Long Range Wifi Project [Studio 42]

Come Saturday I’ll be testing out the range capabilities of wifi at studio 42. Every guy needs a place for his battlestation and since one has grown out of space its time to crack this one out.



  • Provide a stable Serial or TCP/IP link back to main data closet within a 1.5Km distance.
  • Able to communicate via FTN, UUCP, and/or MQTT with the rest of zeronet nodes.
  • Automate remote station via Node-RED, Hass.io, and CICD.

Budget and extra details

Parts above come to about $100. Alternative methods could include two HC-12 connected via GPIO to individual Raspberry PI(s) as TNC/Base stations. These have a good write up for UUCP but do fall under FCC Part 15.240 and would run at about 2400 baud so might not be a good use case.

Benchmark tests to follow…


Thanks for sharing this. I’ve been thinking of something to connect our barn to the house wifi and this sounds like a similar application (though my range requirements are much less taxing).

Yeah, the range isn’t really that far, its less than two city blocks but because the noise and lower quality signal between the two location I’d figure one could try to go for distance and get a better uplink.

I did think of going with an alfa range extender instead but didn’t have a need for able to switch between a yagi or parabolic.

Additional Reading

I’ve been a big fan of the Ubiquity products for point to point wireless. For about 500 bucks you can get extremely close to an enterprise solution without needing permits or FCC licenses.

UniFi Building-to-Building Bridge is about as easy to setup as it can get. Of course you can find cheaper ways to get things done, like the antenna above.

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Similarly, there is the wireless wire from mikrotik for a short distance 1gb o.t.a. link


Cat 6 and Ubiquiti LBE came in today. Assembly is a breeze. Turns out the best way to configure it is with UNMS.

This range extender does support POE and comes with its own injector. On power up it provides an open wifi signal for one to connect to ( http and ssh). After connecting to the wifi one is redirected to the web interface which also prompts the download of UNMS.

From there one can select any 5G signal within range and mode (station ptp, access point, access point to point).

At best most of the signals in my area are 80-110 dBi and one hidden wifi at 60 dBi. Still waiting for the tripod to come in so I can attempt to reach my base station.

Came here looking for Pringles cans. Left disappointed. :smiley:

dBi,or dBm? I would think you are comparing to a milliwatt, not to an isotropic antenna. And I suspect you are also missing a - sign, as 80 dBm would be about a 100KW broadcast station at the feed point to the antenna.

I’ve had a pretty good experience with the airFiber products at work. UNMS is cool for quickly seeing everything but I find it much better to configure the devices on their individual management pages.

meh… No one uses Pringle cans these days. Coffee cans are better :wink:

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The stand came in and the included o ring clamp worked great!

Went into the base station’s configuration to see if I can amp up the power on the antenna. Found a snag. the MikroTik hap 2 ap maxes out at 2.5dBi

Antenna Type Best use Signal use Location Max Range
2.5 dBi Omni directional USB adapters Receive Indoors 300ft
5 dBi Omni directional USB adapters Receive Indoors 500ft
7dBi Omni directional Routers/Adapters Receive/transmit Indoors 800ft
8dbi Omni directional Routers/Adapters Receive/transmit Outdoors 1500ft
9dbi Omni directional Routers/Adapters Receive/transmit Indoors 1200ft
9dBi Panel Directional Routers/Adapters Receive/transmit Indoors .25 miles
11dBi Omni directional Routers/Adapters Receive/transmit Outdoors .25 miles
14dbi Omni directional Routers/Adapters Receive/transmit Outdoors .4 miles
Yagi Cantenna Tripod 14dBi Directional Routers/Adapters Receive/transmit Indoors 2 miles
Yagi Cantenna
Mount 14dBi Directional Routers/Adapters Receive/transmit Outdoors 3 miles
Panel Tripod 14dBi Directional Routers/Adapters Receive/transmit Indoors 2 miles
Panel Mount 14dBi Directional Routers/Adapters Receive/transmit Outdoors 4 miles
Dish Grid 19dBi Directional Routers/Adapters Receive/transmit Outdoors 5 miles
Parabolic Grid 24dBi Directional Routers/Adapters Receive/transmit Outdoors 8 miles

At 300ft I’m not even remotely getting to the street level given the density of the walls. I did find an old 2.4Ghz dlink that allows me to use any common female RP-SMA connected Antenna and has two 11dBi. Down side is the antenna in the studio is only 5Ghz.

I might have to look into hacking up something with a Coffee can for the base station, buy a second setup and hope I can broadcast through the walls with the second antenna, or come up with a different solution.

They list the antenna gain as 2.5 dBi, or a simple 1/4 wave vertical. Makes sense if that is what is connected. That spec sheet says in most cases transmit power is 27 dBm, or about 1/2 watt. Sometimes the transmit power can be adjusted, and you aren’t up against the FCC limits for a 2.5 dBi antenna. I suspect that is simply the limit of their transmit amplifier. But 27dBm would be at limit for a 9 dBi antenna:



So my esp8266 programer came in:

Going to try two things with that. One a bbs and two use uucp with the default extended AT commands on the chip. My test sites will be sdf and uucp via ssh at dms.

If these prove successful then UUCP with an esp8266 and zerotier would be the next test case. Why some of you may ask… because: