Instructables
Picture of 10 $ WIFI 16dBi Super Antenna Pictorial
In this pictorial I'm showing you how to make a 16dBi very powerful wifi antenna for under 10 dollars. I've already posted a movie about this but a lot of people asked or a pictorial, so I've made another one so I could make pictures.


 
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Step 1: Materials needed

Picture of Materials needed
This picture shows you what you need.

A 12x12cm brass, copper or tinned metal plate, a BNC chassis connector, a BNC cable connector, 35mm thick PE or styrofoam (can also be thicker) and some 1.5mm2 single core wire. This stuff is used in the netherlands in 220V in house cabling.

Other possible materials:
I can imagine that people want to use other materials, like a pipe to mount the antenna wire on. If you could get a pipe with roughly a 35mm diameter, you can use that IF the material is good for radiowaves. There is a very simple way to find out. Place a piece of styrofoam in your microwave, together with a piece of the material you want to use. Turn on the microwave for 30 seconds. Stop the microwave immedeately if you see the other material melt. Now check out how warm the other material is, if it's not warmer, or a little warmer than the styrofoam, you have found suitable material, if it has melted or is very hot,that you're dealing with lossy material which absorbes microwave radiation and turns it into heat, this material is useless for making high performance antenna's. This trick works so well because the WIFI band is at 2.45GHz and microwaves also radiate at that frequency, so it's a perfect test. Some very good materials are PE tubes, teflon tubes (if you can afford them) and PolyProlylene tubes.

Step 2: Mount the BNC connector to the plate

Picture of Mount the BNC connector to the plate
2.JPG
3.JPG
Find the center of the plate by drawing lines between the corners and make a mark 20mm from the center. Drill a hole in the plate at that point that is big enough to fit the center conductor and its isolation. After drilling, you can put the connector in the whole, mark the 4 fixing holes, drill them and mount the connector using small bolts.
WYLMAS2 months ago

will it work as a transmitter antenna connected instead of a factory-made wifi router antenna?

AB9IL2 years ago
Nice antenna - it works! If you're not happy with using some LMR400 cable, I certainly suggest mounting the wi fi adapter right at the base of the helix.  For another perspective look at http://www.ab9il.net/wlan-projects/wifi3A.html and see it will work okay mounted that way.  Also, the wire on PVC works and so does copper foil tape.  Delicate, though.
TXcat222 years ago
New to all this. Trying to recieve a signal aboout 250 feet from my sailboat. Trying to find the video.....?

Thanks
chadeau2 years ago
He said 'insulation'...
sscoolio5 years ago
just a misc. comment... lol wat kinda accent is that guy in vid have?
lesizz sscoolio2 years ago
I think they talk like that in Wisconsin
kydlt sscoolio3 years ago
" This stuff is used in the netherlands in 220V in house cabling. "
Dutch maybe ?
mbulan2 years ago
can I used the female RPA connector from the wifi card?I was thinking that it might boost the signal if I will derectly connected the wifi card from the antenna rather than using a cable Thanks
abadfart3 years ago
fiber glass works well i have had several antennas made out of it
bperina3 years ago
Is it good to emit a signal with an Access Point or, is it only to terminals???
dmonday3 years ago
Nice, Try to track down LMR400 or even LMR100 on a budget for the cable, as it is designed for microwave use. Keep in mind that good cable can be a bit expensive, though it will cut down signal LOSS at 2.4ghz frequencies. Wrong cable can reduce the signal at the point of a standard antenna, or even lower.

