a55830
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External Antenna

Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:18 am

Hi
is there a way to add an external antenna... need to boost the range....

/Thomas

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mahjongg
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Re: External Antenna

Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:51 pm

No there is not!

besides the current antenna already puts out the maximum signal strength allowed by certification institutes.

I suggest switching from 5GHz mode to 2.4 GHz mode, which is better at penetrating walls and such.

or use a repeater.

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RaTTuS
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Re: External Antenna

Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:54 pm

you could use a USB wifi stick
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kaksi
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Re: External Antenna

Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:15 pm

mahjongg wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:51 pm
besides the current antenna already puts out the maximum signal strength allowed by certification institutes.
On the very same places (I tested 3), my phone and my notebook get an IP from the router on the roof and communicate with it. My PRIs detect the router, but hostname -I shows something for outside the expected range - a long time ago, I was explained the this happens when no IP was assigned by the router.

This makes me fear the signal from the RPI to be weaker.

Andyroo

Re: External Antenna

Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:54 pm

What do you get back and what do you expect?

Have you tried to set up static IP addresses on the router or Pi?

How did you create the WiFi connection?

LTolledo
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Re: External Antenna

Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:14 pm

a55830 wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:18 am
Hi
is there a way to add an external antenna... need to boost the range....

/Thomas
you'll have to overcome all legal requirements first, and cost to cover it.
are you willing to do that?

failing that some men in full battle gear might come barging into your place and take you to the coolers.... and have you pay hefty fines....
"Don't come to me with 'issues' for I don't know how to deal with those
Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

Some people be like:
"Help me! Am drowning! But dont you dare touch me nor come near me!"

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Re: External Antenna

Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:52 pm

LTolledo wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:14 pm
a55830 wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:18 am
Hi
is there a way to add an external antenna... need to boost the range....

/Thomas
you'll have to overcome all legal requirements first, and cost to cover it.
are you willing to do that?

failing that some men in full battle gear might come barging into your place and take you to the coolers.... and have you pay hefty fines....
More likely men in conservative suits. The results will be much the same, though.

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mahjongg
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Re: External Antenna

Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:23 am

I don't expect no black helicopters, still increasing the signal output strength of a certified device will invalidate the certification.

LTolledo
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Re: External Antenna

Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:10 am

If memory serves me right, a member got recently banned for "condoning" the use of external antenna on the RPi....
"Don't come to me with 'issues' for I don't know how to deal with those
Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

Some people be like:
"Help me! Am drowning! But dont you dare touch me nor come near me!"

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rin67630
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Re: External Antenna

Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:25 am

mahjongg wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:51 pm
besides the current antenna already puts out the maximum signal strength allowed by certification institutes.
It is really astonishing that this "ridiculously tiny" antenna construction really radiates as well as a full size 1/4 lambda antenna.
My university teacher 40 years ago would have sacked me, if I had pretended that it were possible.

Heater
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Re: External Antenna

Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:06 am

I'm pretty sure it does not.

There is a reason WiFi routers come with antennas.

Anyway good enough for the intended purpose. Annoying when one needs to put the Pi in a metal box. Ah well.
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rin67630
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Re: External Antenna

Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:25 am

Heater wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:06 am
Annoying when one needs to put the Pi in a metal box.
That is the very reason, why I am purchasing the base Pi Zero and use an USB-Wifi adapter.

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rin67630
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Re: External Antenna

Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:27 am

Heater wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:06 am
There is a reason WiFi routers come with antennas.
Marketing?

Technocolour
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Re: External Antenna

Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:28 am

Having a big antenna is nice for listening, if nothing else.

And being able to connect an external antenna without using any ports has its uses (putting the pi in a full metal can while using the IO for other things).

