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Parent-Friendly Wireless Bridge To Span 500 Meters?

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the your-meterage-may-vary dept.

Wireless Networking 558

GonnaBRichYeahYeah! writes "My dad lives down a dirt road 500 meters off the main road. The cable company will not put cable down his lane for any less than the ridiculous sum of $10,000. And he cannot get phone line DSL since he is so far away from the central terminal, so he relied on painful 22k/sec dial-up for access to the Internet. He got sick of it and relies on Hughes satellite Internet, at $60/month, but he still has to be connected to a phone line to upload to the Internet. It's not a good solution, but better than dial-up. His friend lives on the corner of the main drag with his lane and has cable, thus hi-speed Internet. I suggested that he get a wireless access point, and put it at his friend's house and then get a wireless card for access. The problem is that no wireless routers go that far (max range of -N is 200 feet) and WiMax is too complex for a 70-year old man. Any suggestions from Slashdot crowd would be helpful." Plenty of people make wireless links over longer distances, but often they're not suited for people who want simplicity and reliability. What's the best out there right now?

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Consider the do it yourself way... (5, Informative)

avronius (689343) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507650)

Hoe (one per helper)
500 meters of heavy duty conduit
500 meters of cable (recommend that you lay fiber at the same time)

Solution 1:
1a: Dig a long trench from the cable termination point down the dirt road to your father's house
1b: Dig a long trench from "the closest neighbour with cable internet" down the dirt road to your father's hose
      Ensure that the trench is at least 18 inches deep, roughly 8 inches wide

2. Lay 500 meters of heavy duty conduit. Ensure that you are threading your cable through the conduit all the way along. Attempting to thread the cable AFTER the counduit has been completed may prove to be problematic.

3a: Call the cable company to connect the cable to the cable termination point. Begin paying monthly subscription to cable internet provider.
3b: If you've chosen to run the connection to your neighbhour's home, ensure that you don't piss him/her off. They are now your cable internet provider.

4. Profit $$$

Re:Consider the do it yourself way... (5, Funny)

avronius (689343) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507708)

Oh yeah...
Don't forget to fill the trench after you've installed the conduit!

Failing to do so, may turn this solution into a bigger problem than simple "internet access"...

Re:Consider the do it yourself way... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23507826)

Hoe (one per helper)

For 500 meters?!?

Christ on a cracker.. rent a ditch witch [] !

Re:Consider the do it yourself way... (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507882)

He meant backhoe, although one per helper is a bit much.

Re:Consider the do it yourself way... (4, Insightful)

avronius (689343) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508068)

I agree that digging this ditch 'the old fashioned way' would take a large amount of time.

If it were me, I'd probably bring in a contractor to do it.

If you do consider this route, get local utilities to locate underground services for you - so that you don't accidentally dig up power/water. You shouldn't - we're talking a foot and a half, but...

Re:Consider the do it yourself way... (2)

David_Hart (1184661) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507828)

Corollary: What he said.. only rent a backhoe to do your digging.


Re:Consider the do it yourself way... (4, Informative)

Holi (250190) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507944)

Forget the backhoe what he needs is a Ditch Witch [] . We had the same issue in Oregon, we lived on 280 acres and lived 1/2 a mile from the main road. It really is your only option if you are going to live in the boondocks.

Re:Consider the do it yourself way... (4, Informative)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507862)

I was going to suggest a pair of WRT54GL [] s running Tomato [] with some 15dBi antennas [] , but ethernet like that is going to be a much more reliable solution, if a bit harder to install.

Re:Consider the do it yourself way... (5, Informative)

GateGuy (973596) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507886)

I think you might be working too hard.

Cable is considered low voltage, so in some states it does not have to be buried 18 inches. Also why would you dig a trench 8 inches wide? Rent a small trencher, it make about trench about 3-4 inches wide. Use a trench shovel to clear out the trench.

Also, if you are using PVC, if you pull the line through as you are gluing the conduit together, you stand a great chance of gluing your pull string in place. Best thing to do is to shoot a mouse through the pipe (a mouse is a special plug that almost exactly fits a conduit that you attach a very light weight pull string to. On the other end you use a shop-vac to suck it out).

I would also have a pull box installed every 100 meters. 500 meters would be one heck of a pull.

