Picture of Easy to Build WIFI 2.4GHz Yagi Antenna

This antenna will extend the range of your WiFi or 2.4GHz devices (like surveillance cameras) into many miles and kilometers. A yagi antenna is basically a telescope for radio waves. I tired the pringle can antenna and the Yagi beats it hands down in performance.
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Step 1: What You Need

Picture of What You Need

This is an absolutely easy project.

You need an ink jet printer/ Computer
Popsicle sticks
White glue
Crazy glue
Big paper clips (you could use any stiff solid metal wire instead)
USB WIFI, preferably with an antenna extension OR a 2.4 GHz device
soldering iron and lead
Sanding papers
Pliers or preferably a nibbler (see photo below, available at radio shack)
a metric ruler with millimeters or a metric caliper.

Step 2: Building Overview

Picture of Building Overview

The building steps are simple:

1. Print out the scaled Yagi antenna template* (download from next step).
2. Trim paper clips to size and glue them to the template.
3. Use Popsicle sticks to build the antenna's backbone and hold it together.
4. Connect the USB device to the antenna.

*I used a Yagi modeler java applet to generate the diagram. This modeler applet is found on many websites (google "yagi modeler") and its owner is W9CF.

The modeler gives a diagram and the elements' lengths and position. I carefully scaled the diagram and turned it into a template in order to make the building process easy.

You can visit AB9IL awesome website  to get more details on using the modeler for this 15 element Yagi and other fine antenna projects, such as a 20 element WIFI Yagi .

Step 3: Printing the Yagi Diagram

Picture of Printing the Yagi Diagram

The most essential point in printing the template is getting the correct scale. In the attached zip file below, are three png picture files.

The antenna is longer than an Letter sized or A4 sized paper. So you have to print the template in two parts (labeled part1 and part2 in the zip file). I have also included the full sized unsplit template if your printer can handle large enough paper.


Make sure to set your printer's properties to ORIGINAL SIZE (not "best fit to page" ect..).

Set the print orientation to LANDSCAPE.


Use a ruler or caliper to measure if the print is of correct scale. You will notice vertical bars crossing the horizontal line. The vertical bars represent the Yagi "elements" which will be made from paperclips. The horizontal line is the backbone of the antenna which will be build out of popsicle sticks.

You will also notice numbers next to the elements. These numbers are in pairs. The first number is the length of the element in millimeters. The second number, is the distance from the start of the diagram to the element, in millimeters.

Measure the size and position of a couple of elements on each prints. If your measurements match the numbers on the diagrams, then your print is to scale and you may proceed. Accuracy need not to be tight for the antenna to perform well.

Now superimpose both prints, until they match at around element 10 or 11, and tack them together with scotch tape or white glue.

Yagi.zip212 KB

Step 4: Cutting the Paper Clips and Fixing Them

Picture of Cutting the Paper Clips and Fixing Them
You have to trim the paper clips with a nibbler or plier to fit the vertical bars ("elements"). This is fairly straight forward. Lay the paper clip on the template's element and mark the ends with a marker. Snip at the marking.

Make sure that each element fits correctly the length of the bar on the diagram.

Fix the elements in place with crazy glue.

Leave element #2 for later. This is the element that connects to the electronics and is called "the driven element" (as in being driven by electronics).

Step 5: Building the Backbone

Picture of Building the Backbone
The backbone holds the shape of the antenna. I just cut pieces of popsicle sticks and fit them between the gaps of the elements. I used white glue to fix them in place.

Start from element #15 backward. When you arrive to element #2 move on to the next step.

Step 6: Building the Driven Element

Picture of Building the Driven Element

The "driven element" in a Yagi antenna, is usually the second one from the start. It is the element that connects to the USB WIFI or 2.4 GHZ electronics.

It is a broken loop and not a straight wire. A loop of wire resonates at a specific radio frequency depending on its dimensions. The dimensions of the driven element in this antenna is set at 2.4GHz, of course.

It just happens that its about the size of a common big paper clip. You need to clip the paperclip so that it loops around and meet in the center but the end not touching, leaving a gap (see photo).

