WokFi - Parabolic Cookware WiFi Antenna!

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Introduction: WokFi - Parabolic Cookware WiFi Antenna!

We've reached an age when internet access & email should be available for everyone AS A RIGHT. Aside from obvious educational benefits, the ability to port audio, phone calls,messages & even video helps banish the tyranny of isolation & ignorance. Better informed people make for a happier world...

In regions without a wired LAN infrastructure, 2.4GHz IEEE802.11b/g "WiFi" increasingly allows a attractive datacomms pathway at modest end user & setup cost. However (given successful WiFi links are still rather a black art!) it'll be the boring things which will limit success,blow budgets & frustrate. And by boring we mean costly copper cables, specialised connectors, aluminium sections & plates, plastic housings, sturdy fasteners,mount poles etc. Allow $$$ ...

As part of an altruistic 2004 NZ student project,it was realised cheap USB WiFi adapters, in conjunction with reflective parabolic cookware, could offer a cost effective workaround. The USB approach appealed since -
  • All the microwave-data decoding is done right in the USB "key", so no cable losses occur.
  • Regular cheap USB extension cables (to some 5m) & connectors can be used to locate signal localised sweet spots, perhaps with auditing software such as Netstumbler.
  • USB "keys" are cheap (~US$10),although their power output may be low (~40mW).
  • Easy swap outs for testing assorted reflectors & adaptors results.
  • The USB keys can readily be mounted at the focal point of suitable parabolic reflectors, yielding gains of ~12dB at little cost with just cookware,sieves,woks or the like. Such gains can extend line of site (LOS) ranges to several km.
'Check further DIY pictorial details & test results at our EXTREMELY popular "WokFi" resource site !

Step 1: Inbuilt Laptop WiFi May Only Be Useful With Strong Nearby APs

Laptop inbuilt WiFi may be "screened"- roving USB adapters help find "sweet spots"

Step 2: Parabolic Asian Cookware!

Reflective devices for 2.4 GHz WiFi abound- pot lids,sieves,lamp shades etc! Asian cookware is sturdy,cheap & easily modified

Step 3: High School Level Parabolic Maths & a Tape Measure IDs Prospective Cookware !

Step 4: The Profile of Promising Parabolic Reflectors Can Be Matched to a Hanging Chain

The profile of promising parabolic reflectors can be matched to a hanging chain

Step 5: Reflecting Sunshine to the Parabolic "hotspot" Also Helps Locate the Focal Point

Reflecting sunshine to the parabolic "hotspot" also helps locate the focal point

Step 6: Support the USB WiFi Adapter & Lead With a Cheap Garden Hose Connector!

Support the USB WiFi adapter & lead with a cheap garden hose connector!

Step 7: Suits Site Survey Auditing!

Done- suits site survey auditing!

Step 8: Portable or Indoor Use- Simple Supports.

Portable or indoor use- simple supports.

Step 9: Boutique Version- Flexible Lamp Stand. (Netstumbler Shows ~12dB Gain = 4x Range!)

Boutique version- flexible lamp stand. (Netstumbler shows ~12dB gain = 4x range!)

Step 10: Long Range Work (wok?) May Now Be Possible- Typically Maxing at 3-5km Line of Sight (LOS)

Step 11: Weather Proofing? Perhaps a Wide Mouth Baby's Bottle?!

Weather proofing? Perhaps a wide mouth baby's bottle?!

Step 12: Smartphone Based Site Surveying?

With today's smartphone abundance, perhaps use a free app. like "WiFi Analyzer" to survey signal coverage and monitor dish enhancements.

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After some 12 years hosting by Orcon ( a NZ ISP), the original "WokFi" site at => www.usbwifi.orconhosting.net.nz has now closed. Things have moved on since that era, & both 3G cellular & WiFi now seem almost everywhere.

I have tried many many wifi adapters.....and I can say one thing for sure...
..I don't know about you guys, but for me UAWIFI UA3 usb adapter is the BEST.
No other adapter can compare to this baby, it is VERY powerful.
There are few people sell them on ebay, but I got mine directly from mft. website www.uawifi.com price is same.
I also know that it is Made in USA, so at least by buying it I am supporting US workers.

UAWIFI-UA3-Rugged-USB-WiFi-1.jpgUAWIFI-UA3-Rugged-USB-WiFi3.jpgUAWIFI-UA3-Rugged-USB-WiFi.jpg

This is not an adapter I've tested, but at it's quoted US$99 one would certainly hope it cuts the mustard!

I wonder if keeping the foil on would improve the signal strength? It could only be used inside, but it might be worth experimenting with.

If the mesh gaps are better than ~ 1/10 a wavelength it makes no real difference. At 2.4 GHz this translates to about ½ inch ( ~ 12.5mm) minimum hence- anything better than that will be "seen" as a solid screen by the RF. Naturally more open designs are lighter & far less wind prone too.

cool, now if your poor you can steal internet! :-P Most buisness'es have encryption, and some houses to (most dont) so if you live in a city or semi- packed area you can get free internet :-P! great instructable!

Make sure not to use aluminium woks then!