Monday, March 15, 2010

Somebody Must Have The Answer

I'm going to have a problem later this year. I know it because I had the same problem last year. I think one (or more) of my readers will be able to help though.

I am going to have a major problem with wireless signal strength to my laptop. Just like I did last year. Here's my dilemna:

* I am going back to Huatulco for a month again this year.

* I will be staying in the same unit in the same condo.

* The internet wireless tower is locked in an office. I do not have access to it.

* My laptop will be located more than 150' from said tower.

* If I go onto the balcony, I may or may not get a weak signal.

What I need is something that will boost or relay the signal from the tower to my laptop. I want something that maybe just plugs into a USB port on my computer.

* I am running the new Explorer 7 as my browser on a Toshiba laptop.

My internet search has turned up a few possibilities. Unfortunately they either are not compatable yet with IE7 or have bad comments by end users.

Do any of you have any suggestions for me?

19 comments:

IslaZina said...

Go talk to Adrian Martinez next to the SuperExpress downtown. That's my finaly answer!

Merida Mikey said...

I suggest: a cyber cafe!

Anonymous said...

I have no idea if this will work for you, but look into an Apple Airport Express. It costs $100, plugs into a regular outlet, and I believe can be set up to use as an extender for a wireless network. I use mine to stream itunes music from my computer to my stereo, but I believe it can also be used for what you are talking about. maybe! bobnamy

Tom said...

Wayne:

From the description, I believe what you need is a wireless indoor antenna/adapter. The usb requirement makes it a little trickier, but one item I know of that works is a WLAN adapter, WiFi-Link Wireless 500mW WLAN USB 9dBi Dipole Antenna WL-USB-RSMA-25-09. Sells for about $50us. Another might be a 1000Mw WLAN USB Wi-Fi Adapter w/5dBi Dipole for about $35us-no experience with that one. Hope this helps.

Linda Dorton said...

* The internet wireless tower is locked in an office. I do not have access to it.

* My laptop will be located more than 150' from said tower.

I got stuck on th above sentences. Does the condo rental supposedly include wireless access? Can you possibly communicate with someone in that locked office, like starting NOW and being persistent, to get the code for use while in your condo? I may be off base and read that wrong, but one of the first questions my houseguests ask is for the wireless code. We currently have 8 computers working off our modem.

Islagringo said...

Zina: good idea!

Mikey: I will be uploading pics and posting to my blog so I want to do that on my own computer.

anonymous: thanks. I will check that idea out further.

Tom: I'll google that info. I think it is sort of the same thing I found on the internet but it was not compatible with IE7 yet.

Lin: yup, you misunderstood. It is an unsecured network and everybody in the condo has access to it. The problem is my condo unit is too far away from the sending tower to get a strong signal. I want to boost that signal to my computer. No way will they let me go into the office and connect something directly to the tower. I will have to do it to my own computer.

comitan said...

http://www.hawkingtech.com/products/productlist.php?CatID=32&FamID=60&ProdID=280

Nancy said...

I am not able to tell you exactly how to do it, but half of our house couldn't get reception from our wireless router upstairs so our computer friend "hacked" a Linksys wireless router (they cost about $80 us) and it is basically relaying the signal to downstairs. It is working fine for us. Charles at MazPC (http://mazpc.com/TBContact.html) did it for us (he is married to blogger Jennifer at www.mexscape.com) Perhaps he could send you to a website with the explanation...

ronnie said...

I have a usb internet antenna that I purchased that increases my signal strength. I bought mine from ebay,just search for a usb internet antenna,some are better than others

Matt said...

You need a WiFi signal booster but the only way to get it to work is if it is closer to the tower(since it replicates the original signal). Any chance of plugging the booster in half way from the tower to the condo?

Islagringo said...

comitan: wow, you went to a lot of bother! However, I already found that one and thought it was perfect. Upon further investigation, it was not compatible with IE 7.

nancy: good idea. I might be able to get our local guru to do something.

ronnie: going to ebay next!

Matt: no chance. Anything I plugged in like that would be outdoors and subject to theft.

Nancy said...

Wayne, are you sure it's not compatible with IE 7, or perhaps it said Windows 7? I don't think there would be an issue with browser software, just the operating system.

Islagringo said...

ronnie: i did the ebay thing. some good sounding antennai, but only good up to Vista.

nancfy: see what a dummy I am! I guess it would be Windows 7. At any rate, the version that comes on computers now and has replaced Vista.

comitan said...

This is the unit I have its omnidirectional and I have the 9db antenna and it says you use the Vista driver for Windows 7.

http://www.data-alliance.net/-strse-73/Alfa-AWUS036H-1000mW-USB/Detail.bok

Croft said...

I use a Hawking but have Win XP. I just heard about a home made device called a cantenna, made from a tin can and a couple of parts from Radio Shack.
http://www.turnpoint.net/wireless/cantennahowto.html

Brenda said...

I heard that you met up with Croft when he was over there. I believe that he uses a Hawking. I suggest that you email him and ask him some questions about it.

Mary said...

http://www.gohawking.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=425&osCsid=8fbc83681ffda016bb72e83537b54

Similar to Comitan, but compatible with Windows 7 I believe.

1st Mate said...

Wayne - The Capt is in Z-town on his way to Huatulco, and he's reachable by Internet (his blog is Green Flash). He installed some gadget that has greatly enhanced his wireless access and he may be able to advise you.

comitan said...

wayne here is another.

http://www.jefatech.com/product/WL-USB-500/Long-Range-WiFi-to-USB-Adapter-with-Antenna-Connector-500mW.html