Yesterday evening PA2AYX and me managed to establish our first reliable long range Wifi connection. Before we did, I replaced the 16-element Yagi by a Grid Antenna, because I had some doubts about the Chinese-made thing. In the end this proved to be unjust, but I left the Grid on my roof anyway. The advantage of a Grid instead of the Yagi is the smaller opening angle, 14 degrees instead of 23 degrees. Gain is about the same, 24dBi versus 25dBi. Some more accuracy is required when pointing the antenna to the other station though.
We agreed that my system would be set up as an access point, and Dirk’s system would be configured as a client router. The way this works is easy to understand: client means that his system is configured to pick up a host (my access point), and router means that his system will hand out IP addresses to all the connected clients.
Setup at PD0AC
Grid Antenna – EnGenius 2611P (AP mode) – Switch – Modem/Router – Internet.
Setup at PA2AYX
16-element Yagi Antenna – EnGenius 5611P (client router mode) – Switch – Clients (desktops, notebooks)
Internet speed was fine at Dirk’s end. Later in the evening Dirk upped the stakes by hooking up his D-Star repeater to the system. To our surprise, this worked without a hitch. Speaking of stealing bandwidth!
Plans for the coming days: bridging
The next step is to connect our two wired LANs by putting both EnGenius system into bridge mode. Some adjustments have to be made before we can do that. Both our networks reside in the 192.168.2.xxx range, and that isn’t going to work. After all, bridging is all about connecting two networks which can’t see each other because of incompatible IP-ranges. I will change my network to reside in the 192.168.1.xxx range instead.
Both EnGenius systems generate 28dBm, which equals to 600mW. In our setup there are no cable losses to take into account. When converting this to ERP or EIRP, this is what our antennas spit out:
OK, not enough to fry a bird sitting on our antennas, but impressive nonetheless. And slightly illegal, so we keep our systems on the air as short as possible.