Antenna Accessories


#1

I replaced the stock antenna with a biquad to provide directional gain and the connectivity for the Sense has improved. I would have moved the antenna from the bottom of the panel to the top or near the top if the antenna feed cable was longer. It would also be helpful if the Sense had a local web page with local data information such as wifi signal level graph, data upload & download details and dropped packets. Or the ability to SSH into the Sense and query the wifi config details. My panel is outside and is located near the floor level just above the foundation. I also found I have to trim back the vegetation to keep the signal strong. So in summary, an optional hi gain antenna and longer antenna feed cable would be helpful hardware options.


#2

I may be stating something you already know. Signal levels are measured by the receive side so that may not help much as you would only see the connection going back to the monitor. With the asymmetric traffic pattern more dependent on the upload you want a strong signal level as shown by the AP to ensure the best transfer rate. Also, unless you swap out to a higher gain antenna like you did, most access points have less transmit attenuation, so seeing higher recieve levels on the client may give a false sense of a better bi-directional connection than you may have. On the other hand, the dropped packets and connection rates might be beneficial if your AP couldn’t provide that information to gain some insight into connection quality.


#3

Antenna gains are bidirectional. If you improve receive by using a higher gain antenna then you are also improving transmit by the same amount. (learned this in HAM radio 101!)

Transmit power on the other hand is not symmetric. Just because you can “yell” louder so the other guy can hear you does not mean he can yell loud enough for you to hear him back.