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Old 12-20-2011, 11:44 AM   #1
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CradlePoint CTR35 wifi as wan

Has anyone tried this as a solution to get RV park WiFi into your airstream/Faraday cage? My signal is usually good by my windows but is poor everywhere else. I figure if I position this by one of my windows it will then provide me with my own network inside my trailer with good signal quality. It works with my 3g modem too. The only drawback I see is there is no antenna port but I just need it to get the RV park signal better in my trailer.

CradlePoint CTR35 Wireless N Portable Router, Includes WiFi as WAN Firmware 3.3.0 [CTR35] : 3Gstore.com
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:08 PM   #2
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Cradlepoint routers are generally very good, and the 3G store provides excellent service and backup for the things they sell.

I have been using a Cradlepoint 350 router in my car with my Verizon USB 720 modem for several years now. It has been a very reliable system allowing me to just leave the modem and router connected in the car (draw is about 0.3 amps) and have wi fi in my trailer. Here at my winter home I use the same Verizon USB modem with a Cradlepoint 1000 router for coverage all over the house. When I go out traveling, and need the computer, I just move the modem from one router to the other. Slick, fast and easy.

I was unaware that Cradlepoint had the new CTR 35 router, with the ability to repeat wi fi signals, so I cannot comment on it. However, my experience with wi fi range extenders has not been good, and I can only hope that Cradlepoint has made it a simple process to do. Most range extenders are anything but reliable or simple. But Cradlepoint and 3G store are good at solving problems with what they sell, so at least you have a running chance.
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:41 PM   #3
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We have used the JEFA Tech Long-range WiFi repeater ( JEFA Tech: Long Range WiFi Repeater Kit for RVs ) for about 6 months now and are very pleased with it. We used a wired system before ( cell phone reception - Page 2 - Airstream Forums ), but switched after the software became out of date and could not be upgraded.

I believe an external antenna, such as we used before and now (with the JEFA system), helps a lot in getting the WiFi signal into the aluminum shell of our Airstreams.

Tim
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:06 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by idroba View Post
Cradlepoint routers are generally very good, and the 3G store provides excellent service and backup for the things they sell.

I was unaware that Cradlepoint had the new CTR 35 router, with the ability to repeat wi fi signals, so I cannot comment on it. However, my experience with wi fi range extenders has not been good, and I can only hope that Cradlepoint has made it a simple process to do. Most range extenders are anything but reliable or simple. But Cradlepoint and 3G store are good at solving problems with what they sell, so at least you have a running chance.
Yes I love my cradlepoint phs300 but it doesn't have the new wifi as lan feature. I too have had bad luck with repeater and expanders. It is too much of a crapshoot getting them configured to various rv park routers. Supposedly the CTR 35 router picks up wifi signals just like a computer does and it even shows the db strength so you can place it in the best spot....almost seems too good to be true. I just ordered one so I guess I'll find out.
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:13 PM   #5
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I would get something with an antenna input for one of these. Having an outside antenna would help a lot. Even if you just run a cable through a window or something and put a suction cup on it to hold it on. I am going to do some more research. It may well be a conventional router can be configured this way with some open source firmware like Tomato.

Newegg.com - Amped Wireless A8EX High Power 8dBi Omni-Directional Outdoor WiFi Antenna Kit

Perry
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:43 PM   #6
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I would get something with an antenna input for one of these. Having an outside antenna would help a lot. Even if you just run a cable through a window or something and put a suction cup on it to hold it on. I am going to do some more research. It may well be a conventional router can be configured this way with some open source firmware like Tomato.

Newegg.com - Amped Wireless A8EX High Power 8dBi Omni-Directional Outdoor WiFi Antenna Kit

Perry
That's a good idea too, I pretty much have an external antenna and wilson amp that will do the same thing but don't have a router with an antenna port. I tried installing tomato and dd-wrt firmware on my existing router but it was not compatible. I might just try to hook my external antenna/wilson amp to an internal antenna and then just use the CTR 35 router in wifi as lan mode.
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:22 PM   #7
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Cantenna

I don't see an antenna connection on it, so I'd be afraid that you're still inside the "Faraday Cage" shell of the Airstream. Without an antenna, I don't see how your coverage will improve.

