Sunday, October 30, 2011

DIY outdoor all-weather 3G/Wi-Fi router

My father lives in the village where no broadband connection is available. To access Internet he used creepy and hell expensive GPRS connection. Once tired by absence of normal connection and impossibility to show him some video on youtube I decided to make something to resolve this nonsense. At that time I was aware few neighbors of him are using 3G USB modems with Yagi antenna attached. After small research USB modem was bought to do the same. Unfortunately first attempts to connect to the network using solely internal antenna was complete failure. But when I was outside house and connected 1/4-wavelength long piece of copper wire into modem’s antenna socket, I was able to connect to the network.

Due to impossibility to make connection from the house, first more or less working solution included wireless router with USB port (at the time one of the cheapest TP-Link TL-MR3220) that was located in attic and this fascinating wire antenna:

It's how broadband looks far away from the city

Surely I was able to connect modem directly to PC using only external antenna and USB extension cable, but I have reasons to go wireless. To name a few:

  • I and my nephew have wi-fi enabled devices (phones, laptops, ipods, etc.) we would like to use them anywhere in the premises. So this hotspot will serve not only standalone desktop PC, but any wireless device in range.
  • I didn't wanted use PC as a router as it often turned off because is a little loudly and located in the living room.
  • While drilling in the attic was OK, inside cabling will be a pain. Wireless access from desktop is a real saving and relief.

Few weeks after installation I visited father again and found that: