External WiFi Router F.Y.I


#1

The following may be considered to be somewhat speculative, but until better info / corroboration comes along, here’s what my initial research turned up. As new information comes along I may have to edit this post, or add to it with an additional reply, whichever seems least clumsy. Please feel free to correct me in a reply, if I get something wrong.

An external WiFi router may not be needed for basic functionality, if your host computer has a 2.4 GHz (Giga Hertz, or U.S. billions of cycles per second) WiFi onboard chip, or communications card installed. However, some folks have experienced better (smoother) performance using an external router, particularly for live events, where they might need to move about the event space, and will likely face different compass points in the course of their performance.

According to a post by @Chagall , the type of external router you will need (as mentioned above) should be of the 2.4 GHz Radio Frequency (RF) transceiving type (Standard WiFi - combined transmission and receiving capability in one device, like a cell phone), which at minimum means it will be designed with an 802.11a protocol.

With all the hype in the world about 5G (5 Ghz) transceiving for phones, is there a trade off with MiMu Gloves currently using 2.4 GHz, as opposed to the 5GHz frequency?

Well, actually, although range may vary somewhat from router to router, the 2.4 GHz range is better suited for the types of situations we’re likely to face when performing live, from the standpoint of physical range. A rule of thumb often stated is that a 2.4 GHz consumer-level router product can have a range of up to about 150 feet (46 m) indoors and 300 feet (92 m) outdoors. By comparison, the earlier generation 802.11a routers capable of 5 Ghz performance could only tranceive about 50 feet (approx. 15.24 m) indoors and 100 feet (approx. 30.48 m) outdoors.

Additionally, 2.4 GHz routers are less susceptible to interference from physical obstacles, such as gypsum-clad wooden-framed walls, or body position relative to the transmission line-of-sight (LOS) from the transmitter to receiver. As one might expect, the relative mass and radio frequency permeability of the objects in between the LOS will have an effect on reception/transmission strength. Don’t go performing from behind a steel-jacketed column (with the column in the LOS), for example, and expect flawless RF reception.

Also, Radio Frequency Interference may become an issue from several possible sources, depending on their broadcast field strength and harmonic frequency content. Large electric motors, as in furnace fans or HVAC blowers, refrigerator pumps, old style lighting dimmer switches, old-style Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) TV’s, car engine ignition wires, Microwave ovens can all put out fairly strong RFI, and while supposedly most of those sources shouldn’t cause problems with the RF reception of WiFi, older devices might not have the RFI shielding to prevent a noise-free zone either. If you have weird glitches - test by turning off what appliances you can (don’t turn off furnace blowers or water heaters unless you know what you’re doing - you don’t want to cause a household hazard!) or try a different position for yourself and the router away from such RFI sources.

Speaking of position, some routers are equipped with moveable antennas, which may “shape” the coverage area somewhat or expand it in one dimension or another. Moving these around (much like the old “rabbit ears” on early TV’s) may help you to get better coverage. Experiment as necessary.

Certain routers may communicate with the host computer directly via a Network or Ethernet cable, whether this is necessary to connect may depend on the model, but if it does, and your computer supports it, it may be valuable to “hard wire” the router up to prevent another source of RF in the performance space. In this case, an Ethernet connection capable of 1 Giga bits per second (1 Gbps) is probably required.

Well, that’s it for now, feel free to chime in!


#2

The new gloves support both 2.4GHz and 5Ghz connections. 5GHz has shown an increase in stability in performance situations so we would recommend that if you have the new design.

You don’t need a router to use them - you can make one of the gloves act as a router and the other glove and your computer connects to it. However, more powerful routers generally improve the stability of the connection, so for shows it is advisable to source a good router.


#3

Interesting @adamstark, and thank you for the insight about the latest Glove revision. If you were to speculate, is the improvement in stability with 5G in the latest design due to improved latency, less RF interference from other sources, or improved signal strength / detection in the latest modules?