Re:Consider the do it yourself way... (4, Informative)

maino82 (851720) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507982)

pullbox every 30m if you're a stickler for EIA/TIA/BiCSI standards

Hoes n bitchez (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23507900)

Hoe (one per helper)
500 meters of heavy duty conduit
500 meters of cable (recommend that you lay fiber at the same time)
If he wants this to be as cheap as possible I'd recommend skipping the hoes and just gong for the necessary stuff. Or they can share the hoe, no need for one hoe per helper!

Re:Consider the do it yourself way... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23507904)

You obviously have no idea what you are talking about. You don't run just normal RG6 cable 500 meters and you do not run the cable through the conduit as you are laying it. You run the cable through after the PVC cement has cured. You can't just dig a trench down the side of the road in a public Utility Easement.

Re:Consider the do it yourself way... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23507936)

Ok, the first thing that comes to mind are permits. And who's land is all of the conduit going under?

The second thing is you're going to dig a half-kilometer ditch (5.5 football fields) with a hoe? Ditch-witch my friend.

Wireless is much cheaper.

Re:Consider the do it yourself way... (5, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507954)

2. Lay 500 meters of heavy duty conduit. Ensure that you are threading your cable through the conduit all the way along. Attempting to thread the cable AFTER the counduit has been completed may prove to be problematic.

nope. spool of string, a soft poofy to tie on then fo string that fits easily in conduit and a wet-dry vac. works great. I suggest pulling a string along with the wire so you can easily re-do it later or add another wire.

BTW: 1500 feet of cat 5 does not work well for ethernet. get a pair of sdsl modems and put one at each end of the wire and you can go for 20 miles.

Re:Consider the do it yourself way... (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507980)

I haven't done it in many, many years but you can rent a gas powered trencher for not a lot and and do that in an afternoon. You do need a vehicle with a trailer hitch though.

Doing it professionally for $10K (5, Informative)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507986)

There are companies out there who will do a professional job of installing fixed-wireless from point A to point B.

You may want to pay your neighbor for a utilities easement to either run a cable down his property or install point A for fixed-wireless on his property. Then, pay the cable company as normal for them to connect Point A to their hookup. You will also need to get electrical service. The up-front costs won't be cheap but it will be a lot less than $10K.

If there are several neighbors affected, you may want to form a co-op or contract with a company who will own the easement.

Re:Consider the do it yourself way... (1)

t33jster (1239616) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508008)

Interesting, but at what point do you need to install line amplification? I ask because I know that satellite signal over a long (100 meter) distance definately needs some help getting there. Depending on how low your low voltage cable signal is, this may not be so simple.

Re:Consider the do it yourself way... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23508028)

Hoe (one per helper)

The mark of true friendship is helping you lay cable even when you don't hire them prostitutes in return.

Re:Consider the do it yourself way... (2, Informative)

JonWan (456212) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508042)

But .....

1. Make sure you have permission from the land owners to dig the trench and lay the line.

2. Stay away from the state/city/county right of way, or the next time they work on something your line will be torn up.

3. ???

4. Profit

Are you serious? (-1, Troll)

flattop100 (624647) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508044)

How can this be labeled INFORMATIVE? Come on, take a REALISTIC view of the situation. Costs for conduit and cable are expensive, there are probably zoning restrictions, I'm pretty sure the cable company would SUE you if they found out, and like the poster said, his dad is 70 YEARS OLD. Good luck finding friends to dig ditches so dad can look at naked ladies.

Re:Are you serious? (4, Interesting)

Applekid (993327) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508196)

Let A = cost of beers for able-bodied friends
B = cost of equipment (free because you already have it? Power tool rental?)
C = cost of submitting a request to the county
D = cost of cables, conduits, etc that gets buried.

If A + B + C + D $10,000 that the cable company is quoting, then it's a good deal. If it gets a permit and is all done to code there's nothing the cable company can sue about... especially since he'd just basically extended their infrastructure at no cost to them.

There's always inviting a cell tower to be built on your property. In such a case the cell companies would wind up buring some kind of infrastructure anyway to support it. When that happens, call again and all of a sudden, wouldn't you know it, you've got cabling all up to practically your doorstep.