I've had great luck with a Cantenna connected to a Buffalo router running dd-wrt software. Picks up a LOT of available wi-fi. I can post more details if you want.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:34 PM   #8
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I don't see an antenna connection on it, so I'd be afraid that you're still inside the "Faraday Cage" shell of the Airstream. Without an antenna, I don't see how your coverage will improve.

I've had great luck with a Cantenna connected to a Buffalo router running dd-wrt software. Picks up a LOT of available wi-fi. I can post more details if you want.
I was hoping to just put it by a window, but I agree an outside antenna is the way to go. I would be interested in the details of your cantenna and your dd-wrt compatible router.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:56 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tim A. View Post
We have used the JEFA Tech Long-range WiFi repeater ( JEFA Tech: Long Range WiFi Repeater Kit for RVs ) for about 6 months now and are very pleased with it. We used a wired system before ( cell phone reception - Page 2 - Airstream Forums ), but switched after the software became out of date and could not be upgraded.

I believe an external antenna, such as we used before and now (with the JEFA system), helps a lot in getting the WiFi signal into the aluminum shell of our Airstreams.

Tim
Thanks for this post - I think it's exactly what I've been looking for for our camper. (I showed the page to my wife, and she said, "Start saving your change." ) I do have some questions, though, if you don't mind...

1. When you go to a new campground, do you have to go into the config page to set up which network you want repeated?

2. If you go back to a campground you previously visited, does it automatically repeat the network it already knows about? For example, on my laptop and phone, I only have to set up each network once; when I go near that network later, it automatically uses the network. I'm wondering whether the JEFA Tech setup does the same thing, or if you have to do something to set it up every time.

Thanks.
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Old 12-21-2011, 12:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim A. View Post
We have used the JEFA Tech Long-range WiFi repeater ( JEFA Tech: Long Range WiFi Repeater Kit for RVs ) for about 6 months now and are very pleased with it. We used a wired system before ( cell phone reception - Page 2 - Airstream Forums ), but switched after the software became out of date and could not be upgraded.

I believe an external antenna, such as we used before and now (with the JEFA system), helps a lot in getting the WiFi signal into the aluminum shell of our Airstreams.

Tim
Yeah I think I'll go with the JEFA kit instead because I think I do need a good antenna and I won't have to fool around with pointing.
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:13 AM   #11
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That kit is the antenna like I sent you before and this router with DD-WRT firmware.

Newegg.com - Linksys WRT54GL Wireless Broadband Router 802.11b/g up to 54Mbps/ Compatible with Open Source DD-WRT (not pre-load)

Newegg.com - Amped Wireless A8EX High Power 8dBi Omni-Directional Outdoor WiFi Antenna Kit

So if it is worth the extra $50 to have someone else deal with the software/firmware issues then it is a good deal.

Perry
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:22 AM   #12
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I mounted a Ubiquiti Bullet 2HP with an 8dBi antenna on the batwing antenna on the roof and a DLink router inside. It uses a POE injector to power the Bullet, but the only wire that comes in from outside is an Ethernet cable.

It works differently than a Jefa Tech as it does not contend on the same WiFi channel. It rebroadcasts on an independent WiFi channel. If there are more than one Jefa Tech style repeaters in an area, the bandwidth can be very limited for everyone.

You have to select the outside network on the Bullet through a web interface, but all other devices just have to have the SSID and pre-shared key of the inside router.

Total cost was under $160

Paul
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:56 AM   #13
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Here is a thread I started on this at anandtech.com. This is the place for anything computer geeky. We are using the wrong terminology. This is called wireless repeater. I am not sure where the term Wifi as WAN came from and I am not sure it is accurate. I think the term should be Wifi as LAN. A repeater and Wifi as LAN maybe different I am trying to get some resolution to that.

Wifi as WAN - AnandTech Forums

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Old 12-21-2011, 11:32 AM   #14
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In this specific case, I think they're using the "Wifi as WAN" term because their product is primarily a WWAN interface (using various wireless providers' 3G and 4G devices for WAN connectivity and distributing that within an RV via wifi.) The feature they're calling Wifi as WAN allows you to connect to the internet via an external wifi network but leave the rest of the devices within your RV configured as they are when you're using a WWAN service. It's not an industry-standard term, it's their name for their particular device's repeater functionality.
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