[Cu-wireless] wireless repeater type thing question...

niteshad at whopper.de niteshad at whopper.de
Sat Sep 28 18:11:40 CDT 2002

I have a wap going in my basement, but it doesn't reach to the second
floor.  Putting it on the first floor isn't really an option because that would
involve drilling a hole into hard wood floors.  Is there anything that I can
get to boost the signal in my house?

I see these things called bridges, and I keep getting yelled at that they
won't help, they are just dumb routers.  Any help?



First of all, there are several different factors that may be affecting
the attenuation (loss) of your WAP's signal between the basement and the
second floor.  Typically, water pipes, heating/cooling ducts, plumbing, etc. are
all routed through the space between the basement ceiling and the first
floor.  All of these metal obstacles will severely limit 2.4 GHz wireless
signals between the basement and the upper floors.  Can you reach your WAP with
your wireless card from the first floor?  

Secondly, the omni-directional antennas that came with your WAP don't
radiate in all directions, but rather in a toroidial or donut-shaped "cloud" of
wireless signals.  They have blind spots above and below the antenna.  It is
possible that you're location on the second floor is sitting in one of the
blind spots (nulls) of your antennas.  If you can connect to the WAP from
the first floor, try moving the location of your computer on the second floor
to see if it might be able to connect from a different location.

I realize that you're probably using a wireless network in your home
because wireless is cheaper and easier to install than a wireline Ethernet
network (and also to save those hardwood floors :)  Without knowing how the
wireless signal is propagating between floors of your house there are two possible
solutions that I can thing of:

1.  Is it somehow possible to fish Ethernet cable (Category-5e, Unshielded
Twisted-Pair) up from the basement through the _walls_ of your house?  This
would avoid drilling through the hardwood floors _per_se_ but would allow
you to install RJ-45 wall jacks where you could plug in either your computer,
or another WAP set to the same SSID and channel as the WAP in your

2.  Buy two more WAPs, one for the first floor and one for the second
floor.  Set both of them to the same channel, SSID, WEP encryption key, etc. as
the WAP in your basement.  The first floor WAP would act as a repeater
between the WAP on the second floor and the WAP in the basement.  Now that I
think of it, start out with just one extra WAP, on the first floor.  If after
the installation of this WAP, you can connect to your network from the second
floor, congratulations, you're done.  If not, buy the second extra WAP and
install it on the second floor.  This should allow you to connect to your WAP
in the basement.  

Please let me, and the rest of the list know how you are doing with this
project.  If you need more help, feel free to ask more questions. 

best regards,


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