Video Blog: How to Set-Up A Wi-Fi Booster Kit

August 11, 2016 at 8:00 AM


Everyone could use a boost to their Wi-Fi connection. Fortunately, L-com has an entire family of wireless booster products designed to improve your wireless signal as well as amp up your operating range and performance. But how do you install a booster kit? No worries, we’ve got you covered.

 

Our instructional video walks you through the 6 simple steps to install our laptop Wi-Fi booster kit. This kit can be purchased by anyone in the United States and is FCC certified. With no special license required and such easy installation, anyone can use this Wi-Fi Booster kit. In less than 1.5 minutes we will show you exactly how easy it is to boost your wireless performance.

 

 

Our wireless booster/amplifier product lines include models that operate on 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz, 5.8 GHz, 4.9 GHz and 4G/LTE cellular frequency bands. They are ideal for applications such as 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, SCADA, RFID, Public Safety Service and Homeland Security. L-com’s Wi-Fi booster kits make it easy to take your wireless performance from ordinary to extraordinary.

 

Click this link for more of our tips and how-to videos.

 

Antenna Gain for Dummies

July 14, 2016 at 8:00 AM

 

Many customers ask us to explain antenna gain, but it can be a little tricky to wrap your mind around. So, here we’ll break it down for you in our version of Antenna Gain for Dummies.

 

Antenna gain is the relative measure of an antenna’s ability to direct or concentrate radio frequency (RF) energy in a specific direction or pattern. Typically measured in decibels relative to an isotropic radiator (dBi) or decibels relative to a dipole radiator (dBd).

 

An Isotropic Radiator radiates energy equally in every direction, similar to a light bulb. The isotropic radiator antenna radiates uniformly and exhibits the same magnitude or properties when measured in all directions.

 

Why Antenna Gain Is Important:

 

One of the major factors used to analyze the performance of radio frequency (RF) communications links is the amount of transmitter power directed toward an RF receiver.


This power is derived from a combination of:

  1. 1.Transmitter power
  2. 2.The ability of the antenna(s) to direct that power toward an RF receiver(s)

 

Typically, antennas with higher gain will perform more efficiently and operate with a farther range distance.

  

How It’s Measured:

 

To determine the directivity of an antenna, a reference antenna is needed in order to compare performance. An isotropic radiator is the preferred antenna for comparison because it transmits equal amounts of power in all directions - like a light bulb.

 

To increase the directivity of the isotropic radiator, an antenna is added behind it to act like a reflector and direct the antenna’s energy - just like a reflector behind the bulb of a flashlight.

 

With the reflector, the flashlight will now appear much brighter, as will the energy of the antenna being pointed in one direction. Now the directivity can be calculated by measuring the difference between the antenna’s energy before and after the addition of the reflector. 

 

The directivity is then converted into decibels to determine the antenna gain relative to an isotropic source (dBi). For every 6 dBi in gain, you double the range of the antenna.

 

Now that you have a better understanding of antenna gain, there are still many factors to consider when selecting the right antenna for your application. In certain instances, too much gain can be a bad thing. 

 

For more information about antenna gain and other common wireless terms, check out our wireless glossary

 

Gain Gone Wild: How Too Much Antenna Gain Can Be A Bad Thing

March 24, 2016 at 8:00 AM

 

When designing a wireless network, one way to improve the strength and range of your Wi-Fi signal is to increase the antenna gain. This is a perfect solution for many applications.  But in certain situations, a high gain antenna stretches the wireless signal too far.

 

To put this into perspective, let’s look at an example of when too much gain becomes a bad thing:

 

You own a restaurant and want to set up a wireless network in an outdoor courtyard area. You choose an Omni-directional antenna to provide full 360° wireless coverage for your customers. For extra assurance that your Wi-Fi signal will reach everyone in the courtyard, you choose an antenna that also has a high gain rating of 15 dBi. Here is an illustration:

It seems logical that the high gain antenna would be able to connect the customers in your courtyard to your Wi-Fi network. But in actuality, your wireless signal is being projected far beyond the 300-foot coverage area that you’re aiming for. With the high gain antenna, the strongest Wi-Fi signal is outside of the courtyard space, leaving your patrons with slow speeds and poor signal quality. Weak vertical coverage from the high gain antenna also means the Wi-Fi signal won’t reach customers who are closer to the ground, sitting in chairs.

 

In this situation, your best option is an antenna with a lower gain, such as 5 dBi or 8 dBi.  This concentrates the Wi-Fi signal within a smaller area to better serve the customers within the courtyard. A lower gain antenna also has a stronger vertical reach to project the Wi-Fi signal lower to the ground for everyone seated. Here is a diagram:

The moral of the story is to proceed with caution when ramping up your Wi-Fi signal with a high gain antenna. It is possible to have too much of a good thing and ,depending on your wireless application, a high gain antenna might not be the best solution.

 

How To Extend Your Wireless Signal Range

March 3, 2016 at 8:00 AM

 

Extending Your Wireless Signal RangeEveryone wants to extend the range of their wireless signal. In fact, that is one of the most popular questions our customers ask here at L-com. If your router isn’t giving you the coverage you need, here are 5 tips to make sure your Wi-Fi signal goes the distance.

  

1.       Higher Gain Antenna

Antenna gain designates the ability for a signal to be transmitted or received. Using a higher gain antenna is one of the easiest ways to increase your wireless signal range. You should mindful of signal directionality though, because too much antenna gain can lead to a loss of vertical signal coverage.

 

2.       Wi-Fi Amplifier

Wi-Fi amplifier kits are easy to install and provide strong signal extension and coverage. Wi-Fi booster kits are available for anyone to purchase and don’t require special FCC licensing. There are also RF amplifiers available that support frequencies ranging from 900 MHz to 5.8 GHz and are available for export, military and FCC licensed users.

 

3.       Upgrade your Standard

If you currently use 802.11b or 802.11g wireless adapters and access points, an upgrade to 802.11n will give your wireless signal range a super boost. With more frequencies supported, higher bandwidth and almost twice the range of 802.11g, 802.11n offers significant advantages over earlier IEEE standards.

 

4.       Higher Power Access Point

Typically, a newer MIMO Wi-Fi router or access point transmits approximately 100mW to 800mW of power. A simple upgrade to one of these newer MIMO higher power access points or routers can improve your wireless signal and extend its coverage.

 

5.       Line of Sight, Fresnel Zone and Multipath Interference

Every wireless installation must take into consideration Line of Sight, Fresnel Zone and multipath interference. These factors, plus obstacles and obstructions posed by the physical environment, will all affect signal strength and range.

 

There are many factors that affect your wireless signal range, but there also a lot of ways to improve your coverage. Using one, or a combination of the changes listed above can ensure your wireless signal reaches its long distance destination.

 

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