Re:Consider the do it yourself way... (5, Informative)

char70ger (1234672) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508102)

Why not just get an aircard? You can get wireless EVDO routers like this one from keyocera. [] Or even get a pci to pcmcia adapter, this will allow you to use one in your PC. They sell them at newegg for under $20.00. [] I used a Verizon air card for over a year and ran a 5 computer network off it. I had to use an external antenna as I had no signal with my pc on the floor in the corner of my room.It was made by Wilson they call it their "Trucker Cellular Antenna" [] It cost me 100 bucks but was well worth the investment. It wasn't cable but it sure beat dial-up. I now have a wireless setup that uses Motorola Canopy technology that rocks!!!

Re:Consider the do it yourself way... (3, Interesting)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508134)

You forgot get permits and right of way access to even begin doing this. Thats why people use wireless. Not to mention the cost (includes labor x your_time) of doing this would crazy compared to getting two directional wifi antennas and a couple of routers.

Re:Consider the do it yourself way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23508190)

Just buy direct-bury cable instead of messing with conduit. More expensive than regular cable but much cheaper than adding conduit, and WAY easier. That's what the cable company would do anyway. Have you ever seen them lay cable? Directly into the ground.

Move (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23507652)

Sell the house and move.

Just a thought... (1)

armanox (826486) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507694)

WiFi by longshot?

Proper Antenna (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23507716)

Just get a proper directional antenna to replace the one on the router. Do the same for your neighbor and link'em together I got one when I was living back Prague and connected with a 200kb/s link to an access point about 300 meters away (that was the speed of the connection - not the actual link). Actually, it's quite common for people to construct neighborhood networks that way (well at least in CZ)

Re:Proper Antenna (5, Informative)

ciscoguy01 (635963) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508078)

We've done 5 mile links with a pair of *old* wallmount AT&T Wavelan bridges and proper antennas on 915 Mhz. Those units were 400mw.
Ticking along for years. 2 MBPS, faster than T1 speed. And proprietary FHSS, no freeloaders. Heh.

You have to get the antenna up above the fresnel effect and any obstructions at the frequency in use, about 60' for 915 Mhz, more like 30' for 2.4 Ghz. Which is why 2.4 Ghz is easier. I would have no problem running that link at either frequency. It'll work fine.
You can do it. No problems at all.
Give good attention to the antennas, that's what you need to get it to work.

Re:Proper Antenna (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23508224)

Check out:

A lot of these can be used to extend the wireless from your neighbor for little or no cost.

Did he lose his marbles? (5, Funny)

pigiron (104729) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507720)

"WiMax is too complex for a 70-year old man." At what age does WiMax dementia set in?

Re:Did he lose his marbles? (1)

Stringer Bell (989985) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507940)

At what age does WiMax dementia set in?

35. Oh, I'm gonna be hating life next year.

Re:Did he lose his marbles? (5, Funny)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508262)

If your folks can understand WiMax, you may want to mod your parents up


Get a long cord (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23507744)

So why can't you just get a 500 meter long Ethernet cord? Is there a reason to insist on wireless for long distances?

Re:Get a long cord (1)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507844)

Um, like the 300ft rule?

Re:Get a long cord (1)

mnslinky (1105103) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507896)

There's a 100 meter limit to the Cat-5/6 spec with copper ethernet. You could run glass, but that gets really expensive with all the permits and such to bury said item within the Right-of-Way.

Re:Get a long cord (2, Informative)

Cerberus7 (66071) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507918)

Uh... that's a little out of spec for Ethernet. Would need a repeater. Or two. Or five.

2 or 3 APs with directional antennas (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23507746)

I'd go with two APs with directional antennas configured as a wireless bridge. Hook up an ethernet cable to AP and its just like being connected to your friend's network. Albeit with a bit more latency.

If he needs wireless at home, I'd get 3 APs. 2 for the direct bridge, and another to broadcast at home.

Repeaters and amplifiers (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507750)

Well, I suppose you could go out to your old man's place and install some high-power amplifiers, directional antennae, repeaters, etc. between your dad's friends place and his. Once the whole thing is setup, I've known it be fairly reliable

Doable with 802.11g (5, Informative)

rs6krox (630570) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507754)

500 meters is about 1,640 feet. I do that to my parents place now. I just got two Linksys routers running dd-wrt and two good outdoor antennas. With dd-wrt I cranked up the radio output a bit and have no problem getting full throughput over about that same distance.

Re:Doable with 802.11g (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23508200)

Add 2 directional PTP antennas to this setup and you probably won't even have to adjust from the default power output.