here is another alternative, but the cable really needs to be replaced with decent cable. http://www.dealextreme.com/p/2-4ghz-8dbi-sma-high-gain-dish-directional-antenna-for-wifi-wireless-network-2400-2483mhz-32023
elffire3 years ago
I'm going to experiment with connecting this to an internal laptop wi-fi card at the point where the internal antenna connects - probably could piggy-back it - I'm afraid of blowing one up, but I have a couple spare wi-fi cards from dismantled laptops... I'll test this on a spare and see what happens and post my results later... although it will be a while...
Is this correct? 120mm of the square's side is equal to the wave length, 30mm spacing between wire turns is equal to 1/4 wave length and the diameter of the pipe again 1/4 wave length.
What I'm trying to do is to adapt your design to 2.1GHz(UMTS).
Well .. I asked a friend of mine (Google) and he said that this type of antenna is called "helix antenna". Also he said that reflector should be >3/4 wave length, helix spacing is indeed 1/4 wave length and helix diameter is 1/pi wave length(in other word the circumference of one helix turn has to be equal to wave length).
Is this antenna adapted to 50ohm? Helical antennas have around 140ohm input impedance, but is styrofoam acting like an dielectric?
Oh .. you explained that in step 5, you did this by flattening 30mm of the spiral above ground. How much will I have to flatten for 2.1 GHz ?
Yep .. after some hard search, 1/4 wave length again. Now I can build it.
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1377791
Ranie-K5 years ago
Hi, I just wondered if this could be made with laminated corrugated cardboard instead of foam.
No reason no to. Just nothing conductive is the main thing.
sruscoe3 years ago
How does it perform? 100% SS is good so long as the signal quality is there to match, my digital tv recieves 25% signal strength but the signal quality is still 100%
sanketsk5 years ago
Wonderful, but the wire thickness is 1.5mmsquare or 1.5mm diameter? please clear me
also can a PCB be used instead of copper plate??
if you use pcb's be a good idea to not have it aeounf people and wear the full safetyset up. unless you meant pvc. kidding ya
Err, sorry. I just realized the hypotenuse of 3.5*3.5 is 4.9 cm. A little more. Anyone know a good substitute for foam?
Oops again LOL, google messed up my metric conversion. .5in is not 3.81 cm.
Slim493 years ago
I am building this one again.
I wanted a way to mount the plate & aim it
a refinement I opted for is to put a .060" aluminum 2"x12" bracket in between the Copper plate & the N-50 connector. drilled & used a countersink bit to bed it in till solidly placed.
bend the ends 90 degrees. drill holes as needed & mount.
I am planning on getting a Students gooseneck lamp & mounting my antenna in place of the lamp.
this extra metal has a benifit of keeping the soldering nub/hub down below the surface.
just trimmed the soldered part down to 1 mm high.
Slim49
Slim493 years ago
Come on People,
I built this antenna last year "from" the video. had to replay a few times! :-)
but got it in 1st pass.I used 14gu. copper I stripped out of some Duplex house wiring.
a packing /shipping company gave me teh foam, I had to put an extra piece 1/2 length underneath to support it.
I used the Copper clad "ROOf" material you see on the finer houses.
the Roofing co. gave me a free scrap. I have made 5 antennas from it! still plenty left.
it is a super Hi-gain antenna!!
it is circular polorized, so what!!
it gets the signals in, for My rural buddy, it is THE only one of the 4 types I built that works. its a complete wave length antenna, I think that is alot of its sucess.
it is HIGHLY directional!! and I mean 1/2 degrees can make or break you.
easier to use than the 15 element Yagi. that is Sick directional, though easier to DIY.
I have been meaning to make of this conical Foam antenna for myself.
I tip my hat Dude.
Steve
gimincorp6 years ago
I made this antenna. I connected it with about 4' of TV cable and had no improvement altogether. Then I changed TV Cable to CAT 5e (by cutting the connectors off and soldering one end to antenna and another to my card's external antenna. That action killed the signal altogether and now I'm w/o Wi-Fi - thus w/o internet!
how did you write this comment without internet?
Good call haha
but yer friends house
also amazing project but how well will this work through 4ft of stone and a distance of around 30ft? (i have a art studio with no phone socket in case your wondering)
He probably went to a friends house or a library =P
You need to use coax cable that is rated for WIFI. At the frequency that WIFI operates (2.4 GHz), the signal loss is very high, and the longer the cable between the antenna and the wireless card, the worse the signal loss. Cable that is rated for WIFI is more expensive, but it's the only real way you'll get the signal from your antenna to the wireless card. It's worth the money spent.
Perhaps I and others are impatient to get answers or replies. most readings of instructions generally easy and simple to understand and follow through. Is this in the U.S.? the tinkerer has an accent speaks fast like watching time. I live in Ontario, Canada. Most of these items not available in stores. I might try something else or just give up and take this as...spam. my email is artistonhpvs@fidohiptop.ca thank U
Honestly, I'm from the U.S. and I understood it very easily. BNC connectors are widely available from parts houses, the copper wire is the hardest part to get - but if you scavenge you can find it free in junked appliances. Otherwise, try a hardware store. The plate of thin metal is easily acquired from hobby shops.
ALL AVAL. AT RADIO SHACK, OR WHAT EVER THEY GO BY NOW.....;)
fishhead4556 years ago
We all appreciate this idea and well-done informational video. Very easy to follow. I shall build one for my friend who lives in the city but for myself, I live in the forest seven miles from a signal, I shall continue struggling with the giant C-band parabolic dish hoping to gather just enough to make it work. Thanks again and keep up the good work.