That said, mine just sits open on the desk, and I have absolutely no need to recieve better than I transmit, or fiddle with how the emission lobes are oriented, so I'm all good. And I fully understand that the RPi F/T leaves those corner cases to USB connected routers or people building what they need with the Compute Stick. Certifications cost money and effort after all. And you have countries that simply must have theirs performed with their local institutes.

emma1997
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Re: External Antenna

Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:33 pm

I was able to approximately triple range by replacing the ceramic antenna with a DIY coat hanger yagi. This certainly voided the Pi warranty and normally illegal under FCC rules. Fortunately my ham ticket helps with the latter. It was a desperate measure though to gain access to a remote free WIFI hotspot. Metal box did not help either.

amekassa600
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Re: External Antenna

Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:55 pm

LTolledo wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:10 am
If memory serves me right, a member got recently banned for "condoning" the use of external antenna on the RPi....
besides the current antenna already puts out the maximum signal strength allowed by certification institutes.

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mahjongg
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Re: External Antenna

Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:13 pm

emma1997 wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:33 pm
I was able to approximately triple range by replacing the ceramic antenna with a DIY coat hanger yagi. This certainly voided the Pi warranty and normally illegal under FCC rules. Fortunately my ham ticket helps with the latter. It was a desperate measure though to gain access to a remote free WIFI hotspot. Metal box did not help either.
Nobody is claiming the ceramic antenna cannot be improved, (just extending the antenna with a coaxial cable to close nearby the receiver would do that trick) just that trying to do so will invalidate your licence to use it.

and yes, antenna technology really has advanced to a point that a small ceramic antenna is now "good enough" to output the allowed amount of signal strength, while also be sensible enough (those are two sides of the same coin) to function as well as a more classical antenna.

also the banned user wasn't just "condoning" the practice, he was telling other users how to (try to) do it, and because he therefore was endangering other readers to get into legal trouble, he lost the privilege to post here.

fruitoftheloom
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Re: External Antenna

Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:18 pm

mahjongg wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:13 pm
emma1997 wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:33 pm
I was able to approximately triple range by replacing the ceramic antenna with a DIY coat hanger yagi. This certainly voided the Pi warranty and normally illegal under FCC rules. Fortunately my ham ticket helps with the latter. It was a desperate measure though to gain access to a remote free WIFI hotspot. Metal box did not help either.
Nobody is claiming the ceramic antenna cannot be improved, (just extending the antenna with a coaxial cable to close nearby the receiver would do that trick) just that trying to do so will invalidate your licence to use it.

and yes, antenna technology really has advanced to a point that a small ceramic antenna is now "good enough" to output the allowed amount of signal strength, while also be sensible enough (those are two sides of the same coin) to function as well as a more classical antenna.

Proant supply the WiFi Aerial technology:

http://www.proant.se/en/home.htm
Take what I advise as advice not the utopian holy grail, and it is gratis !!

emma1997
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Re: External Antenna

Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:56 pm

amekassa600 wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:55 pm
besides the current antenna already puts out the maximum signal strength allowed by certification institutes.
Generally these mods don't change actual power transmitted but instead alter beam shape (directionality, f/b ratio, pattern, etc). So instead of sending weak signal in all directions the same power is concentrated in a narrow beam. Still illegal though because ERP (Effective Radiated Power) limits take range into consideration, not just output.

Certification for the maker yes, but unlike overseas here in USA we don't need a license for consumer products. It's mostly to prevent interference, specially with critical operations like aviation or emergency services. Could literally be a matter of life and death, not just MIB visit.

drgeoff
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Re: External Antenna

Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:23 pm

emma1997 wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:33 pm
I was able to approximately triple range by replacing the ceramic antenna with a DIY coat hanger yagi. This certainly voided the Pi warranty and normally illegal under FCC rules. Fortunately my ham ticket helps with the latter. It was a desperate measure though to gain access to a remote free WIFI hotspot. Metal box did not help either.
Are you sure about "normally illegal under FCC rules. Fortunately my ham ticket helps with the latter"? In some countries the type of "message" an amateur licence permits one to transmit is restricted to those consistent with furthering experiments and research about radio transmission. Not for web browsing, emails, file access, media streaming etc as would generally be done using Wi-Fi.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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rin67630
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Re: External Antenna

Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:25 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:18 pm
Nobody is claiming the ceramic antenna cannot be improved,
The ceramic antenna of the former Pi 3 really needed improvement, the Proant integrated antenna of the current 2,4 ´5 GHz models is incomparably better.

