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Antenna direction and replacement questions

gogreen1

Regular Contributor
I have an Asus RT-AC68U. I'm experimenting with antenna direction and replacement. I hate to ask a dumb question, but what is the best placement for the three antennas? Angle the two outside antennas at about 45 degrees parallel to the router and let the middle antenna stand straight up? And to change positions, does the router need to be restarted?

I also have a paddle-like WL-ANT-157 that I borrowed from a friend. I assume it should replace the middle antenna? And is the "front" the side with the "ASUS" name, or is the opposite side from the named side the "front"?

I need to boost the signal a bit because my one-story home has metal wall studs, and I think they create a lot of interference. I'm also going to test adding a aimesh router (another RT-AC68U).

Thanks.
 

Smokindog

Senior Member
If there is anyway you can run a cable to a secondary location and add another node as an AP you'll be further ahead (IMO).

Also, download a program like WiFi Analyzer and do a quick walk around your "primary use" locations noting the spectrum already in use.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
In a one-story home, the best placement in many, if not most, of my customers' networks has been to have all the antennae straight up.

You may want to also test for the following effects on your network installation too:
  • At least 10' above ground level (the actual 'earth', outside the home).
  • At least 3' 'free air' on all three sides; to the sides, the ceiling and bonus points if you can install (aesthetically) on a pole.
  • Rotate and align all the antennae in the same direction.
  • Rotate the entire router up to 270 degrees to the left and to the right (I usually try for 4 to 6 points in between).
  • At each position and orientation that you are testing, check which manual Control Channel and Channel Width gives the best (most responsive, not peak download) speeds.
This is a little time consuming, but it is essential to tuning the network to perform as fast and stable as it possibly can. :)
 

gogreen1

Regular Contributor
Thanks, all for the suggestions and comments!

I'll experiment with antenna direction some more. I've had my antennas set up this way: \ | /. I'll try | | |. I'm going to try to move the router a bit, although I can't move it too far from its current location.

Wired would be better, I know, but for now, that's not possible with a node. I didn't see any improvement with the WL-ANT-157. How about three 9dBi replacements? Or, for that matter, 12dBi?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Unless you have time and money to burn, I wouldn't be (blindly) testing with different antennae. The WiFi RF design is tightly interwoven with the supplied ones. ;)

The important point is that the RF 'donut' pattern needs some room to 'bloom' (sorry, not that technical, I know!). Give at least 3' in a 3D space around the router as best as you can. Depending on other factors, it can be a huge improvement by itself. :)
 

dlandiss

Very Senior Member
Thanks, all for the suggestions and comments!

I'll experiment with antenna direction some more. I've had my antennas set up this way: \ | /. I'll try | | |. I'm going to try to move the router a bit, although I can't move it too far from its current location.

Wired would be better, I know, but for now, that's not possible with a node. I didn't see any improvement with the WL-ANT-157. How about three 9dBi replacements? Or, for that matter, 12dBi?
You may see some benefit from higher-gain antennas, especially in a one-story home. If the antennas are non-directional in the horizontal plane (like a straight-up vertical pole) the effect is to flatten the donut pattern by concentrating the RF energy to be stronger in directions perpendicular to the physical antenna. In a one-story home I would leave all three vertical.

Fortunately the reciprocity principle reminds us that reception (that is, client-to-router) is improved by the same amount.


9-dbi-7dbi-6dbi-2-dbi-range.jpg

14182_186_1.jpg
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Do we know the typical stock antenna dbi?

OE
 

dlandiss

Very Senior Member
Do we know the typical stock antenna dbi?

OE
My understanding is that they are about 5dBi (deci Bels referenced to isotropic), thus about 3dB referenced to a dipole. OTOH another source says ASUS told him 3.5dBi. Either way, they trade high gain for a vertically broader pattern.

This link is to a forum member's report of the results in his house.
 
Last edited:

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
My understanding is that they are about 5dBi (deci Bels referenced to isotropic), thus about 3dB referenced to a dipole. OTOH another source says ASUS told him 3.5dBi. Either way, they trade high gain for a vertically broader pattern.

This link is to a forum member's report of the results in his house.
Thanks!

(I used dbi instead of dBi in deference to your attachment.)

OE
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Yep, even professionals err. I should probably start using this version instead.
Thanks! I've updated my notes to link to your images.

This is all the attribution you'll get here! :)

OE
 

dlandiss

Very Senior Member
Thanks! I've updated my notes to link to your images.

This is all the attribution you'll get here! :)

OE
Even that one is not quite accurate. I know of no vertical antennas that deliver the same signal directly above as they do at 90º.
 

dlandiss

Very Senior Member
Super Power Supply has 6, 9, and 12dBi antennas on Amazon. Buy by using the link at the top right of this page and this Forum benefits. We got some improvement with the 9dBi version, not much more with the 12dBi set.
 

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