Fascinating. How do you go about using your C-Band antenna as a WiFi receiving device. Would make a great instructable.
C-Band 'dish' antennas are a combination of a reflective dish that is not band dependent and an LNB that actually receives the c-band signal and converts it into a signal that RG-8 is capable of handling with acceptable loss characteristics. The lnb is usually located in the canister suspended out in front of the dish. To convert to WiFi, you need to place the antenna for the wifi device at the focus in place of the lnb. This is the same technique used to convert the dish network and other smaller satellite dishes into wifi signal boosters. The primary concern would be that you may exceed allowable gain restrictions the FCC has imposed on wifi transceivers.
Rusty That far away from a wifi with no change in your transceiver power output, you will not bust the FCC limit which if you check Part 15 allows up to 100mw in the 2.4 GHz band at the source (your antenna). Most devices, unless you hack them for a power setting are well within the output specs required. Remember. It not the gain your antenna has, it is the power output at that antenna. Good luck with your project and wait for the FCC to knock on your door to worry about the law. Raving Apache
Clarification Gain is important for the RECEIVE side. Power is important for the TRANSMIT side. Raving Apache :p
hanzablast (author)  burningsuntech6 years ago
Hi burningsuntech. Just for clarification. When you put a high gain antenna on a wifi device, it's sensitivity increases as well as it's output power. The process is reciprocal. So gain is important for the transmit and receive side as well. Best thing is to put a good antenna on both ends. With this antenna, you could increase the range by a factor of 25 if you put them at both sides.
Hey hanzablast We are both right to some extent. The gain of an antenna is important for both sides of the equation. But to imply that power output at the antenna increases as a result of its passive gain, is wrong and here is why. According to the laws of physics, energy can neither be created nor destroyed and you cannot (it would be a great trick if you could) force a passive load device like an antenna to produce more power than is sourced to it. If you could, then transmitters would produce microwatts of power and antennas would be hugh and generate megawatts as a result. Due to the losses in the connections of an antenna, its transmission line and its own design, you can NEVER get more power out of an antenna network than you put in. If you had a 'perfect' antenna with a 'perfect' transmission line and no reflected power, then theoretically the power you put in would be EQUAL to the power you would get out of it. But you and I know that this is not a perfect world and over-unity devices do not exist. I know that you couldn't be advocating a physics revolution here but that you must mean the following, please correct me if I am wrong. In microwave technology, with the necessity to have a direct, unobstructed line of sight transmission path, that if you had two matched antennae with tuned transmission lines and minimal loss, the antennae were oriented in matching polarities (horizontal or vertical or in the case of C-band, circular), and they were pointed toward each other at the greatest received signal strength, then the 'apparent gain' of such a NETWORK would depend somewhat upon the gain of the antennae. I agree to the extent that a tuned network with matching antenna does produce an 'apparent gain'. But I do not subscribe to the notion that the gain of an antenna, in and of itself, increases transmit power. For reference, I offer my own network which is made up of a Linksys WAP54G access point, low-loss coaxial cable, a pair of matched 15 dbm antennae set in horizontal polarization and a Linksys WET54G Bridge. The link is approximately 1000 ft distant and it is tuned to the middle of the 2.4 GHZ band. The output power of the WAP is 22 milliwatts to its load and the measured power at 1 meter in front of the antenna is 18 milliwatts. If what you say is true then my output power at the antenna would be 704 milliwatts. Where is my power gain? I agree that the gain factor increases because the Sensitivity of the transmission network increases, and the antenna gain is part of that equation, but to say that power increases as a result of only the antenna gain is patently wrong. raving apache
The overall output power of an antenna is less than the output power of the transmitter. Gain affects the radiated power by altering it's pattern. The ideal radiator, or isotropic radiator will transmit power in a perfect sphere, with power loss equal in all directions. There is no such thing as a perfect isotropic radiator, however all antenna's that do function have gain related to the ideal radiator. The closest you can get to an ideal radiator is a dipole antenna. A dipole radiates in a pattern that looks like a donut where the least power is radiated off the ends of the antenna, and the greatest power is radiated in a plane perpendicular to the dipole. The ideal dipole antenna is 1/2 wavelength, and is sampled at the center of the antenna in a balanced feed. The antenna on the back of most APs is usually a quarter wavelength antenna that uses the AP to provide an image antenna of the remaining half of the dipole. (Dual antenna's do not provide multiple parts of one antenna, they are used to provide multiple samples of the receive pattern, from which the stronger signal is used. Through software other capabilities exist.) The effective radiated power in the plane surrounding the dipole antenna is that donut shape, and if you measure it at the point where an isotropic antenna is calculated to have lost a specific amount