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Good Inexpensive WiFi Long Range Receiving Antenna?

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Mr.B:

--- Quote from: Henry Finley on September 13, 2021, 02:44:11 pm ---But it seems these are used as a pair. One would have to be installed at the brother's house and one at my friend's house.

--- End quote ---

Correct.
One installed at the 'internet end' and normally connected to the router with a UTP cable. (Can also be done with a WiFi access point, but this is a bit more complicated.)
One at the remote end - can be connected to a network switch, WiFi access point or cabled directly to the PC.
The pair operate in 'bridge mode'.
Configuration of such is very easy and well explained in the Ubiquiti documentation.

Rick Law:

--- Quote from: Henry Finley on September 12, 2021, 04:08:44 pm ---...
...He says that his Win 7 laptop actually "sees" his brother's wifi if he takes the laptop to that end of his house, but cannot actually connect to it....
...

--- End quote ---

If a laptop's build-in wifi can see it, I bet a repeater would probably do it.  It may not be the best way, but it would be a way with minimal fuss.  Shop at a place where the repeater can be returned for refund.  If it doesn't work, at least you are not stuck with a useless repeater.

Get the repeater with duo external antenna, one for IN and on for OUT; and get a power extension cord so the repeater is "mobile".  If you don't have duct-tape, get a roll.

You can plug the repeater in, connect your laptop to it.  Once laptop-repeater connection is established and you are in the repeater's management pages.  You should be able to scan and see the available WiFi and signal strengths.  Move the repeater around and find the best spot for his brother's WiFi (probably window facing the house with WiFi) and duct-tape the repeater there.  The rest would be to follow the repeater's instructions and complete the setup selecting his brother's WiFi as the source to repeat.  When you are comfortable the repeater works well at that spot, find ways to secure it there with something better than duct-tape.

If the signal is too weak to complete the set up, don't give up yet.  Try one more thing.   (The repeater I used, the user-guide actually suggested to do it this way first).  Do the set up and initial testing where signal is strong, then move back to the space where you intend to use it, and find the best spot there.  So, factory-reset the repeater (if it got started but failed to finish), go to his brother house to do the setup and verification, then go back home and plug the already-set-up repeater in.  If it successfully reconnect, and reconnecting do seem to be less fussy than initial set up, now he can find the best spot for the repeater.

Good luck...

cdev:

--- Quote from: bob91343 on September 13, 2021, 04:49:51 am ---There is a DIY device called something like Wajanbolic.  It's basically a wifi dongle mounted in the center of a cooking wok to form a parabolic antenna and increase the gain.  There are youtubes on how to do it.

https://www.instructables.com/How-to-Make-Indonesias-WajanBolic-or-PanciBolic-/

--- End quote ---

There used to be an entire web site about "wok-fi" hosted by some (Christchurch) New Zealand university professor where he enumerated his and other readers experiments with wifi dongles and curved or parabolic or parabolic like cooking utensils. Its no longer online but easy to find in Internet archives. Links over water were particularly good.

 I tried this too and it does work very well. I did it with an 18 inch stainless steel pot lid purchased from a huge cooking equipment store on Clement Street in San Francisco's Richmond District. A real paradise for would be purchasers of metal cooking implements.

Some people have also used noodle strainers with a fine mesh.

I have a friend in Europe who was able to set up an 18 mile wifi link over the Adriatic using a curved mesh and an off the shelf totally unmodified wifi access point.  That was it. The mesh was made of chicken wire.

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