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Connecting to Access Point from RV

Posted on 2006-11-19
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
Okay, here is the scenario:

Travelling in an RV with desktop (no wireless card), a laptop (wireless card), and have available a Linksys WRT54G Router. I am staying at an RV park that is offering WiFi, but the signal is quite weak (1-2 bars, if any). The access point is about 150ft or so from the RV. The line of sight when inside the RV is none (go through about 2-3 other RVs), but from the roof of the RV I can get a fair signal (4 bars) and I do have a line of sight. I don't have much information on the Park's equipment, as they have not been willing to share it or assist in getting this set up properly.

What are my options to be able to get both the desktop and laptop connected to the access point, as well as possibly use the router for an added layer of security? I have looked into the various antenna and even bridging, but am a little perplexed as to what would be the 'best' solution for this scenario. I thought possible a roof antenna or a different antenna on the router and use it as a bridge with the desktop PC. Would this be possible?

Help!
JK


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Question by:jekimbler
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 17977017
The WRT54G is not designed to connect to another wireless network so it is not much help.
You could enable ICS (Internet connection sharing) on the laptop. This allows it's Internet connection to be shared with another computer using it's Ethernet port. However, since you mention purchasing antennas and equipment I would be tempted to by a wireless card for the desktop, with an external antenna, Then enable ICS on it, as it should have a stronger signal.

If interested, some links outlining configuring ICS:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;306126&sd=tech
Above complete with video
http://www.petri.co.il/configuring_ics_on_windows_xp.htm
http://www.annoyances.org/exec/show/ics
http://www.homenethelp.com/ics/ics-install-arch.asp
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Author Comment

by:jekimbler
ID: 17998477
Is there a way to get to the internet connection to the router so that visitors can connect wirelessly as well if needed? So basically a small network of our own inside the RV?
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Accepted Solution

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Rob Williams earned 2000 total points
ID: 17999100
The right thing to do would be to add a wireless access point. They are much like a router only designed to make a wireless connection to an existing wireless router and rebroadcast the signal from the new location.

Though not recommended, especially where you have a weak signal, you can actually use your router to allow others to connect through your computer, again using ICS. It is pretty "rinky-dink" but it will work.
-on the primary computer, make sure there are only 2 connection enabled in control panel | network connections. If you have more than that, right click on it and disable for now. ICS some times gets confused with more than 2 adapters.
-again in control panel | network connections, right click on the wireless adapter that is making the connection with the RV park router and choose the advanced tab and enable ICS.
-assign your wireless router's LAN interface an IP in the same subnet as above, that doesn't conflict with any others, something like 192.168.0.254
-do not make any connections with the WAN interface of your router
-disable DHCP on the LAN configuration of the router
connect the cable from the PC to one of the LAN ports of the router
-manually assign static IP's to any connecting computers, using:
IP's 192.168.0.200  to 192.168.0.250
subnet mask  255.255.255.0
gateway  192.168.0.1
DNS server 192.168.0.1
-avoid using any wireless encryption or security features until you have it working correctly.

Again I don't really recomend this, it is more of a networking challenge than a viable solution :-)
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