of power, the dipole antenna radiates a maximum of twice that power level. (Other power levels along that sphere exist, down to no perceptible power. However the measurement is considered at it's maximum.) Double the power is 3db, and that is the standard radiated power of a Wifi AP. If you alter the radiation pattern, by using reflecting and directing elements in a Yagi, or cubical quad, or by using a parabolic reflector, or other means, you will increase the effective radiated power in one or more directions related to the design.The maximum of that pattern is used to derive the gain of the antenna. There are things that can be done to increase the gain of an antenna without directing the antenna in the sense of pointing it at a given direction. The primary method changes the shape of that donut, flattening it out. It is not unusual to see 9db gain antenna's at your local computer store. One thing to remember is that while I have been noting that the standard is to compare it against an Isotropic radiator, many antenna manufacturers will neglect to identify what they are actually comparing against. An antenna may be listed as being a 6db antenna, yet there is no regulation stating that the gain listed has to be related to an isotropic radiator. If it is, then it is often marked as 6dbi. It may also be listed as 6dbd, which is 6 db over an ideal dipole. Another alternative is to rate it as 6db, but neglect to inform you that the radiator being compared against it is a dummy load. (rarely is a dummy load going to convert 100% of power to heat, some is almost always radiated as RF.) -Rusty -kc0vcu
VERY WELL PUT!!!
hanzablast (author)  burningsuntech6 years ago
Hi raving apache, I certainly don't think I can make power from nothing or power gain... I wish I could :-))))) then I'd be rich. No, what happens is the following. The dBi figure stands for dB isotropic. Isotropic means that the antenna radiates the same amount of energy in every direction. This gain is called 0dBi. If your wifi card outputs 100mW, then with a 0dBi antenna, it transmits 100mW in every direction. A directional antenna likes this one focusses all the energy in one direction. This means that when you look in that particular direction, the power seems to be much larger. When you use a measurement antenna, you'll actually see a lot more power too if the antenna is aimed at the measurement antenna. In this case, the antenna produces 16dB more gain than an isotropic antenna (which cannot be made in practice). This also means that if the FCC where to run a test on a wifi card with such an antenna, they will state in their test results that the wifi card produces 16dB more power than 100mW. This is because in these tests, the object under test is always looked at from all directions to find the point where the gain is maximum. I used to do these measurements a lot in my previous job. So you're absolutely right, no power comes out of nowhere, but because of the relative measurements compared to an antenna that transmits in all directions, the directional antenna which concentrates all the power in one direction, does have gain. And based on that, does produce the 704milliwats that you state in your calculation. A better description of the 100mW rule would be: It is not allowed to transmit more than 100mW in any direction. Best regards, hanzablast
Ahhh! The beauty of relative measurements. Gotta love'em. From that point of view, i concede. My regards. raving apache
hanzablast (author)  hanzablast6 years ago
test
Gain is a universal measurement. Both on transmit and receive..it is reciprocal.
n3glv rusty01015 years ago
Hi guys, You need to watch C-Band dishes very carefully if you are trying to use them for this band (wifi is way higher and shorter wavelengths, this make things like the size of mesh inside a fiberglass dish and surface accuracy critical,) I have posted on the 8" strainer instructables a bit more info. As reguarding the FCC, I think if you real very closely you'll find out it's about field strength not power. In theory you could run 1000 WATTS into something that was very very very inefficiant and as long as your signal was under so many microvolts per meter at specific distance, you would be "legal". Ps, C-band dishes and any TVRO stuff I have ever seen use 75ohm cable (RG-6) not RG-8 (that's cb stuff, and 50 ohm) PPs (Hanzablast, what's your callsign, I'm betting you are a ham too)
thrudd n3glv5 years ago
About that field strength - vs - power thing. Regulations here in Canada (N, S, E & W of the states) is that maximum Power for unregulated/unlicensed equipment must be 1 watt from the output of the final stage amplifier or less. What antenna gain you use thereafter is free and open with few restrictions. Its that 1000Watt amplifier on the badly tuned and matched antenna that drive some of us amateurs to distraction and has the regulators diapers in a knot. Its like some drunken half deaf lumberjack screaming at the top of his lungs to the buddy beside him and drowning out everybody else in the pub. (no disrespect to deaf or drunken lumberjacks intended)
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Well, if you're truly going for the absolute best, then I would have to say use Gold.
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He's kindof right, but a more affordable option is copper (the best), or brass, or aluminum. Only use steel if you have to.
Shiftlock4 years ago
So, this antenna is a beam that is meant to be used horizontally?  As I was reading the instructions, I was assuming it was an omnidirectional antenna, and the plate at the bottom was a groundplane.  No?  That's too bad.  I would love to have plans for a 16dbi omni.  The radiation pattern would obviously be very flat and squat, but I live in Florida where the land is perfectly flat, and my access point is on the 1st floor.
if u compare pictures connections named
  <name unknown>
SpeedTouchCED8..... 
SX551CCAEAA

