Instructables

Cheap WiFi Range Extender

I have built and used similar signal extenders for my radio frequency projects on numerous occasions to great effect. Typically I use these for point to point communication between some rather devious devices, my spy foam gun turret for instance being one of the lesser of these evils. As such this is easily adaptable to WiFi use.

I shall try to be as descriptive as possible with this build for those that have never done it before can follow along.

Please comment with what you think of my Instructable, suggestions for me to consider, and various idea's you think I should try. Thank You!
 
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Step 1: Step 1: Gather your materials

Step 1: Gather your materials

For cost and ease of build I'm using items typically found around the house or easily acquired from your local family dollar/dollar general chain store using only a budget of 3 dollars, of which 1.50 went to a delicious Dr. Pepper (oops!) leaving me with only 1.50 left for the build. Thankfully most of these items you already have around the house gathering dust from long since forgotten projects, or picked up from the side of a road after a major hurricane had passed through.

Bought Supplies:
Family Dollar Stainless steel Mesh Sink Strainer: 1.07

Free Supplies:
Used Belkin USB WiFi stick Hurricane Ike reclaimed
Picture frame wire
Cardboard scrap from mesh package

Tools:
Dremel with cut-off wheel attachment
Wire cutters
Needle nose pliers
Surgical tape/duct tape

Optional items:
Camo Paint Flat army green

These are the materials I have to work with... Well at least it's not a straw, a rubber band, and a paperclip...
mcon271110 months ago
how do you connected the dish to WiFi router
SkunkFox (author) 4 years ago
guessing the black thing your reffering to is the usb end cap protector for the wifi stick?
What is the black thing on there??? I didn't see you mention that.
SkunkFox (author) 4 years ago
there was no foam used in this instructable Puffer...
do u have a link to the foam dart thingie?
Patented5 years ago
I am presently trying to boost my laptop wifi signal with some tin foil in the same shape as your Stainless steel Mesh Sink Strainer but im not getting anything ... my router doesnt have any external antana so I trying to put tin foil on my external wi-fi card in my laptop, hope it will work !
SkunkFox (author)  Patented5 years ago
Patented: Try adding a reflective backing to your wifi base station, it should help increase it's signal strength to your laptop. Look up foil paper wifi antenna's on the site, you should be able to find something that will work for your base station. I'm guessing it's a linksys model so try a parabolic shaped dish behind the base station. This is easily made from foil backed paper, you just need to keep the shape parabolic. Though a more extreme upgrade of the base station is to add an external antenna, a cheap 5db gain antenna will work to boost the base stations output by 50-70% overall. Downside to this is that it'll void your warrenty instantly, and make it easier for your neighbors to piggyback your wifi signal. I believe linksys's internal antenna models (easy to check on your info cd that came with the base station) have an optional output for an external antenna, it'll be on the back, or under the base. Give it a check first if you decide to mod your base station. As for the mesh dish method I've found that using some tinfoil does increase the reception on it more if used as a layer around the outside of the dish. Though my dish has been rebuilt into a somewhat more monstorous version of it's original humble beginning. I'll have an instructable up on the newer version in a few weeks once I've my camera back.
Yeah with my ' improvised' tin foil bowl I also put some tin foil under my router and the signal boost up just a bit like 3-4 % and also my router have an internal antenna so I will check if its possible to plug a external antenna but at my last look there was just plugs for ethernet, power and telephone line...
SkunkFox (author)  Patented5 years ago
goto the manufacturer's website, they usually offer add-on's to their wireless routers, or wireless modems you can buy for a price. on some internal models the underside of the router/modem has a removable snap-on plate, or screw on plate where you can connect the external antenna to with an adapter. Check the manufacter's website first before you attempt to mod your device to see what's available for your model, of what parts you might be able to duplicate yourself to add an external antenna.
is there any way i could use this to amp up my wifi signal for my psp or ds
SkunkFox (author)  mr j1245 years ago
it's possible, you could try a stick gum method to see what results you get. as the PSP/Ds have rather tiny internal antenna's roughly 5cm in total length depending on the year model, you could grab a stick of any foil backed gum (juicy fruit works well) and apply it to the back of your psp/ds foil side in paper showing with a little bit of tape and see how that works out for you. or reverse it and see if that works better. It's cheap to do I think a gum pack costs 30cents total with tax? Try that first and see what kind of results you get. You may also try extending the antenna on those but I wouldn't recommend it because it'll void the warrenty, or damage your device. There is another option though, some aftermarket makers of psp/ds devices do make wifi extension add-on's that replace the back case and add on a better wifi antenna for improved signal gain, but not tried them so don't know how good they are. google can get you information on these add-on devices. Though i've seen a few instructables that deal with just this problem on the site. Give it a quick search and see what you can find. Remember read the comments of those instructables first before attempting any of them to find out if they work from the people trying them before you go for it.
Put some tin foil on your router, as shunkfox said look on this website and you will find a lot of instructables on how to boost wi-fi signal from your router, or just make the shunkfox's instructables if you have a usb antenna !
I got some result, with tin foil in shaped like a bowl , my signal was at 61% and without tin foil it was at 50%, its not a lot..i I will try your way
SkunkFox (author) 5 years ago
In case anyone's wondering, the db gain is 5 on the dish range extender, 8db gain when turned into a cantenna using dryer ducting. Any comments are gladly appreciated.
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