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RVing message boards => PCs, Communications, Electronics => Topic started by: bigpemby on September 07, 2011, 07:18:29 AM

Title: Wireless Router or Repeater?
Post by: bigpemby on September 07, 2011, 07:18:29 AM
We are at an RV Park in Florida and will be here until April.  They have Wireless Internet provided by Tengo Internet.  They gave us a log in because access is included with our deal.  I am wondering if there is a way for me to route that signal to all devices in the coach.  At home I used a wireless router.  If this is possible what device do I need and is there a way to combine something like the Super USB wifi antenna to the device for extra range?
Title: Re: Wireless Router or Repeater?
Post by: Ned on September 07, 2011, 07:49:38 AM
You need a wireless repeater or a wifi access point that can be run in repeater mode.  Even then, Tengo may only allow one computer at a time to be logged in.  Alternatively, you could just use the same Tengo code on each machine, just not at the same time.
Title: Re: Wireless Router or Repeater?
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on September 07, 2011, 08:20:59 AM
What are these other "devices"?  If the signal is strong enough in the coach, then any device with wifi can use it. You will probably need separate logons for each, though.  If the other devices don't have wifi, then they will have to be wired to something that does. It can be a computer that has wifi, or a device called a wireless bridge, which has ports for wired connections but itself is a wifi device that can logon to a wifi network.

If the park wifi signal is weak, then you need a local repeater with a good antenna. Something like the RadioLabs O-link would probably do the job, but they aren't cheap.

http://www.radiolabs.com/products/wireless/networking/wireless-router-repeater-bridge-kit.php

Here is an article by someone who did just what you want. His solution is not exactly off-the-shelf, though.
http://www.nyetech.com/services/rv-wireless-repeater.htm


The SuperUSB Wifi plugs into a USB port. I don't know of any repeaters that accept a USB-type external antenna, but there may be one. The difficulty is that a device like the SuperUSB requires a USB device driver, and the repeaters/routers are not Windows devices and do not host Windows device drivers.
Title: Re: Wireless Router or Repeater?
Post by: tvman44 on September 07, 2011, 09:42:16 AM
Get a Wifi repeater, JEFA Tech has some good ones.
Title: Re: Wireless Router or Repeater?
Post by: bigpemby on September 07, 2011, 09:59:47 AM
Not getting a good signal of my wireless devices.  Sometimes will work and sometimes it will not.  If I go to the clubhouse it works great.  I don't want to get several USB antenna's so was thinking of something like a repeater if it had a good antenna.
Title: Re: Wireless Router or Repeater?
Post by: Bob Buchanan on September 07, 2011, 02:57:37 PM
You need a wireless repeater or a wifi access point that can be run in repeater mode.

A repeater has to be configured the same as the router or access point it is repeating from doesn't it? I have a linksys that would auto configure, but it had to be hard wired temporarily at the time.
Title: Re: Wireless Router or Repeater?
Post by: Ned on September 07, 2011, 03:36:07 PM
Yes, but Tengo doesn't use encryption, just a login page, so a repeater should be easy to configure.  The SSID and channel are easily determined.
Title: Re: Wireless Router or Repeater?
Post by: NY_Dutch on September 07, 2011, 04:17:58 PM
We do exactly what you're asking for with a PEPWave Surf Mini (http://3gstore.com/product/1813_pepwave-surf-mini-200.html) WiFi repeater. The included antenna will usually provide a good signal strength from the CG source, but an external antenna can be added if needed. On occasion, I've put my PEPWave in a food storage container, connected it to an extension power cord,  and bungee corded it to a telescoping pole attached to my rear ladder, to get a good signal in a CG that otherwise only had good access in their lounge/office area. And it does play quite nicely with Tengo's login system.
Title: Re: Wireless Router or Repeater?
Post by: vermilye on September 08, 2011, 03:09:17 PM
Another specialized router useful for RVers is the WiFi Ranger (https://www.wifiranger.com/).  It has 3 inputs - An external WiFi Connection (the campground), a USB slot for a cell modem, and an Ethernet connection that can be used with their WFRBoost, a WiFi amplifier.  You choose which input you want to use (or let the router do it for you) & it rebroadcasts the signal on your own WiFi network. 

I recently used it on a long trip across the US & Canada & for the most part it worked well, switching between campground WiFi (including Tengo) and my cell modem.
Title: Re: Wireless Router or Repeater?
Post by: Tony_Alberta on September 08, 2011, 04:21:21 PM
Another specialized router useful for RVers is the WiFi Ranger (https://www.wifiranger.com/).
Rant    I *despise* websites with moving graphics on them.   /rant.    So rather than just ranting here I filled out the following at their contact page with my name and email address.

Folks

You have three images of your product that change every few seconds.  I *DESPISE* animation on websites.   I thus am not evaluating your product and will look elsewhere.  Anywhere elsewhere but your website.