This whole setup could probably be done for under $150 of new commercial equipment on all ends.

SuperNull (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23507762)

i would say hands down a ubiquity PowerStation or NanoStation if you can find it. They are dirt cheap for wireless links, very well built and have a great support forum. Configure once and walk away.

Network Administrator for a medium Wireless ISP.

Legislation? (3, Interesting)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507784)

Check local legislation. Where I live, the government must provide electricity, water, and telephone service to any legal building built, no matter how far into the boondocks it is built. I don't know if the law specifically applies to high-speed internet access, but I'm fairly confident that a good lawyer could make it seem that way.

Re:Legislation? (1)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507876)

Not likely, but what we need here is NewYorkCountryLawyer (that is his handle, right?) for an opine.

Re:Legislation? (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508266)

Except that *good lawyer* will probably end up costing you well north of $10,000 when it's all said and done if it goes beyond mailing a threat.

he'll be dead soon (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23507788) who cares

You can use wireless (5, Informative)

Exstatica (769958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507790)

I live near lax, but my building has really old wiring and i can't get dsl at this location, but i'm a mile from the office and once on the roof i found i had line of sight. I bought two wireless access points from ascendance, I bought the heavy ones cause i wanted to use the high performance radios so i can get 100mbit. (i work for an isp and i was able to just bring it right into my colo. But if you get [] that should work two, you need two of them. Configuration isn't difficult, you set one as an AP and the other as a client, set your encryption and static /30 ip. and aim them at eachother. All done. On average with the standard radio you can get 20mbits up and down, and its solid enough to put voip calls over. The max range is just under 5 miles, that should cover you. Hope that helps.

Directional High-Gain Antenna (2, Informative)

0p7imu5_P2im3 (973979) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507792)

Linksys (I don't know about others) come with a standard antenna port. With a directional, high-gain antenna pointed at your dad's house from the neighbor's, you could probably make the connection. Worst case, you might need to get some custom firmware and turn up the transmission strength a tad. (I suggest Tomato.)

Look up "coffee can wifi antennas" on google. This will make it cheap and "easy."

Cantenna? (4, Informative)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507804)

You can buy [] or build [] a cantenna. They're illegal. But with a bit of work and patience, they function well. I dunno if a simple can-based setup can handle half a kilometer (and if it can, it's going to need a good solid connection to the house to keep it aligned) but I do know that a cantenna operated at the focal point of a used satellite dish will work fine up into the several kilometer range.
They're really cheap to build. You generally need to find reverse-polarity RF connectors to hook to the card in the computer.,, and all sell reverse-polarity rf connectors. Traditionally people put n-type rf connectors on the antenna but that's a pain: I built mine using a bnc bulkhead connector on the can, and a rp-sma-to-bnc converter connector on my wireless adapter card, and just ran bnc cable from one to the other.

Mine only runs 40 meters through a couple of walls. Hopefully other people will correct this if it's the wrong solution for 500 meters.

Re:Cantenna? (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508018)

I hear used Primestar [] dishes can be modified for long distance Wi-Fi. The old dishes are abundant here in The States. However, I noticed the author uses the metric system, suggesting he resides elsewhere. They will probably be more difficult to obtain in his location.

Re:Cantenna? (1)

Rorschach1 (174480) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508204)

Get a ham radio license. The first six channels or so of 802.11b fall into an amateur frequency allocation, and I think the power limit is 1 watt, with no EIRP limit - which means you can run it into a 12-foot dish, if you so desire. Yeah, you can't legally run encryption over it, but I think you're still on better legal footing than just ignoring the Part 15 rules.

Hawking external antennas (3, Informative)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507810)

Have you seen these? I think they would require LoS for maximum efficiency, but it's worth a peak. You could use two directional high gain antennas and point them at each other if LoS is nearly there... But bear in mind that nothing about their doc requires LoS, just that we all know it works better if there is. []

Re:Hawking external antennas (1)

Tteddo (543485) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507914)

I can vouch for Hawking products, that's what I hook people up with in this situation. I usually just use one antenna port on a Linksys router and point it at the building where I want Internet, then use a bridge in said building.

Anonymous Coward (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23507822)

Put old b mode and two directional antennas. I write this over such 11 mbps link over 3km distance

ALL wireless routers go that far. (5, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507850)

I suggest learning about antennas.

