Getting Wifi to the Barn

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  #1  
Old 11-28-17, 06:08 PM
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Getting Wifi to the Barn

Hello all,

I'm trying to figure out the best way to get a better wifi signal in an outbuilding (a large pole barn) on my property.

I currently have Comcast cable, and my wifi is through an Asus router. There is a cable from the house that goes underground to the barn, which is about 150' from the closest corner of the house. I use the cable to watch TV out there, with no issues - I can get the HD channels, etc. So the cable signal is pretty strong.

However, the wifi signal is very weak or mostly non-existent. Because the cable & electrical wires are already buried and there is no room in the conduit, getting a cat5 cable out there isn't an easy option. The router is in my house, upstairs and about as close to the barn as I can get it. Is there any way to use the cable that is already existing to get a wifi signal out there? Thanks.

Mike
 
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Old 11-28-17, 06:26 PM
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There is equipment out there that will send and receive Wifi line of site. Google a "wireless bridge"

Otherwise, you may be able to get another modem from Comcast.
 
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Old 11-28-17, 06:53 PM
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Consider a powerline extender. I have used a dozen of these in the last couple of months and they have always connected and run fast. They are identical units. One plugs into the wall near the router and connects to the router with a data cable. The other end plugs in at the shop and there is a data cable to feed that device. There is little to no setup... just plug them in.

Certainly worth a try. Just return them if they don't work.
netgear-powerline-1000-network-extender-white

They also offer the same model with wifi at the receiving end.
netgear-powerline-wi-fi-1000-access-point-and-adapter-white
 
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Old 11-29-17, 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by PJmax View Post
Consider a powerline extender.
Powerline adapters work well if both outlets are on the same side of the power line (same side of the 240VAC coming into the panel). If the two outlets (one in the house, one in the barn) are on different phases, they won't work well if at all. As Pete mentioned, if you can return them if they don't work for you, it's definitely worth a try.
 
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Old 11-29-17, 06:52 AM
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OR ...... if it doesn't work in the AC outlet near your router in the house. ..... try it in other outlets nearby or in other rooms until you find and outlet that is on the same phase as the barn. When it works you will just have to run a Cat 5 patch cord between your router and the workable AC outlet and Power line module.. Hopefully it will be in an adjacent room or easily accessible location.
 
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Old 11-29-17, 12:50 PM
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Regarding the powerline extender, I get that both the "sender" and "receiver" need to be on the same phase, but will it work even if the barn circuits are on a different panel? The main power feeds through the house, but it comes into the barn into it's own service panel, then that panel serves the outlets in the barn. I have no issue buying these and trying them, but don't want to waste the time if going through an additional panel is an automatic no-go.

Also, regarding trying different outlets to find them on the same phase, I have two questions:

1) I suppose I could move the receiver around in the barn, too, right? I have more outlets/circuits available out there than I do near the router.

2) This might be a stupid question, but how do I determine if it's working? Will I all of a sudden get a strong wifi signal if I match up phases?

Final question - a co-worker suggested looking into the MoCA, which I guess is basically home networking over cable. Does anyone have any experience with that?
 
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Old 11-29-17, 02:04 PM
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I would just bury a cat 6 cable from house to barn... Why waste time and money on gadgets...
 
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Old 11-29-17, 02:09 PM
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150 feet of cat 6 cable isn't very cheap either although it is the best answer. If you want to stay with wifi, try a USB external antenna. I like Hawkings.
 
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Old 11-29-17, 02:36 PM
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Cable is cheap IMO.. Cheaper then money spent for adapters that may not work well and are complicated IMO..

150ft direct burial shielded and waterproof is about 50 bucks..

Run shielded in conduit about 35 bucks and price of conduit..

Cat 5e ( which is all you probably need runs about 25 bucks)
 
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Old 11-29-17, 04:53 PM
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I've got a similar situation, but 91' feet from house to barn.

A) IF your Comcast router supports MOCA to your set top boxes, you might be able to connect a 2nd router to the coax calble in the barn. That would give you WIFI and ethernet there.

IIRC, some xfinity routers from Comcast support MOCA (that's how they get on-demand to the set top box without a separate ethernet cable.)

This would be different from a simple "channle 3/4" coax video out over coax, those work with fairly bad coax cables. If the coax cable to the barn is newer, and if you have a cable box in the barn, this might work.


B) Just run an aerial ethernet cable.
Two hundred fee of cheap ethernet cable is $12 bucks at your local big box store.
Outdoor rated cable is $80 from online retailers, about half that if you search clearance.

I reused the strain-relief connectors from old coax tv cable; and reused the old coax cable between house and barn as support. Just spiraled the ethernet cable around the old coax cable, so that the coax is supporting the gigabit ethernet cable.
Make sure to plug the outside cable into UPS for grounding when the cable gets to the house / barn.
 

