we have two DSL lines:
>
>EAST SIDE OF HOUSE: in an add-on "office" room separated by thick
>walls). This DSL line leads to a Linksys WRT150N router, which is
>connected one computer and three TiVos.
>
>WEST SIDE OF HOUSE: in the living room. This DSL line leads to a
>Linksys WRT300N router, which is connected to one laptop, and one
>color printer.
>
>We are about to get rid of Line #2, the DSL line in the living room,
>leaving only the DSL line in the office, and we would like all devices
>to be connected to that one router. However, the wireless signal gets
>very weak as it travels through the thick walls of the add-on room and
>across the house.
>
>Can we increase that signal -- either by boosting it at the source, or
>by adding something like a "repeater" somewhere in the middle of the
>house?


Best solution: Use powerline networking to connect the WRT300N as an
access point (not router) in the living room to the WRT150N in the
office. Put them on non-overlapping channels with the same SSID.

Repeaters cut speed in half by retransmitting everything, and can be a
security hassle.

--
Very best wishes for the holiday season and for the coming new year,
John

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 12-28-2008, 05:23 AM
=?iso-8859-1?Q?Ari=AE?=
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

On Sat, 27 Dec 2008 16:48:20 -0800, John Navas wrote:

> On Sat, 27 Dec 2008 16:34:51 -0800, dgates <dgates@somedomain.com> wrote
> in <j1idl4lgom027c2jb6fnr6jvc8n1adcop0@4ax.com>:
>
>>Currently, we have two DSL lines:
>>
>>EAST SIDE OF HOUSE: in an add-on "office" room separated by thick
>>walls). This DSL line leads to a Linksys WRT150N router, which is
>>connected one computer and three TiVos.
>>
>>WEST SIDE OF HOUSE: in the living room. This DSL line leads to a
>>Linksys WRT300N router, which is connected to one laptop, and one
>>color printer.
>>
>>We are about to get rid of Line #2, the DSL line in the living room,
>>leaving only the DSL line in the office, and we would like all devices
>>to be connected to that one router. However, the wireless signal gets
>>very weak as it travels through the thick walls of the add-on room and
>>across the house.
>>
>>Can we increase that signal -- either by boosting it at the source, or
>>by adding something like a "repeater" somewhere in the middle of the
>>house?

>
> Best solution: Use powerline networking to connect the WRT300N as an
> access point (not router) in the living room to the WRT150N in the
> office. Put them on non-overlapping channels with the same SSID.
>
> Repeaters cut speed in half by retransmitting everything, and can be a
> security hassle.


http://bluwiki.com/go/WirelessPenisNavas

John, what is all of that about?
--
Meet Ari! http://tr.im/1fa3
"To get concrete results, you have to be confrontational".

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 12-28-2008, 07:48 AM
Jeff Liebermann
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

On Sat, 27 Dec 2008 16:34:51 -0800, dgates <dgates@somedomain.com>
wrote:

12:30AM. My appologies if my brain is not quite functional.

>Currently, we have two DSL lines:
>
>EAST SIDE OF HOUSE: in an add-on "office" room separated by thick
>walls).


Thick walls are bad for RF.

>This DSL line leads to a Linksys WRT150N router, which is
>connected one computer and three TiVos.
>
>WEST SIDE OF HOUSE: in the living room. This DSL line leads to a
>Linksys WRT300N router, which is connected to one laptop, and one
>color printer.
>
>We are about to get rid of Line #2, the DSL line in the living room,
>leaving only the DSL line in the office, and we would like all devices
>to be connected to that one router. However, the wireless signal gets
>very weak as it travels through the thick walls of the add-on room and
>across the house.


Yep. This is not a good use for wireless. Some other method of
connecting the two routers will be necessary.

>Can we increase that signal -- either by boosting it at the source, or
>by adding something like a "repeater" somewhere in the middle of the
>house?


Nope.
1. It probably won't go thorugh the thick wall any better. Increasing
the power at one end of the link doesn't magically do the same for the
other end. You would need two of these repeaters (one at each router)
in order for it to work.
2. MIMO (802.11n) doesn't like repeaters. That's another reason why
the antennas are non-removeable. MIMO requires seperate paths between
the antennas with slightly different delays. Unfortunately this only
increases the speed, not the range. As soon as you have a marginal
signal quality, the wireless access point will revert to 802.11g
speeds ( <54mbits/sec). If the signal quality really sucks, then it
can easily go down to 802.11b speeds, and finally hit bottom at
1Mbit/sec.
3. Store and forward repeaters reduce the maximum speed by half for
each hop. Actually, it's usually worse than half. I don't think
you'll like that.

>Years ago, we had some kind of "booster" device that connected
>directly to our old router. The old router had removable antennae,
>and this booster device sat right on top of it, connected to the
>router by two wires. The booster looked almost exactly like the
>router -- blue, and about the same size. It had its own antennae.


Those are still around. As previously mentioned, you'll need one at
each end. Even so, I don't think it will work through the thick wall.

>I notice that the antennae don't come off of our current WRT150N, so
>that might hurt the "booster" idea.


Yep. MIMO (802.11n) routers usually do that.

>Another solution...? We're about to have a spare WRT300N just sitting
>around. Perhaps we could park that somewhere in the middle of the
>house and it could pass the signal along...?


Sure, lots of alternatives. Have your credit card handy.

>However, I've heard comments like "Adding a repeater splits the signal
>in half."


It reduces the MAXIMUM speed in half (or less). For example, if you
manage to squeeze a 12Mbit/sec wireless direct connection through your
thick wall, you'll get a theoretical maximum thruput (50% reduction
due to protocol overhead). Add a repeater in the middle, and you cut
that in half again for a maximum thruput of 3Mbits/sec. As I
mentioned, that's under ideal conditions and is usually somewhat less.

>The number one use for our bandwidth, by a longshot, will be from the
>computer in the office, the one about six feet from the WRT150N. The
>only other devices that might even come close would be the TiVos --
>say, if we watch YouTube videos, or decide to watch a Netflix movie on
>demand.


That's a fairly typical mix. Netflix is a big bandwidth user.

>I hope I've provided enough information for someone to help us with
>our choice. Do we already have all the devices we need, or do we need
>to buy some additional "booster" or "repeater?"


Yeah, fairly good description. The distance between the two routers
would have been useful. Some suggestions:

1. Run CAT5 ethernet cable between the two routers. This is the best
and fastest alternative. The WRT150N goes to the DSL modem and gets
to play router. The WRT300N acts as an ethernet switch, wireless
access point, and has the router section disabled. Note that any
wireless router can be uses as an access point:
<http://wireless.navas.us/wiki/Wi-Fi_How_To#Use_a_wireless_router_as_a_wireless_acce ss_point>
Having a wireless connection at each end of the house might be handy
if you have laptops and PDA's with wireless. Also, put the two
wireless routers on different non-overlapping channels (1, 6, 11) so
that they don't interefere with each other.

2. If you have any other runs of wire between routers (i.e. phone
wire, 25 pair bundle, alarm wire, CATV coax, zip cord, junk wire,
barbed wire, etc), you can run ethernet over the 4 wires. Various
common technologies are:
- HomePNA phone line networking
- HomePlug power line networking
- 10Base2 ethernet over coax cable
- 10baseT ethernet over CAT5 or whatever else you can scrounge.
Just about any kind of wire can be bludgeoned into carrying ethernet.
There's also fiber optic cable and media converters, which will work
if you have access to a source of cheap fiber.

I don't wanna explain how all of these work and are used. If one or
more looks interesting, post a reply and I'll fill in the blanks.

--
Jeff Liebermann jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558

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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 12-28-2008, 10:51 PM
dgates
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

On Sun, 28 Dec 2008 00:48:52 -0800, Jeff Liebermann <jeffl@cruzio.com>
wrote:

>On Sat, 27 Dec 2008 16:34:51 -0800, dgates <dgates@somedomain.com>
>wrote:
>
>12:30AM. My appologies if my brain is not quite functional.
>
>>Currently, we have two DSL lines:
>>
>>EAST SIDE OF HOUSE: in an add-on "office" room separated by thick
>>walls).

>
>Thick walls are bad for RF.
>
>>This DSL line leads to a Linksys WRT150N router, which is
>>connected one computer and three TiVos.
>>
>>WEST SIDE OF HOUSE: in the living room. This DSL line leads to a
>>Linksys WRT300N router, which is connected to one laptop, and one
>>color printer.
>>
>>We are about to get rid of Line #2, the DSL line in the living room,
>>leaving only the DSL line in the office, and we would like all devices
>>to be connected to that one router. However, the wireless signal gets
>>very weak as it travels through the thick walls of the add-on room and
>>across the house.

>
>Yep. This is not a good use for wireless. Some other method of
>connecting the two routers will be necessary.
>
>>Can we increase that signal -- either by boosting it at the source, or
>>by adding something like a "repeater" somewhere in the middle of the
>>house?

>
>Nope.
>1. It probably won't go thorugh the thick wall any better.


I may have overstated the "thick walls." The primary thick wall is
the one (well, two) separating the add-on office from the rest of the
house.

This morning, I walked around the house, checking how well the signal
strength from the east side of the house (the add-on office) carried
to the other rooms. I measured off the numbers reported by the TiVos,
and by the laptop as I moved it to the two rooms it tends to visit.

Here are the results (and what device reported each result).

East (office):
"94% (excellent)" from a TiVo.

Middle (family & dining room):
"64% (good)" from a TiVo
"2 out of 5 bars" from a laptop

West (living room):
"2 out of 5 bars" from a laptop

South (exercise room):
"41% (marginal)" from a TiVo


>1. (cont'd) Increasing
>the power at one end of the link doesn't magically do the same for the
>other end. You would need two of these repeaters (one at each router)
>in order for it to work.


Maybe I misunderstood how a booster would work. I assume that it's
analogous to one guy yelling to another guy. If you boost the volume
of the yelling guy's voice, you don't need to also boost the other
guy's hearing. No?


>2. MIMO (802.11n) doesn't like repeaters. That's another reason why
>the antennas are non-removeable. MIMO requires separate paths between
>the antennas with slightly different delays. Unfortunately this only
>increases the speed, not the range. As soon as you have a marginal
>signal quality, the wireless access point will revert to 802.11g
>speeds ( <54mbits/sec).


Interesting, now that you mention "marginal" and "G" in the same
sentence. I believe that the TiVo's wireless antenna is only a "G" in
the first place.


