2020 RV-Dreams Fall Educational Rally - Sept. 14 - 20, 2020 - Sevierville/Pigeon Forge, Tennessee - Registration Is Now Open!!


Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: Super Long Range WiFi (Wireless Internet) in your RV, Motorcoach, Camper or Park Home


RV-Dreams Community Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 1
Date:
Super Long Range WiFi (Wireless Internet) in your RV, Motorcoach, Camper or Park Home


How to Boost / Upgrade the wireless network / WiFi signal in your RV, Motorhome, Camper, Motorcoach or Park Home with the Unifi AP LR.

Good Day My Fellow RV Dreamers,

Being in the IT / Computer world, keeping up with work on the road can be tricky. While I love my camper, when we have arrive at our destination the last thing I want to do is be stuck inside the whole time. How can one combat this problem? By installing the most powerful Wireless Access Point currently available. (While there is an outdoor version of this Access Point...I chose to install the indoor version to not have to worry about theft)

I created this Long Range Wireless Network DIY to work with any wireless router. Use this DIY to upgrade your wireless network signal with the router given to you by Comcast, Optimum or any other high speed internet service provider in your RV, Motorcoach, Camper, or Park Home. It will even work with all popular makes and models of routers. In order to upgrade the wireless network signal of your present router, you will need to adapt these directions to suit the make and model of your router. Please let me know if you have any questions about my DIY since it can get quite "techie".

If at some point you cannot access part of the DIY, click on the following link to be taken to my website with the original DIY post.

Long Range WiFi in your RV

Why Upgrade to the Unifi AP LR?

Internet service providers have long been known to provide high-speed internet service with a sub-par wireless router. Often you are given a used wireless router that "you must use" and thus leaves you with a wireless (WiFi) network that is less than adequate. Often I get complaints that RV owners cannot step more than ten feet away from their RV without losing their WiFi signal. Think about it, what good is a Tiki Hut in Florida without Pandora streaming Jimmy Buffet through your speakers? In this article, I will explain how to integrate the UniFi AP LR with your existing router. It is important to note that the UniFi AP LR works with all brands of routers, including those without wireless capability, thus allowing you to add a commercial grade wireless network to your existing network infrastructure. The Unifi AP LR can be purchased from numerous online stores such as Amazon.com and Newegg.com.

What is the Unifi AP LR?

The UniFi AP LR is a commercial grade wireless Access Point designed for use in both residential and commercial locations...and let's not forget the RV community as well. The UniFi AP LR is capable of wireless speeds of up to 300 Mbps per second and has a range of up to 600 ft...yes, you read it correctly...600 ft. You won't have to rely on your cell phone's data plan as much when accessing video, email and all the internet has to offer. Finally, since the Unifi AP LR is commercial grade, it is capable of handling up to 100 wireless devices at once. The Unifi AP LR Access Point is fully compatible with any broadband router both young and old...just plug it into one of your router's ports and you are ready to go.

The Instructions

Actiontec Gigabit Router - Verizon FIOS For this DIY, I will be using the popular Actiontec router given out by Verizon FIOS. (The older version is gray and black while the newer version is red and black) Initially, the Verizon FIOS wireless router had a wireless range of about 30-40 feet before the signal would drop to the point of non-existence. A simple screw on antenna upgrade would make for a slight improvement in wireless signal but nothing substantial. A standalone Access Point like the Unifi AP LR is the perfect addition to any RV, Motorcoach, Camper or Park Home.

Note: It is important to note that an Access Point requires the use of a router. You cannot install an Access Point directly to just a cable modem. You must first have a router that can handle the routing of your network/internet traffic in order to utilize any Access Point.

 

Step 1 - Disable the Wireless Antenna on Your Current Router (Optional) The Unifi AP LR will essentially take the place of your current router's WiFi broadcast. Disabling the antenna will take a lot of the workload off of your current router allowing it to concentrate solely on other tasks. To disable the wireless portion of the router, follow these directions. (Your router administration panel may differ from the images below)

Turn Wireless Off - Actiontec Router - Verizon FIOS

1) Open up a web browser and type in http://192.168.1.1 into the web address

2) Login to the router as an administrator. For the Verizon FIOS router, the username for the router is typically “admin” and the password is located on the back of your router next to “Login Password”. The password is case sensitive.

