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It makes sense that placing the repeater where the signal is already weak wouldn’t help. Set it up in your house as close to the neighbor’s house as possible. There are a number of apps for Android devices that measure WiFi signal strength (I use WiFi Analyzer and Interference Analyzer - both have free versions on Google Play), so if one of you can install one of those and measure the signal strength at his place as you try various locations, it will lessen the amount of trial and error time that you spend trying to figure out where to place it. In general, as close to line of sight as you can get will be better. Wiring, plumbing, etc inside of walls can make a big difference on the signal.