No announcement yet.

Mounting all the antennas

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Mounting all the antennas

    I always say "Go big or go home"

    So my car PC is gonna have the following wireless devices

    I've done some searching on the forum.
    It seems the GPS receiver can be mounted under the dash or under the rear windscreen.
    But I can't really say the same for the 3G and Wifi.

    If the Wifi or 3G antennas are mounted inside the car, performance will suffer a lot.
    The signals will mostly just bounce around inside the car.

    There are 3G & wifi adapters available in USB with external antennas.
    Is this antenna any good?
    The gain for wifi is 0dB and cellular is 0dB.
    Then it says return loss > 12dB. What does that mean?

    I found a combination antenna thats 1/3 of the price with more gain.

    There are 9dB wifi adapters for really cheap (like $5-10). And I've already got a roof mountable 3G antenna.
    The problem is I think it will look a bit dumb having 2 antennas mounted to my roof.
    (Both black, one about 4" and one about 9")

    Has anyone installed multiple antennas on their roof without making their car look like a broadcasting van? I don't want to attract attention (theft).

  • #2
    ive not installed any yet, as I'm looking for one that incorporates TV & FM/DAB+ as well
    New Car PC Build list in progress


    • #3
      How much range do you need for WiFi? I use the standard Mac Mini antenna inside the box, inside the car and get a couple of hundred feet, no sweat. Just don't block the antenna with a lot of metal and you can get away with mounting it inside the car, or even inside the dash if it is plastic.

      Do a couple of measurements of signal strength if you are concerned about it.

      As for 3G, I've gotten good reception just on my phone as long as you don't block the phone antenna, either.

      No doubt you will get BETTER reception with a dedicated outside antenna, but the question is how MUCH better. Again, do some signal strength measurements with the 3G software to decide if it is worth the hassle.
      Originally posted by ghettocruzer
      I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
      Want to:
      -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
      -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video


      • #4
        i prefer to have a individual antenna for each-- it seems like every-all-in-one of anything that i look at gains the feature of multiple devices in one, but at the cost of use-ability/'s with built in dvd players--one part will always die before the other, either leaving you with a really big dvd player, or a tv that needs a dvd player

        in my limited experience, the same goes for antennas--you can get a really poor all-in-one that might work, or you can get individual antennas that are designed for the best reception.

        also, i run a dual +3dbi antenna wifi setup in my car-- mounted to the top of my windshield(i have a convertible, so any higher, or using the rear window is out of the question).. i have no problem picking up wifi-b/g signals from around 200-300 ft away..

        i also have a gps puck (bu-353) mounted inside the dash, and while i don't use it, when ever i have tested it, it seems to have locked onto the signal very quickly, and reliably, even in my garage...
        My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
        "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"

        next project? subaru brz
        carpc undecided


        • #5
          Currently my GPS and WiFi are both behind my rear brake light on the back shelf.

          Reception on both is fine.

          I was outside today and the car is parked in the roadway outside my house, not even the driveway, and I was able to access my home network.

          For 3G I have a USB dongle will is currently trapped in the boot and it gets an OK signal.

          Will probably move that to somewhere in the cabin at a later date.

          pics of where the brake light is on the E36 (not mine)


          • #6

            To support the OP acertion that WIFI suffers inside a car -- I have trouble connecting to my network from my driveway... And the router is in the garage. I have the antenna on my rear deck. Now I have read that tinted windows may really affect signal strengths.


            • #7
              Well I have gone through a few adapters in my time.

              First was a Belkin 54G PCI card with a little areial in the boot. was OKish

              extended the aerial to the parcel shelf and it was better.

              For some reason that went faulty so tried a USB version and that was in the boot, not so good.

              Then I had a Buffalo 54 which was stuck on the back window, slightly better.

              but now I have one of these


              And I get the best reception to date.

              Even though my network has not been upgraded to the N standard.