Streaming dvr-ms fixed - mind the piano

ok so how dumb do i feel? but maybe this will help somebody else…

I had major problems streaming dvr-ms files over my wifi - ok for a few seonds then stuttered and stopped like a buffering issue.   i checked the router, the wifi dongle, the WDTV live, and firmware for all of  them, but no better.

Then i realised i’d put the WDTV on top of my piano, which a half-tonne iron frame inside it…

So i moved the wdtv onto a wooden table and now the files stream just fine :smiley:


Doncha just love those forehead-smack moments?

Ok.   Maybe I’M just dense.

Is your 1/2 tonne of cast iron GUASSED or something?

I’m gathering that it was in the path of the WiFi signal and not very transparent… playing Faraday Cage for a direct signal, and the reflections the WDTV was getting were unreliable.

Still don’t get it. It was on top of the piano not inside it or behind it. I would assume that just moving it made the signal better and it has nothing much to do with the piano.

I have to agree with the others; I don’t think that the piano had anything to do with it; just moving it changed the signal path and that made the difference. I have experimented with my wifi dongle, and I have found that moving it only 2 inches makes the signal strength change from 2 bars to 4 bars.

Piano strings are made of steel wire. At the frequencies wifi operates at, the signal will see those steel wires as a solid antenna mass. Place a wifi dongle on top of the piano strings and you have a large directional antenna pointing up. If you want to prove the concept cut two pieces of cardboard 300mm x 200mm and tape some aluminum cooking foil over one side of both cardboard pieces. Cut a rectangular hole in centre of each unit, slide the aluminized cardboard over each dongle, bent the cardboard at a 30 degree curve and tape the cardboard at that angle. Point each reflector directly at each other and check the signal strength on your computer. You probably increased the signal strength at both wifi units by a factor of 10. The concept works well through brick houses with internal brick walls.

I have an old usb drive in a metal casing, if it is within 6 inches or so near the wireless dongle, my signal drops big time, it does not matter if drive is switched on or not.

thepanoguy wrote:

Place a wifi dongle on top of the piano strings and you have a large directional antenna pointing up.

Wouldn’t that be a reflector and not an antenna?

If you want to prove the concept…

Didn’t the fact that he got very bad signal on top of the piano dis prove the concept of it enhancing the signal?

The principle works the same way as a satellite dish; very directional. The piano wires prove that the wi-fi signal was reflected by the piano wires in the wrong direction. Technically the piano wires can be called a reflector; overall it constitutes part of the antenna assembly. There are commercial units on the market that advertise the reflector as a wi-fi antenna. I have built a number of them for people who were having wi-fi problems and they perform excellently. Google for DIY wi-fi antenna and pie dish antenna; eHow have a good article: