Hacking the Bada 2.4Ghz AV Transmitter/Receiver set?

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Hacking the Bada 2.4Ghz AV Transmitter/Receiver set?

Postby asheets » November 28th, 2012, 10:58 am

I got my hands on a set of these (similar to http://www.ebay.com/itm/281018550867). The set came in a fake RadioShack box, with no instructions, but they were easy enough to figure out.

The online claims vary on these units, from 500mW to 2000mW, 10-30 feet in between rooms, and up to 100meters clear line-of-sight. I don't believe that last claim one bit.

It worked OK (i.e. barely acceptable) going from 1st floor to the basement (10ft), and wasn't much better with a clear 6ft line of sight in the same room, so I thought about hacking them to see if I could get a better signal between them.

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First, I looked at the antennas. Basically, what they are is a piece of cheap braided cable 6 inches long, with about 1 inch of the braid cut away at the end (so the center conductor is exposed), followed by a 1 inch brass tube soldered to the shield, stuffed into the black tube sticking out the back of the chassis. Of course, the assemblies on both the transmitter and the receiver broke off immediately after I tried to reassemble the tube, so I didn't get any pictures of those parts.

My plan is to put in a stub of decent coax or braided line, hook up an SMA jack, and try one of the antennas off of my router. I have both stock antennas and those extra-long antennas that they sell on eBay that seem to work better on occasion, so I I'll try both. I understand that the stock router antennas are little better that wire that hung off the back of the Bada, but having taken one apart they do "look" better. Plus, you gotta figure that anything from Netgear/Linksys/etc has to be engineered a little better in any case.

Failing that, I'll build myself a couple of Yagi-Udas for 2.4Ghz.

Anybody have any better ideas, suggestions, opinions, etc.?

Another though that just occurred to me. I have a Hawking 802.11 signal booster (like this one -- http://www.ebay.com/itm/221158205743). I have no idea if it is merely a signal amplifier (meaning I could theoretically take any 2.4GHz signal and pump it through it) or if it is a digital repeater (meaning I have to have 802.11 going through it). Should I bother giving it a try and seeing what happens?

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Second, I took a look at the chassis board of the transmitter. Most of the parts are sealed inside a metal case (probably for FCC interference prevention), and no adjustable caps or resistors outside of that. I also don't immediately see any parts that might be inhibiting power to the antenna (although I admit that I didn't take a very close look at that, since it was near midnight). Again, sorry no pictures, though I can take some later if somebody asks.

Anybody have any ideas or suggestions on circuit-board mods that might be made?
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Re: Hacking the Bada 2.4Ghz AV Transmitter/Receiver set?

Postby asheets » November 29th, 2012, 9:17 am

Update on the antenna replacement -- I opened up the chassis on both transmitter and receiver, and discovered that the ground leads weren't soldered very well (or at all). So, when I put in the new SMA jacks, I corrected that issue. So now, I'm back to pre-hack video quality on stock belkin antennas, but see no real improvement when I hook up my Hawking allegedly high-gain antennas.

Also, no real improvement when using my Hawking 100-200-500mW signal booster. I believe that the Bada is a 500mW model, as it reacts normally when the Hawking is set at 500mW, but I get no signal at all in the 100 or 200mW positions.
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Re: Hacking the Bada 2.4Ghz AV Transmitter/Receiver set?

Postby outofrng623 » December 13th, 2012, 5:20 pm

I've opened it up as well. I purchased two sets, needed one transmitter and two receivers. There are three dials inside, when I tested and tweaked it I was having other issues so it was hard to tell if there was any improvement. Nothing major was noticeable though. I've tried extending the antenna, no dice. I wish I had a better model to compare to see what's different. I also wouldn't mind having another receiver to tinker with, don't want to ruin the ones I am actually using.
Let me know if you come up with anything else.
Good luck and thanks
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Re: Hacking the Bada 2.4Ghz AV Transmitter/Receiver set?

Postby UAirLtd » December 14th, 2012, 12:05 am

have you checked that it isn't 2.4GHz interference?
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Re: Hacking the Bada 2.4Ghz AV Transmitter/Receiver set?

Postby asheets » December 14th, 2012, 9:22 am

UAirLtd wrote:have you checked that it isn't 2.4GHz interference?
There's tons of 2.4GHz interference all over the house (phones, WAPs, etc), plus I've got harmonic signal leakage from my 10 meter propagation beacon (I seriously need to install a decent bandpass filter on the thing).

I've switched to an alleged 5.8GHz AV set for the TV in the basement. I say "alleged" because I can't figure out what channels are which on the 2.4/5.8 channel selector, and the manufacturer has been less than helpful.

I should say that the need for this AV set is all my fault. When I remodeled the basement, I installed power, coax, fibre, and CAT6 everywhere except in the one corner where the wife says that the computer and TV should go. :(
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Re: Hacking the Bada 2.4Ghz AV Transmitter/Receiver set?

Postby k-ww » December 14th, 2012, 2:37 pm

Asheets: A low tech solution for your problem is something called "wiremold" conduit -
it's often used to run power and signal wiring on the surface of cinder blocks, etc -
I have used it to run wiring for lighting when I didn't feel like finding my way around
the ceiling crawl space in my office so that I could position flourescent lighting properly.
Run it along the baseboard and spray paint it a matching color.
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