>If the signal quality really sucks, then it
>can easily go down to 802.11b speeds, and finally hit bottom at
>1Mbit/sec.
>3. Store and forward repeaters reduce the maximum speed by half for
>each hop. Actually, it's usually worse than half. I don't think
>you'll like that.
>
>>Years ago, we had some kind of "booster" device that connected
>>directly to our old router. The old router had removable antennae,
>>and this booster device sat right on top of it, connected to the
>>router by two wires. The booster looked almost exactly like the
>>router -- blue, and about the same size. It had its own antennae.

>
>Those are still around. As previously mentioned, you'll need one at
>each end. Even so, I don't think it will work through the thick wall.
>
>>I notice that the antennae don't come off of our current WRT150N, so
>>that might hurt the "booster" idea.

>
>Yep. MIMO (802.11n) routers usually do that.
>
>>Another solution...? We're about to have a spare WRT300N just sitting
>>around. Perhaps we could park that somewhere in the middle of the
>>house and it could pass the signal along...?

>
>Sure, lots of alternatives. Have your credit card handy.


I'm about to reply to John Navas's reply, in which he recommends
powerline networking. I gather that would cost a little bit.


>>However, I've heard comments like "Adding a repeater splits the signal
>>in half."

>
>It reduces the MAXIMUM speed in half (or less). For example, if you
>manage to squeeze a 12Mbit/sec wireless direct connection through your
>thick wall, you'll get a theoretical maximum thruput (50% reduction
>due to protocol overhead). Add a repeater in the middle, and you cut
>that in half again for a maximum thruput of 3Mbits/sec. As I
>mentioned, that's under ideal conditions and is usually somewhat less.


Hmm. I'm not good at doing these conversions. The last I checked,
our DSL speed was 384k-1.5M/128k-256k, and DSLReports.com just told me
I was doing 1,271 up and 314 down.

Our DSL speed is probably an important factor for most of the
transfering we'll be doing (something from the internet to a computer
or a TiVo). I'm pretty sure that TiVo-to-TiVo transfers will be less
than 5% of our usage.

I mention all this in case it affects your thinking in terms of the
numbers.


>>The number one use for our bandwidth, by a longshot, will be from the
>>computer in the office, the one about six feet from the WRT150N. The
>>only other devices that might even come close would be the TiVos --
>>say, if we watch YouTube videos, or decide to watch a Netflix movie on
>>demand.

>
>That's a fairly typical mix. Netflix is a big bandwidth user.
>
>>I hope I've provided enough information for someone to help us with
>>our choice. Do we already have all the devices we need, or do we need
>>to buy some additional "booster" or "repeater?"

>
>Yeah, fairly good description. The distance between the two routers
>would have been useful.


I should mention that there's no particular reason the WRT300N router
has to stay on the far west side of the house once we disconnect the
DSL line over there. In fact, I was thinking it should go somewhere
in the middle of the house, somewhere that it can wirelessly receive
the signal from the other router, and be located centrally enough to
transmit it around to the other devices.

Rough estimate of distances...

East: DSL Modem. Signal starts here.

Go through 2 thick walls (or through a door and around a couple
corners).

Middle: 25 feet away in a straight line (through thick walls). Or
about 40 feet, through the door and around corners.

West: About 20 feet further than Middle.

South: 25 to 30 feet away from Middle. It may also get a more direct
signal from the first router shooting out one window, around a single
corner and in another window. So, rather than traveling about 60 or
70 feet through thick walls, the signal might have a shorter path
going out the window and about 40 feet.


25' or 40'

West -- 20' -- Middle --| |-- East
| | |
| ----
25'
|
|
South


I hope that conveys it.


>Some suggestions:
>
>1. Run CAT5 ethernet cable between the two routers. This is the best
>and fastest alternative.


This might be a good idea, although I'm not sure what you mean by
"fastest." It would surely take longer to go under the house (or pay
someone to go under the house) and run CAT5 ethernet cable than to
just stick the WRT300N router in the middle of the house and let it
receive the signal wirelessly.

Or, by "fastest," do you mean the solution that would provide the
fastest transfer speeds once we get it wired up?


>The WRT150N goes to the DSL modem and gets
>to play router. The WRT300N acts as an ethernet switch, wireless
>access point, and has the router section disabled. Note that any
>wireless router can be uses as an access point:
><http://wireless.navas.us/wiki/Wi-Fi_How_To#Use_a_wireless_router_as_a_wireless_acce ss_point>


Bookmarked. Thank you. Does that only work if the second wireless
router gets its signal from a cable, rather than wirelessly?


>Having a wireless connection at each end of the house might be handy
>if you have laptops and PDA's with wireless. Also, put the two
>wireless routers on different non-overlapping channels (1, 6, 11) so
>that they don't interefere with each other.


I'll have to read up on setting channels, but I suspect it'll be easy
enough.

(Having just looked at the Linksys admin screens under "Wireless >
Basic Wireless Settings," I see that I'll have to set Radio Band to
either Standard or Wide, rather than Auto, then manually set the
Standard and/or Wide Channels.)


>2. If you have any other runs of wire between routers (i.e. phone
>wire, 25 pair bundle, alarm wire, CATV coax, zip cord, junk wire,
>barbed wire, etc), you can run ethernet over the 4 wires. Various
>common technologies are:
>- HomePNA phone line networking
>- HomePlug power line networking
>- 10Base2 ethernet over coax cable
>- 10baseT ethernet over CAT5 or whatever else you can scrounge.
>Just about any kind of wire can be bludgeoned into carrying ethernet.
>There's also fiber optic cable and media converters, which will work
>if you have access to a source of cheap fiber.
>
>I don't wanna explain how all of these work and are used. If one or
>more looks interesting, post a reply and I'll fill in the blanks.


I probably need just a little more convincing that there isn't a
wireless way to do this, perhaps as easily as moving the second router
to the middle of the house.

If a wired run is truly the best way to do it, then I'm still favoring
the method that doesn't involve someone going under the house.
Powerline networking sounds good...

And I guess, with that cue, I should continue these thoughts in a
reply to John Navas's Powerline-themed message.


I hope I haven't talked your ear off. And perhaps you can help me
with the final decision:

Can I meet all my needs with no new cabling and no new devices, simply
by putting the WRT300N router in the middle of the house? Or will I
suffer over the longterm enough that it's worth spending some money
(perhaps to have a professional run an ethernet cable from the east to
west side of our house)?

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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 12-28-2008, 10:57 PM
dgates
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

On Sat, 27 Dec 2008 16:48:20 -0800, John Navas
<spamfilter1@navasgroup.com> wrote:

>On Sat, 27 Dec 2008 16:34:51 -0800, dgates <dgates@somedomain.com> wrote
>in <j1idl4lgom027c2jb6fnr6jvc8n1adcop0@4ax.com>:
>
>>Currently, we have two DSL lines:
>>
>>EAST SIDE OF HOUSE: in an add-on "office" room separated by thick
>>walls). This DSL line leads to a Linksys WRT150N router, which is
>>connected one computer and three TiVos.
>>
>>WEST SIDE OF HOUSE: in the living room. This DSL line leads to a
>>Linksys WRT300N router, which is connected to one laptop, and one
>>color printer.
>>
>>We are about to get rid of Line #2, the DSL line in the living room,
>>leaving only the DSL line in the office, and we would like all devices
>>to be connected to that one router. However, the wireless signal gets
>>very weak as it travels through the thick walls of the add-on room and
>>across the house.
>>
>>Can we increase that signal -- either by boosting it at the source, or
>>by adding something like a "repeater" somewhere in the middle of the
>>house?

>
>Best solution: Use powerline networking to connect the WRT300N as an
>access point (not router) in the living room to the WRT150N in the
>office. Put them on non-overlapping channels with the same SSID.
>
>Repeaters cut speed in half by retransmitting everything, and can be a
>security hassle.



Thank you for the reply.

I have some extra detail to offer about our house, and also some extra
questions. But I find that I've already typed most of it in my reply
to Jeff Liebermann's post.

Still, I should ask:

If I tell you that the WRT300N router doesn't have to stay on the far
west side of the house, and that by moving it to the middle of the
house, it will get a not-bad wireless signal from the WRT150N router,
does that change your recommendation?

I'll paste my ASCII diagram, along with a summary of what signal
strength is carried along to each room.


================================================== ==========


East: DSL Modem. Signal starts here.

Middle: 25 feet away in a straight line (through thick walls). Or
about 40 feet, through the door and around corners.

West: About 20 feet further than Middle.

South: 25 to 30 feet away from Middle.


25' or 40'

West -- 20' -- Middle --| |-- East
| | |
| ----
25'
|
|
South


East (office):
"94% (excellent)" from a TiVo.

Middle (family & dining room):
"64% (good)" from a TiVo
"2 out of 5 bars" from a laptop

West (living room):
"2 out of 5 bars" from a laptop

South (exercise room):
"41% (marginal)" from a TiVo


================================================== ==========

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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2008, 05:16 AM
Jeff Liebermann
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

On Sun, 28 Dec 2008 15:51:07 -0800, dgates <dgates@somedomain.com>
wrote:

>I may have overstated the "thick walls." The primary thick wall is
>the one (well, two) separating the add-on office from the rest of the
>house.


Never mind the over or under statements. How many walls? What are
the walls made from? Any aluminium foil backed insulation in the
walls?

Rule of thumb: 1 wall is usually no problem. 2 walls are a problem
but can be made to work if sufficiently thin. 3 walls will get you an
unstable and unreliable connection. If there is any foil insulation
in the walls, forget it. Also, RF likes to travel in straight lines,
so count the number of walls along the RF path, not through doorways,
hallways, closets, etc.

>East (office):
>"94% (excellent)" from a TiVo.
>
>Middle (family & dining room):
>"64% (good)" from a TiVo
>"2 out of 5 bars" from a laptop


2 out of 5 is not my idea of good. Lacking real numbers, I would
guess 3 out of 5 bars would be a minimum.

>West (living room):
>"2 out of 5 bars" from a laptop


Same as above. Barely tolerable. As I previously mentioned, you can
make it work with this signal level, but I don't think you'll enjoy
having it drop out every time something moves or changes along the
path.

>South (exercise room):
>"41% (marginal)" from a TiVo


Yep. Still functional but I would hate to measure the speed and
reliability.


>Maybe I misunderstood how a booster would work. I assume that it's
>analogous to one guy yelling to another guy. If you boost the volume
>of the yelling guy's voice, you don't need to also boost the other
>guy's hearing. No?


Close. Place two guys far enough apart so that they can just barely
hear each other. Now, place a 3rd guy in the middle to play repeater.
He listens for one of the other end guy to yell something. When he
hears something with a destination address of the other guy, he saves
the message, turns around, and yells it to the other guy. The reply
goes the same way. The middle guy just stores and plays back the
message.

