June 9, 2018 at 12:45 am #123196
Is it possible to use antennas with more gain in dB?
to get a better signalJune 9, 2018 at 5:08 am #123228
The short answer is, ”yes.” Reolink WiFi cameras have standard SMA connectors and will accept standard WiFi antennas with SMA connectors.
The long answer is, ”It's complicated” for a LOT of reasons.
A different omnidirectional antenna is not going turn the WiFi signal from ”one bar” into ”five bars”. Reolink does not specify the antenna gain on their products. Typical consumer antennas are 3dB, and typical ”high gain” antennas are 6-7dB. A difference of 3dB antenna gain results in twice the signal. It also matters whether you are connecting at 2.4GHz or 5GHz. The antenna you get has to support the frequency band you are using. It's won't help to purchase a high gain 2.4GHz antenna if you want to connect at 5GHz.
Antennas with higher gain tend to be longer, which may affect where you can mount the camera. (They are also typically black, whereas Reolink outdoor cameras are white.)
There are ”patch” and ”Yagi” antennas which have higher gain, but they have to be aimed directly at the WiFi router and mounting them is a chore.
Reolink cameras use two multi-band antennas, whereas most inexpensive WiFi security cams use only a single 2.4GHz antenna. So, replacing Reolink antennas requires two. (I actually run one of my Reolink WiFi cameras with a single antenna because turning it past about 60 degrees to the side made the antenna bump into the mount. I think they ”cheaped out” by using the same camera mount for WiFi cameras as they did for regular bullet cameras.)
Sometimes, moving the camera will result in a better signal. WiFi does not penetrate things like refrigerators, AC duct work, metal garage doors, etc. Stucco walls can be a problem.
My next door neighbor found that two of his security cameras did not get good WiFi signal, so he purchased inexpensive extension 2.4GHz WiFi antennas from Amazon that came with an extension cable. He was able to run the cable through his wall. With the antennas inside, he got a better signal inside the house than he did outside.
The alternative to changing camera antennas is to extend the WiFi signal. There are a zillion ways and products that accomplish this. Google topics like ”extend WiFi signal” and ”Wifi signal booster.”
In my own case, I installed an old WiFi access point using PowerLine to improve the signal to three of my cameras.
Sorry if this isn't helpful. Good Luck!June 10, 2018 at 7:13 pm #123512
Thanks for your extensive and kind explanation.
When using a more gain antenna
When working the camera with an antenna that its operation is only for the 2GHz band,
what happens with the load of the camera itself in the 5GHz band ?
Can it cause internal damage to the camera ?
tried to use repeaters and causes sporadic stops of signal levelJune 10, 2018 at 11:44 pm #123552
WiFi issues are affected by so many factors that it is hard to predict what can be done to improve them. For example, I moved the base station for my wireless home security system six inches and suddenly the keypad reported ”out of range”. Moved it back, and the base station is OK. Six inches!
I don't see how installing antennas designed for 2.4GHz could harm the camera. It's not expensive to perform an experiment. Amazon sells a package of two antennas for under $15US: https://www.amazon.com/TECHTOO-Antenna
Since Reolink's cameras with external WiFi antennas require power, you could also try a pair of PowerLine adapters to extend your WiFi network. Zyxel (Powerline AC900,1000 Mbps Wireless Extender [PLA5236KIT] is one example.) That experimente would cost about $50US. Of course, PowerLine has its own complications. The units must match the electrical outlets, which are different in many countries.
Solving WiFi problems is not simple. Good Luck!January 10, 2020 at 1:28 am #450615
I just purchased a WiFi extender (https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-networking/range-extender/re650/) to deal with this issue.
I will update you when I install it today to see if there is a major improvement in signal strength.
The cameras ”Fluent” mode is a terrible view. Need ”clear” mode view only.January 10, 2020 at 5:16 am #450837
So i installed and setup the new WiFi extender. This gave the cameras FULL WiFi signal/bars, but it did not increase the bandwidth speed.
Theses cameras are flawed in 2.4ghz. They need to support 5ghz. Plain & Simple. 5ghz is faster, but it has a shorter WiFi range. They need to ADD SUPPORT for 5ghz or else you will NEVER get the proper bandwidth.
You can add all the extenders & antennas you want. If they are 2.4ghz, NOTHING WILL CHANGE.
The new Question to ask is..... Can we put a 5ghz antenna on these wifi cameras? I have the Argus PT.January 10, 2020 at 5:45 am #450859
The Argus PT has only a 2.4G radio in it. (Most of the battery powered cameras I have seen are 2.4G.)
Even if it is physically possible to install a 5G antenna, all that will do is produce a ”miss match” which will reduce performance.
The video resolution on the Argus PT is 1080p at 15 frames/sec. 2.4G WiFi is perfectly capable of providing enough bandwidth to carry that signal. My original Argus cameras are connected at 2.4G and they work just fine. If the camera is reporting ”full bars” and does not transmit video correctly, there is likely some other issue. I would contact Reolink support directly at mailto://email@example.comAugust 1, 2020 at 1:38 pm #1047351
In addition to being only 2.4 GHz, their camera designs only use one spatial stream (which is why you may have noticed the connection with the camera tops out at 72.2 Mbps, that is the maximum rate for a single spatial stream on 802.11n). So, the camera is forced to transmit and receive on a single spatial stream. If you try to run the WiFi camera at 1080P, it just can't handle it. Also, the antennas they include really aren't great, they are only 2 dBi. Also, just as a point, the connectors on the cameras are RP-SMA, not SMA. If you try to use an SMA antenna, it will literally never work.
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