Is it possible to use a normal wireless (802.11b) router to extend an existing wireless network in the same way an amplifier/repeater would?
Get a better antenna. My D-Link router came with this pitifully small antenna, and switching it out with an omnidirectional Hawking Technology antenna ($30 at CompUSA) made a world of difference.
Run one wire to the other side of your house and plug in another access point. Not all wireless routers will work as repeaters. You could build an external antenna, the one I built for my graphite base station works wonders.
same site..but different link showing you how to do it to an airport step by step if that is what you have and also different types of antennas you can make
What's the health issues with making these devices? I always see warnings "Do not aim at yourself or others!"
I'd like to make one, but don't really think I need a lethal weapon in the house.
I wouldn't sleep with it. :o It won't hurt to have it in your house. The wattage is too low to do any real harm to your health. I've had the little grappeling hook looking ant attached to my system for about a year and have had no problems.
I've read that one should be at least 3 wavelengths away from a transmitter. With 2.4Ghz (microwave) if you feel your eyes getting warm or hot, get the heck away! Human eyes apparentely have great resonance for 2.4Ghz... :coolmac:
The human eye is mostly water. Water reacts really well with microwave radiation, that's why they work.. Your eyes also have no way to cool themselves, not many blood vessels. That's why your eyes fry out first if you get too close to a radar. If your base station is putting out that much energy and you live in the US, start looking for the FCC guys to come kick in your door.
If you're only needing to extend in one direction, consider a panel, sector or directional antenna. This focusses the signal only in the direction you need and boosts the range considerably. The beam spread can be quite narrow or as wide as 180 degrees. It can also make your installation more secure and less prone to interference, as it reduces the number of places leechers and interference sources can "see" your signal.
And you can make them yourself, from tin cans or antcaps, wire, alfoil and cardboard, or even Chinese mesh spatulas.
is Rob Flickenger's book Wireless Hacks.
I'd reccomend a bigger antenna or a second AP in your situation, but on the subject of the repeater, you could buy one of those Ethernet bridges like the Linksys WET-11 and connect that to a second AP. It's worked for me.