Now, what's important here is that the end guys can just barely hear
each other. If both the end guys are yelling at the same time, the
middle guy will be confused. If the middle guy is replaying a message
and the originating guy decides to send yet another message, the other
end guy hears both at the same time and gets it muddled. Lots of
other combinations that won't work.

The answer is that only one of the 3 guys can do their yelling at a
time. The means that the repeater monopolizes about twice the air
time as a single transmission directly from end to end. That's where
the bandwidth gets cut in half. Also note that to have it cut exactly
in half, the 3 guys have to have perfect timing. That's rarely the
case and collisions are common. The result is that a repeater
typically reduces maximum thruput by more than half. Also note that
it works best if the end points cannot hear each other.

One solution is to use two radios as a repeater. The link between one
guy and the repeater is one channel. The link between the repeater
and the other guy is on a different channel. With two radios in the
repeater, they can transmit and receive simultaneously, thus
eliminating the 50% max performance hit.

You won't find these at consumer prices, but you can build your own.
All it takes are two wireless ethernet bridge radios and a crossover
ethernet cable. They're also becoming common in wireless mesh
networks to solve the same problem.

Short opinion: Repeaters usually suck.

>Interesting, now that you mention "marginal" and "G" in the same
>sentence.


Yep. Your laptop should give you an indication of connection speed.
Move some traffic, such as streaming audio or video, and start walking
around. Look at the connection speed, which will go up and down. I
doubt if you can maintain 54Mbits/sec farther than about 5 meters away
from the access point. With lots of reflections in the room, probably
less. Once you go through a wall or two, your speed will drop down to
much lower speeds. That's marginal. No way are you going to maintain
a MIMO speed connection with such an arrangement.

>I believe that the TiVo's wireless antenna is only a "G" in
>the first place.


Yes. The AG0100 usb dongle is 802.11b/g with 54mbits/sec max.

>I'm about to reply to John Navas's reply, in which he recommends
>powerline networking. I gather that would cost a little bit.


Before we dive into alternatives, I suggest you consider your
performance and bandwidth requirements. If you're moving video files
between your DVR and computah or running a video server via ethernet,
you're going to need LOTS of bandwidth and performance. I just setup
one of those that required gigabit speeds to be usable. You won't get
that with wireless, but you can get that with CAT5. You also won't
get it with power line, phone line, zip cord, barbed wire, etc. You
can with fiber, but you won't like the price.

Chart of common routers and their maximum performance:
<http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/component/option,com_wireless/Itemid,200/>
The WRT160N is listed at 43.9mbits/sec max (that's with MIMO active).
You won't get over 25mbits/sec with 802.11g only. Incidentally, there
is quite a bit of really good stuff on this above web site.

The problem with power line networking is that there are several
technologies available. Basically, there's
14mbits/sec (HomePlug 1.0),
85mbit/sec (Homeplug 1.0 Turbo)
200mbit/sec (HomePlug AV)
speeds. The first is useless. I can't seem to find any benchmark
results on the others, but I doubt if you'll get anywhere near the
specified maximum.

Incidentally, for running performance tests, see IPerf and JPerf.
<http://sourceforge.net/projects/iperf>
<http://sourceforge.net/projects/jperf>
<http://openmaniak.com/iperf.php> tutorial

>Hmm. I'm not good at doing these conversions. The last I checked,
>our DSL speed was 384k-1.5M/128k-256k, and DSLReports.com just told me
>I was doing 1,271 up and 314 down.


Ok, I can work with that. Your maximum DSL speed is about
1.5Mbits/sec. If you use a direct wireless connection, you'll need an
error free connection speed of no less than 3Mbits/sec. The closest
is 5.5Mbits/sec. If you add a repeater, you'll need at least
6Mbits/sec. The closest 802.11g speed is 9Mbits/sec.

That works if everything you do goes through the DSL connection and to
the internet. That's possible but rather improbable. For example,
wireless printing, Tivo to PC, PC to PC, running backups over the
network, shared file/video server, and such are all local traffic that
will need to go MUCH faster than DSL speeds. Therefore, with your
office arrangement, I suspect that you'll need much more than the
minimum of 9Mbit/sec thruput.

>Our DSL speed is probably an important factor for most of the
>transfering we'll be doing (something from the internet to a computer
>or a TiVo). I'm pretty sure that TiVo-to-TiVo transfers will be less
>than 5% of our usage.


Is that 5% of the number of megabloats you're moving, or 5% of the
time? I think you'll find the file sizes to be rather huge and the
speed requirements rather high if you're playing video server.

Do you have a Tivo 2 or Tivo 3?

>I mention all this in case it affects your thinking in terms of the
>numbers.


I always think in terms of numbers. Units of measure are also handy.

>>That's a fairly typical mix. Netflix is a big bandwidth user.


Try watching Netflix online on your laptop with a not so great
wireless connection. For extra entertainment, try doing something
else with the wireless at the same time. That's important because
wireless airtime is a shared resource. If two wireless clients are
doing something at the same time, then the available bandwidth gets
split (not necessarily equally).

>I should mention that there's no particular reason the WRT300N router
>has to stay on the far west side of the house once we disconnect the
>DSL line over there.


I think it might be handy to have wireless at both ends of the house.
You have the hardware so use it.

>In fact, I was thinking it should go somewhere
>in the middle of the house, somewhere that it can wirelessly receive
>the signal from the other router, and be located centrally enough to
>transmit it around to the other devices.


That would work were it not for the number of walls in the house. If
you think you can get adequate coverage from a wireless router in the
middle of the house, by all means, try it. However, if you're going
to run CAT5 to the router half way across the house, I suggest you
finish the job and go all the way from end to end.

>Rough estimate of distances...
>
>East: DSL Modem. Signal starts here.
>
>Go through 2 thick walls (or through a door and around a couple
>corners).
>
>Middle: 25 feet away in a straight line (through thick walls). Or
>about 40 feet, through the door and around corners.
>
>West: About 20 feet further than Middle.
>
>South: 25 to 30 feet away from Middle. It may also get a more direct
>signal from the first router shooting out one window, around a single
>corner and in another window. So, rather than traveling about 60 or
>70 feet through thick walls, the signal might have a shorter path
>going out the window and about 40 feet.
>
>
> 25' or 40'
>
>West -- 20' -- Middle --| |-- East
> | | |
> | ----
> 25'
> |
> |
> South
>
>
>I hope that conveys it.


Yep. Too many (thick) walls and no single ideal location. Going
through windows might work, until something gets in the way. Watch
out for low-E window coatings. They block RF. It might be possible
to locate the single router in the South part of the house, and shoot
through windows in both the West and East ends. That might work for a
fixed antenna located in the window, but I doubt it will work for the
laptop with an internal antenna. It's easy enough to try.

I would normally suggest installing directional antennas but your
existing MIMO routers have non-removable antennas.

>>1. Run CAT5 ethernet cable between the two routers. This is the best
>>and fastest alternative.

>
>This might be a good idea, although I'm not sure what you mean by
>"fastest."


With gigabit routers at each end, and less than 100 meters of CAT5,
you can move data at almost 1000mbits/sec. That's really handy for
giant video file transfers and running video servers. Both your
existing routers have built in gigabit switches. With the usual
10/100mbit/sec ethernet switches, you'll get a bit less than
100mbits/sec. Reminder: the BEST you can do with wireless 802.11g is
25mbits/sec.

>It would surely take longer to go under the house (or pay
>someone to go under the house) and run CAT5 ethernet cable than to
>just stick the WRT300N router in the middle of the house and let it
>receive the signal wirelessly.


Ture. Try the relocated router in either the Middle or through
windows at the South. It might work well enough for internet traffic,
but any large file transfers across the wireless LAN are going to be
painfully slow.

Running CAT5 under the house is a messy project. That's what kids are
for. The nice thing is that it always works (unless the kid pounds a
staple through the cable) and requires no tinkering, adjusting,
configuring, tweaking, and swearing that's common with wireless. If
you add up the elapsed time involved, deployment time might be
comparable.

>Or, by "fastest," do you mean the solution that would provide the
>fastest transfer speeds once we get it wired up?


Fastest transfer speeds. Fast is fun.

>><http://wireless.navas.us/wiki/Wi-Fi_How_To#Use_a_wireless_router_as_a_wireless_acce ss_point>

>
>Bookmarked. Thank you. Does that only work if the second wireless
>router gets its signal from a cable, rather than wirelessly?


Wired via CAT5 ethernet. However, I forgot to mumble something about
WDS repeaters. Looks like the WRT150N and WRT300N do NOT support WDS.
Never mind.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_Distribution_System>

>I'll have to read up on setting channels, but I suspect it'll be easy
>enough.


Yep. It's on the wireless page of the router configuration. It's
only necessary to change it in the routers. The clients will
automagically follow the change.

>(Having just looked at the Linksys admin screens under "Wireless >
>Basic Wireless Settings," I see that I'll have to set Radio Band to
>either Standard or Wide, rather than Auto, then manually set the
>Standard and/or Wide Channels.)


All those have to do with MIMO (802.11n). If you use "wide", it's
fixed to channel 6 as it now hogs the entire band. The only way you
can set the channel is to use standard (narrow) bandwidth.

>If a wired run is truly the best way to do it, then I'm still favoring
>the method that doesn't involve someone going under the house.
>Powerline networking sounds good...


I don't have any specific recommendations for power line networking
equipment. My guess is about $100 per end. For $200, I'm sure you
can bribe the neighbors brat into getting filthy under the house.

>Can I meet all my needs with no new cabling and no new devices, simply
>by putting the WRT300N router in the middle of the house?


My guess(tm) is that it will work going through windows at the south
end of the house, but will be flaky and unreliable going through walls
in the middle location.

>Or will I
>suffer over the longterm enough that it's worth spending some money
>(perhaps to have a professional run an ethernet cable from the east to
>west side of our house)?


I don't see that the decision has to be made immediately. You have
enough equipment to do a live test for the wireless arrangement. Try
it, see how it plays, see how stable it runs, and make the
determination. If it's as bad as I predict, then run the wires.

--
Jeff Liebermann jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558

Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2008, 06:00 AM
dgates
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

Jeff Liebermann <jeffl@cruzio.com> wrote:
> On Sun, 28 Dec 2008 15:51:07 -0800, dgates <dgates@somedomain.com>
> wrote:
>
> >I may have overstated the "thick walls." The primary thick wall is
> >the one (well, two) separating the add-on office from the rest of the
> >house.

