Extending the Range of the Arlo Base Station

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Extending the Range of the Arlo Base Station

Post by bjames »

I have several Arlo pro cameras that are located on the far end of the property which were almost out of range. This caused the cameras to disconnect and/or disrupt the video feed.

Since the Arlo Base Station operates over the 2.4GHz frequency, I decided to add some higher dbi external WiFi antennas.

This simple modification enhanced the performance of the system, so I thought I would share. Note that the Arlo cameras should be also be mounted, when possible, within Line of Sight of the Base Station.

I should have taken a few more pictures of the tear down but it was an after-thought to record the steps.

I used one 6" and one 10" U.FL to RP-SMA pigtails connector. The RP-SMA is the common type of connector for WiFi antenna applications, so most common 2.4GHz WiFi antennas will work.

In locations with great distances, a small directional panel antenna can be configured off one of the 2.4GHz antenna ports, leaving the other to use the omni antenna for locate cameras. I have not tested this configuration but there is no reason why it would not work as well.

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Re: Extending the Range of the Arlo Base Station

Post by JimHelms »

@bjames Great work and certainly food for thought.

I will provide my thoughts on this project as well as links to the build components for convenience.

I have always considered mounting the base station in an external outdoor enclosure to better reach a few of my cameras. I was planning to leave the cases off the base station and use only the PCB in the enclosure.

Rather than the UFL to RP-SMA cables, I would use two UFL to N Female bulkhead pigtail cables that ran through the enclosure where I could install a good set of outdoor Omni-directional antennas with N Male connectors.

Of course, your method got me thinking that I could keep the Base Station inside, and rather than use the RP-SMA pigtails, use standard UFL to SMA pigtails.

I could then then couple the SMA antenna connectors on the base station to the outdoor N Male WiFi antennas using the a standard SMA to N Female LMR200 cables.

Using a flat panel Directional Wifi antenna as you mentioned would offer the ability to direct the signal to a particular camera. I am unsure the effects of using an omni antenna for the second Wifi antenna but it is certainly possible. It does seem you would lose the MIMO factor on the cameras that were not in line to receive the Wifi signal from the directional.

To simplify the installation of an outdoor antenna, this MIMO Omni antenna also covers the 2.4GHZ frequency as do these 9dBi antennas.

There are a lot of options for doing this build. I suspect there are lot of Arlo users that could benefit from your example.

Thanks for sharing.
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