Victory (antennas part four)

For those of you bored from this topic, this should be the last in the series Now, where was I..

One fairly recent Saturday we decided to take my antenna off of the chimney and just point it down the road to the other person with a laptop and determine if there was any signal whatsoever coming from it. The current working theory was that the sheet metal on the top of the chimney was causing funky problems with transmission.

So we took it off of the roof and did just that – aimed it down the street. Much to our dismay, we couldn’t see the signal more than 50 yards or so away. We then decided to take my entire configuration (antenna, cable, access point) to Jay’s and see what we could find. In the process of trying to pull the cable out of the caulked hole in my house, I pulled a little too hard and rip the cable. We talked a little bit about the cable being the problem in the past, but now I was going to have to replace it.
$100 later, I had a new and better cable (LMR400). Hoping this was going to be the last trip to the roof, we also decided to put in a grounding rod (picture below) since the antenna is now higher than nearby street lights.

Lo and behold, after installation the two access points could see each other. HOLY CRAP!

We (well, Jay since I’m not a networking guru) then worked through some trouble with the firmware on the APs before upgrading it to a different/better one that actually worked. Once that and some more routing troubleshooting was complete, the network was live!

So now we’re up to last week with the network finally working. The access points fluctuate between 24 and 36mbps. A few tests show that we’re getting ping times that hover around 2ms and transfer speeds of around 1MBs (with MS filesharing). Soon we’ll have both of our backups being sent to each other’s houses for redundancy, more on that later. Aside from backups, it has already proven handy. Just last night we had a storm roll through town and when I got to work this morning I found that my router wasn’t on the internet anymore. A quick hop to Jay’s machine allowed me to reboot the router and get my house back online. Quite nice!

Photos Here

I’ll post some picture of the other antenna when I get them taken.

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