>
> Never mind the over or under statements. How many walls? What are
> the walls made from? Any aluminium foil backed insulation in the
> walls?
>
> Rule of thumb: 1 wall is usually no problem. 2 walls are a problem
> but can be made to work if sufficiently thin. 3 walls will get you an
> unstable and unreliable connection. If there is any foil insulation
> in the walls, forget it. Also, RF likes to travel in straight lines,
> so count the number of walls along the RF path, not through doorways,
> hallways, closets, etc.
>
> >East (office):
> >"94% (excellent)" from a TiVo.
> >
> >Middle (family & dining room):
> >"64% (good)" from a TiVo
> >"2 out of 5 bars" from a laptop

>
> 2 out of 5 is not my idea of good. Lacking real numbers, I would
> guess 3 out of 5 bars would be a minimum.
>
> >West (living room):
> >"2 out of 5 bars" from a laptop

>
> Same as above. Barely tolerable. As I previously mentioned, you can
> make it work with this signal level, but I don't think you'll enjoy
> having it drop out every time something moves or changes along the
> path.
>
> >South (exercise room):
> >"41% (marginal)" from a TiVo

>
> Yep. Still functional but I would hate to measure the speed and
> reliability.
>
>
> >Maybe I misunderstood how a booster would work. I assume that it's
> >analogous to one guy yelling to another guy. If you boost the volume
> >of the yelling guy's voice, you don't need to also boost the other
> >guy's hearing. No?

>
> Close. Place two guys far enough apart so that they can just barely
> hear each other. Now, place a 3rd guy in the middle to play repeater.
> He listens for one of the other end guy to yell something. When he
> hears something with a destination address of the other guy, he saves
> the message, turns around, and yells it to the other guy. The reply
> goes the same way. The middle guy just stores and plays back the
> message.
>
> Now, what's important here is that the end guys can just barely hear
> each other. If both the end guys are yelling at the same time, the
> middle guy will be confused. If the middle guy is replaying a message
> and the originating guy decides to send yet another message, the other
> end guy hears both at the same time and gets it muddled. Lots of
> other combinations that won't work.
>
> The answer is that only one of the 3 guys can do their yelling at a
> time. The means that the repeater monopolizes about twice the air
> time as a single transmission directly from end to end. That's where
> the bandwidth gets cut in half. Also note that to have it cut exactly
> in half, the 3 guys have to have perfect timing. That's rarely the
> case and collisions are common. The result is that a repeater
> typically reduces maximum thruput by more than half. Also note that
> it works best if the end points cannot hear each other.
>
> One solution is to use two radios as a repeater. The link between one
> guy and the repeater is one channel. The link between the repeater
> and the other guy is on a different channel. With two radios in the
> repeater, they can transmit and receive simultaneously, thus
> eliminating the 50% max performance hit.
>
> You won't find these at consumer prices, but you can build your own.
> All it takes are two wireless ethernet bridge radios and a crossover
> ethernet cable. They're also becoming common in wireless mesh
> networks to solve the same problem.
>
> Short opinion: Repeaters usually suck.
>
> >Interesting, now that you mention "marginal" and "G" in the same
> >sentence.

>
> Yep. Your laptop should give you an indication of connection speed.
> Move some traffic, such as streaming audio or video, and start walking
> around. Look at the connection speed, which will go up and down. I
> doubt if you can maintain 54Mbits/sec farther than about 5 meters away
> from the access point. With lots of reflections in the room, probably
> less. Once you go through a wall or two, your speed will drop down to
> much lower speeds. That's marginal. No way are you going to maintain
> a MIMO speed connection with such an arrangement.
>
> >I believe that the TiVo's wireless antenna is only a "G" in
> >the first place.

>
> Yes. The AG0100 usb dongle is 802.11b/g with 54mbits/sec max.
>
> >I'm about to reply to John Navas's reply, in which he recommends
> >powerline networking. I gather that would cost a little bit.

>
> Before we dive into alternatives, I suggest you consider your
> performance and bandwidth requirements. If you're moving video files
> between your DVR and computah or running a video server via ethernet,
> you're going to need LOTS of bandwidth and performance. I just setup
> one of those that required gigabit speeds to be usable. You won't get
> that with wireless, but you can get that with CAT5. You also won't
> get it with power line, phone line, zip cord, barbed wire, etc. You
> can with fiber, but you won't like the price.
>
> Chart of common routers and their maximum performance:
> <http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/component/option,com_wireless/Itemid,200/>
> The WRT160N is listed at 43.9mbits/sec max (that's with MIMO active).
> You won't get over 25mbits/sec with 802.11g only. Incidentally, there
> is quite a bit of really good stuff on this above web site.
>
> The problem with power line networking is that there are several
> technologies available. Basically, there's
> 14mbits/sec (HomePlug 1.0),
> 85mbit/sec (Homeplug 1.0 Turbo)
> 200mbit/sec (HomePlug AV)
> speeds. The first is useless. I can't seem to find any benchmark
> results on the others, but I doubt if you'll get anywhere near the
> specified maximum.
>
> Incidentally, for running performance tests, see IPerf and JPerf.
> <http://sourceforge.net/projects/iperf>
> <http://sourceforge.net/projects/jperf>
> <http://openmaniak.com/iperf.php> tutorial
>
> >Hmm. I'm not good at doing these conversions. The last I checked,
> >our DSL speed was 384k-1.5M/128k-256k, and DSLReports.com just told
> > me
> >I was doing 1,271 up and 314 down.

>
> Ok, I can work with that. Your maximum DSL speed is about
> 1.5Mbits/sec. If you use a direct wireless connection, you'll need an
> error free connection speed of no less than 3Mbits/sec. The closest
> is 5.5Mbits/sec. If you add a repeater, you'll need at least
> 6Mbits/sec. The closest 802.11g speed is 9Mbits/sec.
>
> That works if everything you do goes through the DSL connection and to
> the internet. That's possible but rather improbable. For example,
> wireless printing, Tivo to PC, PC to PC, running backups over the
> network, shared file/video server, and such are all local traffic that
> will need to go MUCH faster than DSL speeds. Therefore, with your
> office arrangement, I suspect that you'll need much more than the
> minimum of 9Mbit/sec thruput.
>
> >Our DSL speed is probably an important factor for most of the
> >transfering we'll be doing (something from the internet to a computer
> >or a TiVo). I'm pretty sure that TiVo-to-TiVo transfers will be less
> >than 5% of our usage.

>
> Is that 5% of the number of megabloats you're moving, or 5% of the
> time? I think you'll find the file sizes to be rather huge and the
> speed requirements rather high if you're playing video server.
>
> Do you have a Tivo 2 or Tivo 3?
>
> >I mention all this in case it affects your thinking in terms of the
> >numbers.

>
> I always think in terms of numbers. Units of measure are also handy.
>
> >>That's a fairly typical mix. Netflix is a big bandwidth user.

>
> Try watching Netflix online on your laptop with a not so great
> wireless connection. For extra entertainment, try doing something
> else with the wireless at the same time. That's important because
> wireless airtime is a shared resource. If two wireless clients are
> doing something at the same time, then the available bandwidth gets
> split (not necessarily equally).
>
> >I should mention that there's no particular reason the WRT300N router
> >has to stay on the far west side of the house once we disconnect the
> >DSL line over there.

>
> I think it might be handy to have wireless at both ends of the house.
> You have the hardware so use it.
>
> >In fact, I was thinking it should go somewhere
> >in the middle of the house, somewhere that it can wirelessly receive
> >the signal from the other router, and be located centrally enough to
> >transmit it around to the other devices.

>
> That would work were it not for the number of walls in the house. If
> you think you can get adequate coverage from a wireless router in the
> middle of the house, by all means, try it. However, if you're going
> to run CAT5 to the router half way across the house, I suggest you
> finish the job and go all the way from end to end.
>
> >Rough estimate of distances...
> >
> >East: DSL Modem. Signal starts here.
> >
> >Go through 2 thick walls (or through a door and around a couple
> >corners).
> >
> >Middle: 25 feet away in a straight line (through thick walls). Or
> >about 40 feet, through the door and around corners.
> >
> >West: About 20 feet further than Middle.
> >
> >South: 25 to 30 feet away from Middle. It may also get a more direct
> >signal from the first router shooting out one window, around a single
> >corner and in another window. So, rather than traveling about 60 or
> >70 feet through thick walls, the signal might have a shorter path
> >going out the window and about 40 feet.
> >
> >
> > 25' or 40'
> >
> >West -- 20' -- Middle --| |-- East
> > | | |
> > | ----
> > 25'
> > |
> > |
> > South
> >
> >
> >I hope that conveys it.

>
> Yep. Too many (thick) walls and no single ideal location. Going
> through windows might work, until something gets in the way. Watch
> out for low-E window coatings. They block RF. It might be possible
> to locate the single router in the South part of the house, and shoot
> through windows in both the West and East ends. That might work for a
> fixed antenna located in the window, but I doubt it will work for the
> laptop with an internal antenna. It's easy enough to try.
>
> I would normally suggest installing directional antennas but your
> existing MIMO routers have non-removable antennas.
>
> >>1. Run CAT5 ethernet cable between the two routers. This is the
> > > best
> >>and fastest alternative.

> >
> >This might be a good idea, although I'm not sure what you mean by
> >"fastest."

>
> With gigabit routers at each end, and less than 100 meters of CAT5,
> you can move data at almost 1000mbits/sec. That's really handy for
> giant video file transfers and running video servers. Both your
> existing routers have built in gigabit switches. With the usual
> 10/100mbit/sec ethernet switches, you'll get a bit less than
> 100mbits/sec. Reminder: the BEST you can do with wireless 802.11g is
> 25mbits/sec.
>
> >It would surely take longer to go under the house (or pay
> >someone to go under the house) and run CAT5 ethernet cable than to
> >just stick the WRT300N router in the middle of the house and let it
> >receive the signal wirelessly.

>
> Ture. Try the relocated router in either the Middle or through
> windows at the South. It might work well enough for internet traffic,
> but any large file transfers across the wireless LAN are going to be
> painfully slow.
>
> Running CAT5 under the house is a messy project. That's what kids are
> for. The nice thing is that it always works (unless the kid pounds a
> staple through the cable) and requires no tinkering, adjusting,
> configuring, tweaking, and swearing that's common with wireless. If
> you add up the elapsed time involved, deployment time might be
> comparable.
>
> >Or, by "fastest," do you mean the solution that would provide the
> >fastest transfer speeds once we get it wired up?