they have no signal change what so ever.
Seems that maybe this is just the sure size that is picking the signal, not that it is directional, or increasing db, if a beam it should have some type of side to side rejection.
TaylorTech5 years ago
Hey There! Just wondering if I can substitute the foam beam for 1/2" PVC pipe. That's 3.81cm. Would it affect it to much? I f I go with a higher wire gauge, will it matter or improve it slightly? Thanks! Taylor of Canada
Cool project and it's hard to argue with success, but this antenna will best send and receive circularly polarized signals. Most WAP sources are hardly circularly polarized. I guess they are more or less vertical in nature. So you automatically have some built in loss due to polarization differences. Perhaps one of the many yagi designs out there may be a bit better?
agguilar5 years ago
hi, a satelital cable anthena can work to find the wifi signal ?????
rajeshkkr5 years ago
hi, ok you gave a good idea. but will you pls tell me how it will get operate, means i have no wi-fi , in my computer, so , after appling your wi-fi , how it will show me that it find singnals.
headcrab5 years ago
Brill Idea But Try Makeinng A Prototype With Eg. PVC or like make a massive one put it on a yard pole make it really high the higher it is the more wifi signals you will pick upp still a brilliant idea
animal03076 years ago
What about PVC??? sorry I don't have enough guts to put random stuff in my moms new microwave.
As long as its not metal ur moms micro wave will be fine. :)
You shouldn't use PVC it absorbs microwaves and turns it into heat.
hydrogenpwr5 years ago
What exactly is this Brass for? Right now I see it as a base. But the way you see it might be more complex. I would like to learn this.
The brass plate is acting as the reflector / ground plane part of the antenna. For more information on this and other styles of antennas I suggest using your favourite search engine and look for "antenna radio design" as staring keywords. Also check your library for back issues of amateur radio antenna design and cook-books. they have all the math and theory in them reduced into digestible and understandable chunks. Also check out the ARRL and other HAM radio user sites. Lots of their stuff is adaptable to wifi since wifi is mech smaller and easier to play with than short wave.
fkuk5 years ago
you know it only works in the direction it is pointing in what if you made a couple of those and wired them together would it work even better like that?
Mikie-z5 years ago
Would this work for a multi frequency radio?
kostassk85 years ago
The plate must be from copper or i can use something else?
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1.5mm wire is just slightly smaller than 14AWG. He said it was solid, as you can see in the photos. It IS uninsulated, after you strip it. A trick to keep a wire from corroding after stripping and to insulate (slightly) is to cover it with a thin film of fingernail polish. This may not work here because of the microwave effect, but experimenting with a piece of plastic coated with the polish inside a microwave will tell you.
sounder5 years ago
How about this:
Could I connect your antenna to the USB device referenced below using a very short, maybe 2 inch cable, mount the combination outside, and then connect to my desktop via a relatively long, maybe 50 foot USB cable?

