Wireless question from our recent weather incident in Texas

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Smokindog

Senior Member
Y'all may have heard about the recent arctic event here in North Texas. It reminded me of my days growing up just off the shores of Lake Erie :)

Many lost internet, power, ... for days as we plummeted to 0 and below bursting pipes and causing other mayhem. We were fortunate to only lose cell service and internet and sadly a whole bunch of landscaping. I was able to avoid any other major damage. :(

My neighbor across the cul de sac uses a different internet provider and being a good neighbor told me IF I can grab some to steal theirs!!!! Well I've done some work for them before and they have one POS router which is the standard issue for ATT (don't remember the model). It's upstairs, in a cabinet, and on the backside of their home.

I thought no way in heck but I decided to play a bit. I've got an AC68 out on the back wall of my main garage about 10 ft up which is hardwired back to my wiring closet.
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I reset the AC68 in the garage, direct connected my laptop and turned it into a Media Bridge. After entering their credentials I actually got a connection reported i the GUI as a whopping 2-4 Mb connected speed at -88ish dBm with a lot of vacillation. ;)

I then patched one of its LAN ports to the WAN port on my main main router (AC3100) and we once again had some internet in the house.

It at least allowed us to DL some emails and get some messages out to people so it was worth it. I'll be honest, it exceeded my wildest dreams.

NOW for the question ....

I'm trying to prep ahead for any future events thus guaranteeing they will never happen!

I have a dual band indoor/outdoor panel antenna (BAS-2307) in my parts closet.

Is there a "safe way" to use just a single antenna on the AC68 for either band?

As always, thanks in advance!
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
I don't recommend using only one antenna on multi-stream routers. The problem is that the radio thinks it has n streams to work with and its rate vs. range algorithms are set up that way. When you're feeding essentially n-x streams into a router that expects n streams, you'll end up with unreliable behavior.

I learned this the hard way when setting up a new test process. I ended up with a bunch of incorrect test results that I had to redo.

P.S. Sorry y'all had to go through what you went through. Hope things get back to normal soon.
 

Smokindog

Senior Member
I don't recommend using only one antenna on multi-stream routers. The problem is that the radio thinks it has n streams to work with and its rate vs. range algorithms are set up that way. When you're feeding essentially n-x streams into a router that expects n streams, you'll end up with unreliable behavior.

I learned this the hard way when setting up a new test process. I ended up with a bunch of incorrect test results that I had to redo.

P.S. Sorry y'all had to go through what you went through. Hope things get back to normal soon.
That was the response I was expecting :( I think I have a couple very old single antenna N or G devices someplace and they may have a bridge mode. I'll have to look. If not, what if I could pick up 2 more of these panels and connect 3? Just thinking out loud here.
 
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thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
I think you would be better off buying a purpose-built wireless bridge.
 

Smokindog

Senior Member
I think you would be better off buying a purpose-built wireless bridge.
Ya, I was hoping to avoid that by building a "frankinlink" which is why I really wasn't keen on buying more panels :)

And I completely forgot that these older devices are WEP :) :) At least I cleaned out a box of junk from my closet. I did find an RT-N16 still NIB, shrink wrap and all, and one used N16 and some high gain antenna. I may play with 2 of the high gain and the panel on an N16 to see what happens.

I just don't want to damage the radios. I'm thinking so long as I've got an antenna attached to all connections I SHOULD avoid that.

#ScienceProject
 

bbunge

Very Senior Member
You should be able to find an old router with a single antenna. Plenty of folks are upgrading and "recycling" old hardware. Or, an old desktop and a PCI or compatible WIFI adapter and turn the PC into a bridge. Too bad you are halfway across the country as I have a couple of routers you could use.
I know about the South Shore of Lake Erie. I grew up in Chautauqua County N.Y. Snow all the time. Temp down to -30 F. Seldom had power out, were always prepared for the worse when traveling and knew when to stay home. Walked to school so almost never had snow days.
 

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