>
> Fastest transfer speeds. Fast is fun.
>
> >><http://wireless.navas.us/wiki/Wi-Fi_How_To#Use_a_wireless_router_as_a_wireless_acce ss_point>

> >
> >Bookmarked. Thank you. Does that only work if the second wireless
> >router gets its signal from a cable, rather than wirelessly?

>
> Wired via CAT5 ethernet. However, I forgot to mumble something about
> WDS repeaters. Looks like the WRT150N and WRT300N do NOT support WDS.
> Never mind.
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_Distribution_System>
>
> >I'll have to read up on setting channels, but I suspect it'll be easy
> >enough.

>
> Yep. It's on the wireless page of the router configuration. It's
> only necessary to change it in the routers. The clients will
> automagically follow the change.
>
> >(Having just looked at the Linksys admin screens under "Wireless >
> >Basic Wireless Settings," I see that I'll have to set Radio Band to
> >either Standard or Wide, rather than Auto, then manually set the
> >Standard and/or Wide Channels.)

>
> All those have to do with MIMO (802.11n). If you use "wide", it's
> fixed to channel 6 as it now hogs the entire band. The only way you
> can set the channel is to use standard (narrow) bandwidth.
>
> >If a wired run is truly the best way to do it, then I'm still
> > favoring
> >the method that doesn't involve someone going under the house.
> >Powerline networking sounds good...

>
> I don't have any specific recommendations for power line networking
> equipment. My guess is about $100 per end. For $200, I'm sure you
> can bribe the neighbors brat into getting filthy under the house.
>
> >Can I meet all my needs with no new cabling and no new devices,
> > simply
> >by putting the WRT300N router in the middle of the house?

>
> My guess(tm) is that it will work going through windows at the south
> end of the house, but will be flaky and unreliable going through walls
> in the middle location.
>
> >Or will I
> >suffer over the longterm enough that it's worth spending some money
> >(perhaps to have a professional run an ethernet cable from the east
> > to
> >west side of our house)?

>
> I don't see that the decision has to be made immediately. You have
> enough equipment to do a live test for the wireless arrangement. Try
> it, see how it plays, see how stable it runs, and make the
> determination. If it's as bad as I predict, then run the wires.



I may reply in more detail later, but I wanted to reply immediately to
say thank you very much for your time and detailed answers.

We might do some sort of wireless tests first, but I think at this point
we're pretty convinced that we should run the CAT5 across the house.

There may be some subtleties involved. For example, the living room's
router is on the opposite side of the wall as the family room's Tivo, so
if we're running the CAT5 wire already, we might consider having it lead
to jacks on each side of the wall. But those are fairly small decisions
that we can make later.


You mention having a "kid" do the wiring, but I'm pretty sure we want to
hire a professional. Any idea where we might find a guy to come out, run
the cable, install 2 or 3 wall jacks, be professional and trustworthy?
I'm guessing that since you guessed we'd pay the "kid" $200, that you
figure we'll pay the pro a fair amount more than that...?


In any case, even if you don't type another word, thank you very much,
again, for your time and assistance.

Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2008, 04:38 PM
Jeff Liebermann
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 01:00:16 -0600, dgates <dgates@somedomain.com>
wrote:

>We might do some sort of wireless tests first, but I think at this point
>we're pretty convinced that we should run the CAT5 across the house.


Well, as John points out, you can get HomePlug AV adapters for less
than my guess. It might be a suitable alternative.
<http://www.google.com/products?hl=en&q=PLE200&show=dd&lnk=showlist>
If you buy some, make sure that they can be returned and be sure to
save all the packaging.

I have a pair of 85MHz SMC boxes that I use for emergencies (like when
the mice chew up the CAT5) and for loaning to customers for testing.
The loans have resulted in mixed results. Some buildings have far too
much conducted EMI (electro magnetic interference) sitting on the
power lines. One test showed that traffic thruput just stopped
whenever the elevator was moving. Since HomePlug is basically BPL
(broadband power line), the noise generated by the HomePlug hardware
trashed one neighbors shortwave ham and CB reception. When I tried it
at my house, my OTA (over the air) TV reception became slightly noisy
on some channels. The nice thing about CAT5 is that you don't have
these kind of ummm.... issues.

>There may be some subtleties involved. For example, the living room's
>router is on the opposite side of the wall as the family room's Tivo, so
>if we're running the CAT5 wire already, we might consider having it lead
>to jacks on each side of the wall. But those are fairly small decisions
>that we can make later.


The right way to do the wiring is one wall jack on every wall going to
the connected equipment from a centrally located ethernet switch.
That's the way most offices are done and is expensive and serious
overkill. A low cost alternative is to use multiple small 5 or 8 port
ethernet switches (also known as the workgroup method). The
dramatically reduces the number of CAT5 wires that need to be run.
However, some planning is necessary. It's an absolute mess trying to
run a wire across a doorway. Normally, there's a wall jack on either
side of a doorway, but there's no guarantee with the workgroup
topology. That means you might need 2 jacks in some rooms, usually on
opposite walls. Another advantage of the workgroup method is that it
can be reconfigured and expanded quite easily. The down side is that
the wiring pretzel can easily become a tangled mess.
<http://802.11junk.com/jeffl/pics/drivel/slides/mess01.html>

At a minimum, install one 5 port ethernet switch in the middle of the
house, and one each at the 3 end points. Such switches cost about $40
ea. Then connect the boxes with CAT5.

Incidentally, it's not really necessary to install wall jacks unless
you want to do it right. There are surface mount jacks and "muffins"
that can house the ethernet jack that does not need to be installed
inside the wall. 1/4" hole in the floor (under the molding if
possible) and a short piece of exposed CAT5 going to the jack.

>You mention having a "kid" do the wiring, but I'm pretty sure we want to
>hire a professional. Any idea where we might find a guy to come out, run
>the cable, install 2 or 3 wall jacks, be professional and trustworthy?
>I'm guessing that since you guessed we'd pay the "kid" $200, that you
>figure we'll pay the pro a fair amount more than that...?


The right way is to find a BISCI certified wiring contractor. My
guess(tm) is about $150 per wall outlet for in the wall, and about
$100 per wall jack for surface mount. Since the $.15/ft CAT5e wire is
cheaper than the labor, run extra wires to locations that you think
might be useful in the future.

Electricians can do an adequate job, but usually lack network wiring
and topology experience. Phone jack installers can also do it. I've
done an awful lot of cleanup work on sloppy wiring. Be careful. I
only know the local installers, so I can't offer much help in locating
anyone. You can also get more info on wiring and contractors in
<news:comp.dcom.cabling>

--
Jeff Liebermann jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558

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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2008, 05:36 PM
LR
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

Jeff Liebermann wrote:

>
> Well, as John points out, you can get HomePlug AV adapters for less
> than my guess. It might be a suitable alternative.
> <http://www.google.com/products?hl=en&q=PLE200&show=dd&lnk=showlist>
> If you buy some, make sure that they can be returned and be sure to
> save all the packaging.
>
> I have a pair of 85MHz SMC boxes that I use for emergencies (like when
> the mice chew up the CAT5) and for loaning to customers for testing.
> The loans have resulted in mixed results. Some buildings have far too
> much conducted EMI (electro magnetic interference) sitting on the
> power lines. One test showed that traffic thruput just stopped
> whenever the elevator was moving. Since HomePlug is basically BPL
> (broadband power line), the noise generated by the HomePlug hardware
> trashed one neighbors shortwave ham and CB reception. When I tried it
> at my house, my OTA (over the air) TV reception became slightly noisy
> on some channels. The nice thing about CAT5 is that you don't have
> these kind of ummm.... issues.
>

I came across this a while ago and was worth a read although biased.
<http://www.intellon.com/pdfs/whitepaper_PLCPerformanceTesting.pdf>

There was also this on the Solwise forum where it was noted that some
people had noticed a large discrepancy between TCP and UDP throughput.
<http://www.solwiseforum.co.uk/showthread.php?p=41496>

I was one of those who had overheating problems with the Netgear XE103
so am a bit wary of using these if they are left switched on permanently.

<http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/content/view/30677/52/>
The HomePlug Powerline Alliance today announced that the IEEE P1901
Working Group approved proposals including key HomePlug technology as
the baseline for an IEEE powerline communications standard last Thursday
at the P1901 Working Group meeting in Kyoto, Japan.

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2008, 05:41 PM
John Navas
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 18:36:52 +0000, LR <lrme@privacy.net> wrote in
<-a-dneGopPlehcTUnZ2dnUVZ8gydnZ2d@bt.com>:

>Jeff Liebermann wrote:
>
>>
>> Well, as John points out, you can get HomePlug AV adapters for less
>> than my guess. It might be a suitable alternative.
>> <http://www.google.com/products?hl=en&q=PLE200&show=dd&lnk=showlist>
>> If you buy some, make sure that they can be returned and be sure to
>> save all the packaging.


Good advice, although I think you'll find they work fine.

>> I have a pair of 85MHz SMC boxes that I use for emergencies (like when
>> the mice chew up the CAT5) and for loaning to customers for testing.
>> The loans have resulted in mixed results.


85 MHz isn't Homeplug AV.

>I was one of those who had overheating problems with the Netgear XE103
>so am a bit wary of using these if they are left switched on permanently.


Also not Homeplug AV, and not what is being recommended.

--
Very best wishes for the holiday season and for the coming new year,
John

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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2008, 05:48 PM
LR
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

John Navas wrote:
> On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 18:36:52 +0000, LR <lrme@privacy.net> wrote in
> <-a-dneGopPlehcTUnZ2dnUVZ8gydnZ2d@bt.com>:
>
>> Jeff Liebermann wrote:
>>
>>> Well, as John points out, you can get HomePlug AV adapters for less
>>> than my guess. It might be a suitable alternative.
>>> <http://www.google.com/products?hl=en&q=PLE200&show=dd&lnk=showlist>
>>> If you buy some, make sure that they can be returned and be sure to
>>> save all the packaging.

>
> Good advice, although I think you'll find they work fine.
>
>>> I have a pair of 85MHz SMC boxes that I use for emergencies (like when
>>> the mice chew up the CAT5) and for loaning to customers for testing.
>>> The loans have resulted in mixed results.

>
> 85 MHz isn't Homeplug AV.
>
>> I was one of those who had overheating problems with the Netgear XE103
>> so am a bit wary of using these if they are left switched on permanently.

>
> Also not Homeplug AV, and not what is being recommended.
>

Your original post
"Best solution: Use powerline networking to connect the WRT300N as an
access point (not router) in the living room to the WRT150N in the
office."

Homeplug AV? Where?

