Does this flip-open flappy dohickey actually do anything? (Netgear A6210)

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Sqwertz

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Jul 25, 2020, 1:24:26 AM7/25/20
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https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-AC1200-Wi-Fi-Adapter-A6210-100PAS/dp/B00MRVJY1G

Or is just for show and something to accidentally (or purposely)
break off? I seem to get better reception with it closed and
sitting it's its dock.

-sw

Grant Taylor

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Jul 25, 2020, 2:41:35 AM7/25/20
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On 7/24/20 11:24 PM, Sqwertz wrote:
> Does this flip-open flappy dohickey actually do anything?

Maybe.

> Or is just for show and something to accidentally (or purposely)
> break off? I seem to get better reception with it closed and sitting
> it's its dock.

In radio (RF), there is the concept of polarization of antennas and the
radio waves that they emit.

Many APs have rubber duck antennas that actually do have wire in them
and said rubber duck antennas are depicted vertical, thus vertically
polarizing them. Having a similarly vertically polarized antenna on the
other end, like the A6210, passes the basic conceptual sniff test.

That being said, I don't know how the high frequencies in 802.11
(multiple GHz) react to polarization compared to lower frequences (Hz /
kHz / MHz). It may be that the wavelength of the multi-GHz frequency is
short enough that the orientation doesn't make much difference.

Though, I have fixed WiFi problems by making sure that the rubber duck
antennas were standing vertical many times in the past.

So, conceptually, I think the idea passes the sniff test.

The biggest question to me is if there is anything inside the flap or
not. I doubt that Netgear would have created it if it didn't do
something to make it worth the effort.



--
Grant. . . .
unix || die

Jeff Liebermann

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Jul 25, 2020, 2:36:37 PM7/25/20
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On Sat, 25 Jul 2020 00:24:07 -0500, Sqwertz <sqwe...@gmail.invalid>
wrote:
Netgear claims it does "beam forming" which means that it mangles the
antenna pattern for more gain in the desired direction, and less gain
in the direction of interference sources. In order to do that, there
has to be at least 2 antennas and 2 radios involved. I'm too lazy to
check the FCC ID web site to see if they have a photo of what's
inside. My guess is the minimum, which means either one or more chip
or PCB antennas on the same board as the electronics and one or two
coaxial antennas in the flip out antenna thing. This is a common
approach that barely works with such minimal spacing between antennas.
However, putting one horizontal antenna in the base electronics, and
the other mounted vertically in the flip out part give polarization
diversity in some directions. That might be worth something if you
use the radio in a highly reflective environment.

The data sheet says 866 Mbit/sec maximum speed. You can achieve that
speed with either 1 or 2 antennas at each end of the link depending on
the occupied RF bandwidth (80 or 160MHz). See table:
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11ac#Example_configurations>
So, I have no clue if there are 1 or 2 antennas inside, but I'm fairly
sure that there are no more than two or the maximum rates would have
been higher.

For testing:
Setup a fast computah, with USB 3.0 for the adapter. Find an 802.11ac
wireless router. Attach a fast desktop running gigabit ethernet. Run
iPerf3 on both machines:
<https://iperf.fr/iperf-download.php>
Run the test using TCP (not UDP) using parameters tweaked for gigabit.
If you're not sure, lose the wireless temporarily and try iperf3 via
gigabit ethernet between the computers trough the ethernet ports on
the router. You should get over 800 Mbits/sec. Do it anyway. It's
good practice.

Ok, back to wireless. Depending on the maximum throughput you should
be able to guess which configuration your wireless thing is using at
802.11ac from this table:
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11ac#Example_configurations>
You may need to temporarily disable 2.4GHz in the Netgear dongle or
the wireless router to prevent 2.4GHz traffic from mangling the
results.

Hmmm... reviews don't look so good on Netgears web pile:
<https://www.netgear.com/home/products/networking/wifi-adapters/a6210.aspx>
11 out of 21 say it sucks. Boiler plate replies from Netgear
"support". Caveat emptor.
--
Jeff Liebermann je...@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558

Sqwertz

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Jul 30, 2020, 3:40:21 AM7/30/20
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> Hmmm... reviews don't look so good on Netgears web pile:
> <https://www.netgear.com/home/products/networking/wifi-adapters/a6210.aspx>
> 11 out of 21 say it sucks. Boiler plate replies from Netgear
> "support". Caveat emptor.

Thanks, Jeff.

Yeah, I mangled tiny little my AC6100 by double-sided sticky tape to
the wall. And when I had to reposition it, it stuck a little too
well and popped off in a 5 different pieces. So I ordered this one
late at night for next day delivery VIA Amazon based solely on the
Amazon reviews.

I didn't see the Netgear reviews until it started crapping out on
me. For the first 12 hours it work GREAT! I was getting 210MB
up/down through a few walls and my central A/C unit in the middle
(runs all day in Texas), but then it started disconnecting every
time I ran a speed test or gave a load. I tested a few drivers and
read the reviews, and boxed it back up.

So it's on it's way back to Amazon and I got this cheapo TP-Link in
the meantime that can only sustain 1/4th of thee speeds of the
Netgear model:

https://www.amazon.com/Wireless-desktop-10-9-10-14-Archer-T2U/dp/B07P5PRK7J/

So I'm still shopping for a dongle that can came close to 150Mb with
better than a 30min MTBF. Not that really need 150Mb. I'm still
stuck in the 90's "download and store" rather than "stream all that
shit" mode. I should also note that I have 15 and 25 feet of
braided USB cables running across the loft ceiling which I often use
as "range extenders". Heh. My Google Fiber router can't be moved
for other technical reasons.

Thanks again, and Cheers!

