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.
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?
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?