Yes, this is a rant. 

Tony
Title: Re: Wireless Router or Repeater?
Post by: eeaton1 on September 08, 2011, 04:53:13 PM
Every Tengo access that I have had at campgrounds has only allowed one IP access at a time for that account.  They will make you pay extra for additional connections simultaneously.
Title: Re: Wireless Router or Repeater?
Post by: Tony_Alberta on September 08, 2011, 04:56:13 PM
Every Tengo access that I have had at campgrounds has only allowed one IP access at a time for that account.  They will make you pay extra for additional connections simultaneously.
But if your devices go through a router or wireless access point then Tengo should only see one device accessing their network.
Title: Re: Wireless Router or Repeater?
Post by: BernieD on September 08, 2011, 05:23:14 PM
We are in a Bluff, UT campground. No good VZ signal (weak 1xRTT as noted on the VZ locator map) but fairly good secured campground network. All the park WiFi sees is our router and both of our computers go out over that. We also have our LAN available so that our computers and printer can talk to each other.

We previously had the WiFi Ranger which WFR took back due to inability to get it working properly. Hopefully they have their act together now. I got a Cradlepoint WBR95 to replace the WFR. Both work about the same but the CP has 4 ethernet ports and a control console that gives much more information and settings.
Title: Re: Wireless Router or Repeater?
Post by: NY_Dutch on September 08, 2011, 07:01:42 PM
But if your devices go through a router or wireless access point then Tengo should only see one device accessing their network.
That's exactly what happens when we use our PEPWave, Tony. Tengo sees at as just one device using one IP, and has no clue about how many devices are in turn connecting to the PEPWave.
Title: Re: Wireless Router or Repeater?
Post by: Tony_Alberta on September 08, 2011, 10:25:11 PM
Dutch, to me your PepWave comes under the heading of a router/wireless access point but you're correct others may not realize that.
Title: Re: Wireless Router or Repeater?
Post by: 3Gstore_Matt on September 09, 2011, 01:51:24 PM
Another specialized router useful for RVers is the WiFi Ranger (https://www.wifiranger.com/).  It has 3 inputs - An external WiFi Connection (the campground), a USB slot for a cell modem, and an Ethernet connection that can be used with their WFRBoost, a WiFi amplifier.  You choose which input you want to use (or let the router do it for you) & it rebroadcasts the signal on your own WiFi network. 

I recently used it on a long trip across the US & Canada & for the most part it worked well, switching between campground WiFi (including Tengo) and my cell modem.

If picking up park WiFi is the number one priority I'd stay clear of the WiFi Ranger and stick with the Pepwave Surf Mini or 400 instead. The reason is because the receiver on the Pepwave products are significantly more powerful. In example - With a WiFi Ranger & Pepwave basically side by side I'll pull in 4X the amount of WiFi networks with the Pepwave Surf Mini. The main advantage the WiFi Ranger has is the WFRBoost, which allows you to configure an external antenna that does give it an edge over the Pepwave products.

On my to do list is a demo comparing the WiFi solutions like the CTR35, Pepwave Surf Mini and WiFi Ranger with no accessories. Trust me - You'll find without adding other hardware the Pepwave Surf Mini is going to destroy everything  :-X
Title: Re: Wireless Router or Repeater?
Post by: Mavarick on September 09, 2011, 02:08:05 PM
Quote
The main advantage the WiFi Ranger has is the WFRBoost, which allows you to configure an external antenna that does give it an edge over the Pepwave products.
So Matt, WiFi in my rv is my priority and I was looking at the pep wave mini along with the Hawking 15db external antenna. Are you saying the Hawking would give me better wifi reception with the WiFi Ranger?
What about the Ranger with their WFRboost amplifier, is that the best choice overall instead of the Hawking?
Title: Re: Wireless Router or Repeater?
Post by: vermilye on September 09, 2011, 06:25:37 PM
Unless you want to take advantage of the ability to switch your local WiFi network between campground WiFi's & a cell modem or are in a campground long enough to connect to DSL or a cable modem through its Ethernet connection, there are less expensive and more powerful options available than the WiFi Ranger for increasing WiFi strength.  Their Boost addition does have far more range than the basic unit.
Title: Re: Wireless Router or Repeater?
Post by: Mavarick on September 09, 2011, 08:18:09 PM
I agree the full bundle at $300 is kind of spendy compared to the surf mini and the Hawking at app. $175. Using the Hawking I was told to expect up to 3/4 mi range. The ranger bundle says it is good to 2 miles at full bandwidth. From what I can tell from a pure reception standpoint the ranger is the best and would also allow for a MiFi cell connection down the road.
2 miles give you an awful lot of wifi options compared to 3/4 mile and might negate the need for a MiFi cell connection if I am understanding this correct.