-sw

Sqwertz

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Jul 30, 2020, 3:57:52 AM7/30/20
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On Sat, 25 Jul 2020 00:41:36 -0600, Grant Taylor wrote:

> The biggest question to me is if there is anything inside the flap or
> not. I doubt that Netgear would have created it if it didn't do
> something to make it worth the effort.

Exactly. I couldn't tell if there were wires/connection in the hinge
or not. Or if it was just some sort of a inert deflector.

But it worked great. I got 200-210Mb up/down sustained on USB 2.0
ports with it open or closed. But it started crapping out and
disconnecting after 10-12 hours.

Great product! If it would have worked.

-sw

Sqwertz

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Jul 30, 2020, 4:20:05 AM7/30/20
to
On Sat, 25 Jul 2020 11:36:30 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

> For testing:
> Setup a fast computah, with USB 3.0 for the adapter. Find an 802.11ac
> wireless router. Attach a fast desktop running gigabit ethernet. Run
> iPerf3 on both machines:
> <https://iperf.fr/iperf-download.php>
> Run the test using TCP (not UDP) using parameters tweaked for gigabit.
> If you're not sure, lose the wireless temporarily and try iperf3 via
> gigabit ethernet between the computers trough the ethernet ports on
> the router. You should get over 800 Mbits/sec. Do it anyway. It's
> good practice.

C'mon - I've seen your office and I know you can set this up with a
just a cable change. But I'm still limping along with my 20-year old
Antec case which I pilfered from the SCO Attic and an M4A87XD/USB3
motherboard. And just last week I upgraded to a Phenom II X4 945
(from Athlon II X2 255).

If I was still in scruz I would gladly have donated this to you for
disection rather then returning to Amazon :-) But it looks like it
is/was a short-lived product - not worth investigating. Most people
are blaming the drivers <shrug>. Sounds like a job for
Arnet/Digiboard Bill!

-sw

Char Jackson

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Jul 30, 2020, 10:47:03 AM7/30/20
to
On Thu, 30 Jul 2020 02:40:19 -0500, Sqwertz <sqwe...@gmail.invalid>
wrote:
I don't know what the USB cables are about, but if you can run USB cables
why not run Ethernet cable through the loft? If you must remain wireless,
bring Ethernet over to where the PC is and terminate it with an access
point. Of course, if you go that far you might consider running Ethernet
down to the PC and be done with it.

Jeff Liebermann

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Jul 30, 2020, 11:21:55 AM7/30/20
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On Thu, 30 Jul 2020 03:20:04 -0500, Sqwertz <sqwe...@gmail.invalid>
wrote:

>On Sat, 25 Jul 2020 11:36:30 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:
>
>> For testing:
>> Setup a fast computah, with USB 3.0 for the adapter. Find an 802.11ac
>> wireless router. Attach a fast desktop running gigabit ethernet. Run
>> iPerf3 on both machines:
>> <https://iperf.fr/iperf-download.php>
>> Run the test using TCP (not UDP) using parameters tweaked for gigabit.
>> If you're not sure, lose the wireless temporarily and try iperf3 via
>> gigabit ethernet between the computers trough the ethernet ports on
>> the router. You should get over 800 Mbits/sec. Do it anyway. It's
>> good practice.

>C'mon - I've seen your office and I know you can set this up with a
>just a cable change.

I've been in the process of shutting down my formerly palatial office
for the last year. Business has been break even for the last 2 years.
The only thing that was keeping me there was the lack of any place to
put all the junk at my house in Ben Lomond. Getting sick last year
(multiple kidney stones), and an inconveniently timed pandemic,
interrupted the move. I'm currently about 90% out of the office and
"working" from home. I could easily setup a iperf3 speed test at
home, if I could find the necessary computahs, parts, pieces, etc.
Right now, the workbench is buried in chain saw parts, while the
alternate workbench (formerly known as the dining room table) is
buried in boxes of junk. I consider my desk and computer area to be
sacred ground, not to be tread upon or misused for such mundane tasks
as performance testing. Please setup an iperf3 speed test and learn
how it works so that the next time you buy some wireless gizmo, you'll
have a clue how to test them.

Incidentally, there are a few internet iperf test sites:
<https://iperf.fr/iperf-servers.php>

>But I'm still limping along with my 20-year old
>Antec case which I pilfered from the SCO Attic and an M4A87XD/USB3
>motherboard. And just last week I upgraded to a Phenom II X4 945
>(from Athlon II X2 255).

No sympathy. When I upgrade a customer, I usually buy or trade for
the old equipment. Most of the stuff is at least 6 years old. I keep
dreaming of buying a Rizen 4000 series system (when they come out) for
gaming. I'm also currently stuck with a 1.2Mbit/sec ADSL internet
which is good enough for YouTube and Netflakes in 720i, but not much
else. Linux and Windoze 10 installs are painfully slow. Incidentally,
when I semi-retire, my working machines will be running Linux Mint
Cinnamon where Windoze 7 and 10 will relegated to running under
Virtual Box.

>If I was still in scruz I would gladly have donated this to you for
>disection rather then returning to Amazon :-) But it looks like it
>is/was a short-lived product - not worth investigating. Most people
>are blaming the drivers <shrug>. Sounds like a job for
>Arnet/Digiboard Bill!

Please. No new projects until after I move out of the office, clean
up the mess at the house, and take a short vacation from reality.

Good luck with the A6210. I suggest wrapping it in bubble pack so
that it has a chance of passing your drop test. Also, I use and
resell quite a bit of stuff from TP-Link. The stuff looks shoddy, but
generally seems well designed inside. I would buy TP-Link over
Netgear, which has the irritating habit of dying prematurely and often
without any warning. Bulging electrolytic caps and dead power
supplies are still common.
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