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.5858

Please advise and thank you
Kcy1015 years ago
All, i have to say is wow!,lol i compared this to the biquad antenna, this produced 4+ extra signals in my area, I live in a town with many one story house so i put this antenna up high with great feedback, i also used a carboard tube, with i get even more with the foam??
seralej745 years ago
Hello Hanzablast. In the video, I can' t see how fix the wire on the top of the antenna. Please, could you help me, thanks. Sergio.
Th3H4rRy5 years ago
Your instructables are the best I have ever seen, Well articulated voice instructions. Nicely done. Do you know of anyway to get this antenna to connect to a laptop?
KenMN20105 years ago
Is it possible to do make this antenna if the wifi card is internal?
It is possible if you are good with a soldering iron on pcbs. You need to know what your doing though. Try and find out as much as you can about your wifi card. Schematics would be helpful as you are looking for the internal antenna. You might also be able to find some info on someone who has already modded a card such as yours which would save you a bunch of work.
Maybe a lot easier to just buy another card. Why risk it?
I did built it but not very good. More to test it. I'm not certain it works as I get the exact same reading for wifi's out there with the wlan card. I have a way to test but I only pick up default. does say any dimm readings auto matically DON'T get picked up. I also could not find some of the parts in any store. No chassis connection but did get a cable one but not correct one. I used copper wire from a used cable tv wire I had laying around. The whole thing is "micky moused" but I just wanted to test 1st before taking time making it super good.
You need to be careful in your measurements and connections. An antennas sloppily put together won't work any better than one with less gain but better built. Build again with more care.
gouddabob6 years ago
so.... is there a straightened piece of wire going up the center of the foam in addition to it being wrapped around the outside of the foam?
No.
At least I know there isn't copper in centre as it took several viewings before I could half understand all this. the video kinda threw me off being too fast explained and the printing over front. No one understood what the parts meant explained. I went to The Source(wrong place) and same is the Computor Store(?) I assumed had everything. And I believe stock is only avail on demand.
Chris20486 years ago
What other materials might I use for the core? Would stuff like plaster or cardboard work? How does coating/embedding the wire effect the signal? would an un-etched copper PCB do for the base? Would a bowl-shaped base help, or having holes in the base? I have no idea what aspects are important to the design!!
The bottom needs to be flat. Just search for Helical antennas and you will find lots of info and calculators to help you build one for most frequencies. An easy support is a wooden dowel or the plastic from a window blind. PCB would work fine.
What else can be used for the antenna base? I an finding it difficult to get a brass or copper sheet of the right size without having to buy a lot more than is needed for a rather large price. Will an un-etched copper pcb work? Will aluminum or steel work fine enough to get the signal desired? Or were is a good place to get that size of copper sheet in the US for a cheap price? Also does it matter if the base is a bit larger than the one used?
You bet you can use the bottom of a large coffee can. Just calculate out your area and a large one should work fine. I seem to remember a project that used just such a beast. You may use a wooden dowel or anything non-conductive for your center rod. Copper wire from a hardware store, bought off the roll. such as 12/2 can be stripped out to get bare wire. This roject is very easy to mkae. Give it a try ..
Aerospaced5 years ago
Wow! That is cool. Helical antennas are the best. The military uses them because of the high gain attributes. There is a great free software you may like called Net Stumbler. I use it for site surveys and occasional war driving. If you have a laptop with a parallel port you can plug in a Magellan meridian series GPS and map the exact location of an AP by driving around the block. It will give you some great data on the field strength of the signals around you as well as many other useful tid bits.
liam_ie5 years ago
Just wanted to say this is a great instruction vid, just wondering if you can use wood or pvc pipe as the 45cm element??
SteeL6 years ago
this is really cool, gr8 video :D
facufacundo6 years ago
hi my notebook is a HP Pavilion dv2625la and my wireless card is an integrated Intel -PRO/Wireless 4956AGN + Bluetooth-. ok my question is about how an i connect your antenna to my card
open where the internal card is and you should see at least 2 wires, that Should be attached to the internal card, snip in the middle of one of those and solder the wire from this antenna to the one you cut leading to the card.
I'm attempting to built a similar wifi antenna. But. the single core wire confuses me. 1.5mm 2 single core wire, used in Netherlands but I tried to pick some wire up & the store person was confused. This is at a computer store. Could I simply use house wiring? the info reads 220v house cabling used in Netherlands. Please explain? thanks. Richard
1.5mm2 wire is typically used for domestic lighting circuits and is good for about 15 amps before derating factors, it's not something you would typically find in a computer store.
thanks, I wasn't aware U replied. I'm just waiting for email on the chassis and cable connection part. But I'm also trying something else though might cost me up $50 or so but not bad. But I prefer UR way is much le$$. But fun to experiment .
valveman6 years ago
Nice project! How did you go about measuring the antenna gain of 16dbi? Was this just a theoretical calculation?
maxtor816 years ago
@ hanzablast
@ ppl who can advice

I want to buy an antenna to safe my self all this what do you recommend for a budget range $100 - $200 portable and/or easy to disassemble is preferable.

