External Antenna for V2 Cam

This has been done before but it’s an old thread and was kind of left open. At any rate, I added an external antenna to an older cam already out of warranty just to see what effect it would have. Interesting results. I tested it around the house for a few days and it did work- no noticeable improvements but certainly no problems added.
Here’s my test setup: the modified cam and a stock cam sitting side by side running off of a dual usb output power brick. Works great, if you ever need a dual view of the same thing!


The test was simple - all measurements are done by the old 3 ft/step method, which is pretty close for me.
First run was inside with IPhone on Wifi, Second outside (1 wall), Third was outside with IPhone on LTE. Measurements are in feet and signal strength % from the app, obtained by forcing each cam to reconnect between measurements. After one cam lost connection I just kept walking until the second cam lost connection.(ignoring my neighbors looks at this obviously crazy person)
Inside House
Distance - Mod.Cam - StockCam
15. 84. 81
15. 75. 76
Outside, on LTE
50. 56. 64
75. 64. 44
100. 54 51
120. Kept pic. Lost pic
From here I started just walking away. At about 120’ the stock cam lost connection and would not reconnect. Modified cam kept connection and smooth un-pixelated picture out to 330 feet where the pic froze and would not reconnect.
Turned around and walked back, randomly stopping to see if they would reconnect.
At 210’ the modified cam reconnected and kept a smooth picture as I walked
At 120’ the stock cam finally reconnected.
Back inside I put both of them about 8’ away from the primary node on my wifi. Stock cam measured 73%, modified measured 76%.
For what it’s worth!
If anyone is interested I will post photos of the antenna install process, but that’s been done on another thread.

8 Likes

Impressive. Links to antenna and any other parts used? I could really use this!

4 Likes

The antenna was the only part needed. Tools were a small Phillips head long shank screwdriver, 1/4” drill bit, small wrench or pliers for tightening the nut and a thin flat screwdriver or probe for opening the case. This link is to what I used, which apparently is not available at the moment but Amazon shows several comparables at same or lower prices. Price I paid was $9.95

2 Likes

Those are sold out and Amazons not sure when they will get more stock in. Would this be a suitable option? Also how do you get the copy and paste to be in a box like yours is where it shows the item and everything? Thanks for the tip

Highfine 2 x 6dBi 2.4GHz 5GHz Dual Band WiFi RP-SMA Antenna + 2 x 35cm U.fl/IPEX Cable for Wireless Routers Mini PCIe Cards Network Extension Bulkhead Pigtail PCI WiFi WAN Repeater https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GMBUS8O/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_tkNxEbJ7WXJBM

I’m not tech savvy enough to tell you by the specifications if it will work or not. I went by the connector type and that worked. (Basically just took a chance)
As far as the box I used the Share button to text myself the Amazon info, then copied the link into here.
IE:

1 Like

Gotcha thanks for the tip. One thing I can see is the ones that I selected were 6dBI and yours were 8dBI

I’m thinking about going with this what do you think?

True- and my tech savvy tells me I don’t really know what effect that would have. If you try them, let me know how they work. The thing I’ve noticed on mine is that the close range (to router) performance is equal or less but long range- the 30+ feet- is awesome.
Your post just popped up as I was typing. That looks identical to mine.
Nice job on the box!

I’m thinking of putting one in my barn and it’s probably a good 50 feet or more away from the house. I’m going to put one of my Orbi satellites in my garage to boost the Wi-Fi performance outside but still I think the antenna might be a key to getting better performance. If I do go with it I’ll keep you up-to-date and let you know how it goes.

You’re probably right. Keep in mind what I noted about the range was that it was great out to the max but I had to return quite a ways to get it to reconnect. So if you do drop connection for whatever reason it looks like the antenna won’t help.

Gotcha I appreciate all the advice and the help that you provided. And all the troubleshooting that you’ve done to help us so that we don’t have to do it

reason for not much gain on antenna strength is because you are looking at this all wrong and don’t have a understanding of antennas of RF signals propagate. If you want to extend the range you would need to use a parabolic of some sort or reflector to make it more of a directional antenna or use a Yagi type antenna with a element driver to achieve a stronger signal You are not increasing the dbi signal at all with the external antenna you are using. you are also using a antenna that is Omni directional which is not optimal for extending range.

2 Likes

Well coming from someone who lives way out in the country and has utilized antennas for TV viewing I have to disagree with some of your statements. Omni directional antennas work much better than parabolic and reflector antennas. Maybe it’s different for different technologies but I’ve tried a lot of different TV antennas and I can tell you that parabolic and reflector Antennas for TV suck. They do not get near the distance that an Omni directional antenna will reach. I’ve had Omni directional antenna’s that were rated for 60 miles pull in stations well over 90 miles. And I’ve had parabolic Antennas that were rated for 100 miles that couldn’t even pull in 50 miles.

1 Like

I’ll be the first to admit my lack of knowledge about RF signals. I was curious about how the camera would perform at different differences with the external/larger antenna and that’s what I tested. You’ve given me some direction to look for more understanding. For that, Thanks!

1 Like

And what is the purpose of this whole setup?

1 Like

The antenna could cost more than the camera. Installing a WiFi extender may be the trick. Just imagine a old dish network with micro connector. How does the song go “Lets give them something to talk about”!

1 Like

Come on - haven’t you ever been sitting about 300 feet from your wifi, camera in hand, just wishing you could look at it and see a picture of what’s in front of you??:face_with_hand_over_mouth:
In all seriousness, just a learning experience and fun. Total cost about $10 plus an out of warranty cam with another problem. For that I’m in anytime.

1 Like

I agree. I found all the parts for just over $10 with tax. No big deal. And they are reusable so it’s not like I have to trash them if I don’t like it.

So, in full disclosure. I worked in a wireless test lab for 7 years, and I have been an amateur radio operator for over 24 years, so I have a little bit of understanding of RF propagation.

I don’t follow your numbers. What do they represent? Where are you reading these numbers from? Your phone on an app? or your camera? or some other tool? and what unit of measure are these in? Are you referring to RSSI coming from your router? Depending on the mfg of the radio tx/rx module, these “signal strength” numbers can represent almost anything they designate. No standard there…

Depending on the type of antenna you used. Which looks like a standard omni directional. your performance will vary. 8 dBi will give you some improvement, not much. And if you were to add a high gain antenna on your router, you could add a few more ticks. But your gain will not improve your signal signal strength much. It is power (wattage) which will do that. in the 2.4Ghz range, almost 90% of all your signal strength drops off at about 3 meters out from the transmitter source. Its your transmitter side (router) that needs to improve.
have fun with it.

1 Like