mrsenglehart
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Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:43 pm
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The Point of a Parabola - What to do with a parabolic reflector when you have an internal antenna in your router?

Postby mrsenglehart » Sat Jan 09, 2016 8:05 pm

Hello, My 6th grade daughters are currently working on a two part experiment using the following Science Buddies project ideas: What Materials Can Block a Wifi Signal AND The Point of a Parabola: Focusing Signals for a Better Wireless Network. We want to test materials that might block wifi signals with and without a parabolic reflector. Our router contains an internal antenna that can not be disabled. There is a USB port on the router, so we can plug in a USB antenna to attach a parabolic reflector. The problem is, we can not disable the internal antenna, so we essentially will have two antennas working. Do we simply use the two antennas and then add the reflector to one of them for the second part of the experiment?

HowardE
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Occupation: Science Buddies content developer

Re: The Point of a Parabola - What to do with a parabolic reflector when you have an internal antenna in your router?

Postby HowardE » Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:54 am

Unless you know specifically that your router will work with a USB antenna (and I've never heard of one that will), you aren't going to be able to do that. Besides having the issue of the internal, the router won't recognize or use the USB antenna - that USB port is likely intended for flash drives only.

There are two things you can do. One is to make a bigger reflector in a parabolic shape and put the router itself at the focal point. It would be best if you knew where the antenna was inside the case but if not, just guess. You might even consider calling the manufacturer and asking. The other option would be to use the USB WiFi/antenna in a laptop and try the experiment from the other end - instead of seeing if the reflector increases the range of the router, see if it increases the ability of the laptop to talk to the router.

Howard

sebseb71
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Re: The Point of a Parabola - What to do with a parabolic reflector when you have an internal antenna in your router?

Postby sebseb71 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:02 pm

We are having troubles with this same project. Our router has an internal antenna and we have now bought two USB wifi antennae that will not work in computer. The driver loads and the icon appears on desk top but no wifi signal. Is there something we need to do changing the computer or router settings for the USB antenna to function?


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