Archive for November, 2014

Long Range Wifi – A Surprise!

November 11, 2014

A couple of weeks ago in France I was looking for free wifi and needed to get more range. I had no high gain wifi aerials with me but did have one 2100mHz 3G Omni  and decided to give it a go. To my surprise it worked well at long range and achieved a good connection at about 4 miles. Subsequent testing has produced some interesting results including good connections at about 10 miles range and a network intermittently visible at over 22 miles. This was from an elevated position overlooking Collioure in the South of France using an Alfa AWUS036H usb wifi adaptor.

I have been using the FON network in France to get free wifi and these are the results for FON hotspots on Channel 11 and Channel 6  I do not have a location/distance for these hotspots but guess that it will not be more than a couple of miles.  With the 9dBi 3G aerial a known hotspot at 4 miles range gave a figure of -60

Aerial                                    FON Ch 6                 FON Ch 11        APs

9dBi  2100 mHz 3G Omni       -58                           -62                 58

9dBi 2400 mHz Wifi Omni       -70                          -66                 45

8dBi  2400 mHz   Omni      not present                   -67                 34

Among the APs detected with the 9dBi 3G aerial were Port St Cyprien at 6.6 miles as the crow flies, Canet Port  at 15 miles and Port Leucate at 22.8 miles. Port Leucate signal was intermittent. St Cyprien and Canet were usable.

I have used this aerial several times since this test with an Alfa Networks AWUS036H and also Alfa Tube U(N) and found similar good long range results. The 036H is better for very long range. The site at Collioure in France was ideal for long range because it was elevated and gave good clear line of sight to the detected networks. In an urban area with obstructions range will be less but one thing for sure is that it will not be the aerial that is the limiting factor.

More details for this 3G/Wifi aerial here

15 March 2015

Free fast wifi in France! This aerial is getting free wifi in locations in France where there were no usable hotspots before. Makes a big difference when you are travelling. With back up from a simple 3G set up mobile communication is available pretty much all the time. Free wifi and limited use of paid 3G keeps the bills low.

Macbook Pro Airport Card Not Installed – Simple solution that works!

November 7, 2014

Airport card not installed – is a common error message on the Apple Macbook range. Many possible solutions are offered by Apple and in Google searches. I have tried several and none have worked   for me.

Not wanting to dismantle the Mac and change the airport card I have found a simple solution to this problem. This is for a 2009 Macbook Pro A1286 but should work with later models too. Tested and definitely good with OS X 10.5.8, 10.6  and 10.10 More details to follow.