Wireless access point at each end, directional antennas, wifi goodness ensues.

I've done 1000 meters with simple patch antennas and wrt54g routers running dd-wrt to create a wireless ethernet extension. Only heavy rain will drop the connection.

Otherwise look up the laser types. there are hundreds of websites on how to do this simple and common task.

$318 WiFi network bridge connects two locations up (5, Informative)

mnslinky (1105103) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507854)

See if this works for you:

There is an article at engadget [] about this sort of thing. It requires line-of-site, but I'm sure you could manage that.

If you've tried every antenna and extender on the market today with subpar results, HD Communications is apt to become your new best friend. The outfit has just revealed its HD26200, a "complete outdoor wireless network bridge in the 802.11b/g unlicensed 2.4GHz band that sells for only $318." Said device bridges wireless internet between two locales up to 5 miles apart without requiring a single RF cable, being that both Ubiquiti network radios are powered over Ethernet. If you're looking for the catch, the bridge does require a direct line of sight between the two locations, but the firm is reportedly looking to expand its non-line of sight family by the summer's end.

Link to the Article []

Hope this helps.

DSL can work. (1)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507860)

Set up your own DSL.

Buy two modems (a CO and a CPE), set them to bridge mode, and use the existing phone line to call your neighbors modem from your modem, which is then hooked up to his cable.

Course there may be some phone line finagling, depending on the company.

Re:DSL can work. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508048)

you cant "call" your neighbor with DSL. it's a point to point setup.

Re:DSL can work. (1)

avandesande (143899) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508054)

I vaguely remember something about an unused leg in the phone wire used for alarm systems.. you can tap into this and do some level of networking using this wire.

Use Mikrotik boards, which run Linux (3, Interesting)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507864)

I'm just about to the point where I hate wireless, but for a non-commercial shot like this, mikrotik should work well. You could get into it for 300.00 - 600.00 for a couple of units configured as a wireless bridge.

I recommend using Ubiquity sR2 or SR5 mini-pci cards...and ground everything especially well.

Mikrotik boards run Linux and are extremely roboust and feature rich. But you can follow this wiki and have a transparent bridge running in no time flat: []

We use mikrotik a lot in a wireless WISP situation. If someone thinks they are going to throw a bunch of this stuff hundreds of feet in the air and make a lot of money doing wireless Internet, they are in for a wild ride...that ends somewhere between hairloss and a straight jacket...but I do something almost exactly like what you are wanting to do with your father using Mikrotik, and it has worked very well and wasn't super expensive.

Again, ground everything as best you can, and use directional, not omni antennas (cheap omni antennas often have grounding issues than can pop the radio card really easy).

See also:


SMC 2891W (2, Informative)

JumboMessiah (316083) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507880)

I know these look pricey, but they're worth it (aka: save yourself the trouble of cheap indoor access points in a box). They have everything you need, all in a rugged outdoor enclosure. And yes, they run Linux.

SMC2891W-AG Wireless Outdoor Bridge

Data Sheet []

Manual []

Novaroam stuff works well (900Mhz no license band) (4, Interesting)

VoxBoston (670308) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507910) [] - used by police, fire, etc. Good penetration through trees and foliage, unlike WiFi. Mesh networking capable if you need it (although your setup sounds like point-to-point).

A rock record: []

WiFi Antennas anybody? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23507926)

Just a pair of gain antennas at WiFi frequencies should do the trick. (Gain antennas also keep the clutter down from nosy neighbors who discover the wifi channel and attempt to get their own free wifi.)
Free / cheap construction articles are available on the web...

Cantenna (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23507928)

Here are a couple links. The second link shows a test resulting in a wifi signal (although poor) going 1.2 miles.

Coffee Can antenna []
Cantenna test []

Two Pringles cans (1)

Steve1952 (651150) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507956)

Purchase two cans of Pringles (tm) chips. Eat chips. Insert Wifi antenna on each end into cans. Line up cans. Enjoy.

