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Homemade Wifi antennas

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posted on May, 17 2008 @ 09:42 AM

Homemade Wifi antennas

In about 45 minutes, we had the collector rod built, the locknuts on, and the whole thing in place. The result: A Pringles can that pulls about 12db!

Parts list:
All-thread, 5 5/8" long, 1/8" OD $1.00
two nylon lock nuts $0.10
five 1" washers, 1/8" ID $0.10
6" aluminum tubing, 1/4" ID $0.75
A connector to match your radio pigtail
(we used a female N connector) $3.00
1 1/2" piece of 12 gauge solid copper wire
(we used ground wire from house electrical wiring) $0.00
A tall Pringles can
(any flavor, Ridges are optional.) $1.50
Scrap plastic disc, 3" across
(like another Pringles can lid) $0.00
Total: $6.45
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on May, 17 2008 @ 09:42 AM
Has anyone tried anything like this? If so I am interested in your experiences.

There are several wifi zones in my area but reception from my house is spotty at best but since I don't have any other access from home it is better than nothing.

There are yagi USB wifi antennas on the market for about $100 but I am poor so if I can rig it I will.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on May, 17 2008 @ 09:48 AM
Among other things I am curious about is my iMac has a built in airport card but if I built or bought something like this to tap into local hot zones that are just out of reach...

Would something like this go into my USB on the computer or would I have to get an airport to hook it up to?

Screw the cable company... I don't want to subscribe to anything I wanna grab a free connection and run with it.

[edit on 17-5-2008 by grover]

posted on May, 17 2008 @ 10:05 AM

Originally posted by grover
but I am poor so if I can rig it I will.

wow, Grover and I actually have something in common!

(I have nothing to contribute, just making an observation

posted on May, 17 2008 @ 10:29 AM
Yes, this works. The pringles can antenna has been around for a couple of years in the wifi mod/hack circles. Google it and you will find much information.

The rub hhowever, is that you have to have a wireless card that has some way of attaching an external antenna. Most all internal pci cards have this, but not many notebook cards do. On many note book cards the anterra is integral to the usb dongle or the pcmcia card.

If you are hoping to use an existing notebook wireless, i'm not aware of any way to hook up the antenna. However, I will say that Hawking Technologies makes a reasonably inexpensive usb adaptor for mac that has a screw off antenna that you could then attach your pringles antenna too. I own one of these hawking cards and view them very favorably, they have great range out of the box and when used with an antenna upgrade, they rock!

posted on May, 17 2008 @ 10:38 AM
Could be a cool project, nice find

Originally posted by grover
Would something like this go into my USB on the computer or would I have to get an airport to hook it up to?

No, you can't just connect it to the USB.

Not sure about iMacs but on my iBook which also has built in airport, there's just a wire for the antenna hidden next to the ram expansion. Obviously you don't wanna connect the coax directly to the airport card so you will probably have to drill a hole in the case so you can install a socket. If that scares you (certainly would scare me) you'd be better off getting and external wifi box.

reply to post by blimpseeker

Same here

posted on May, 17 2008 @ 02:26 PM

Originally posted by grover
Has anyone tried anything like this? If so I am interested in your experiences.

Haven't done as described but when I needed to boost the signal between a router and computer I made a tin foil reflector to direct the signal from the router's antenna (upright, external) and wrapped a funnel in tin-foil and threaded the other computer's wi-fi dongle through its base to make a receiver (looked like a very homemade satellite dish). Went from an extremely slow (sometimes non existent) connection to a full-strength connection.

If your wondering, the wi-fi router is in one building with its antenna facing the other computer's dongle in the other building. Approx. 50 ft gap, 1 double glazed window, and one brick wall between router and receiver.

[edit on 17/5/08 by Rapacity]

posted on May, 17 2008 @ 02:50 PM
Never tried to get a signal boost - always just moved my vehicle until it worked.

I would just buy a secondary wi-fi card that has the external antenna connection. You can get one second hand on Ebay for under $20 Or you can just open up your puter and attach an antenna jack.

posted on May, 19 2008 @ 08:32 AM
I was reading in OS X Tiger, the Missing Manual (David Pogue) that if you have an airport card in your mac then you don't need a router.

What I am interested in is how I would use this. A friend of mine told me that broadcast cable are often the cheapest the cable company can buy and that he personally laid his unconnected tv cable next to his neighbors connected on and was able to tap into his signal.

The whole idea appeals to the rogue in me

So I am thinking that whether I buy a WIFI USB antenna or make one, for safety sake I would want to attach it to something other than my computer, hense the idea of using another router.

posted on May, 19 2008 @ 09:09 AM

Here is a slightly more expensive approach but simpler. I still like the idea.

posted on May, 19 2008 @ 09:34 AM
here's one that i built and had very excellent result's. plus it cost me about 10 cent's to build.
i use it on my airlink 101 super G wireless router that cost me around $20 from fry's electronics .
i went from only receiving 1 or 2 signal's to receiving 18 different signals from around the neighborhood . that antenna was the best 10 cents that i have ever spent in my life . my signal from my remote computer went from around 30 to 33 % to 100% all of the time .
i've built quite a few antenna's since i started into cb's and moved my way into ham radio and have never seen results like this and such simplicity to go right along with it hand in hand.
good luck and and have fun with your antenna and wifi experience's you just might have the knack and build something that out perform's everything out here.

posted on May, 19 2008 @ 10:02 AM
reply to post by ironman433

Thanks... that is the most simple solution I have seen yet.

Like I said my iMac has an airport card and according to OS X Tiger, the missing manual... if I have an airport card you don't need a router.

So this router serve as the reciever. i guess.

One question... do you set it up and let it broadcast to the computer wirelessly or is it connected via a usb?

I am getting real excited by this whole idea.

posted on May, 19 2008 @ 10:18 AM
the airlink 101 plug's in thru your rs-32 network plug on the computer . not only will this give you a router and an access point it will also act as a physical firewall. the firmware will need to be upgraded to do all of this but the WRT firmware upgrade is free you'll just have to find it on the net. the WRT firmware is a linksys upgrade but will work with the airlink 101 perfectly.
suddenly you'll be opened to another world with endless possibilities.

posted on May, 20 2008 @ 09:20 AM
Here are two other approaches for an omindirectional antenna

[edit on 20-5-2008 by grover]

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