Signal Strength and Extending Range
If the Wi-Fi Hive Scale has connectivity issues with the Web, it may have low signal strength. Wi-Fi signal strength can be diagnosed from a hive site with freely available network applications for Android and iOS devices. Below are steps for:
- Checking Wi-Fi Range on Android with Wi-Fi Analyzer
- Checking Wi-Fi Range on iOS with Airport Utility
Checking Wi-Fi Range on Android with Wi-Fi Analyzer
1) Download the Wi-Fi Analyzer app from Google Play
2) Launch the Wi-Fi Analyzer app. It will automatically display discovered Wi-Fi networks in a visual graph.
Wi-Fi Analyzer will list discovered Wi-Fi networks along with each network's signal strength in a visual graph. Signal strength for the network used by the Wi-Fi Hive Scale should be between -30db and -70db. If the value is lower than -70db (i.e. -80db), the signal strength is too low for the Wi-Fi Hive Scale to operate reliably.
Checking Wi-Fi Range on iOS with Airport Utility
1) Download the Apple Airport Utility from the Apple Store
2) Navigate to Settings > Airport Utility and enable "Wi-Fi Scanner"
3) Launch the Airport Utility app. Click Wi-Fi Scan and select Scan.
The Airport Utility will list discovered Wi-Fi networks along with each network's signal strength. Signal strength for the network used by the Wi-Fi Hive Scale should be between -30db and -70db. If the value is lower than -70db (i.e. -80db), the signal strength is too low for the Wi-Fi Hive Scale to operate reliably.
There are two ways to extend the range of Wi-Fi to hives that are remote.
Range extenders are available on the market today. These devices can take the Wi-Fi range out to several hundred feet. The beekeeper may also find it advantageous to have their Wi-Fi extended across their property for general purpose use of the Web on their smartphone, tablet, etc.
Use a high gain antenna. There are simple screw-on replacement antennas that can be used with your router. Of course, you will need to make sure that the antenna on your router or range extender is replaceable. During our testing, two different range extenders were used. Both are available from Walmart.
Amped Wireless TAP EX: These range extenders have a touchscreen and are very easy to set up, and the antenna can be removed and replaced with a high gain antenna.
The Securifi Almond: This range extender has a touch screen as well. However, the antenna is built in and cannot be changed.
A simple monopole antenna can increase the power to 9db (8x times more send/receive power) or a Yagi antenna which theoretically can take the range out thousands of feet.
A patch antenna can be used to focus energy in a single direction.