Line of sight? (1)

geekmansworld (950281) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507962)

Regular Wi-Fi might still be an option. If you've got line of sight, grab a pair of wireless routers and attach directional antennas to them. Even 802.11 signals can go quite far if attached to correctly calibrated antennas, as shown by the now infamous "Cantenna".

djacosta (1)

djacosta (989472) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507974)

Buy an Access Point with a DETACHABLE antenna. Replace the antenna that comes with the access point with a directional flat panel antenna (14 dBi or so) On the client side: Buy a 802.11 card with DETACHABLE antenna, replace the antenna with a directional flat panel antenna (14 dBi or so)

It would be nice.. (3, Informative)

FamineMonk (877465) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507978)

If you gave a little more info. If you have line of sight then its no problem at all just buy 2 routers that can be flashed to DD-WRT. (I suggest the Asus WL-500G Premium or the Linksys WRT54GL I own both and they both work like a charm just make sure you buy the right connector Asus: rp-SMC/linksys: rp-TNC)

After you figure that out go to [] or where ever you want to get an Antenna.

my guess is your going to want to grab the 24db one seeing as how the 30 jumps quite a bit in price. after that mount them both with line of sight connect everything up and you should be good to go. If you don't have line of sight then its going to depend on whats in the way if its possible at all.

Another DIY way (1)

alexwcovington (855979) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507996)


1 or 2 Satellite dish(es)
Transmitter: A Wireless router at your house
Receiver: A Wireless router or wireless card with external antenna at your dad's place
A reasonable line of sight.

Place the antenna of the receiver at the point of the satellite dish where the LNB would be (lashing the antenna onto the LNB should do for a test). Aim the dish toward the wireless router at your house.

If you can't get a good signal, you can set up another dish at your house, with the antenna of the router mounted at the LNB, to point directly at the receiver.

For the distances you're talking about, this should work with the half-metre mini-dishes commonly used for TV and Internet access. People with giant C-Band antennas have set WiFi transmission records with similar setups.

Call Huges (2, Informative)

SrJsignal (753163) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507998)

All of the new Hugesnet installs have bi-directional to the satelight, so then you don't have to use the phone line. I think the up is 64kbps.
All of the Wifi sharing ideas are going to be against the TOS of the company that is being "shared"

1.5km WiFi is doable (1)

iiioxx (610652) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508004)

If you've got line-of-sight between the two locations (or can acheive line-of-sight by mounting antennas on a mast), there's no reason why a couple of off-the-shelf 802.11 APs couldn't be adapted to provide connectivity. What you will need is a yagi (directional) antenna on each end of the connection, to direct your signal towards the other location while deafening the transceiver to other interfering signals. Yagis aren't cheap to buy off the shelf, but homebrew yagis can be made at a fairly reasonable price with parts from your neighborhood Radio Shack. Relevant info here [] .

You may only achieve 1-2Mbps rates, but it would be better than dial-up and satellite, and won't require the use of a phone line.

Just hook up some good antennas (1)

jovetoo (629494) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508010)

If you have line of sight between the houses, just connect some good antennas to standard wireless accesspoints (dishes for example) and put the antennas on the roof. You should be able to cross those 500m. Outdoor units would indeed help.

I did 1200m with two homemade can antennas (across a valley though). A few years ago, a suitable dish costs around $75.

Cell Phone Internet (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23508032)

What about getting one of those 3G-type cards that blackberry/iphone owners have? That seems to be a pretty good solution to this problem.

Wireless bridge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23508036)

Or build your own out of a couple Linksys WRT54GLs a DD-WRT flash and a couple beefy antennas...

Might save 10 to 20% of the cost that way, but this is weatherproofed and plug and play...

wildblue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23508050)

10BaseFL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23508060)

It's 'old' technology (read: ebay), but for internet access, you could use two 10BaseT to 10BaseFL converters and a 500 meter run of fiber. The converter takes old 10 megabit ethernet and converts it to the optical medium and back.
You would need something to house it unless the cable is rated for outdoor use, but it wouldn't have to be expensive metal electrical conduit. The two biggest gains here are reliability and avoidance of differential ground issues.
The latter can be a killer in improper cable installations when thunderstorms cause the ground to get charged in different areas at several thousand volts with respect to each other. Equipment = zapped.

Make your own antenna (2, Interesting)

tknd (979052) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508066)

Research satellite dish antennas [] or cantennas [] . Both are cheap directional antennas (buy someone's used satellite dish) and of course you will want direct line of sight between the two antennas.

Proxim Tsunami (1)

David_Hart (1184661) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508072)

You could pick up a Proxim Tsunami QuickBridge 20. We use them on our campus, works great. They are good for up to 6 miles but do require line of site. You should be able to find on on eBay for less than $1000.