3) Select “Wireless Settings” in the menu

4) Select “Basic Security Settings”

5) Under “1. Turn wireless ON” select “Off”

6) Click “Apply” at the bottom of the page. The wireless antenna should now be off on your FIOS router. .

 

Step 2 - Set up the Unifi AP LR (Access Point) Once you have disabled the wireless portion of the FIOS router (remember, this was optional), you can now use the UniFI AP LR to control the wireless portion of your network. Optimal UniFi AP Install LocationFor best results, you will want to place the access point on the ceiling in the center of your RV, Camper or Park Home. (See image above) The Access Point works best when installed on the ceiling, however, I have hidden numerous Access Points in cabinets and other random locations with excellent results.

Ubiquiti Networks provides excellent guides for setting up their access points. It is important to note that you will not be setting up your access point via your router’s administration page. The UniFi AP LR uses its own software to complete the setup process. Setup is easy...follow the installation diagram to connect the Unifi AP LR to your existing router, download the setup software from Ubuiquiti's website and follow the instructions on how to set up your Access Point with your desired wireless network name and password. Click on the following link to find the setup guide for your particular model.

UniFi AP LR Setup Guide

 

 

The image below shows the strength of the Unifi AP LR wireless signal compared to the surrounding WiFi signals in my development. (All of the SSID’s have been censored) My own is the one in red on the left.

Actiontec Verizon FIOS Router - Before

(25 ft from wireless router)

Actiontec FIOS Router

UniFi AP LR with Verizon FIOS Router - After

(25 ft from Access Point)

UniFi-AP-LR

As you can see, the difference in wireless signal strength between the Actiontec FIOS Router and the UniFi AP LR is quite substantial. The UniFi AP LR is a major improvement over the weak FIOS router wireless signal. Uploads and downloads via wireless devices are noticeably faster and the wireless signal range is simply outstanding.

 

If at any point you cannot access part of the DIY, click on the following link to be taken to my website with the original DIY post.

Long Range WiFi in your RV

Do you have any comments or questions? Leave a reply! And please post pics of your completed access point installs, I would love to see how everyone incorporates the device into their home away from home!



__________________

Jaime "The Technological Guru" Hernandez

RV Lots 4 Sale by Owners

Email: Jaime@RVLots4SaleByOwners.com

Web: www.RVLots4SaleByOwners.com



RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 1107
Date:

All well and good, and helpful to some people.

My only quibble is stating that this is the most powerful AP currently available. While the UniFi line is very nice, it is not the most powerful available. Not even close. Just as a "for instance" I can routinely capture wifi with a Ubiquity Nanostation at 1-2 miles.  If I control both ends using the same equipment I can make a 5 mile shot without an issue and move data point to point at around 75mbps. Which is about all you will get out of almost any wireless equipment you are likely to obtain.  That is using the M2 technology. (actually, there are people that have tested at 90mbps in the field, but that is rare and likely unsustainable).



-- Edited by Jack Mayer on Monday 25th of August 2014 12:43:38 PM

__________________

Jack & Danielle Mayer
PLEASE USE EMAIL TO COMMUNICATE

http://www.jackdanmayer.com,
2009 Volvo 780 HDT, 2015 New Horizons 45'Custom 5th, smart car
New Horizons Ambassadors - Let us help you build your dream RV.....



RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 120
Date:

The Junkman wrote:

It looks pretty good to me...

I may have to look into one if my big sky does not do the trick..


 Not me . Jack Mayer is a long time trusted source in RV forums with no agenda to promote . I will take Jack's views over a first time poster .



-- Edited by Max Signal on Wednesday 27th of August 2014 08:51:40 AM

__________________

http://www.maximumsignal.net/

Cellular Reception Experts



RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 120
Date:

The Junkman wrote:
Max Signal wrote:
The Junkman wrote:

It looks pretty good to me...

I may have to look into one if my big sky does not do the trick..


 Not me . Jack Mayer is a long time trusted source in RV forums with no agenda to promote . I will take Jack's views over a first time poster .



-- Edited by Max Signal on Wednesday 27th of August 2014 08:51:40 AM


He said it was all well and good? And he said it is very nice..

Did you miss that?

 

I'd be looking at the price point next..  