thnx
DZmaster6 years ago
Cold I make a longer antenna(for better signal)?
Yes you could have a longer antenna for a better signal but I think the gain is logarithmic, after around 18-20 turns, the gain and the turns equal out, any more turns (other than a significant amount on order of magnitude) give very little difference.
I've been reading a LOT of this WiFi stuff here on our extraordinary Instructables.com and was wondering if anyone has tested the strainer method against the coffee can or pringles method and also against using an old directv satellite and such. Which one would give me the best reception? I'm guessing the satellite dish but I am new to this. TIA!
I just finished my first strainer antenna using a USB adapter. I was surprised to see the difference. I went from two bars to a full 5 bars. Now all I need to do is find a way to retransmit to my other laptops. Don
Player0ne6 years ago
hey hanzablast, I just registered to tell you what a great job you have done with this tutorial a very clear and concise explanation of something immensely useful. kudos, very much appreciated :) I'll post pics of my attempt later. have a nice day
aaron1029776 years ago
Where can I buy the stuff to make this antenna ?
most of it you can get at raidoshack. also try googling the parts specificly.
Edgar6 years ago
Very good Instructable, only the Antenna will be stronger if made of Roofmate. It's as hard as balsa wood, and cuts just as easy.
dpocius Edgar6 years ago
What's Roofmate? Can you post a link pointing to the material's manufacturer?
Edgar dpocius6 years ago
Roofmate is a much denser form of styrofoam plate, used for roof insulation, and also by Architects, for modeling. It's a blue material, you'd probably seen around construction sites. Google "Roofmate" and you will find a supplier.
hanzablast (author)  Edgar6 years ago
Hey Edgar, Please check if the 'roofmate' material is lossy to rf using the method I described in here. Put it in a microwave and see if it heats up. If it does, you'll loose antenna gain.
Don't have a microwave, sorry! I doubt it will heat up, though; it's used as a thermal insulator, and it's exactly the same material as your antenna's, expanded polystyrene, only on a denser mode.
hanzablast (author)  Edgar6 years ago
Great, polystyrene is a very good material. You can look it up on the web searching for polystyrene and loss factor. Compare it to the loss factor of pvc and you'll see what I'm talking about. PVC loss factors are skyhigh!
I believe you and Stan Swan could have a lot to say to each other.
Here's a page of mine about him:
http://build.your.own.prototypes.googlepages.com/Thewifiguy.htm
manuka6 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
hanzablast (author)  manuka6 years ago
Haha, I wonder if taking your wifes kitchen equipment to make a wifi antenna comes at 'low cost' It won't cost a lot of money, but man, you could pay a lot in other ways :-))))) haha
manuka6 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
hanzablast (author)  manuka6 years ago
Hi Manuka, I'd like to respond to your remarks, you certainly make a number of good points. 1. First of all, the construction of a helical is quite simple IF you get the first part of the wire right which I explain clearly in the pictorial. This part I tuned with a 50.000$ network analyzer at work. Once you've got that part right, you really have to do your best to make a bad helical. The number of turns is really not picky, if you make more turns, you'll just get more gain. It can be more practical to use less turns, because than the antenna 'sees' a bigger area. 2. Good point, helicals are circularly polarized. Thas has advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantage is you have 3dB less gain when looking at a linearly polarized antenna which are used on accesspoint. The big advantage is, that you always have that amount of gain, no matter how you hold the antenna (as long as you don't change the direction you're pointing in). This is in big contrast with linearly polarized antenna's on both ends. Depending on the angle, the gain can be from minus infinity (when the angle is 90 degrees) to 0dB. This means you can have nothing at all!!! A helical solves this problem by always giving the same gain. You're right, if you put a helical on the other side, you'll have 3dB more. 3. Laptops are indeed a problem to connect to and indeed, a usb adapter is the best choice then because of the 5m wire yo u can use. I've modified a usb wifi adapter with a thing coax and glued that right to the back of my antenna. Works wonders. I've made a microscope video of that, maybe I should post that here. 4. Yeah, for rooftops, I'd definatly go for usb wifi card with external connector. Placing a usb adapter in the focal point of a dish is indeed a great option. You must find the correct focal point though, this requires some playing around. So adding everything up, I don't think helicals are as difficult as you suggest and can easily be applied by anyone who is a bit handy. This is proven by some people who mailed me they've build the antenna and are very enthousiastic about the results. Best regards, Hanzablast
Kinnishian6 years ago
Is there any sort of adapter (or cheaper pc card that I could modify) so I could connect this to a laptop? I have a laptop with firewire, usb, and pc card slot. There's a local public wifi that I'm very close to and would be so happy if I could get this running.
hanzablast (author)  Kinnishian6 years ago
Hey Kinnishian, I took a sitecom usb wifi card apart and connected a semirigid to the antenna trace on the pcb. This works, but you have to know how to find the antenna trace.
I found a bunch of tutorials but i think I'll pass it up as too difficult for my wee soldering skills.

