On Sat, 24 Dec 2011 08:04:38 +0000, Chuck Banshee wrote:
I wish to thank everyone for their heart-felt advice!
As a summary for others coming after me and finding this thread, the
right 'way' to wire the home network is to use a 'star' configuration
where the cable from the outside antenna ultimately stops at the wall
plate where you will be placing your Ethernet switch (which was
incorporated into my home broadband router in my case).
From that central wall plate, you then connect additional cables
radiating out to the various other desired locations, e.g., one cable to
the game room, another cable to the upstairs bedroom, etc.
Lastly, you connect your Ethernet switch (in my case, it was my home
broadband router) WAN side to the antenna cable, and its LAN side
(typically four ports) to each of the other connections (e.g., game room,
upstairs bedroom, kitchen, etc.).
For outside buried use, you need gel-filled cable as normal 'outside'
cable is expected to be hung in the air (selecting 500 feet of the wrong
cable was a major mistake of mine). For plenum use, you need plenum
cable. And for indoor use, almost any cable will work.
My mistake was two-fold. First, I bought from Home Despot (as Jeff tends
to call it), which cost me more for outdoor cat5e than it would have for
gell-filled outdoor cable. Second, I bought 500 feet of one type,
assuming it would work for all types.
In hindsight, the better method (from a cost/functionality perspective)
would have been to buy a short length of outside gell-filled cable for
the outside runs, another short length of plenum-rated cable for any
plenum runs (I didn't have any plenum runs), and another set of short
cables for inside runs (which could have used any of the other cables).
CHOOSING 568-A or 568-B:
There are two 'standards', 568A & 568B, which initially confused me in
the beginning until I finally realized electrically, there is absolutely
no difference between the two standards (why they even exist is beyond
The wiring is EXACTLY the same (electrons are colorblind). If you removed
the outer colored covering on each of the copper wires in both A & B
cables, you'd find there is absolutely no difference between the two
types: the only difference is the color of the insulation. So, either
cable will work in all cases!
The only rule to follow is to pick one of the two standards (I chose B)
and then wire "both" ends of any one cable to "that" standard.
Again I made a major mistake on my mast material. Cost-wise it was a
disaster compared to what it should have been! :(
What you 'want' is a single length of inexpensive galvanized steel tubing
for the mast plus an equal sized length of tubing for the cable going
down the mast; but the problem is that ten feet is as long as you can get
at Home Despot for any tubing whatsoever. Putting three feet into the
ground only leaves you with 7 feet at Home Despot lengths.
You 'can' buy multiple threaded metal conduit in various lengths up to
ten feet at Home Depot, which is probably what I should have bought.
Instead, I purchased various lengths of 2 inch and 1.5 inch galvanized
water pipe to bring my mast length to about 19 feet, of which only about
16 feet were sticking above the ground.
The advantage of the thicker water pipe was strength (over electrical
conduit); but the huge disadvantage was cost & weight.
My cost for mast components alone was well over a hundred dollars (2-inch
pipe, 2-to-1.5-inch reducer, 1.5-inch pipe, 1.5-inch-to-1-inch reducer, 1-
inch pipe, pipe cap) at Home Despot plus a 2-inch-to-3-inch plastic
conduit bushing from Ace Hardware Supply to hold the 2-inch mast portion
into the 3.5" hole plus similar lengths of plastic conduit to fit down
the sides for the cable to run inside.
The weight matters because I maintain my antenna simply by pulling the
mast out of the ground and laying it flat to work on the antenna. It's
doable; but it's heavy (I'm guessing over fifty pounds).
My 19 dBi flat-panel antenna & 600 mW Bullet M2 radio turned out to be
overkill for what I needed. The WISP AP I chose is about a mile (or so)
away - and with the Ubiquiti Bullet M2 set at maximum power, the signal
strength was -65 dBm (about 400 picowatts). I'll likely need to lower the
output power on the radio.
Aligning the antenna side-to-side turned out to be surprisingly trivial.
I simply twisted the free-standing mast until the signal strength was
best. It was 'that' easy. It took only an inch or so of twist to bring
the signal down so the center point was very easily determined in less
than a single minute.
Since the signal strength was almost too good, I didn't even bother to
align the antenna vertically (i.e., in the up and down direction). I
never knew alignment was this easy!
However: S far we haven't had high winds so I don't yet know if the heavy
mast will act like a weather vane, twisting in the direction of the
wind ... so I 'do' have a backup plan of bolting it down at the bottom
with L-shaped galvanized steel legs to prevent twisting if needed.