Directional antennas (1)

hpa (7948) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508110)

Ordinary Wifi can easily go for quite a few kilometers if equipped with directional antennas (usually Yagis, what most people think of as "TV antennas") at both ends. If you get custom firmware such as DD-WRT for ordinary access points you can usually crank up the power closer to 100 mW (WRT54GL tops out around 80 mW from what I've read.) The legal limit in the USA at least is 1 W, so if you can get your hands on an access point with an amplifier (Belkin used to make them.)

The best of all is that the total solution ends up being pretty cheap. You *do* need line of sight between the antennas, however.

2 access points with yagi antennas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23508126)

Buy two access points with external yagi antennas. Place one at pop's house and the other at the friends. Spend some time aligning the antennas. Secure the wireless connection using WPA. Start surfing.

Also, pray that the cable/dsl provider at your friends doesnt find out because their terms of service include not offering bandwidth to other residences.

Use 1000base-LX fiber (1)

nelsonen (126144) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508136)

If all the neighbors are nice, run a 1000base-LX link. Get a couple of media converters, and you have 10km worth of distance available. Just be sure to get any grounding correct so a lightning strike at one end doesn't fry everything at the other end (some direct burial fiber has metallic cores for strength).

Wireless (3, Interesting)

retro128 (318602) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508138)

When I first moved to my city, DSL and cable were not available. 6 years ago I started a job located about 4 miles away from my home, and they had a T1. Turns out my condo had radio line of sight to work. What I did was set up two Linux boxes on peer to peer wireless using Orinico cards since they had the jack for an external antenna. To those I hooked up the appropriate pigtails and LMR-400 microwave cable to the parabolic grid antennas on the roof of each location. After configuring Linux to handle the routing, bam I was the first guy in my city with broadband. Actually, I'm still running on it though cable and DSL is now available.

Now granted this was the old school way of doing it. The other problem was that I was using 75 feet of LMR-400 cable on each end to bring the signal from the antenna to my card. That's generally not a good idea since long runs of cable attenuate the signal, so it's always best to have your network equipment as close to the antenna as possible. But back then that type of stuff was hella expensive - Just between the grid antennas, the cards, the dongles, and the cables it came out to about $600. You don't even want to know what the network equipment would have cost, which is why I ran it on the cheap using Linux.

But now this stuff practically grows on trees. There are kits around that let you do long distance point-to-point hookups, but I don't know where to get them off the top of my head since I haven't researched it in awhile. You might want to start with Radio Labs [] to get an idea of the type of equipment that's out there. Bottom line is that if I can get a decent wifi signal from four miles away with a non-optimal configuration, you should be able to do 500m as long as you have line of sight. I think you should be able to get away with it for around $500 or less.

On our farm (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508140)

We have a farm with a satellite set up at one of the houses, and a microwave wireless connection connects the other house. The system is "line of sight", and the other house is about 1500 yards away. I can't seem to remember the set up being all that expensive - certainly less hassle than running a wire all the way to the other house.

EVDO RevA (1)

BravoZuluM (232200) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508142)

Sprint or Verizon offers it. I live in the country away from cable and DSL. I have a CradlePoint MBR1000 access point, a Novatel Express Card with EVDO Rev A and a directional antenna pointed at the nearest cell tower. Without the antenna, I get zero to 1 bars. With the antenna, I get 4 out of 5 bars. The house shares the connection and everyone downloads their YouTube videos and what not with no impact. The cost for unlimited with Sprint is $60 a month. I am EXTREMELY satisfied with the setup. An added bonus is that with a power inverter, I can take a road trip and power the MBR1000. Everyone in the car has high speed internet access while we drive. IT is an AWESOME solution.

Phone line for upload? (1)

curiosity (152527) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508152)

With his current satellite setup, the "phone line for upload" thing hasn't been true for years unless he's on an ancient plan with ancient equipment. For the same monthly price he can upgrade to the newer 2-way system if that's the issue.

Go Optical ? (3, Interesting)

Quietlife2k (612005) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508164)

If you have :-

1) Clear line of sight.
2) A soldering iron (and know how to use it *properly*)
3) Basic metalwork skills.
4) Spare time **LOTS** []

"Ronja is a free technology project for reliable optical data links with a current range of 1.4km and a communication speed of 10Mbps full duplex."

