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View Full Version : Downloading free CAD to non internet computer....???



DR
10-27-2013, 03:35 PM
I have a computer in my detached garage at home with no internet connection. I want to download free Draftsight CAD to it, it appears you have to download to the computer then activate from an email sent to that computer.

What I think I understand so far is, this WIN7-pro computer is not WI-FI enabled. I can enable it by adding a USB WI-FI adapter and if that adapter is strong enough it should pick up my WI-FI from in the house (my Samsung SIII phone will not pick up WI-FI inside the detached garage and only marginally outside).

Am I correct in my thinking?

Googling for WI-FI adapters I find quite a price range, presumably the more expensive the more powerful antenna-wise, is this correct?

Or, are there other options to get Draftsight and other downloads into my garage computer that I'm missing? I suppose I could bring the computer into the house and connect to the modem and do it, but would rather not do that because who knows what other stuff I might want to download in the future.


Side note on Draftsight: Draftsight has a wide variety of DXF versions to read and save in. My other CAD that's on the garage computer only allows saving to one DXF version and I don't know which, only that it can't be read by the PC driven machine in the garage which seems to read version R12 only.

I don't particularly like Draftsight, but it will read and save most any DXF version so that's it's value.

johnc
10-27-2013, 03:50 PM
I might be missing something but how about bringing your garage computer into the house, hooking it up via cable and downloading the program. Once you have it downloaded you shouldn't need the internet connection unless you need a software update.

WhatTheFlux!
10-27-2013, 04:07 PM
I might be missing something but how about bringing your garage computer into the house, hooking it up via cable and downloading the program. Once you have it downloaded you shouldn't need the internet connection unless you need a software update.


You beat me to it. If the internet can't come to the computer, take the computer to the internet!

lakeside53
10-27-2013, 05:14 PM
Run a long cable of Cat5 to the other computer. Coil back up when not in use. Oh... never did disconnect mine - I have 380 feet (exceeds spec, but who cares ;) ) still in the brush and weeds from 2 years ago -works fine.

winchman
10-27-2013, 05:18 PM
Use your house computer to download the program onto a USB thumbdrive, and use the thumbdrive to install it on your shop computer. If you don't already have one, you can get them on sale for under five dollars, and they're really useful.

lakeside53
10-27-2013, 05:33 PM
Use your house computer to download the program onto a USB thumbdrive, and use the thumbdrive to install it on your shop computer. If you don't already have one, you can get them on sale for under five dollars, and they're really useful.


Draftsite requires enabling from the host computer both initially and every few months.

John Stevenson
10-27-2013, 05:45 PM
If you only need DXF facilty why not use a simpler program ?

Deltacad is a cheap alternative and the demo works for 30 days, no restrictions, and can be reinstalled again after that.
But in all fairness it's cheap to buy.

macona
10-27-2013, 05:55 PM
Use a PCI wifi card and get a better antenna. A good antenna will give you better range.

DR
10-27-2013, 07:41 PM
You beat me to it. If the internet can't come to the computer, take the computer to the internet!

Yes, you and johnc gave the same advice, but as I said I would like a permanent fix to the internet.

I suspected what Lakeside53 said too. You need an active connection to run Darftsight.

No, I don't want to run another free CAD program. I need one that has the ability to open virtually ALL versions of DXF and DWG files. Draftsight is the only one I know of with that ability.

Thanks for all the replies. And, I will check out a PCI card, if that's better than the USB adapter.

Meanwhile I'm off to Radio Shack to see what they have, just shopping though. I very seldom buy there, too expensive on most items of this type.

DR
10-27-2013, 09:14 PM
Anther question regarding my situation......my router is built into my Comcast modem. I have heard friends say that type router has a notoriously weak signal. Anybody have any info on that?

Between Radio Shack and Office Depot I have a couple solutions. 1. get a USB adapter for the garage computer. 2. If that doesn't work in addition to the USB adapter get a signal amplifier that plugs into a 120V socket in house on wall nearest garage.

