Can I Relocate Just One Antenna on an Asus Multi-Antenna Wireless Router?

scso1502

New Around Here
Hi Guys,

I'm dealing with something that I'm sure a lot if wireless owners probably have questions about and was hoping you can give me (us) some guidance. I don't know how to properly title this thread to make is searchable to help others, so if a moderator feels the title can be named better, obviously please do so.

I have been using Asus RT-AC series wireless routers for many years having tested many brands and found the Asus routers to be far superior in every way. I just moved to a new home and set up yet another Asus AI-Mesh network with multiple Asus RT-AC series wireless routers, but I've hit a small stumbling block that I need the experts here to help me (and others) with so I don't needlessly spend time and money on stuff that won't work or is ineffective.

My situation.
In addition to my main house, I have a 40' x 50' enclosed and insulated steel workshop on my property about 100 feet from the main house. I want to extend my wireless coverage into the shop using a mesh node that is in the shop. I also want the node in the shop to serve clients outside the shop in the yard area between the house and the shop. Obviously, placing the shop's AI Mesh node inside the shop has been confirmed not to work due to the metal walls of the shop, however there is plenty of Wi-Fi signal to the shop's mesh node when I open the shop's steel roll-up door to allow a clear wireless path between the closest node in the house and the node in the shop.

I believe there are only two obvious solutions to this problem. Either I run a wired backhaul line between the closest node in the house and the node in the shop, or, relocate one or more of antennas for the shop node outside the shop's walls so I don't have to open the door for the shop-to-house node backhaul connection.

I have a bunch of underground wiring work to do here so the plan is to, in fact, eventually run a dedicated line to the shop for wired backhaul, but until I can do that in a couple months, I want to deal with the antenna issue as a temporary solution. Here's my dilemma. If I extend the 3 antennas on the Asus RT-AC1900 router in the shop to the outside, I'll still have no Wi-Fi connectivity when the shop's door is closed. So, I have a few questions.

1. Can I extend one or two of the router's antennas to the outside of the shop so the backhaul connectivity is restored and leave one or two if the shop's router antennas attached to the router on the inside of the shop to provide Wi-Fi connectivity inside without suffering a significant drop in performance for the clients inside and outside that connect to this node?

2. How many antenna should be homed outside vs inside the shop? Only one or two?

3. Does it matter which of the three antenna on the router are extended outside or does the router treat them all the same?

Thanks and have a great week!
Mike
Stevensville, MT.
 
Last edited:

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
There are two downsides to your plan.

1) The longer the cables you add between your router and antennas, the more signal loss. You can minimize this by using more expensive, lower-loss cable.

2) The router firmware is programmed to work with all its RF Tx/Rx chains having equal performance. Splitting antennas as you propose will cause the router to make incorrect decisions about the MCS rates it chooses. It will also seriously mess up any beamforming it uses.

The better approach would be to use a pair of outdoor bridges. They are not that expensive. EnGenius has many models.
 

itpp20

Senior Member
Hmm not that cheap...
EnGenius EnJet EnStationAC 5 GHz Outdoor 802.11ac Wave 2 Wireless Client Bridge/AP
Ubiquiti IsoStation 5AC

If you have an AP laying about, using (replacement) directional antenna's may be a lot cheaper.
 

scso1502

New Around Here
Thank you very much for the info! It is really helpful to understand the limitations of the router antenna configurations and other options available.

The EnGenius unit looks like the perfect solution. As I see it, I could mount an EnGenius bridge in the upper exterior wall of the shop and point it toward the house to extend the mesh network to the shop. I could then deliver the mesh network to the interior of the shop by running an ethernet backhaul cable from the output port of the Engenius bridge to Asus AC1900 mesh node in the shop. Is that what you guys are thinking?

I really appreciate the help!
Mike
 

degrub

Very Senior Member
you should be able to mount it close and under the eave if the building is oriented that way or in a window.
 

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