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Old Wifi Ranger, need antenna


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I have an ancient Wifi Ranger(6-7+ yrs) but don't use it enough to warrant a new purchase. I decided to get it an antenna for it and stopped by their booth. $350, too pricey for me my original Ranger only cot $60-$80. Is there an antenna I can buy from someone else that will boost my Wifi Ranger a bit? At a reasonable price <$100. I am out of my comfort zone with the alphabet soup of antenna.

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I have an ancient Wifi Ranger(6-7+ yrs) but don't use it enough to warrant a new purchase. I decided to get it an antenna for it and stopped by their booth. $350, too pricey for me my original Ranger only cot $60-$80. Is there an antenna I can buy from someone else that will boost my Wifi Ranger a bit? At a reasonable price <$100. I am out of my comfort zone with the alphabet soup of antenna.

I would try l-com.com or gohawking.com The both specialize in long range wifi solutions.

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Sharon:

 

I think there's some confusion here. The very old WiFRanger devices did not have the capability for adding an external antenna. I think that what you were offered was a roof-mounted router plus a new Ranger for inside your RV. This is what you can get for $350 http://wifiranger.com/shop/product/53-mini-pack There's no way that someone would have offered you an "antenna" for that kind of money.

 

Quite honestly, the very oldest WiFiRanger routers are limited in RAM and processor capability. Although they can run the latest software they are prone to spontaneously rebooting. My advice would be to buy a rooftop Sky2 for $199 if you want improved wifi range capability and don't need USB or Ethernet ports inside your RV

 

Joel (AKA docj)

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Just sent you a message, got a WFRBoost that should work right up to your wifiranger.

 

I would definitely NOT recommend using this approach unless you have some reasonable technical ability. The Boost is essentially an orphan product that runs on Ubiquiti, not WiFiRanger, software. It can be interfaced to Rangers running current software but you would have to update the Boost to the latest version of the Ubiquiti software on your own. I'm not sure that the OP would want to undertake this task.

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I am guessing that by antenna, you mean something that will help improve capture of Wifi? If so, does your WFR have an option in the setup for WFR Boost or Ubiquiti CPE? If so, you should be able to use a Nanostation Loco or Nanostation (which are somewhat directional) or a Bullet (which will need an antenna) to help improve Wifi capture. Jack Mayer's website and Technomadia's website use to have discussions on this, not sure if they still do. I use a Nanostation with both a Go and a Go2 (they are both white and based on a Mikrotik router. The even older WFRs were Black and I have no idea what might work with them these days.

 

...I would definitely NOT recommend using this approach unless you have some reasonable technical ability. The Boost is essentially an orphan product that runs on Ubiquiti, not WiFiRanger, software...

I think this is a little misleading in that Ubiquiti still manufacturers and sells the hardware resold as the Boost. Yes, WFR no longer sells that product along with the Mobile and several other models that they have discontinued.

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Docj,

 

Here is the antenna I was offered.

 

http://wifiranger.com/shop/product/50-elite

 

Right; that is NOT an antenna!! It is a complete router that is far more capable than the one you currently have.

 

As I said in my previous post, if you have one of the old "black" WiFiRanger routers then I would make NO investment in trying to improve it especially if you only spent $50-60 for it. Even the $159 (indoor) Mini is a far more capable device and would be an improvement and would have no installation cost. If you can afford $199 plus installation, I think the Sky2 would be a very cost effective investment.

 

Yes, you can do the things that TCW recommends and maybe you can get assistance from a friend in setting it up, but my personal view is that this approach is more complex than you may want to get involved with. I have the sense that you would be better off with a "plug and play" solution.

 

Joel

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I just pulled out the ranger and I have a White Wifiranger Go. The $199 is OK for all new but when I was at the booth they were talking $600+ for a set up. I guess I was being suckered, not pleased with Wifiranger for that ploy.

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The WFRBoost *should* work with yours then (white Go). Thats the one I had bought as a package deal with the Boost, unfortunately the internal antenna on my Go doesn't seem to work anymore, and the Boost doesn't really work standalone. I'll also throw in my WFR Mobile, which I mentioned does boot up, but doesn't seem to be the most stable, and I'm tired of playing with it.

 

I'll take pics tonight, gotta get the stuff out of storage....

 

I just pulled out the ranger and I have a White Wifiranger Go. The $199 is OK for all new but when I was at the booth they were talking $600+ for a set up. I guess I was being suckered, not pleased with Wifiranger for that ploy.

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Don't dig it out yet. We are going to talk it over when we get a chance(at Escapade now). The debate is something that "should" work versus $199 for something that will work. If the comparison was still against the $350 it would be a hands down decision. Now that I know that Wifranger tried to sucker me(all I asked for was an antenna) and Joel thinks the $199 would work fine we need to decide which way to go. Decision, decisions...........why can't life be simple.

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I just pulled out the ranger and I have a White Wifiranger Go. The $199 is OK for all new but when I was at the booth they were talking $600+ for a set up. I guess I was being suckered, not pleased with Wifiranger for that ploy.

