Wireless in the corn field

Spent the weekend getting wireless internet out to grandma’s house next to a lake in the corn fields of Martin (previously she was using PeoplePC dial-up). Grandma’s cousins (a little less than half a mile away) have internet through a local WISP …

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Spent the weekend getting wireless internet out to grandma’s house next to a lake in the corn fields of Martin (previously she was using PeoplePC dial-up). Grandma’s cousins (a little less than half a mile away) have internet through a local WISP so the goal was to pickup their wifi and use that for our internet connection. Luckily this was fairly easy as grandma has a large 30ft. TV antenna that we could mount the antenna to that was clear line of sight to the cousin’s house. The main goal was to bring reliable, cheap internet down to the lake for grandma, after today’s testing, mission achieved! Now on to the details of this project, first the parts:

– 18dBi panel antenna
– 40ft. RTNCP cable
– TNC male RP to N male adapter
– (2) Linksys WRT54GL v1.1 wireless routers
– Lightning surge protector

I upgraded both routers to the latest DD-WRT firmware since many of the features needed to make this project work weren’t supported by Linksys firmware. Specifically I needed the ability to run one router in client mode and the ability to tweak settings like TX Power and others. Router 1 is setup as a client to the cousin’s router, router 2 is simply running in AP mode and is inside grandma’s house to provide wifi coverage in and around the house/lake.

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Antenna being installed on top of TV antenna!

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Antenna installed and ready to go!

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Mess of wires and the Linksys’

Parts/More Info:

I purchased all the parts from http://www.wifi-link.com
Would highly recommend them as a good vendor/source of wifi gear for projects like this.

Both routers are running DD-WRT, really good solid 3rd party firmware for Linksys, Dlink and other makes/models. http://www.dd-wrt.com

Total cost of this project: $117.12 not including the 2 Linksys’ I had laying around the house.

 

End result is a speedy, solid link to the internet. I would prefer a higher signal quality/level but considering I am using consumer-grade equipment I am quite happy with the speed and stability of the link, maybe in the future I will upgrade to something with a bit more power but for now it is working well. In grandma’s area there are only 2 internet options, dial-up or a local WISP. Ironically enough, we contacted the cousin’s WISP and asked if connection sharing was allowed and they had no issues with it, pretty sweet attitude I think! So there in a nutshell is a quick howto for wireless in the corn field!

Author: Travis Kensil

Director of IT. Husband and father. Michigan beachbum.

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