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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2008, 06:36 PM
John Navas
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 18:48:01 +0000, LR <lrme@privacy.net> wrote in
<cLKdnVmuarv9hsTUnZ2dnUVZ8o-dnZ2d@bt.com>:

>John Navas wrote:
>> On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 18:36:52 +0000, LR <lrme@privacy.net> wrote in
>> <-a-dneGopPlehcTUnZ2dnUVZ8gydnZ2d@bt.com>:
>>
>>> Jeff Liebermann wrote:
>>>
>>>> Well, as John points out, you can get HomePlug AV adapters for less
>>>> than my guess. It might be a suitable alternative.
>>>> <http://www.google.com/products?hl=en&q=PLE200&show=dd&lnk=showlist>
>>>> If you buy some, make sure that they can be returned and be sure to
>>>> save all the packaging.

>>
>> Good advice, although I think you'll find they work fine.
>>
>>>> I have a pair of 85MHz SMC boxes that I use for emergencies (like when
>>>> the mice chew up the CAT5) and for loaning to customers for testing.
>>>> The loans have resulted in mixed results.

>>
>> 85 MHz isn't Homeplug AV.
>>
>>> I was one of those who had overheating problems with the Netgear XE103
>>> so am a bit wary of using these if they are left switched on permanently.

>>
>> Also not Homeplug AV, and not what is being recommended.
>>

>Your original post
>"Best solution: Use powerline networking to connect the WRT300N as an
>access point (not router) in the living room to the WRT150N in the
>office."
>
>Homeplug AV? Where?


Follow-up post:

Newegg will sell you two LINKSYS PLE200 (up to 200Mbps) PowerLine AV
Ethernet Adapters for $130 (much less than Jeff's $200).

Please do keep up. ;)

--
Very best wishes for the holiday season and for the coming new year,
John

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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2008, 06:47 PM
LR
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

John Navas wrote:
> On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 18:48:01 +0000, LR <lrme@privacy.net> wrote in
> <cLKdnVmuarv9hsTUnZ2dnUVZ8o-dnZ2d@bt.com>:
>
>> John Navas wrote:
>>> On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 18:36:52 +0000, LR <lrme@privacy.net> wrote in
>>> <-a-dneGopPlehcTUnZ2dnUVZ8gydnZ2d@bt.com>:
>>>
>>>> Jeff Liebermann wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Well, as John points out, you can get HomePlug AV adapters for less
>>>>> than my guess. It might be a suitable alternative.
>>>>> <http://www.google.com/products?hl=en&q=PLE200&show=dd&lnk=showlist>
>>>>> If you buy some, make sure that they can be returned and be sure to
>>>>> save all the packaging.
>>> Good advice, although I think you'll find they work fine.
>>>
>>>>> I have a pair of 85MHz SMC boxes that I use for emergencies (like when
>>>>> the mice chew up the CAT5) and for loaning to customers for testing.
>>>>> The loans have resulted in mixed results.
>>> 85 MHz isn't Homeplug AV.
>>>
>>>> I was one of those who had overheating problems with the Netgear XE103
>>>> so am a bit wary of using these if they are left switched on permanently.
>>> Also not Homeplug AV, and not what is being recommended.
>>>

>> Your original post
>> "Best solution: Use powerline networking to connect the WRT300N as an
>> access point (not router) in the living room to the WRT150N in the
>> office."
>>
>> Homeplug AV? Where?

>
> Follow-up post:
>
> Newegg will sell you two LINKSYS PLE200 (up to 200Mbps) PowerLine AV
> Ethernet Adapters for $130 (much less than Jeff's $200).
>
> Please do keep up. ;)
>

Quote from same post:-
"I'm willing to bet you'll spend less money and I know you'll have a lot
less hassle with powerline networking."
The fact that Newegg will sell Powerline AV adapters does not alter the
fact that you SAID " Powerline Networking" in that post as well and in
neither post did you specify a recommendation only for the use of
"Powerline AV adapters".

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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2008, 06:48 PM
Jeff Liebermann
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 18:36:52 +0000, LR <lrme@privacy.net> wrote:

>I came across this a while ago and was worth a read although biased.
><http://www.intellon.com/pdfs/whitepaper_PLCPerformanceTesting.pdf>


I've never played with a HomePlug AV 200mhz system. The above article
shows "typical real world" performance to be 45mbits/sec. That's good
enough for the OP's applications (video and general web browsing).

Also, they use PCATTCP for benchmarking:
<http://www.pcausa.com/Utilities/pcattcp.htm>
which works ok. However, I find the IPeft and JPeft to be more up to
date and far more accurate for higher speeds.

>There was also this on the Solwise forum where it was noted that some
>people had noticed a large discrepancy between TCP and UDP throughput.
><http://www.solwiseforum.co.uk/showthread.php?p=41496>


Yep. I get the same thing with IPerf and JPerf. I have no idea why
or what's going on. (Yet another project). In general, TCP is
accurate, while UDP is a crap shoot. Incidentally, you have to set
both the server and client to UDP (the default is TCP). If different,
the program still belch results, but the thruput is really low.

>I was one of those who had overheating problems with the Netgear XE103
>so am a bit wary of using these if they are left switched on permanently.


Those were one of the first HomePlug products. I agree on the
overheating problem. Not good.

><http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/content/view/30677/52/>
>The HomePlug Powerline Alliance today announced that the IEEE P1901
>Working Group approved proposals including key HomePlug technology as
>the baseline for an IEEE powerline communications standard last Thursday
>at the P1901 Working Group meeting in Kyoto, Japan.


I was trying to work with products that one can actually. However,
it's great to know that everything available is now instantly obsolete
thanks to the standards process. Argh.

Drivel: A neighbor calls complaining that his router is acting weird.
I tell him to "unplug the router, wait about 30 seconds, plug it back
in, and try again". 4 tries spaced over an hour time and no luck.
When I arrive, I find that he's unplugging the ethernet cable. I can
tell this is going to be a bad week.

--
Jeff Liebermann jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558

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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2008, 06:51 PM
John Navas
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 19:47:54 +0000, LR <lrme@privacy.net> wrote in
<UJadndH_SPr0tMTUnZ2dnUVZ8trinZ2d@bt.com>:

>John Navas wrote:
>> On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 18:48:01 +0000, LR <lrme@privacy.net> wrote in
>> <cLKdnVmuarv9hsTUnZ2dnUVZ8o-dnZ2d@bt.com>:


>>> Homeplug AV? Where?

>>
>> Follow-up post:
>>
>> Newegg will sell you two LINKSYS PLE200 (up to 200Mbps) PowerLine AV
>> Ethernet Adapters for $130 (much less than Jeff's $200).
>>
>> Please do keep up. ;)
>>

>Quote from same post:-
>"I'm willing to bet you'll spend less money and I know you'll have a lot
>less hassle with powerline networking."
>The fact that Newegg will sell Powerline AV adapters does not alter the
>fact that you SAID " Powerline Networking" in that post as well and in
>neither post did you specify a recommendation only for the use of
>"Powerline AV adapters".


That's a pretty lame comeback. :)
Whatever.

--
Very best wishes for the holiday season and for the coming new year,
John

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2008, 06:53 PM
John Navas
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 11:48:14 -0800, Jeff Liebermann <jeffl@cruzio.com>
wrote in <sk9il4h8v76omffg55ftf3stir6h2d2ehf@4ax.com>:

>Drivel: A neighbor calls complaining that his router is acting weird.
>I tell him to "unplug the router, wait about 30 seconds, plug it back
>in, and try again". 4 tries spaced over an hour time and no luck.
>When I arrive, I find that he's unplugging the ethernet cable. I can
>tell this is going to be a bad week.


That's why I tell my clients to wait until the lights go out (and stay
out for at least 20 secs) before plugging it back in. ;)

--
Very best wishes for the holiday season and for the coming new year,
John

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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2008, 07:01 PM
Jeff Liebermann
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 11:48:14 -0800, Jeff Liebermann <jeffl@cruzio.com>
wrote:

>><http://www.intellon.com/pdfs/whitepaper_PLCPerformanceTesting.pdf>

>
>I've never played with a HomePlug AV 200mhz system. The above article
>shows "typical real world" performance to be 45mbits/sec. That's good
>enough for the OP's applications (video and general web browsing).
>
>Also, they use PCATTCP for benchmarking:
><http://www.pcausa.com/Utilities/pcattcp.htm>
>which works ok. However, I find the IPeft and JPeft to be more up to
>date and far more accurate for higher speeds.


They stacked the number slightly in their favor:
They're using
64K socket buffers.
5000 source buffers (twice normal)
8760 buffer size (slightly larger than the 8192 default)
My guess(tm) is that using more realistic values, the thruput will be
noticably less. Hmmm... no numbers, no test results, very strange.



--
Jeff Liebermann jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558

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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2008, 07:03 PM
dgates
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 08:19:42 -0800, John Navas
<spamfilter1@navasgroup.com> wrote:

>On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 01:00:16 -0600, dgates <dgates@somedomain.com> wrote
>in <494830011252225779.788436dgates-somedomain.com@news.giganews.com>:
>
>>Jeff Liebermann <jeffl@cruzio.com> wrote:

>
>>>[SNIP]

>
>>I may reply in more detail later, but I wanted to reply immediately to
>>say thank you very much for your time and detailed answers.
>>
>>We might do some sort of wireless tests first, but I think at this point
>>we're pretty convinced that we should run the CAT5 across the house.
>>
>>There may be some subtleties involved. For example, the living room's
>>router is on the opposite side of the wall as the family room's Tivo, so
>>if we're running the CAT5 wire already, we might consider having it lead
>>to jacks on each side of the wall. But those are fairly small decisions
>>that we can make later.
>>
>>You mention having a "kid" do the wiring, but I'm pretty sure we want to
>>hire a professional. Any idea where we might find a guy to come out, run
>>the cable, install 2 or 3 wall jacks, be professional and trustworthy?
>>I'm guessing that since you guessed we'd pay the "kid" $200, that you
>>figure we'll pay the pro a fair amount more than that...?
>>
>>In any case, even if you don't type another word, thank you very much,
>>again, for your time and assistance.

>
>Jeff likes CAT5, and so do I, but it's an expensive pain to pull CAT5
>and wire up outlets properly.
>
>I'm willing to bet you'll spend less money and I know you'll have a lot
>less hassle with powerline networking.
>
>Newegg will sell you two LINKSYS PLE200 (up to 200Mbps) PowerLine AV
>Ethernet Adapters for $130 (much less than Jeff's $200).