 

What you have is most likely a WiFiRanger Go (not a Go2). It's better than one of the black ones, but it's still a pretty limited device (there have been a lot of advances in electronics in the past ~5 years)

 

You weren't being suckered by the folks at WiFiRanger. You wanted to know what you could add to your existing device to make it work better. They offered you the most powerful solution you could buy that would still use your existing router. I don't see why that would be considered "suckering" you. I don't know how long you spent talking to them or if you specifically asked for less expensive solutions.

 

I recognize that you're trying to limit your costs which is why I've suggested a few less expensive options. If you went back to the WFR booth and said that you'd been advised to have a Sky2 installed and to scrap your existing Go I'm sure they would be glad to set you up with it.

 

Joel

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I told him I didn't use it much but wanted an antenna to improve its range. I told them I had an ancient Ranger, not a Go2. He asked if it was black or white. I told him white. After I said it was a bit pricey and I needed to evaluate it he never offered anything else and this was all they are offering at the booth. I told him I thought I only paid about $60 for it.

 

Even at the Wifi Ranger seminar in the morning there was no mention of anything else available. In the past vendor presentations were suppose to be "neutral", I guess no longer. Someone asked about pricing and he said $350-$600. All they want to sell is there higher end units.

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No problem. I'd be Ok with sending it to you for free (just pay for shipping), and if you can't get it to work, just toss it or send it to someone else. if it works, feel free to send me $$, but either way this stuff will be out of my hair, and thats more important. I'm pretty certain the WFRBoost works, but can't really confirm since my Go isn't fully working.

 

Don't dig it out yet. We are going to talk it over when we get a chance(at Escapade now). The debate is something that "should" work versus $199 for something that will work. If the comparison was still against the $350 it would be a hands down decision. Now that I know that Wifranger tried to sucker me(all I asked for was an antenna) and Joel thinks the $199 would work fine we need to decide which way to go. Decision, decisions...........why can't life be simple.

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. In the past vendor presentations were suppose to be "neutral", I guess no longer.

 

I'm not sure what a vendor being "neutral" means. It's only natural that they want to sell product. It is quite possible that they only have the Elite routers available at the booth. But this doesn't prevent you from ordering something else on the website. I've emailed the person who is probably working the booth and have explained the conversation you and I have been having. Try going back and asking for specifically what we've been talking about.

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While I have my Boost still up and running, now connected to a GO2, and like the 'boost' it provides - I feel Joel is giving you good advice on a KISS approach via the Sky2. But that is only if you feel you'll only be using WiFi in the future. If you feel you may ever want to slide a USB attached Hot Spot type cellular plan into the mix, then you can probably find some GO2 for sell relatively inexpensively when the GO3 start rolling out in volume. (Sometimes see them on this site, where Escapees are selling equipment they're no longer using.)

 

Sky2 is an easy relatively inexpensive solution for WiFi. If that is your goal, hard to beat that solution:)!

 

Best to you,

Smitty

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Listen to Joel. DO NOT try to "improve" what you have. It "may" work, but more likely you will have interface issues, or hardware that simply will not work well any more. Things move fast in electronics. I have a BUNCH of older units. I would not even give them to someone, although they do still work. I keep them only for testing and historic purposes. If you want something that "just works" without fiddling with it then don't try to "adapt" what you have.

 

A Sky 2 will be a good solution IF you don't need/want an Ethernet connection. I also generally recommend a Sky2 as a great starting point for most people. You can always add a modern Go router later, if you find you need or want it.

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...At a reasonable price <$100...

Most of the recommendations have been for solutions that are 2X or more your original price point. Here is a video of a system which at the time was in your desired cost range.

 

A couple of things to consider. Most repeaters like the Sky2, Elite, Go, Go2 will reduce the speed of the connection by up to 50%. If the Park Wifi is already slow, it will be slower using a repeater. I don't know much about the Sky2, but if it can not be connected by ethernet to a router like a GO2, then you will be repeating the Wifi signal twice before your computer receives it if you add a router to the system.

 

If you only need one computer, there are a number of external wifi adapters that will provide better Wifi capture than the adapter in most computers without the speed reduction of repeating the signal. Jack Mayer's website discusses several of them such as Alpha.

 

He also reviews other product alternatives to the WFR line like the Roque Wave and Pepwave surf.

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I appreciate everyone's input on minimal need for wifi. We discussed it over lunch and decided to get the Alpha product from TechnoRV. We don't stream or do anything heavy on the internet. Email, maybe some blogging(DW is learning how), Google and Amazon. That is about it. If we don't have internet we really don't care and our cell phone can become a hotspot, the plan has 10g/month so that is plenty for how we use it.

 

I think the reason we were thinking Ranger is because that is what we had. I really didn't understand the magnitude of other options available. So for $40 we are hopefully all set for out minimal needs.

 

Thanks everyone and I hope others learned from this discussion.

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