But it is onboard and not so flexible, than it could have been with SMA connectors.

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rin67630
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Re: External Antenna

Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:28 pm

drgeoff wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:23 pm

Are you sure about "normally illegal under FCC rules. Fortunately my ham ticket helps with the latter"?
I wonder as well. The HAM license does not give you rights to fiddle in other bands not intended for HAM radio.
Worse, you could lose your license doing so. But i am not in your shoes...

emma1997
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Re: External Antenna

Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:58 pm

drgeoff wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:23 pm
Are you sure about "normally illegal under FCC rules. Fortunately my ham ticket helps with the latter"? In some countries the type of "message" an amateur licence permits one to transmit is restricted to those consistent with furthering experiments and research about radio transmission. Not for web browsing, emails, file access, media streaming etc as would generally be done using Wi-Fi.
Pretty sure. This area discussed recently, heatedly, and endlessly on a radio forum I frequent and many others too before that. Mostly regarding the cheap chinese HHT like the technically illegal Baofeng but also many threads about WIFI and RC.

Advanced Class exam concentrates more on rules&regs than lower grades and having held what was formerly known as first class radiotelecom did quite a bit of research. Lesser licenses a lot more restrictive in terms of bands, content, and protocol (digital vs analog, modulation, tones, duration, etc). Bottom line with the right paper you can tune and mod nearly all types of equipment.

In a practical sense virtually anything as long as there are no complains filed with local office. No black vans (or helicopters) roaming the streets with rotating dishes looking for pirates. It's more a matter of courtesy and common sense. Licensed Radio Amateurs will always be at odds with general hackers when it comes to opinions and interpreting the rules.

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Re: External Antenna

Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:33 pm

rin67630 wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:25 pm
fruitoftheloom wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:18 pm
Nobody is claiming the ceramic antenna cannot be improved,
The ceramic antenna of the former Pi 3 really needed improvement, the Proant integrated antenna of the current 2,4 ´5 GHz models is incomparably better.

But it is onboard and not so flexible, than it could have been with SMA connectors.
The ceramics get knocked off (I have two or three now with them off) but the still send and pickup WiFi from a room next door. Annoyingly better then some other devices. Who know why, not me.

Not as flexible, but the flexibility capability has been left on all boards, should one desire.

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Re: External Antenna

Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:44 pm

emma1997 wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:58 pm
In a practical sense virtually anything as long as there are no complains filed with local office. No black vans (or helicopters) roaming the streets with rotating dishes looking for pirates. It's more a matter of courtesy and common sense. Licensed Radio Amateurs will always be at odds with general hackers when it comes to opinions and interpreting the rules.
Pretty much this.

I've mentioned before the neighbor ham operator whose transmissions were bleeding into the TV audio band and that my father, after pointing out to him that he needed to do something about that...and got blown off for his efforts, simply sent an audio recording to the FCC with the guys call letters coming in clearly over an obvious commercial broadcast. Said neighbor rather promptly got a visit from a group of polite, well dressed, gentlemen who told him in no uncertain terms that he was going to (a) shut down his transmitter NOW, and leave off, until (b) he had installed proper equipment to keep his signal from causing out of band interference, or (c) he'd get his ham license yanked.

Now I will agree that a better antenna on a Pi is rather unlikely to interfere with anything else and it is also unlikely to do so to the point that anyone notices, let alone reports it. But if any of it comes to pass, it is the person that made the modifications that is going to have to answer to the relevant authorities IF anyone notices and reports it.

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