Last edited by Hal_S; 11-29-17 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 11-29-17, 05:15 PM
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I don't know why you guys think that the cable is so cheap unless you are talking about without the ends already punched.
 
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Old 11-29-17, 05:56 PM
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cat 6 direct burial 150ft $50 bucks...

https://www.cables.com/Products/M6-150-OD-STP.aspx
 
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Old 11-29-17, 06:05 PM
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I don't know why you guys think that the cable is so cheap unless you are talking about without the ends already punche
Installing ends on a Cat5/6 is not a big deal. Even a cheap tool does a good enough job.
 
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Old 11-29-17, 06:06 PM
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Custom length and product cheap....

https://www.cables.com/Custom-Cables-Cat6.aspx
 
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Old 11-29-17, 06:25 PM
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That's a good deal since I don't have to punch the ends. I have the tool but I'm not punching heads. I could even drive there in about 30 minutes if they have a store.
 
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Old 11-29-17, 07:03 PM
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I could even drive there in about 30 minutes if they have a store.
Funny D... You gave away your Modus Operandi,.... We all knew it but no way to verify... Ha ha ha ha..

Maybe an early Christmas gift....hmmmmmmm.

I was taught never to show my hand though....

 
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Old 11-29-17, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Donato_ View Post
That's a good deal since I don't have to punch the ends. I have the tool but I'm not punching heads. I could even drive there in about 30 minutes if they have a store.
Just run aerial ethernet cable.
It's MUCH easier.

I've tried the other options.
Two 14.4 modems hacked to relay internet over a phone cord. (Eek, yes, I've been doing this THAT long...)
WiFi 802.11b "cantenna"
Local network over bluetooth using old dish-TV offset dish.
Local network over WiFi using old dish-TV offset dish.
Liknsys router hacked to DD-WRT as wireless bridge.
Ethernet powerline adapter from house to barn, even swapped breakers around
to get adapters on same phase at house panel and barn panel.
Verizon MOCA ethernet over coax cable.

Um, yeah. Just run aerial ethernet cable.
It is that much easier.
It works.
 

Last edited by Hal_S; 11-29-17 at 07:29 PM.
  #18  
Old 11-30-17, 05:14 AM
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Luckily, I have all the cables that I need, no barn & no full house. I just moved & I don't need wifi either which I'm about to disable. Good luck to Fronzizzle. Run the cable.
 
  #19  
Old 11-30-17, 09:34 PM
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1) I suppose I could move the receiver around in the barn, too, right? I have more outlets/circuits available out there than I do near the router.

Ans: Yes

2) This might be a stupid question, but how do I determine if it's working? Will I all of a sudden get a strong wifi signal if I match up phases?

Ans: Just check your WiFi signal in the barn with a cell phone or laptop ..... etc

Final question - a co-worker suggested looking into the MoCA, which I guess is basically home networking over cable. Does anyone have any experience with that?

Ans: I've never looked into using the MoCA technology

Also, rather than "dangling" a wire between your buildings you might want to investigate the use of a long range WiFi antenna on the out side of your house aimed at the barn. I'd suggest that you call Trendnet technical support to help choosing the proper device.

A number of years ago I used one to broadcast 100 feet across a parking lot and it worked fine. Have not had occasion to use one since, so I can't suggest a particular device.


TRENDnet | Products | Wireless | Wireless Antennas
 
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Old 12-02-17, 03:32 PM
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I bought 100' of Cat5 off eBay to put a repeating WiFi router in a buddy's mancave for $6.75, delivered. Right now I find 200" of waterproofed Cat6 for $77.61. You'd need the extra 50' for the indoor connections.

Trying it wirelessly is falling down the rabbit hole. First there's the fact that radio signal strength decays according to the inverse square law, So even if you "hot-rod" your router's transmitter (easier done than you might think), and even if that power increase doesn't burn it out, the increase in range you'll get only would be a small fraction of the power increase. And just like your stereo, turning up the volume tends to increase the noise more than the signal, and a low SNR is key to optimal throughput.

You can make high-tech, high-gain antennas from discarded satellite TV antennas (which have tremendous gain because they're made for receiving signal from transmitters that are AT LEAST 23,000 miles away), and some D-I-Yers home-make Bi-Quad TV antennas (also adaptable to WiFi) that have similarly impressive gain for ultra-long-range reception. But if you've gone that far, you've fallen to the bottom of the hole and D-I-Y WiFi-ing is now your principal hobby.

Wireless might help you get your geek on but I think your best performing, least problematic result was always going to come from a ditch witch and 200' of cable.
 
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