10 Megabit free space optical complete with designs & pcb layouts.

Can't get more DIY than this :-)

if it's wireless: ask a HAM! (1)

adnd74 (1022357) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508168)

My first suggestion would be to contact your local armature radio club. Someone there will be familiar enough with 802.1x to help you. Directional antenna's shouldn't have an issue reaching that distance, especially if it's line of site. As far as building your own antenna, you can find many options out there on the internet. I would suggest the N-type connection over a BNC connector (less signal loss at that frequency =) ) I'd be happy to help as much as possible, if I you require more from me: feel free to message me... ~ 73 kd7tag

Use Commercial Grade Equipment instead of Home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23508198)

You can buy a couple of Tranzeo TR-SL2-15 Radios for a little over $300 and be done. Range~3-5 Miles line-of-sight. Check out for some commercial radio options. It's where I buy all my stuff. Though, I also live only 30mins from them, so I can pick up to skip out on shipping charges.

Use political trick (right of way) worked for me! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23508208)

Use a political trick (right of way) worked for me!

Cable companies need to cut across property sometimes that they have no municipal rights to do without compensation. Othertimes they desire to erect and maintain radio towers on land that they do not outright own.

I had the SAME problem, 15,000 to 10,000 to run a line to one house in the middle of 40 unserved homes.

But we knew the people that had a soon to expire lease that Comcast Cable in Michigan needed to renew and offered to PAY them to say "no, not unless you also run a line down that street"

It worked!

Nothing else would have worked.

this may work... (3, Insightful)

Wornstrom (920197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508210)

maybe a verizon broadband access card [] ? they sell it in usb format too... 5GB monthly cap is kinda small though so it might not suit your needs.

Tranzeo (2, Informative)

rebelcan (918087) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508228) []

For 500 meters, you can use the 802.11a or 802.11bg ( TR-5a series and TR-6000 series respectively ) without too many problems, as long as you have good line of sight. If there are a few trees, then the 900MHz stuff might be a better idea, but if there's a forest or a lot of buildings between your friend and your dad, you're boned. Just make sure that regardless of what kind of radio you get ( and regardless of what manufacturer you buy from ), use an antenna with as narrow beamwidth as you can get, ESPECIALLY for the 900MHz. For a point-to-point install, omni antennas are not your friend. Yagi or dish antennas might be a bitch to setup, but you'll have very little noise or interference.

Disclaimer: yes, I work for this company, but I really don't give two hoots if you use our stuff. Just make sure you get the right equipment ( ie: NO OMNI ANTENNAS ). I can't believe how many people think that omni antennas are a good idea ( especially for 900Mhz, ouch ).

Q-Bridge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23508240)

Check out []
I've been using the Q-Bridge for over a year now without any issues. I use it to bring the internet to an outbuilding just over 1 mile from my house. It was very simple to set up.

Trango Point-to-Point (1)

allometry (840925) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508248)

If your Dad and his friend have line of sight and if your Dad is willing to spend a little money, I recommend Trango radio's. I worked for a company in town that did rural broadband with Trango radios and they are stable. []

I would recommend getting in touch with Trango and talk about the hardware needed to pull off this job. I'm pretty sure, with the distance, you would need the Atlas FOX model radios.

New radios can be pricey, so be sure to hit up EBAY.

Good luck!

I Would Reply To This Article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23508250)

...but I can't even parse the first sentence.

Does anyone proofread anymore?

Linksys WRT54GLx2 + 2 14dBi directional antenna (3, Interesting)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508252)

Get 2 Linksys WRT54GL rounters, one for each site, and replace an antenna on each with a Hawking [HAO14SDP] directional antenna, and align them to point at each other. Might be best to roof mount the antenna, but aligning them will be the hardest part. You might only need to buy one of the directionals and get an omni for the other antenna at the other site, and rely on the directional to make the connection. I own one of the directionals and it is in my "travel kit", i.e., whenever I go on the road, I have a laptop, a WRT54GL, and the 14dBi directional and do a quick scan around where-ever I am so I can get on the web for a quick fix if the hotel/friend/etc., doesn't have a network connection.

my $0.02 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23508264)

build a small building at the edge of the property to house the dmarc from telco. use solar power and battery to run the dmarc router.
bury fiber optic cable from the dmarc building to the house and run ethernet over the fiber. multimode should be fine.
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