I did find a good looking usb gadget for external wifi though.
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.5858

But too pricey at 25. I think I'll manage though with a few other things, thanks
Hmm, I don't but i'll look around this weekend maybe there's a tut somewhere! :-). Crossing tutting rocks
uberinsane6 years ago
Awesome. No more forking over $40 a month for internet for me!!!
hey, does anyone know if this would work with an apple airport card for like their laptops and stuff? theres no antenna that i can see, and i dont know of any connector.
Apple Airport cards that I have seen all use one of the otherwise unused pins on the pcmcia/pc-card interface to interface to an antenna built into Apple Laptops. That would suggest that to tap off the antenna interface, you'll need to build some sort of an extender for the connector that you can break out the antenna wire with. That may not be true of all apple airport cards though.
Rawns6 years ago
Really great! Can't believe how many more AP's you can find with it! Just a shame it is so big. :(
Unknown0386 years ago
hey, great instructable! i have a question: if i make one of these and plug it in to my wireless router rather than my computer, will it increase broadcast range, or is this antenna only good for receiving. the reason this matters is that most of my wireless devices do not have external antennas (primarily my Xbox360 and my laptop), so it would be great if i could fix the broadcast rather than the reception.
This is a particularly directional antenna, please don't expect it to function in a similar manner to your original AP's antenna.
Yes, it is possible putting it on your router will help some but not nearly as much as on the other devices with the poor antennas. You can in fact open those devices and solder on a proper coax lead from the antenna to a RF grade connector you mount on the chassis, or the other easier thing to do is put a repeater nearer those devices, or (ethernet) wire an access point closer to them. You don't mention the environment but is it very bad? My laptop has no trouble connecting to my router in a normal home environment, or even nearby outdoors. Maybe your entire router is poor? Regardless you can make the antenna and if it doesn't help enough you still have the antenna gain when also implementing the other steps you might need.
Does anyone know the spacing/turns/wire gauge/core thickness and connectors for a cell phone? Gathering materials around the house to build, but im going to change it around a little.
kd1s6 years ago
Interesting. I gave up on wireless because I have so many wireless nets nearby it kills the performance. However I'd like to build a new whip for the wireless router, I'm thinking a dipole that's 6 or 7 wavelengths of the center frequency. I may even be a bastard and build an amplifier for the access point.
If you haven't already used it, check out the netstumbler program. It gives actual dBi increase of APs, and shows hidden ssid networks.

http://www.netstumbler.com/
Bob!6 years ago
I like your video, And I am sure your dutch, that accent must be dutch. And ill give this a try as soon as my laptop is back.
Spokehedz6 years ago
Wow. Now this is how instructables SHOULD be written! Clear, consise video with plenty of pictures to do the entire project from. But then a step-by-step instructable with all the details you could want about it. Nominated!
kronflux6 years ago
sneaky. XD
Very nice instructable
second
gijoebob6 years ago
Great stuff! Very easy to follow. I'll have to give this a shot.
hanzablast (author)  gijoebob6 years ago
Thanks for the nice comment, Let me know how it turns out. Someone else at Metacafe build one and was blown away by the results, so I'm really curious to know what your findings are!
guyfrom7up6 years ago
cool
Cool. I like the pictures, they're really good.
iKill6 years ago
why have you been posting things multiple times, there good and i like them but why so many times?
hanzablast (author)  iKill6 years ago
Hi Ikill, This is was the first thing I posted here, and I got a number of people asking me to make a pictorial because they like that better. I didn't know about this option at that time, otherwise I would have made a pictorial immedeately. I could remove the old one, from now on I'll only post pictorials here. This one should only be posted twice, allthough I also use this antenna in the movie/pictorial about a compact wifi antenna to show the difference with that one. As you already got from the text, this multiple posting won't happen again. Sorry about that.
im really sorry if i made this sound like a big deal you can leave it up i was just asking why. i think you should leave it up for the people who prefer the two different i'ble forms