-- Edited by The Junkman on Wednesday 27th of August 2014 09:47:16 AM


 I prefer my info from a trusted source , who installs Wifi systems , not a first timer. 



__________________

http://www.maximumsignal.net/

Cellular Reception Experts



RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 1107
Date:

Setting up a CPE to capture wifi signals can be done many ways, with many different types and varieties of equipment. In the past I have sold and configured this equipment to individuals, and as part of installing wifi networks for RV parks. Signal capture in iffy conditions is always challenging. Having a device at the customers premise is always beneficial to capture. It is not always possible, or economical, to saturate a park with wifi that provides "best" coverage to all sites. Plus not all coaches are conducive to allowing signal "in". So CPE's are always appropriate in a challenging capture situation.

I've installed and sold hundreds of these devices of various types over the years....originally Engenius hardware, then Deliberant and Peplink, then Ubiquity once they came on the market. My DIY Guide to CPEs has been downloaded 10's of thousands of times...which is actually surprising because it is not particularly "simple" to put together your own CPE; plus I do not advertise it at all.

There are many devices on the market that "work". There is a lot of hardware that can be "adapted". The OP presented just one example of many possibilities. It would not be the first choice for me, for various technical reasons, but it will work, and work well within the constraints of the hardware performance. IMO there are other devices that will work better, but that is neither "here nor there".

I'll repeat what I have said all along. For most people the WiFiRanger family of products will suit their needs the best. Yes, you can build your own cheaper. For sure. And yes, there have been growing pains over the years with the WFR products. But balancing all considerations, that is the product I recommend. It is NOT the only product on the market, though. The Rouge Wave, and other products like it can also be used. I commend the OP for doing the work to figure out how to provide wifi capture. There is nothing really "wrong" with doing it the way he describes. But it is not the most "powerful" device on the market - by far.

__________________

Jack & Danielle Mayer
PLEASE USE EMAIL TO COMMUNICATE

http://www.jackdanmayer.com,
2009 Volvo 780 HDT, 2015 New Horizons 45'Custom 5th, smart car
New Horizons Ambassadors - Let us help you build your dream RV.....



RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 1107
Date:

Steve, just to set your mind at "rest"...I know nothing about the OP, and have never dealt with him before. I have no quibble with his approach or info other than the claim that it is the best device out there. And that is a minor point. Don't make more of it than it is....

Providing info of the sort in the original post is a service to the community. I do not know if he benefits in any way, but so what if he does....

__________________

Jack & Danielle Mayer
PLEASE USE EMAIL TO COMMUNICATE

http://www.jackdanmayer.com,
2009 Volvo 780 HDT, 2015 New Horizons 45'Custom 5th, smart car
New Horizons Ambassadors - Let us help you build your dream RV.....



RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 2069
Date:

Regarding Jack and not the OP: Jack knows Wifi really well. He was, like I, in the biz communications professionally but in different capacities.

Basically Wifi is RF (radio frequency) engineering and modulation protocol optimization with a lot of IT sprinkled in.  I was an RF engineer of sorts for way over 40 years and know a little about RF transmission systems which, again, is all Wifi is.  It’s been around for like 70+ years, just not in use by consumers with price points in the $100’s as opposed to the $1,000’s+.  The point is that these Wifi systems have to be balanced to work correctly and not interfere.  Having 100 watts on one end is useless if the other return end is .1 watt - point one watt for example.

Using the same frequencies as Wifi I’ve done two way communication paths over 100 miles.  But they had to be designed and balanced properly to work in both directions and not to interfere with other communications including themselves.  (That’s called front end desensitization.)  That’s all Jack is saying in simple terms and he makes very clear on his website concerning building your own and selecting your own system.  More power is sometimes a bad thing if not properly engineered at both ends and if not required.

As Jack has properly said, you can build your own system for a lot, a lot less than the cost of a WFR Mobile, etc.  I’ve done it and have multiple options in my rig that I’ve built and installed.  But it is not for the faint of knowledge concerning a number of disciplines not the least of which is RF and IT.  Just one thing wrong and it doesn’t work.  So sometimes it’s just best to purchase a complete package and be done with it.

I love Jack’s info because he types up info I’m too lazy to formalize as he has so well and so when I’m asked I just sent his links.



__________________

Bill & Linda

Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to Del.icio.us