How funny. Somehow, I got the idea (I guess because the two of you
were both listed at the top of the http://wireless.navas.us/wiki/Wi-Fi
page) that you (John N) and Jeff L were on the exact same page -- that
if one of you recommended a solution, it was basically both of you
recommending it. In hindsight, it should have been obvious that this
couldn't always be the case.

I'm now leaning back toward the powerline solution, for a couple of
reasons:

1. I get the sense that a lot of Jeff's recommendation for CAT5 was
based on requirements that, on reflection, I don't actually have
(e.g., moving video files between DVR and computer, running a video
server via ethernet).

2. Now that you've given me a model number, I can see that I can buy
two PLE200's (as a PLK200 "kit") at Amazon for $125:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000LJ5B8Q

This compares to something over $400, and many hours of work and
shopping around to do the CAT5 wiring.

The cost and effort involved in "running a CAT5 line across the house"
seems to increase with each conversation, currently about $150 per
wall outlet, plus some amount of topological knowhow.


In short, buying two devices from Amazon, and seeing if they get me
what I need, seems like the much simpler plan. That 4-star rating at
Amazon is very promising, and I suspect that the actual average would
be much higher than that if happy customers were as motivated to post
as unhappy ones.


I'm now re-scanning Jeff's email, looking for possible gotchas. He
mentions:

"Since HomePlug is basically BPL (broadband power line), the noise
generated by the HomePlug hardwaretrashed one neighbors shortwave ham
and CB reception. When I tried it at my house, my OTA (over the air)
TV reception became slightly noisy on some channels."

However, these CB and OTA TV type problems don't seem like they would
apply to me.

My only (mild) concern, after reading nearly all of the 70 Amazon
reviews) is that the originating DSL signal comes from an add-on room.
I know that the circuit breaker for the add-on room is in the same box
as the circuit breakers for the rest of the house. But I wonder if
there isn't some surprise around the corner.

Still, for $125 (which I can presumably get back if I need to return
these) and very little effort, I think I have to try the Powerline
route.


I notice that there's a newer model, a PLK300, which is:

much newer (2008, rather than 2006)
twice as large (10"x9", rather than 4"x5")
a little more expensive ($149, rather than $125)
not as well reviewed at Amazon (3.5 stars from 5 customers, rather
than 4 stars by 74 customers)
presumably faster (300, rather than 200, although it's speed that I
don't think I need).

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001J2ZSL4

Any thoughts on the new model?



Again, thank you both (Jeff and John) for your time and effort. I
actually appreciate the fact that you two don't agree 100%. It's
similar to how I get more out of an Ebert & Whoever movie review when
the two critics don't completely agree, and each offer counterpoints,
rather than a simple, monolithic recommendation.

To follow the movie critic analogy, I think that good reviewers can
lay out so many facts for the viewer that he might decide that he'll
like the movie, even if the reviewers didn't. I believe it was this
way for me with Ebert's thumbs-down review of the original Die Hard.

So, thank you both.

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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2008, 07:30 PM
John Navas
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 12:03:54 -0800, dgates <dgates@somedomain.com> wrote
in <gj9il4tukvecp87t59igkd5169k1estd4l@4ax.com>:

>I notice that there's a newer model, a PLK300, which is:
>
>much newer (2008, rather than 2006)
>twice as large (10"x9", rather than 4"x5")
>a little more expensive ($149, rather than $125)
>not as well reviewed at Amazon (3.5 stars from 5 customers, rather
>than 4 stars by 74 customers)
>presumably faster (300, rather than 200, although it's speed that I
>don't think I need).
>
>http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001J2ZSL4
>
>Any thoughts on the new model?


Since Ethernet limits you to 100 Mbps, I'd go for the LINKSYS PLK200
PowerLine AV Ethernet Adapter Kit, $125 at Newegg with free shipping:
<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833124096>

>Again, thank you both (Jeff and John) for your time and effort. ...


Thank you for taking the time and effort to say thanks.
All too many do not bother.

--
Very best wishes for the holiday season and for the coming new year,
John

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2008, 07:47 PM
Peter Pan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

dgates wrote:
> On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 08:19:42 -0800, John Navas
> <spamfilter1@navasgroup.com> wrote:
>
>> On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 01:00:16 -0600, dgates <dgates@somedomain.com>
>> wrote in
>> <494830011252225779.788436dgates-somedomain.com@news.giganews.com>:
>>
>>> Jeff Liebermann <jeffl@cruzio.com> wrote:

>>
>>>> [SNIP]

>>
>>> I may reply in more detail later, but I wanted to reply immediately
>>> to say thank you very much for your time and detailed answers.
>>>
>>> We might do some sort of wireless tests first, but I think at this
>>> point we're pretty convinced that we should run the CAT5 across the
>>> house.
>>>
>>> There may be some subtleties involved. For example, the living
>>> room's router is on the opposite side of the wall as the family
>>> room's Tivo, so if we're running the CAT5 wire already, we might
>>> consider having it lead to jacks on each side of the wall. But
>>> those are fairly small decisions that we can make later.
>>>
>>> You mention having a "kid" do the wiring, but I'm pretty sure we
>>> want to hire a professional. Any idea where we might find a guy to
>>> come out, run the cable, install 2 or 3 wall jacks, be professional
>>> and trustworthy? I'm guessing that since you guessed we'd pay the
>>> "kid" $200, that you figure we'll pay the pro a fair amount more
>>> than that...?
>>>
>>> In any case, even if you don't type another word, thank you very
>>> much, again, for your time and assistance.

>>
>> Jeff likes CAT5, and so do I, but it's an expensive pain to pull CAT5
>> and wire up outlets properly.
>>
>> I'm willing to bet you'll spend less money and I know you'll have a
>> lot less hassle with powerline networking.
>>
>> Newegg will sell you two LINKSYS PLE200 (up to 200Mbps) PowerLine AV
>> Ethernet Adapters for $130 (much less than Jeff's $200).

>
> How funny. Somehow, I got the idea (I guess because the two of you
> were both listed at the top of the http://wireless.navas.us/wiki/Wi-Fi
> page) that you (John N) and Jeff L were on the exact same page -- that
> if one of you recommended a solution, it was basically both of you
> recommending it. In hindsight, it should have been obvious that this
> couldn't always be the case.
>
> I'm now leaning back toward the powerline solution, for a couple of
> reasons:
>
> 1. I get the sense that a lot of Jeff's recommendation for CAT5 was
> based on requirements that, on reflection, I don't actually have
> (e.g., moving video files between DVR and computer, running a video
> server via ethernet).
>
> 2. Now that you've given me a model number, I can see that I can buy
> two PLE200's (as a PLK200 "kit") at Amazon for $125:
> http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000LJ5B8Q
>
> This compares to something over $400, and many hours of work and
> shopping around to do the CAT5 wiring.
>
> The cost and effort involved in "running a CAT5 line across the house"
> seems to increase with each conversation, currently about $150 per
> wall outlet, plus some amount of topological knowhow.
>
>
> In short, buying two devices from Amazon, and seeing if they get me
> what I need, seems like the much simpler plan. That 4-star rating at
> Amazon is very promising, and I suspect that the actual average would
> be much higher than that if happy customers were as motivated to post
> as unhappy ones.
>
>
> I'm now re-scanning Jeff's email, looking for possible gotchas. He
> mentions:
>
> "Since HomePlug is basically BPL (broadband power line), the noise
> generated by the HomePlug hardwaretrashed one neighbors shortwave ham
> and CB reception. When I tried it at my house, my OTA (over the air)
> TV reception became slightly noisy on some channels."
>
> However, these CB and OTA TV type problems don't seem like they would
> apply to me.
>
> My only (mild) concern, after reading nearly all of the 70 Amazon
> reviews) is that the originating DSL signal comes from an add-on room.
> I know that the circuit breaker for the add-on room is in the same box
> as the circuit breakers for the rest of the house. But I wonder if
> there isn't some surprise around the corner.
>
> Still, for $125 (which I can presumably get back if I need to return
> these) and very little effort, I think I have to try the Powerline
> route.
>
>
> I notice that there's a newer model, a PLK300, which is:
>
> much newer (2008, rather than 2006)
> twice as large (10"x9", rather than 4"x5")
> a little more expensive ($149, rather than $125)
> not as well reviewed at Amazon (3.5 stars from 5 customers, rather
> than 4 stars by 74 customers)
> presumably faster (300, rather than 200, although it's speed that I
> don't think I need).
>
> http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001J2ZSL4
>
> Any thoughts on the new model?
>
>
>
> Again, thank you both (Jeff and John) for your time and effort. I
> actually appreciate the fact that you two don't agree 100%. It's
> similar to how I get more out of an Ebert & Whoever movie review when
> the two critics don't completely agree, and each offer counterpoints,
> rather than a simple, monolithic recommendation.
>
> To follow the movie critic analogy, I think that good reviewers can
> lay out so many facts for the viewer that he might decide that he'll
> like the movie, even if the reviewers didn't. I believe it was this
> way for me with Ebert's thumbs-down review of the original Die Hard.
>
> So, thank you both.


you may want to think about a plan b... Where my hs internet comes in i have
one wrt and the router part plugged to a powerline bridge, wherever I want
either wired or wireless, i plug in the second part of the powerline bridge
and a 2nd wrt (gives me both wired and wireless wherever I plug in)

as to speed, what ya got, and what you gonna be doing? speed is limited to
the source, use internet via dsl/cable you probably max at 10-12, if however
you will be transferring big stuff from one device to another, you may want
higher speed... does your tivo use wired or wireless? (if wireless, it only
does about 54 max, wired 100), do you xfer large files often, and need high
speed all the time, or do you xfer large files infrequently, and you can
live with lower speed?... how bout the puters you will be using? (wired or
wireless, and what do they support? 10/100/1000 or B/G/N)....

maybe even a plan c... Remember, no matter where you have a plug, or a cat
5/6 connection, your SO will probably want to rearrange the furniture and
put it somewhere else!
(I cheated and in the closets in each room (of our ranch house)/from the
attic, ran power/cat5/phone/coax/etc so it's basically hardwired/easy to do
from the attic/ but out of sight)



Reply With Quote
  #22 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2008, 07:48 PM
LR
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

Jeff Liebermann wrote:
> On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 11:48:14 -0800, Jeff Liebermann <jeffl@cruzio.com>
> wrote:
>
>>> <http://www.intellon.com/pdfs/whitepaper_PLCPerformanceTesting.pdf>

>> I've never played with a HomePlug AV 200mhz system. The above article
>> shows "typical real world" performance to be 45mbits/sec. That's good
>> enough for the OP's applications (video and general web browsing).
>>
>> Also, they use PCATTCP for benchmarking:
>> <http://www.pcausa.com/Utilities/pcattcp.htm>
>> which works ok. However, I find the IPeft and JPeft to be more up to
>> date and far more accurate for higher speeds.

