Picture of Coffee Can Wifi
This is how I made a usb cantenna with a coffee can. Simple and effective enough to gain 1 or 2 bars. Sorry bout the cr@ppy pics.
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Step 1: Materials & Tools

Picture of Materials & Tools
Items needed:

11.5oz coffee can
Usb Wifi Adapter w/ or w/o usb cradle
Metal hanger

Tools needed:

Razor knife to cut can with. I'm not blessed with a dremel. :(
Needle nose pliers and/or wire cutters
Duct tape because it has a light and a dark side

Step 2: First, some math.

My 11.5oz coffee can is: Laura Lynn Hazelnut creme (naturally & artificially flavored)
hell yea hazelnut bro

Inside Length 5 5/16 in.
Outside Length 5 7/16 in. (not used)
Inside Diameter 3 15/16 in.
Outside Diameter 4 in. (not used)

And we know:

1 inch = 25.4 mm
1/16 in = 0.0625 (decimal)

So, to use the calculator I found here: http://www.saunalahti.fi/elepal/antenna2calc.php
I needed to do some simple English -> Metric conversion.

Inside Length 5.3125 in x 25.4 = 134.9375 mm ~ 135.00 mm
Inside Diameter 3.9375 in x 25.4 = 100.0125 mm ~ 100.00 mm

The calculator gave me these figures for my project.

Target distance from bottom = 46 mm ~1.811 in ~1 13/16 in
Target depth of insertion = 31 mm ~1.220 in ~1 1/4 in
Target length of can = 138 mm my can is 135 mm. Difference negligible

Hey, I know it was for a real antenna with a Type N connector, but that just simply wasn't available to me. The principle is still the same nonetheless.

My Belkin Wireless 802.11b USB adapter/dongle: 3/8 x 1 5/8 in
cenaadel1 year ago

greaaaaaaaat job !!!! please can you help me to make a cantenna for cdma evedo

1.9 ghz ?????? !!!!!!!

Phil B6 years ago
I have a WiFi card for a PCMCIA slot. What would you do to adapt this basic antenna for use with my card? I went for decades without a Dremel. I thought I would never use one. Then I inherited the one belonging to my father-in-law after he died. I am amazed at how much I use it. See my Instructable on enlarging the arbor hole in a saw blade so it fits a Sawsmith radial arm saw. Let family and friends know you would like to save cash gifts until you can buy one.
Slinkyfied (author)  Phil B6 years ago
I don't think this cantenna design would be suitable for a pcmcia type card, but... there's always a 'but'... I've googled it and found a 'corner antenna' involving a slim cd case, library card, some tinfoil, and glue. If that type of antenna works, I guess one could potentially use other common types (parabolic) with some success, also. Another idea I had was wrapping some copper wire around the end of the card a few times and leaving the end up as a sort of dipole. I'm new to antenna building/design, so don't take my word as gospel, but if you try anything that works, spread the word. Good luck to you!
Thanks for the reply and the information.
if you can open the end casing on the card, there MAY be a hidden pigtail connector. if there is, you could get the corresponding pigtail connector for your card, make a hole to keep it exposed, and then use a google search to identify the manner of pigtail you need. then its a simple matter of hitting up a local shop or online shop or ebay to find it!
CaseyCase6 years ago
Ingles rules! Slinkyfied, you live in WNC?
Slinkyfied (author)  CaseyCase6 years ago
SC actually but its all good.