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Chicken mesh and plywood radio/wifi reflector dish.

Haven't quite the time to do a proper instructible for this, but in case anyone finds it useful:

http://solarflower.blogspot.com/2011/07/chicken-mesh-and-plywood-radiowifi.html

Has schematics, 3d models and construction instructions.

Cost about NZ$20 in materials (plywood, mesh, cable ties, screws), took a couple days to make, but really only because of the lack of proper power tools.

Works real good.

Picture of Chicken mesh and plywood radio/wifi reflector dish.
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gsb326085 years ago
To kelseymh,
Watch the word... Fools. I can just about rip a UPS truck apart using a Leatherman multi tool. Not as hard as you think. And for NZ$20 any amplification at all is better than more NZ$..
SolarFlower_org (author)  gsb326085 years ago
I don't think he was having a go, but yes Leathermen are awesome things.
Still about eight dead arms between us tho before that thing was over.

Regarding my 3 km range comment, that was for wifi to wifi. If it's mobile like we were using here it's quite a considerable bit longer.

Wifi operates at 2.4ghz while in the US, while mobile frequencies are typically between 700 and 900 mhz. Lower frequencies penetrate buildings and foliage better, and because of the longer wavelengths, better reflect off your chicken wire mess reflector.

keaton35 years ago
"And in the interest of open source, here's the schematic:"
I commend you. we need more sharing of ideas in order for progress to continue.
Nice work. I've never tried any of the Wifi range extender schemes before, but I'll definitely file this one away in my head.

What kind of maximum range do you get with it? The next step would be to make a motorized pan/tilt platorm and mount it on your house.
SolarFlower_org (author)  LargeMouthBass5 years ago
Hi guys, thanks for the comments.

> I hope you took lots of pictures

That would have made sense, but no, only a couple. As I was the main fool doing the cutting there wasn't a lot of time to document the build. Really wish I'd known about that jigsaw...
Leatherman did a surprisingly decent job tho, just a lot of work.

> Do you know quantitatively how much amplification you get?

No, since we were receiving 3G rather than wifi I wasn't able to easily measure the signal strength. I'd be interested to find out tho.
The dish is now being used by a family living slightly up the hill, and they get a much stronger signal due to less obstructions (where I was pointing it was kinda at the ground, kinda at some trees; it was on a 5 meter usb cable so was limited in my options), I think they were getting up to 1.7Mbps transfer, which is close to the full speed of the connection.

> The position of your receiver doesn't look right in the picture above

The signal we were getting was I think being bounced off the rather densely wooded hillside across the river, so was coming in from all kinds of angles. That meant that getting the dongle in just the right spot wasn't really an issue. As long as it was in there somewhere it was all pretty much the same. Just a big fuzz, really.

> the math is dead on

Modelled up in a couple hours in Rhino3D. Makes it pretty simple.

> You even left a couple of mm extra to account for the thickness of the
> chicken wire!

Yes.... that was.. entirely intentional..

> What kind of maximum range do you get with it?

Dunno, but it's a large diameter, so probably quite a bit. My father (it's left with him now I'm out of the country) wants to use it with a biquad antenna, which crank, and considering you can make this thing as large as you want, the range would be considerable. Especially if you had one each end. I've seen documentation of other, although larger, setups which hit 3 km pretty easily with line of sight.
kelseymh5 years ago
Interesting and very nice build! I hope you took lots of pictures (including the fools trying to use a Leatherman saw to cut those pieces! :-D), and will get a chance to flesh out a proper I'ble. It'll be a great candidate for Featuring.

I'm impressed that there's enough metal in the chicken wire to support the eddy currents needed for reflection (yes, I know the holes are smaller than lambda/2, with lambda = c/2.4 GHz = 12.5 cm). Do you know quantitatively how much amplification you get?

The position of your receiver doesn't look right in the picture above, but the math is dead on. With the 70 cm radius for your spherical dish, the focus is 35 cm above the bottom, just as you set for the four large supports (44 cm high, dish 9 cm above the base). You even left a couple of mm extra to account for the thickness of the chicken wire!