>
> They stacked the number slightly in their favor:
> They're using
> 64K socket buffers.
> 5000 source buffers (twice normal)
> 8760 buffer size (slightly larger than the 8192 default)
> My guess(tm) is that using more realistic values, the thruput will be
> noticably less. Hmmm... no numbers, no test results, very strange.
>
>
>

When I returned my Netgear adapters I considered getting a couple of
"Piggy's" from Solwise
<http://www.solwise.co.uk/net-powerline-av-push-piggy.htm#SPECS>
However I put it on hold due to a variety of info on their Forum.
They use the Intellon chip in the unit and towards the end of 2007 a
f/ware upgrade was issued to comply with "new" CE reg's and the comments
were:-
1."Well it turns out that, in order to meet new CE regulations, the
newer f/w version has got a different emc calibration file. By that I
mean they have some slightly different frequency notching and also
changes to the frequency power densities in order to comply with these
regulations. The effects are that it's possible to get a small amount of
radio interference on the old f/w but with more power and speed. The
newer f/w is less likely to cause interference but has reduced power and
slightly lower speed."
2."Our in house tests show the AV units with ver 2 or later f/w to be up
to 20% slower. TBH it depends upon the quality of the mains. With good
mains the difference is quite small."
3."Okay... I've spoken to Intellon and they say there are no tools
available to end users to do a f/w downgrade. However, we (Solwise),
have managed to get hold of the engineers only tool so that we CAN do
this downgrade for you. Sorry but this software is NOT for general
release - Intellon will NOT be happy at all if we let this software out
of the door."
They were from
<http://www.solwiseforum.co.uk/archive/index.php?t-8391.html>

I suppose like most things you pays your money...

Reply With Quote
  #23 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2008, 09:24 PM
John Navas
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 12:30:25 -0800, John Navas
<spamfilter1@navasgroup.com> wrote in
<7hcil4dhh0lm3u0pu9lccl8587ve7t2f39@4ax.com>:

>Since Ethernet limits you to 100 Mbps, I'd go for the LINKSYS PLK200
>PowerLine AV Ethernet Adapter Kit, $125 at Newegg with free shipping:
><http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833124096>



If you want a bargain and don't mind older spec,
TigerDirect.com has the Actiontec MegaPlug 85Mbps Powerline Ethernet
Adapter Kit (two units) for only $70.
<http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4329027&CatId=211>

--
Very best wishes for the holiday season and for the coming new year,
John

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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2008, 10:27 PM
dgates
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 14:24:04 -0800, John Navas
<spamfilter1@navasgroup.com> wrote:

>On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 12:30:25 -0800, John Navas
><spamfilter1@navasgroup.com> wrote in
><7hcil4dhh0lm3u0pu9lccl8587ve7t2f39@4ax.com>:
>
>>Since Ethernet limits you to 100 Mbps, I'd go for the LINKSYS PLK200
>>PowerLine AV Ethernet Adapter Kit, $125 at Newegg with free shipping:
>><http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833124096>

>
>
>If you want a bargain and don't mind older spec,
>TigerDirect.com has the Actiontec MegaPlug 85Mbps Powerline Ethernet
>Adapter Kit (two units) for only $70.
><http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4329027&CatId=211>



Nah, I already ordered the Linksys PLK200.

I've done all the research I want to for a few days. I also ordered a
cordless phone with 3 handsets and an iPhone car recharger.

I'll probably be back in a few days to ask why I can't get our color
printer onto the wireless network, or something like that.

Thanks again.

Reply With Quote
  #25 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2008, 10:32 PM
dgates
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 15:27:43 -0800, dgates <dgates@somedomain.com>
wrote:

>On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 14:24:04 -0800, John Navas
><spamfilter1@navasgroup.com> wrote:
>
>>On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 12:30:25 -0800, John Navas
>><spamfilter1@navasgroup.com> wrote in
>><7hcil4dhh0lm3u0pu9lccl8587ve7t2f39@4ax.com>:
>>
>>>Since Ethernet limits you to 100 Mbps, I'd go for the LINKSYS PLK200
>>>PowerLine AV Ethernet Adapter Kit, $125 at Newegg with free shipping:
>>><http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833124096>

>>
>>
>>If you want a bargain and don't mind older spec,
>>TigerDirect.com has the Actiontec MegaPlug 85Mbps Powerline Ethernet
>>Adapter Kit (two units) for only $70.
>><http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4329027&CatId=211>

>
>
>Nah, I already ordered the Linksys PLK200.


Man!

I'm certainly impressed by the good reviews this device gets:

http://www.amazon.com/Actiontec-Mega.../dp/B000QGBC8C


What's the catch? I'd feel a lot less buyer's remorse if you could
tell me that my $125 Linksys devices offer me something that these
don't. Maybe the potential for extra throughput in the future...?

Reply With Quote
  #26 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2008, 10:42 PM
John Navas
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 15:32:31 -0800, dgates <dgates@somedomain.com> wrote
in <6dnil45bjivf59t0s3oqhmo6evctjuep19@4ax.com>:

>On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 15:27:43 -0800, dgates <dgates@somedomain.com>
>wrote:
>
>>On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 14:24:04 -0800, John Navas
>><spamfilter1@navasgroup.com> wrote:


>>>>Since Ethernet limits you to 100 Mbps, I'd go for the LINKSYS PLK200
>>>>PowerLine AV Ethernet Adapter Kit, $125 at Newegg with free shipping:
>>>><http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833124096>
>>>
>>>If you want a bargain and don't mind older spec,
>>>TigerDirect.com has the Actiontec MegaPlug 85Mbps Powerline Ethernet
>>>Adapter Kit (two units) for only $70.
>>><http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4329027&CatId=211>

>>
>>Nah, I already ordered the Linksys PLK200.

>
>Man!
>
>I'm certainly impressed by the good reviews this device gets:
>
>http://www.amazon.com/Actiontec-Mega.../dp/B000QGBC8C
>
>What's the catch? I'd feel a lot less buyer's remorse if you could
>tell me that my $125 Linksys devices offer me something that these
>don't. Maybe the potential for extra throughput in the future...?



I don't think there is a catch for what you want to do -- I've not used
them myself, but I've heard good things about the Actiontec units.

I would have recommended them in the beginning had I known they were
this much less expensive.

--
Very best wishes for the holiday season and for the coming new year,
John

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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2008, 10:54 PM
Jeff Liebermann
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 15:27:43 -0800, dgates <dgates@somedomain.com>
wrote:

>Nah, I already ordered the Linksys PLK200.


You might want to read the 65 assorted reviews on Newegg.com:
<http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N82E16833124096>
Most users are generally satisfied. There are a few gotchas. One I
find amusing is that you have to type in the serial number when
running the install software. However, since it's on the back of the
unit, you can't read it when it's plugged in. Scribble down the
serial numbers before installing.

>I've done all the research I want to for a few days. I also ordered a
>cordless phone with 3 handsets and an iPhone car recharger.


Well, if the cordless phone is on 2.4GHz, you might end up with some
mutual interference with the wireless routers.

>I'll probably be back in a few days to ask why I can't get our color
>printer onto the wireless network, or something like that.


Nope. My guess is you'll be asking how to add a 3rd power line
networking adapter.

Good luck.

--
# Jeff Liebermann 150 Felker St #D Santa Cruz CA 95060
# 831-336-2558 jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
# http://802.11junk.com jeffl@cruzio.com
# http://www.LearnByDestroying.com AE6KS

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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 12-30-2008, 09:15 AM
dgates
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 15:54:11 -0800, Jeff Liebermann <jeffl@cruzio.com>
wrote:

>On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 15:27:43 -0800, dgates <dgates@somedomain.com>
>wrote:
>
>>Nah, I already ordered the Linksys PLK200.

>
>You might want to read the 65 assorted reviews on Newegg.com:
><http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N82E16833124096>
>Most users are generally satisfied. There are a few gotchas. One I
>find amusing is that you have to type in the serial number when
>running the install software. However, since it's on the back of the
>unit, you can't read it when it's plugged in. Scribble down the
>serial numbers before installing.
>
>>I've done all the research I want to for a few days. I also ordered a
>>cordless phone with 3 handsets and an iPhone car recharger.

>
>Well, if the cordless phone is on 2.4GHz, you might end up with some
>mutual interference with the wireless routers.


Not 2.4GHz. 1.9GHz.

I was about to spend $50 or more to replace our handset for our old
Panasonic phone ( http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0001Y4KR4 ) when I
realized that for $71, I could buy a whole new system -- with three
handsets, rather than the two we have now:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000LYAX1G

I considered spending a little more for "digital," but I didn't know
exactly what it would get me and I didn't like the reduced battery
life.


>>I'll probably be back in a few days to ask why I can't get our color
>>printer onto the wireless network, or something like that.

>
>Nope. My guess is you'll be asking how to add a 3rd power line
>networking adapter.
>
>Good luck.


Thanks.

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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 12-30-2008, 02:48 PM
John Navas
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

On Tue, 30 Dec 2008 02:15:30 -0800, dgates <dgates@somedomain.com> wrote
in <oqsjl4tingk6v141o3mt5q10lpp8g57j4r@4ax.com>:

>On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 15:54:11 -0800, Jeff Liebermann <jeffl@cruzio.com>
>wrote:


>>Well, if the cordless phone is on 2.4GHz, you might end up with some
>>mutual interference with the wireless routers.

>
>Not 2.4GHz. 1.9GHz.
>
>I was about to spend $50 or more to replace our handset for our old
>Panasonic phone ( http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0001Y4KR4 ) when I
>realized that for $71, I could buy a whole new system -- with three
>handsets, rather than the two we have now:
>
>http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000LYAX1G
>
>I considered spending a little more for "digital," but I didn't know
>exactly what it would get me and I didn't like the reduced battery
>life.


Digital, depending on implementation, would probably give you
substantially clearer sound with substantially less interference. The
best digital cordless phones use spread spectrum technology.

--
Very best wishes for the holiday season and for the coming new year,
John

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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 12-30-2008, 03:14 PM
aracARI
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How to boost our Linksys WRT150N's signal -- across the house?

On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 15:42:59 -0800, John Navas wrote:

> I don't think there is a catch for what you want to do -- I've not used
> them myself, but I've heard good things about the Actiontec units.
>
> I would have recommended them in the beginning had I known they were
> this much less expensive.


You would have recommended them....when you had only /heard/ of them?
--
** Posted from http://www.teranews.com **

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