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Can I use only one antenna port on a two-antenna access point

Posted on 2014-11-16
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Last Modified: 2014-11-17
I have a 2,5 km WIFI bridge, that has stopped working after 6 years. It was run by Gateway GN-AP01G (802.11g) with one antenna output and a yagi antenna connected to it. The same setup on the other side of the bridge.
I need to buy a similar setup fast, and D-Link DAP-1360 may do the work. But it has TWO antenna connectors. What will happen if I only use one of them? Is it going to be ok, if I choose to do use only 802.11g (not 802.11n) ? Is one of the connectors "main" and the other one "aux" , or is it sending the same thing on both when in G-mode?
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Question by:lefodnes
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Darr247 earned 500 total points
ID: 40447292
If it has 2 connectors, you should have either an antenna or a dummy load connected to each, otherwise it could burn out the transmitter.  

D-Link typically uses RP-SMA jacks on their devices with removable antennas.
Does your current YAGI have an RP-SMA connector on it?

If you set it to use 802.11g Only instead of 802.11n or mixed mode, it should be transmitting the same thing on both antennas.

"Bridge" mode isn't really covered by WiFi or IEEE standards, so I wouldn't guarantee that unit will work with the existing device on the other 'side' of the bridge... it may require using another D-Link on the other side.

Another consideration is the extra time it takes to go 2.5Km and back, so the firmware needs to be able to adjust the Ack timing... usually, consumer grade 802.11 equipment is set to a maximum of about 1000 feet (~305m)... if it doesn't receive an Ack in the amount of time it takes the signal to travel 1000 feet and back at the speed of light, it assumes the packet was not received and re-transmits the packet.
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by:lefodnes
ID: 40447377
Thank you for your comment. I ordered two DAP-1360 so will test this on Wednesday when it arrives.  I had the old APs (one-antenna APs called "Gateway") in a weatherproof box connected to the Yagi antenna via RP-SMA to N-connector, so I'm planning to use the same antenna again. It has the same connection as the old "Gateway".
Thanks for the burn out-tip. I hope it is ok for the electronics that I have the 18dBi yagi on one connector, and a regular 2dBi dipole on the other?
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by:Darr247
ID: 40447468
The different antennas should be fine. I've run many APs with a 2 completely different antennas connected and they're all still working. They should both 'appear' to be the same load to the transmitter.

If those D-Links don't work, I would suggest something intended for that purpose... like the Engenius ENH200EXT (Amazon) (~$78 USD each w/free shipping). Alternate source - ENH200EXT on Newegg (~$80 USD each).

http://www.engeniustech.com/business-networking/outdoor-access-points-client-bridges/16125-enh200ext is the support page, though I think that model has actually been discontinued.
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Author Closing Comment

by:lefodnes
ID: 40447761
Thanks. I'll have a look. Actually I wanted to buy a pair of Ubiquiti Powerstation 2, similar to that EnGenius model, but unfortunately they don't have proper PoE, and I need to run a switch in the same box on the same DC. Bad thing that the D-links use 5Volt. I hope my PoE splitter (switchable 12/5volt D-link) can give enough current to it and also to the 5 volt switch that I'll put in the same box.
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by:Craig Beck
ID: 40448371
If the AP gives the option to turn off antenna diversity you can use one antenna.
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