Now you've got your Flatenna, what can you do with it?
Getting the Best from Your Flatenna
The antenna that you are using your Flatenna with may not radiate power equally in all directions. Try rotating the antenna in the Flatenna reflector to get the desired response from the antenna and Flatenna. Also, the path for the signal may not be obvious so try pointing the Flatenna in various directions apart from the obvious. Sometimes the signal may be largely reflected off the floor or ceiling in which case you may have to point your Flatenna down or up. The exact response of the Flatenna and antenna depends much on the response of the antenna and these vary from unit to unit. Your Flatenna is also more directional horizontally than vertically. You may use this information to your benefit, for example you may decide to mount your Flatenna vertically depending on the environment in which you are choosing to use it. The secret is to experiment a little for the best results.
Use Ping to Help Setup Your Flatenna for Best Reception
Most WiFi appliances provide a rough indication of signal strength. However, you may find it helpful to use Ping to measure the "time" (latency) across your wireless link and orientate the Flatenna for the smallest time on average. Your computer help will tell you how to launch command prompt. You'll need the IP address of the device immediately at the other end of the WiFi link from which you are running Ping.
To open command prompt on XP, click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
Once you have C: prompt you can type the following command line to run ping indefinitely. Note that you must use CNTRL C to terminate the ping. I have assumed IP address of the device at the other end of the link in this example is 192.168.1.1 but you will need to find out the right IP address to use. The command line in this example is as follows :-
ping 192.168.1.1 -t
You will then see ping responses on the screen. Look across to the time field and move your flatenna to get the smallest time.
Use a Mirror to Get Around a Big Obstruction
2.4 GHz radio waves reflect quite well off a mirror. So if you've got a radiator or a bit obstruction preventing you getting your WiFi network to where you need it, consider bouncing your WiFi signal off a hall mirror. Ideally the mirror to be used needs to be around 1 meter square and very flat. You can line it up using your eyes if you have line of sight. You can also use a large mirror in the garden to send the signal out of the house through one window and back into another part of the house.
In this case, you will probably need a Flatenna at each end, each one directed at the reflecting surface. You can use other things as a reflector such as an aluminium garage door. However, watch out for leaves as they soak up your signal very quickly. If you have successfully used this technique, send us an Email with the dimensions and features and we'll share what you've learnt with other Flatenna users.
Reducing Interference Between Co-located Networks
The Flatenna has a nominal front to back gain of 14db. This means is very effective at cutting down interference from sources which are not on the Flatennae axis of reception. In order to get the most benefit from this you should try and arrange for interference sources to be off to the side of your line of sight link. This will not only reduce interference to your network but it will also reduce interference with your neighbours. If you have an interference problem on your network why not talk to your neighbours and work together to reduce the extent to which you interfere with each other. Remember, to use the smallest gain that works effectively and to use the Flatenna to put the field where you need it. Avoid using the Flatenna with high gain equipment as this may result in you exceeding the local regulatory limits.
If you find simple Tips and Tricks you'd like to suggest, send them to us and we'll put them up for everyone to share.
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Revised: 11/02/13 21:21:44 -0700.