Is it possible to increase the speed of a wireless internet connection by using satellite-based concepts such as radio wave reflection to focus the signal in a certain direction? If possible, by what percentage will the signal be increased? Is it possible to increase the speed of a wireless connection by reflecting concentrated radio waves in a triangulation of wireless repeaters? If possible, by what additional percentage will the signal be increased? Research A variety of surfaces can reflect radio signals. Metallic surfaces are excellent reflectors for radio signals. By cutting cool drink cans in a certain way they can be used as parabolic reflectors for the radio signals emitted from a wireless internet router. Parabolic reflectors can be used to strengthen a wireless signal and also direct it towards a certain area. An example of a parabolic reflector can be found in flashlights which use parabolic reflectors to reflect light from the bulb forward in a concentrated beam. Similarly the metallic surface of cool drink cans allow them to do the same with radio waves. Hypothesis By focusing the radio waves emitted by the wireless router, I believe that the speed of the wireless network can be increased by at least 10%. By reflecting the focused radio waves in a triangulation of wireless repeaters, I believe that the speed of the wireless connection can be increased by at least another 20%. Variables Independent variable: The method used to increase the signal speed. Dependent variable: The speed of the signal. Controlled variables: The distance from the main wireless router, the distance between repeaters in triangulation, the objects between the main wireless router and the device, the objects between the main wireless router and the repeaters, the objects between repeaters, the direction the signal is being focused, and the location of the main wireless router. Method Apparatus 6 empty cool drink cans 1 wireless internet router Wireless internet connection 3 wireless internet repeaters Electronic device to measure signal speed Method 6 cool drink cans were cut to resemble a parabola shape. Speed of the wireless internet was measured (megabytes per second (Mb/s)) and recorded on www.speedtest.net in 5 different locations 5 times each before conducting the experiment. Average speed for each location was calculated from the results. 2 modified cans were placed on the antennas of the main wireless router and directed to face each different location for each test. Test was repeated 5 times in each location and results were recorded. Average speed for each location was calculated from results. The remaining modified cans were placed on the antennas of the repeaters (2 each), repeaters were then configured and activated. The main wireless router and the two repeaters were moved to separate areas in the house to from an equilateral triangle. The cans on each router were adjusted to face the directions of the other routers creating a focused signal triangulation between the routers. Speed was tested 5 times in each location once again and results were recorded and averaged. Safety precautions Exercise caution when cutting cool drink cans, the can gets flimsy when cutting and it is easy for the blade to slip and for the user to obtain injuries. When the cutting is complete the edges are sharp and the risk of getting hurt is higher. Observations
The results yielded were positive and answered the investigative question but, it was observed during the investigation that there are many things that can interfere with the accuracy of results. When conducting the experiment it was observed that the results vary based on certain aspects. Aspects such as interference caused by other electronic devices, network traffic, bandwidth and many more were observed affect the accuracy of the results. It was taken into account that the signal does weaken when passing through objects and because strength is lost. It was observed that activity on the wireless network affected the speed and the results recorded this problem was sorted out and the tests were repeated. The experiment had to be repeated numerous times to ensure that the results were as close to accurate as possible and trends were noted. Trends such as the greater the distance from the source, the slower the network speed will be, or that the signal speed is never set and fluctuates with no pattern. Data Location 1: 1 meter from main wireless router. Location 2: 10 meters from main wireless router. Location 3: +/- 26 meters from main wireless router. Location 4: +/- 21 meters from main wireless router. Location 5: +/- 34 meters from main wireless router.
Discussion The results gained from the experiment have proven positive towards the hypothesis, however, the results are not guaranteed as accurate. Many aspects can affect the accuracy of the results, such as interference caused by other electronic devices, network traffic and many more. It was necessary to repeat the experiment multiple times in order to assure that the results were as close to accurate as possible. The signal speed is also weakened when travelling through walls and this can also affect the accuracy of the results. In order to eliminate any possible interferences and factors that may affect the accuracy of the results, the experiment would have to be conducted in a controlled environment with no electrical interference, no walls between the wireless routers and a high quality, high speed wireless network. The experiment was limited by the amount of interference that occurred during experimenting, such as limited bandwidth and network traffic.
Application Virtually everybody has experienced what it is like to have a slow wireless internet connection. Wireless internet has a limited signal range and this affects the signal speed and strength depending on the distance from the source. This project explored a way to improve the range and speed of a wireless internet network. In a practical sense, this experiment can be utilized as a cheaper means of faster wireless internet in company buildings which utilize multiple wireless networks to cater for their size. By utilizing ways to increase speed and range, companies can save money on multiple wireless networks. It can also be used at home as a cheap and easy way to have faster wireless internet. The use of parabolic reflectors to direct the radio waves in a set area also has a security benefit because it contains the signal instead of losing most of it in a 360 degree radius which can be picked up by anyone wandering within range. The project is inexpensive when considering how much money is spent on having multiple wireless networks and the fact that it saves money in the long-run. Conclusion
The experiment was successful in answering the investigative questions. The speed of the wireless internet connection was increased by using radio wave reflection to focus the signal in a certain direction, and the percentage increase supported the estimated amount suggested in the hypothesis, the percentage increase for the first experiment was 10.36%. The speed of the wireless connection was increased further by reflecting concentrated radio waves in a triangulation of wireless repeaters, the percentage increase was much higher than expected, the percentage increase was 146.24%. From these results it can be concluded that the hypothesis was correct and the signal speed was increased as predicted.
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