I also have a backup plan of switching antennas from a flat plane to a
wire mesh dish style, which will cut down on wind resistance. I guess
I'll look for a 14 dBi wire mesh antenna (since I don't even need the 19
dBi I already have).
here are three different colors for wall plates. Bring a wall plate from
the electrical outlets with you to match (I bought the 'wrong' almond
color by not knowing about this).
In the end, I made a LOT of mistakes (most of which have been pointed out
in this thread - that's how I knew I made 'em!) which I'd hope the next
person doesn't make.
The WISP was perfectly willing to put in the entire setup for $400. In
hind sight, it cost me just about that with materials and tools, so I
didn't save a dime. Nor did I save in time (it took me a few days).
However, I learned a lot; I have some neat new tools; I buried the cable
(whereas the WISP would have strung a line to the house in the air); I
entered the home neatly (whereas the prior WISP drilled THREE holes
trying to get inside the house, each an inch from the other!); I ended
the run neatly at a wall plate (whereas the prior WISP left a dangling
cable on the inside of the third drill hole); and the star network center
was in the center of the house where I wanted it with no wires hanging on
the walls (the prior WISP entered from the outside directly where the
cable reached the house).
Given the cost was about the same for 'my' admittedly flawed installation
versus the prior WISP's professional (but cost-cutting) installation ...
I still suggest others do their own installation.
The only thing I'd do differently is that I'd read THIS thread and NOT
make the same mistakes I made. The result will be a BETTER installation
than that which my prior WISP did professionally - at about the same cost
(i.e., you're just not going to save money over what the WISP charges!).
On Fri, 06 Jan 2012 07:53:04 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Thanks for noticing.
Truth be stated, I am on a lot of forums and I post relatively often to
these two NNTP newsgroups (using various nyms for privacy purposes,
usually one per topic). I always try to give back as much or more than
what is given to me to be a good USENET netizen.
People like you and Jeff have helped me MANY times - which I greatly
appreciate. I hope that the record will help many others after us.
The one major flaw in that strategy is that the search engines for nntp
news are vastly inferior to those of the web. For example, when I look up
my old threads (which could be 15 years old and which were initially
archived on dejanews), I often can't even find what I know exists (mostly
using google group searches).
In fact, I often have to resort to web searches to find all my DIYs
compiled with people's help. This works only because some forum sites
tend to include nntp news 'as if' they were people posting directly to
their sites (probably to increase their perceived user counts).
Anyway, this thread will be useful to others - as long as they can find
it in the future! (Including me the next time I need to wire up the
I've been doing daily speedtest.net reports.
The speeds initially were almost twice what I was paying for as shown
36ms ping, 3.82 Mbps download, 2.72 Mbps upload
However, my WISP has since dropped them down greatly due to what he
called 'traffic shaping' & what I call throttling because I'm only paying
the $50 for 2 Mbps he's offering as his base plan.
He's actually throttled me to LESS than 2 Mbps ... so I have to document
that and let him know so he can 'reshape' the traffic shaping.
Is it typical for people to have to ask the WISP to reshape the
No. As Jeff noted already, we rarely get electrical storms out here in
the Santa Cruz mountains. It even makes the news when there is
lighting ... with people reporting "I saw a lighting bolt in Soda
Springs" or "We even heard lightning over in Scotts Valley", etc.
Now, if I had lived in Florida ...
For whatever reason, the flats of the south bay seems to get all the
electrical storm activity. The bay area itself tends to have few
lightning storms, and like I said, most are in the flats of San Jose.
Not that this makes any sense to me. Everywhere else I've been, the
mountains get hit.
If the WISP hired Jeff, I would have let them do it. Often professional
installation is done by people who can't get real jobs. For fun, go into
youtube and search for bad cable installation.
Regarding conduit versus galvanized pipe, you did the right thing.
Conduit is meant to be bent. Note there was some guy on craigslist that
was trying to sell a 20ft long 3 inch galvanized pipe for months. It was
gone by the time I saw your post.
It had occurred to me that maybe a metal flange and anchor bolts might
have been better than filling the hole. However I couldn't find any
really wide flanges on the internet for moderate sized pipe. You've
probably seen galvanized pipe used for railings and such, but nothing as
heavy duty as you are trying to do. Also, any time you can get away
without using guy wires is a good thing.
