7.9 inch display / Model A1432 / Available in black or white / Announced October 23rd, 2012 / 16, 32, or 64 GB capacity

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External Wifi Antenna iPad Mini 2?

We use a Pulsar thermal imager that sends a 2.4 gHz signal to my iPad mini. The signal is very weak with a 15m line of sight range.

We have two shooters strapped on the roof of a Jeep Wrangler with the thermal scanning for hogs and the iPad is mounted by the rear view mirror transmitting that signal to me and other customers inside. It drops signal like crazy and has annoyed me to the end.

It is imperative that we receive signal and the unit doesn't support a hardwired connection. Since there is no way to install an external antenna directly to the iPad, my question is this:

Can you get a jumper with a SMA connection and jump into the iPad wifi cable then mounting the connection to the iPad casing. (Doesn't have to be pretty it stays mounted in the jeep), then connecting a 2.4 gHz external antenna to that which has a long lead and can run to the roof? It seems feasible and quite simple. But has never been done that I've researched.

The thermal is expensive as !&&* and they have no support for my issue as my issue is a simple line of sight problem, so the issue will have to be addressed at the monitor end.

PLEASE HELP!

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Pulsar Software

Boy! These IR imager systems are really low power! It sounds like this is intentional! Spooks like ultra low signal gear so they don't get seen (RF wise).

If they can't be seen though a fiberglass roof which is only about 4 feet of distance here thats very low!

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but with my little knowledge of wifi extenders. The extender is "paired" with a weak wifi network from a router. Usually a pairing process has to take place. Then the extender transmits that signal as a middle man basically just making that point the "point of the router." The thermal imager has no way to pair to a router? It has a button that turns the wifi on and off and then you find it on your iPad and connect to it. Or will simply turning the extender on gap the wifi that's already there via the two antennas?

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The extender unit (repeater) will be the AP (access Point) for both your IR units, the iPad will then be the AP for the repeater. The trick here is you need to start up the iPad first so the repeater can connect to it, then you turn on the IR units as they will see the repeaters AP (stronger signal). Review the manual it's fully explained.

Trust me this is a cake-walk!

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Deck the Halls
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15 meters (49 feet) is well within the range of the iPads WiFi transceiver from an open line of sight distance. The 2.4 GHz signal is able to transmit and receive through most wood and plaster walls and untreated glass (at a diminished distance). Metal, rock & brick for any device is much harder to pass a signal through (might not even get 1 meter (5 feet).

You talk about a much shorter distance here between the far end of the Jeeps hood and the rearview mirror.

The placement of the antennas on the iPad are on the top edge you may want to mount the iPad on the dashboard deck so the antenna is more-less in the middle point of the windshield.

I'm not sure if your issue is a weak signal type of problem (either the imager or the iPad) or if its more a noise issue of the Jeeps engine which can be very noisy RF wise. Given the placement of the thermal imager on top of the engine.

Lets see if we can come up with a better answer here than altering the iPad which may not solve the issue.

Is it possible to place a WiFi extender between the devices? The shorter distance might give the transceiver's (either the imagers or the iPad) a better signal. That would be my first recommendation.

You might want to get a Mac or PC with some WiFi scanning software which can tell what the SNR is. Using it you should be able to measure the noise level with the engine on and then off as well as under stress in the field. If you note a large difference the engine noise filtering needs repairs. Your local Jeep dealer should be able to locate and replace the noise capacitors within the electrical system.

Update (08/05/2017)

Here a very simple outdoor range extender: N300 Wi-Fi Outdoor Range Extender. It uses PoE for power so you'll need to wire up a battery pack with an Ethernet cable to power it. You'll want to move one the antennas to the roof of the vehicle using an antenna extender kit. That way the base is inside the Jeep with the second antenna inside the passenger compartment.

Block Image

You'll need this to power it from your Jeeps power system: 12 volt DC to 24 Volt Passive PoE power injector which will allow you to hard wire it, or use the supplied power injector and cigarette lighter connection supplied in the N300 kit.

Here's one possible antenna cable extension: WiFi Magnetic Antenna Base and Extension Cable - RP-SMA

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So let me further elaborate. The thermal is actually on the roof of the Jeep where the shooters are buckeled in to seats bolted to the roof rack. The jeep is extremely quiet, so much as we actually drive right up on the pigs. The device has been tried on my iPhone as well with similar results. We have tried it inside the house as well even and as soon as you turn a corner in the house it drops connection on both decices(eliminating a bad internal antenna). The thermal simply has a weak output. But I am with you, 15 meters is perfectly far enough and it does work to about that length if you can maintain line of sight. Once line of sight is lost signal because very inconsistent. Of course a wifi booster would be perfect, but I haven't found a unit to do what I want. Most of them are for routers and require some sort of hardwire. It would have to be 12v and act as a wireless jumper between the gap. Do you know of a product as such? Thanks for the help

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Noise wise here is not what you hear, but what the computer hears (RF noise).

So you do have a problem! As the metal roof is blocking the signal between the devices.

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Sorry I re read your post after commenting and understood it then. The roof is actually fiberglass as it is a removable top. And I've tried it in the house behind Sheetrock, clothing, cardboard etc. if it does not physically see the iPad it drops. But that would be a great start, getting the SNR tested

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Could other coms create too much noise like customers cell phones the radio signals etc.?

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Awesome but isn't the thermal the wifi "signal" I am boosting. There is no cellular data required. It's a simple connection between the thermal and the iPad using their wifi. Correct me for being wrong, this is just confusing for me. I can get it all wired up and get an antenna mounted no sweat but as far as connecting to a wifi network for extension; It's losing me because in other words the thermal would be the "router?"

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