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Thread: Theory and practice

  1. #1
    Senior Member Shatter's Avatar
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    Default Theory and practice

    Suppose I had a USB wireless card that allows an external antenna (SMA). Let's say an Alfa AWUS036H. Then suppose I want to connect it to a parabolic dish on my roof. How would the following scenarios affect the signal quality/strength?

    A) To have the wifi card really close to my computer (connected via a vary short USB cable), but use a long SMA extension cable to reach the dish.
    B) To have the wifi card really close to the dish (connected via a short SMA extension cable) and use a really long USB cable to reach the computer.

    What are your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member ShadowKill's Avatar
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    It really depends on you I suppose. As far as USB goes what's really long? The reason I ask is because standard USB cables have a maximum range of 16.3 feet unless you use an extender, where you can then reach up to 330 feet with UTP cabling and 1640 on fiber. I'm not too sure about SMA, but I'll look it up for ya.



    "The goal of every man should be to continue living even after he can no longer draw breath."

    ~ShadowKill

  3. #3
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    Generally speaking I'd say that, ideally, you're better off having the unit close to the antenna and then use USB active repeaters for the USB link.

    The the most imortant signal losses here will be the RF signal, so keep the RF cabling to a minimum, rather than keep the USB cabling to a minimum.
    The USB cable is only carrying data.

    However, it'll be much cheaper to go the RF cable way. With some decent cable you could keep the loss quite minimal, but you'll have to work out the proposed distance against the cable loss first, then see where you're at..........
    Probably something like an sma to n type adapter, then a run of decent lmr400.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Shatter's Avatar
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    Thanks for the insight, Re@ality.
    I'll probably go with the long USB cable variant.

    See ya.

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