Introduction: A Subtle Yet Over-kill Wifi Antenna Hack

Picture of A Subtle Yet Over-kill Wifi Antenna Hack

I had been looking for a way to extend the range of my desktop's Wifi reciever. Naturally, I came to Instructables, where I found this DIY Wifi Extender:!/

Brilliant, simple idea. However, I've decided to put my own twist on it. What I've done is attached tin foil to the reverse side of a poster, and wired the antenna to it.

I would like to thank babblin5 for the instruction on the original antenna hack. If you have any recommendations or comments, feel free to post them. I may not be able to answer all questions, as I only do circuitry as a hobby, but do ask.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

You will need;

-A poster
-Tin foil
-Insulation tape
-Copper wire

And a Wifi antenna.

Step 2: Attaching the Tin Foil

Picture of Attaching the Tin Foil

Fairly simple to do. I began by taping the edge of the tin foil to one side of the poster, then simply rolled the foil down to the other end. I did the same again with the bottom half of the poster. I advise fairly sparse use of the tape in order to keep the overall weight of the poster down, yet enough to keep the foil secure on the back. It is easier to work with insulation tape, as either duct or scotch tape tend to rip the foil when you try to unstick them.

Step 3: Preparing the Antennas

I don't have any pictures for this step, as the wifi card, which a friend gave to me, already had the antenna stripped. You have remove the rubber shield off of the antenna, being careful not to sever the actual wire inside. You then have to strip the wire of the insulation around it, enough to be able to work with when you're attaching it to the wire. For a graphic guide, go to babblin5 guide at!/  

Step 4: Joining the Wire

Picture of Joining the Wire

To begin, you should strip off the insulation at the top of your wire (provided you are working with insulated wire). The, using a screw, wind the wire into a curl, using the screw's grooves as a guide. You should then twist both the antenna wire and the copper wire together, so they are securely connected, and then solder. I used silver solder.

Step 5: Attaching the Wire to the Foil'd Poster

Picture of Attaching the Wire to the Foil'd Poster

Pretty simple. I made a crude spiral with the other end of the wire, so that it would cover slightly more area on the foil, then taped it down. When taping the wire to the bottom of the poster, you might want to make a small "L" shape, just so any tugging on the wire won't directly pull it for the poster.

Step 6: And You're Done!

I found it easier to put the tape, blue tac, or whatever you're using to affix the poster to the wall on the wall first, then stick the poster to it. Now all you have to do is screw the antenna back into it's socket, and that's it!

The result:

Before the mod, I was getting a link strength of 1Mb/s off of the router. With the poster, I now get 11Mb/s strength. Nothing to write home about, but over 10 times better than the connection I got with the regular antenna. 


darthbindy (author)2011-12-11

iv been thinking of doing this but not sure if i should, cause i dont know if it will work, if i got my wifi adapters antena and then sanded my water pipe until metal, then soldered on, would i get signals from the whole city? just wondering.

choney1 (author)2011-06-21

Hey, tried out this thing and it actually worked!! although it didn't really speed up or extend the range of my router, i had much more luck with just regular cardboard, check this: by infiniteshadow :) good luck :)

Taoiseach (author)choney12011-06-21

Cardboard, you say? I must try that out. As for extending the reach of the Wi-Fi from the source, the reason my connection to the router was so bad was because I had used up my measely 15GB monthly data allowance, and the router I was trying to connect to was, ah, not mine to adjust ;) Still, I'm getting an ADSL router next month, I'll have that project bookmarked. Thanks!

metalman1138 (author)2011-06-12

Cant forget Zabriske Point or Saucer full of secrets. Great instructable

Taoiseach (author)metalman11382011-06-12

Thanks! Personally, my favorite album is The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. You've got poetry, heavy-metal, the roots of post-punk British prog. rock, everything in it.

platinum95 (author)2011-06-12

Where can I buy one of those posters?

Taoiseach (author)platinum952011-06-12

I got this at Liffy Valley shopping center. The poster's name is "Pink Floyd, The Back Catalogue".

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