I don't think those antennas with reflectors wear particularly well. I'd
stick with what you have. I've done much longer distances with a 16dB
panel, and just to a wifi router in a house. Point to point is way easier.
While I've intercepted WISP feeds out in the boonies (encrypted of
course...drat), I've never inquired how they are set up. Does the WISP
provider have a high gain omni at a central site, or do they put in a
directional antenna for each customer?
The two WISPs I know if in the Santa Cruz mountains don't have 'much'
One, my old WISP, merely used 2.4Ghz 802.11b with MAC authentication
until just about a month ago (they have since switched to 2.4GHz NV2). In
a way, that's security because most of us don't buy Microtik equipment.
My new WISP doesn't use security either - but - you need to 'know' the IP
address (which I had changed in all my examples in this thread so the one
I gave won't work if you're my neighbor). So, again, that's (in a way)
It's my understanding that the WISP agreement allows the WISP to use your
antenna as a repeater (even if you own it yourself). I don't know how
they organize their antennas though.
Since these are mountains, it would be fairly easy to stand on top of one
of them and swing the antenna in a circle to find all the WISP access
Security via mac isn't much security. ;-)
My question though was what kind of antenna do they provide? That is, do
they have an omni or do they point a directional at your house.
I think if you packet sniff with wireshark using kismet parked on one
channel, the IP address will be sniffed. I haven't run Kismet in that
manner in years, so I could be fuzzy on this.
I don't know but in my long conversations with the WISP, I think he said
it was 'pointed' in my direction (since a neighbor also uses the same
Next time I'll ask him what HIS antenna is. If it's an omni, it must be
pretty powerful for me to get such a great signal from so far away with
just a 19dBi antenna.
I've tried to get Wireshark & WiFi radar working on Ubuntu and have
failed miserably. Must be a trick to it ...
One problem is how to hook the antenna to the Ubuntu laptop since all the
usb wifi extender adapters I tried didn't have drivers for Linux.
How does ANYONE get a strong enough antenna to use these things on Linux
First trick is to get a usb wifi dongle. You need an external antenna.
Built in wifi is for the coffee shop.
Those alfa units based on the RL8187 are the way to go.
You need to force kismet to park on one channel, not scan. Then you set
wireshark up to monitor the traffic on the wireless lan. You will need
to determine the name of the adapter. It could be wlan, wlan0, wlan1,
etc. I don't run ubuntu, so I don't know how it works on that distro.
All the packet data goes flying by on wireshark. It you are not using
encryption or SSL, all the text will be in the clear.
I've never run backtrack linux, but supposedly that is a distro designed
for investigating open doors to your system. Actually any system, but
the intent is you poke your system to check for vulnerabilities.
If you have a linux distro, it is far easier to go to the repository and
get what you need. I found I had to install kismet from source, but that
is all a function of how up to date your repo is at the time.
Note kismet can see the clients on your system. I'm not particularly
happy about that since anyone driving by can sniff your level of
geekness. I don't have a networked TV, but I'm sure if you have a flat
screen with ethernet, they can detect that too. Sonos streamers, VOIP
If you are not a regular on this list, I pointed out a while ago that
kismet can sniff your wifi requests. Any wifi that you saved on your PC
or phone is detectable. Starbucks, Peets, the rent-by-the-hour love
shack you use for a nooner, etc. In a way, it is far worse of a privacy
portal than your cellular connection since only the phone company or law
enforcement can sniff your phone, but any fool can sniff your wifi. Just
knowing the mac can help you determine if a person is in a certain
location. Cheating spouses would be a prime target. I never read about
this being done, but generally if it can be done, it is being done.
I was at a coffee shop a few days ago and found a HPSETUP ad hoc being
broadcast. This is a real security problem. Google hpsetup to get more info.
A google search of kismet wireshark found
The blot out the IP addresses, but they are detected.
I also see there is a youtube video on how to do this:
I haven't watched the video so I can't vouch for it.
The name of the device is usually determined by the driver, not necessarily
the distro, although I suppose a distro could have its own udev rules to
rename a device as it sees fit. If you're using a USB device it'll be simple
enough to determine the name; type 'ifconfig', look at the list of device
names, plug the device it, re-run ifconfig.
You can see the MAC addresses of stuff on the wireless LAN, encrypted or
not. And if your wireless is bridged with your wired network [pretty much
the default scenario] then the MAC addresses of wired devices will
eventually appear too. Knowing a MAC isn't the same as knowing precisely
what a device is, but lets you make some good guesses as to the
Recently I wired a WISP antenna/radio to the key rooms of the house with
a star network based mostly on your help.