Oh, and the idea of running a cable to the garage would not go over with my wife, I just spent $10K and 1-1/2 months totally redoing the back yard and undergrounding all connections from house to garage. Wait a second, I do have an empty underground conduit running from house basement near electrical panel to garage. But that would require running cable from office down to electrical panel area (I'd rather spend the money on adapter and amplifier though).


Any more thoughts?

Thanks.

J Tiers
10-27-2013, 11:45 PM
Do't know about comcast specifically, but it is reasonably common to have weak WIFI, AT&T have been weak.

I put a Cisco wifi on the system and disabled the ATT, it works fine, and ATT kept it active when we "upgraded" to Uverse TV as well as internet. (Phone is still analog).

Blackadder
10-28-2013, 03:54 AM
if the things that the ISP send you here the NTL Virgin hub wifi drops out with one brick wall between but with the apple router suppling the wifi I can get a workable signal three brick wall and at the bottom of the garden in the WS. they are night and day, get a decent router with external ants.

but do remember that if the comcast is also a router you will be double NAT ed , either put the comcast unit into modem mode ( if Poss ) or set the router up as a dumb router

Stuart

John Stevenson
10-28-2013, 04:38 AM
Just had some problems with a dxf file on another forum a member has sent out.

Seems there is an error in the file in that the address of the hosting program is being incorporated in the file. 5 programs I have including Draftsight fail to open it, just report an error.

Deltacad threw up the reason.

http://www.stevenson-engineers.co.uk/files/dxf%20error.jpg

Cheapest program came out the best.

EVguru
10-28-2013, 05:42 AM
My workshop is about 120 foot down the garden and the wifi signal is marginal. All the networking in the house apart from my aged laptop and the Kindles is done with Ethernet Over Power adaptors. Most are 500 megabit with gigabit ports, but two of the old 85 megabit units extend the network out to the workshop.

https://www.homeplug.org/home/

RWO
10-28-2013, 12:55 PM
If the power supply to your garage comes from the house, you could set up a power line Ethernet network easily. No new wires needed. The adapters are cheap and the technology is well developed. See here for an explanation of the system: http://computer.howstuffworks.com/power-network.htm

RWO

DR
10-28-2013, 10:48 PM
Well, I went out and bought a USB WIFI adapter. Started installing the software and the CD drive quit working, dirty, dusty atmosphere. Fooled with that for awhile and remembered I had a can of compressed air to clean electronics. A few squirts and it seems to work again. I'll go for it again tomorrow.

As to the Ethernet solution, the remote computer already has an Ethernet setup on it to run a machine tool.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Noitoen
10-29-2013, 09:59 AM
As to the Ethernet solution, the remote computer already has an Ethernet setup on it to run a machine tool.

The power line solution also has local Wi-Fi system or you can use a local Ethernet switch to give you extra connector for cheap.

Glug
10-29-2013, 11:16 AM
Draftsite requires enabling from the host computer both initially and every few months.

I was also going to suggest a thumb drive. That does not sound free to me. How much must we pay to avoid that? Is it even an option?

For the same reasons, I am unable to use the g-wizard software. I wanted to give it a trial and probably buy it for my modest speeds and feeds needs, but it needs a near constant internet connection. Any piece of software that can't "just run" is bound to stop working in a couple-few years. Fortunately there are people who crack such software and allow it to keep working for the people who legitimately bought it. But in this case nobody cares enough.

Another reason, for me, is that I don't want my shop computers exposed to the constant threats of virus from a network connection - especially since they are (unfortunately) windows computers. Keeping windows fully off the network is the only reliable way to stop internet updates and checks. I don't want my cnc controller doing a "mandatory" update in the middle of a cut, thankyouverymuch. And I have found many anti-virus packages are almost as bad as the viruses.

I have resisted extending internet to the shop. And I like that there isn't a phone there. Most any call would be an unwelcome distraction to coveted "shop time".

lakeside53
10-29-2013, 11:45 AM
It's "free" because they want to try to upsell you add-on etc. To do that they need to make contact now and then. Small price. I guess you can just buy Autocad for a zillion $.


You do not need to have your computer connected all the time. Just connect it every 6 months or so when it squawks, validate your free stuff, get updates etc and disconnect.