Instructables

making a cheap wifi antenna fast....

Please help...I've gotten all confused with everything I've been reading.....Will anyone tell me what is the best & easiest & cheapest way to make a Wireless Wifi antenna? I also need to know if I will need to plug the antenna into my laptop or will my Dell Insiron 1521 laptop just pick up the signal or what ad if I need cables what are they called and where can I buy them. I purchased a gsky  usb high power wifi adapter 802.11G but it doesn't do much good at all?  I'm on a very limited budget most would consider me poor but I make it and I'm happy but gosh I just need to pick up my internet across the street in a concrete building to keep an eye on my ebay account (trying to earn money for x-mas)  I have a linksys wrt45g router....well I just need advice please from anyone who will help and I will surely give a badge. Ty...TY...TY

chadeau2 years ago
Melissa,you go girl ! To ALL the putzes that think mel is trying to 'steal' WIFI,it's only apparent that she wants to 'steal' her own home signal,but it doesn't reach the cinder block bunker her biz is in...do any of you live in Ken-Tuck? Didna think so...
Pipe down and let's try and help the lady...:)
rrc144psu4 years ago
I think what you are looking for is an antenna that will pick up the signal over a long distance. You can make your own antenna, but this can be confusing, but I am sure there are plans out there. I know I have seen one built into a soup can to cut down on noise from other sources.

However, the simplest solution is to buy a relativly cheap USB dongle, probably going to cost around 15-20 dollars, and a usb extention cord. Next, get yourself a cheap aluminum Wok, thats right, the one you cook with. What you need is something close to parabolic in shape. If you can, the best thing to use is a satilite dish for direct tv, or similar in size to that.

Find the focal point, and rig it up so the dongle in in the middle of it and point it toward the wireless source.

I made one out of a wok, left at my apartment by the last renter, and a 15 dollar dongle from NewEgg, and I can easily pick up 15 connections in town, and it is quite directional, point it one way and I get A, another I get B. My friend rigged one to a satalite dish, and was getting over 100 from his 5th floor apartment.

This site has everything you need to do it. Good luck

http://www.usbwifi.orconhosting.net.nz/

caitlinsdad4 years ago
1. slow down.
2. Your Dell Inspiron 1521 should have wi-fi capabilities built in. No additional antenna needed nor a place to plug one in. Have you turned on your computer yet? The wi-fi finder or wireless setup should show you what networks are available.
3. Is the network across the street accessible, are you authorized to use it and have the security encryption keys or is it public? A stronger antenna will not help you on a secured network.
4. There are many instructables to increase the receiving strength if you search on "wi-fi" or "wifi". Good luck.
I just noticed that this guy also posted the same question in Questions. What he really wants is a cantenna or something analogous. It sounds like he's trying to "borrow" access from somebody else (your item 3).

Hopefully they've got encryption and password protection, and he will learn that "entitlement" is a four-letter word.
He'll get lucky if he lives next to the concrete building where the parking lot has a tiny sign that says "NSA employees only".
mel5656 (author)  caitlinsdad4 years ago
Ha, Ha good one but I'm a girl.........
We usually don't pick on girls.....wait, we do.... Welcome to Instructables.

The best bet is to figure out if you can get a clear line of sight between your house and the store.  If you could place your wireless router by a window to aim the signal at the store.  I'm not sure if those antennas on the back of the router can come off so you can make a bigger antenna on the end of some coax cable  and be able to place the antennas accordingly.

Once you have that set up, you could add the usb wireless adapter to your laptop and configure that to use as your wireless lan connection.   Have that pointed out or near the window, which you might try the many "wok-fi" antenna "concentrator" techniques out there.

I suggest you check out techimo.com, geeky user forum where this situation has been discussed many times over.  You might get better specific help from the pc enthusiasts there.
and depending on if the store is a country block or city block away, you may have to look at using "repeaters" or some other real signal amplification devices.
mel5656 (author)  caitlinsdad4 years ago
Hey Caitlinsdad, thanks for the welcome, I'm just glad I've found you all. I've been going out of my mind over this subject. You guys have helped me so much already. You got me to thinking pretty quick ty. I still haven't quite solved my problem yet. So any and all further advice I can get will be helpful. I've got all kinds of ideas going thru my head now. I just need to figure out which is the best route for me to take. Gosh thanks you guy's


Oh yeah C, it's more like a city block if not smaller.....thanks, Melissa5656
mel5656 (author)  kelseymh4 years ago
hey all thanks for the reply's . I guess I need to explain further for those who think I might be trying to steal someone else's internet. I live in a rural area. A very small town in the hills of Ky. There are 2 internet connections that my Dell inspiron laptop kinda picked up on 1. is the school. 2. is quess who (me). There is an old garage up the block and across the street from me that I turned into an Antique/used goodies store and I also have an Ebay store.
I have a broadband cable modem connection at my home. I use an older but usually reliable Linksys WRT54G model router. Now since it's so close I thought it would be great not to mention cheaper to connect with 'my own' existing wireless connection. Now I know concrete and brick blocks wifi signals so I was wondering if anyone could give me advice on the best way to get my signal over there...that's all. I need to keep check on my Ebay account throughout the day.
kelseymh4 years ago
There's more to it than "making an antenna." It's not like screwing a coat hanger to your old black and white TV. You would need to build the whole complex circuit to process the WiFi signal for your computer, and you would have to build the transmitter circuit (WiFi is two-way communication).

If you already have a USB-based WiFi adapter that's what you need. If you aren't getting signal, then you don't have a WAP (wireless access point) nearby. Do you know whether you have a WiFi router on your Internet connection? Or are you trying to, er, "borrow" your neighbor's access?