Guess what I found out today when I went to plug in the kid's game room
Nintendo Wii to the newly wired Ethernet jack?
The Wii doesn't have an Ethernet port! Sigh.
(Note: Apparently I 'could' add an Ethernet adapter to the Wii itself,
but for now, I think I'll just start researching what new router to buy
so that the old (Linksys WRT54G) router can become a WiFi extender
plugged into the newly wired game room wall jack!)
I have yet to find a better home wireless router than the WRT54GL
(that's the one that I have that you can flash with DD-WRT etc. You
might be able to do the same with yours depending on production
date/exact model.) I've tried various wireless-N/gigabit routers both
Linksys/Cisco and Netgear and honestly, I can't tell the difference in
speed and the old "blue box" just keeps on going whereas the other ones
seem to brick themselves after a year or two. I say stick with what
works, just get another one. If I ever set up a wired home network I
will probably use a good Cisco rack-mount switch and keep the blue box
for wireless. I hate having to replace stuff after only a short period
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
That's my favorite, too. I currently have 6 of them deployed around
the house. One is my gateway router, two are access points, two are
client bridges, and one is just acting as a switch. I install dd-wrt
as soon as I take them out of the box. Newegg sometimes puts them on
sale for $44.95, which isn't too bad for such a general purpose item.
wha!!!???? Y'mean I could buy another and put it downstairs so I
don't have to go upstairs to reboot for my wife's recalcitrant
here's my setup-
Cable comes in upstairs and is hooked to a TW modem and then to the
We have a half dozen things that use it upstairs wirelessly. I have
a Cat5 running downstairs for my desktop setup- and a work computer
that can't go wireless.
No other computers seem to have problems getting a signal downstairs.
but my wife's Toshiba always seems to need us to reboot the router to
get a signal.
I never thought of adding another WRT54GL downstairs. Might that
help her computer get a connection-- or at least eliminate my need to
go upstairs to reboot the router? [I'm reading this on a-h-r,
so if I go that way, I'll be coming over to a-i-w to figure out the
I don't know enough about your situation to offer concrete advice, but
if it's purely a signal strength/integrity issue, then placing a
second access point in a convenient location can help.
Since you have a wired connection available downstairs, I'd probably
start by placing an access point there. If that's a worse location
than what you have now, consider powerline networking to bring an
Ethernet connection to where you really want it, then place an access
Basically, any router can be used as an access point by disabling its
DHCP server and plugging the Ethernet cable into a LAN port, leaving
the WAN port unused. It's your choice whether to duplicate the SSID,
encryption level, and password, of the wireless router upstairs.
Personally, I prefer different SSID's so I know where I'm connecting.
Using the same settings might allow seamless roaming, but in my
experience seamless roaming doesn't work well and I don't move around
the house that much anyway. Accordingly, I use a different SSID and a
non-overlapping channel (1,6,or 11). Does that help?
On Sat, 14 Jan 2012 03:50:50 +0000 (UTC), Chuck Banshee
Yep. Any wireless router can be used as an access point:
Turn off the DHCP server, turn off Plug-n-Play, turn off RIP2.
# Jeff Liebermann 150 Felker St #D Santa Cruz CA 95060
It's helpful to have a checklist of the things you need to change, probably
following one of Jeff's cited pages correctly.
I'd done it a few times, and did it again recently, but I had to do it
several times from hard reset because I kept cutting off my own
communication from the new box before finalizing the config. Gotta do the
steps in the right order, or you'll need the weird cabling that Jeff posted
a long time ago to get admin access to the box.
Since the WAN port is unused, I've thought of enabling "remote admin" and
then I could plug a laptop in to that port, but the idea of remote admin
being live bugs me.
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA GPS: 38.8,-122.5
On Wed, 18 Jan 2012 17:52:31 +0000 (UTC), email@example.com wrote:
In some of my installations there's a use for 5 LAN ports rather than
the usual 4, so I assign the WAN port to the LAN switch. (dd-wrt)
No need to enable remote admin when you're coming in on the LAN side.
Just stock here (except for the SamKnows special. No DD-WRT.
I think I have a little tiny GigE 100BaseT switch in the garage somewhere.
The Netgear was easier to find, and put WiFi two feet from the Nintendo,
instead of 50 feet.
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA GPS: 38.8,-122.5
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