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very senior blind parent

I've been around

My dad is 88 and since recently blind. He just moved into a care facility where he has his own room.

He is dependent on the Google Nest Audio speaker and I have all kinds of podcasts scheduled through Google Home. The problem is that the facility wifi signal in his room is too weak for the Nest to work so I am wondering if Rogers has a special internet rate for seniors. He is dependent on government support.

Any ideas?


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Re: very senior blind parent

Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@fryboss  you could try a wifi extender to see if that works.  That would be the first attempt to solve this.  You might need to use an extension cord to power the extender in order to park the extender somewhere in a free area such as on top of a cabinet.  You probably don't have much choice in the wall sockets to power the extender and the worst place for it is behind some furniture.  So, if you could park the extender somewhere where the antenna aren't shielded, this might work.  If so, this is the cheaper solution. 


If that didn't work, you could buy a router and install it as a media bridge.  In that mode, the router acts as a wifi receiver/transmitter, allowing you to connect devices to the ethernet ports on the router.  By using a router, you would probably have four 2.4 Ghz and four 5 Ghz external antenna on the router, with the RF gain that they provide, compared to 1 or 2 internal antenna on the Nest Speaker and the two antenna that are typically used on a wifi extender.  With a router, there is also the option of installing long range antenna, which flattens the antenna radiation pattern and extends that pattern horizontally.  If the care facility only has a single floor, this would also improve the wifi reception. 


If you pull the bottom cover off of the Nest Speaker you will find a micro-USB port.  That port could support an ethernet input via Micro USB to ethernet Adapter such as this one:


I'll have to try an experiment to see if this works.  More to follow .......


Assuming that this works, you would be able to run the Nest Speaker via ethernet, connected to a router running in Media Bridge mode.  

Re: very senior blind parent

Resident Expert
Resident Expert

Ok, it appears that the micro-USB port on the bottom of the Nest Audio isn't used for ethernet or audio out.  I tried both and didn't have any success.  But, I suggest that you keep looking around the internet to see if someone has found a way to use that micro-USB port. 


So, at the present time, I can only suggest a wifi extender/repeater to see if that works, and if you don't have any success with that I'd set up two routers, the first in a Media Bridge mode, connected via ethernet to another router running in full router mode. 


The first Media Bridge router would provide a receive / transmit capability with the Care Facility, and the second router would run a local wifi network that the Nest Audio would use.  The principal question is whether or not the wifi extender/repeater or Media Bridge router would have the necessary RF gain to use the Care Facility wifi network?

Re: very senior blind parent

Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@fryboss  I would recommend going with a Wi-Fi range extender.  That piece of equipment is designed to solve the specific problem that you are seeing.  You connect the range extender to your building's Wi-Fi and connect the devices in your father's room to the range extender.

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