Originally Posted by edsailing
I've found this a really interesting topic with some good information but I have one question that so far remains unanswered - I'm sure someone can answer it.
The discussion has been about rigging additional antenna via an additional card or USB setup - is there any way to improve a laptop's wifi signal strength without any add-ons of this type i.e.to just add an antenna that is better than the built in one. I could for example improve the antenna on my router quite easily but that's no good when the laptop is on a boat and all I want to do is improve it's sensitivity which is pretty poor at the best of times.
My laptop is fitted with a wireless LAN Mini PCI card and I can't see how a replacement card could be fitted as described
Grateful any pearls of wisdom
Can't offer any pearls of wisdom but a client of mine had a WiFi booster made up for me because I was 800m offshore and he needed me to be online without fail to talk to people at a boat show from the boat via VoIP as a demonstration of how it can be used on boats.
The guts of the antenna are concealed in a grey box like the ones used to house domestic outdoor electrical connections, it's about 12" tall, 8" wide and 4" deep and I have no idea what the contents look like. Out of the top sprouts a black rotatable rubber-sheathed antenna about 6" tall and out of the bottom comes a cable for 220v electricity and another which plugs into the telephone socket on the computer (with a little transparent plastic plug with a springy prong sticking out of it, just like the ones on normal phones). The whole thing was designed to be waterproof. It was plugged into the inverter whenever the generator wasn't running.
I seem to recall it cost my client about 350 euros, in 2005, and some local computer company made it up for him once he had explained what he needed. It worked really well hanging up on the mainmast or tied to a stay but it did have to be pointed at the wifi antenna on shore that was providing the internet service. Nothing inside any of the computers I used it on had to be changed although I think there may have been software involved - my memory is hopeless but VIA and Rhine are names that seem to be connected with it in my mind...
I still have it, although I don't use it any more because I have a dongle-type GPRS3 connection now, plugged into two USB ports which works really well.
I have just sent a message to the guy who I think made the booster up so, if he comes back to me with more info, I will return here with it.