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Dish Antenna

Long distance communication. High speed networking over distances of miles. With cheap WiFi gear, and this high gain parabolic dish antenna.

Computers & networking

When you want your signal to go a long distance, there is nothing like a parabolic dish antenna.
A smaller version of a radio telescope, this dish does the same thing -- it makes the signal from far away look much closer.

But it does more than that. Just like in a telescope, what the radio sees through the dish antenna is a smaller area, so there is less noise coming into the radio. Better signal, less noise, means much better communication.

We are getting measured download speeds of about 4 megabits per second at a distance of 2.55 miles. The nominal speed (how fast the radio is sending each packet) is 11 megabits per second -- as fast as the 802.11b radio can go.

The dish has an 8 degree beamwidth. If you hold your fist out at arm's length, that is the size of the spot the beam will illuminate.

In the photo, the house we are aiming at is a pixel or two big at 2.55 miles away, sitting above a rock quarry. The gray box attached to the back of the dish is a weatherproof 200 milliwatt access point. These days, I would use a MAXX 2400 instead.

24 dBi parabolic dish.


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