improving range, signal strength for WMP11

Jim Carter jimc at
Sat Apr 27 10:01:41 EST 2002

On Fri, 26 Apr 2002, Jakob wrote:
> so I installed my Linksys WMP11 Mini PCI card as an access point on a
> OpenBSD 3.1 box. It has screwed-on, directible, external antenna which is
> covered with protective rubber, it seems.

> It sits under my desk in the office which is at one end of my house. When
> I am on the first floor, on the other end, signal strength and link
> quality get amazingly weak. Admittedly, there are a couple of concrete
> walls in between, but still.

I'll bet a higher location is better, about head level, because file
cabinets, refrigerators, people's feet, etc. tend to block the signal at
floor level.  A directional antenna, not too directional, directing the
signal at your house and not the neighbor's, could double your signal

But I worry what's in the concrete walls.  I believe cement contains
significant H2O, and not just OH's, and the ISM band means "industrial,
scientific, and microwave ovens" :-)  Water is especially hard on signals
in the ISM band.  Also, in Los Angeles (earthquake country) the concrete
would contain plenty of steel bars, which would not help the signal

I suppose a central location for the AP is not feasible...

James F. Carter          Voice 310 825 2897    FAX 310 206 6673
UCLA-Mathnet;  6115 MSA; 405 Hilgard Ave.; Los Angeles, CA, USA  90095-1555
Email: jimc at (q.v. for PGP key)

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