Fix it in place with crazy glue and build the back bone around it.

When all the elements and sticks are in place, reinforce the antenna with another layer of popsicle sticks. Glue full lengthed popsicle sticks on top of the antenna. The antenna should become mechanically stiff. Then rip the paper template of the antenna.

Step 7: Connect the Antenna to the Wifi Modem

Picture of Connect the Antenna to the Wifi Modem

This is the most difficult part and depends on the electronic hardware you have. please read this step carefully. 

The basic idea is that you need to solder a wire between the WiFi board's RF output and the driven element of the yagi antenna.

But USB WiFi modems come either with an internal antenna or with an external antenna. Those with external antennae, like mine, are easier to connect because you are just replacing the external whip antenna with the Yagi. Those with internal antenna may need to have their on-board strip antenna modified as illustrated in the pictures here. You need to slightly experiment in this case.

I have tried soldering a coax to my board's antenna connectors and the two ends of the yagi's active element loop but it did not work in my case. I have no explanations why that did not work, but other DIYers that have built Yagi antennae connected their antenna in this manner.

In my case, I just connected a single thin strand of copper wire between the active element of the strip antenna and one end of the loop of the driven element.

Please read the annotations of the pictures for more details.

Step 8: Performance

Picture of Performance

The performance was pretty spectacular for this easy to build antenna. I was able to see the WiFi of a hotel that was 2 miles away from my home. The most difficult part was connecting the antenna to the USB modem.
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Saarducci1 year ago
Okay well I read through the entire post and I saw many things that made a lot of sense, also saw a lot of unnecessary flaming, but I do have a few comments to make. Right off the bat the one individual that asked about having his modem in the basement with a rotating antenna on the roof needs a reality check. Overlooked in the connecting the USB dongle to the antenna was the transmission line length, for these frequencies it should be as short as possible and a multiple of 1/2 wavelength I'd suggest as close to 2.41 inches as one could manage (use a small diameter 50 ohm coax). Take the dongle apart and connect a USB extension cable to it and mount it directly on the antenna assembly. Paper clips vs copper, at this frequency it's not going to make much difference, however the specific model was generated using 14awg copper. Someone said glue it all to cardboard then cover it with more cardboard actually a strong and stable design, original author said build around popsicle sticks(wooden), both are subject to absorbing moisture from the air and either can have a poor dielectric constant, I would suggest some kind of plastic (they make popsicles with plastic sticks). The lengths of the elements, the spacing between them, and keeping them all in the same plane and parallel to each other is the most important consideration. The driven element, #2 in this design: that one I would make from 14awg copper, I'd make a simple dipole rather than a folded dipole, I would take two pieces of wire make 90 degree bends in them cut the bent part to about 1/8 inch and attach my transmission line. Take a piece of heat shrink cut two notches in it about 1/4 inch apart and insert the wires into it and shrink it, maybe reinforce the space in the center (break a tooth from my comb and stick it in the middle before heating the shrink?) cut it down to the correct overall length and insert it last. If you use the folded dipole make sure the folded part is perpendicular to the plane of the rest of the antenna and use 300 ohm twin lead to connect to the dongle, but your SWR will probably be much higher, reducing your effective gain and possibly resulting in early failure of the dongle. Horizontal vs vertical, after you have your antenna connected and have connected to some network you can try rotating it about its horizontal axis to see if you can get a better aspect on the other antenna (more bars). All in all though good job to Biotele, it's cheap, it's easy, and if done right will provide excellent results. I did not build this antenna, but I built 2 antennae very similar before reading this post, My son and I live almost 2 miles apart and either of us can stream 1080p movies from the other's house during a thunderstorm.

I think you could make an instructable out of all that :D

pirobot6689 days ago

There are lots of aspects to Yagi antennas to be considered.

The diameter of the wire in the elements has a direct influence on the capacitance of the element. Smaller wires, less capacitance. Have to adjust spacing a bit.

The mast. Surely the electrical properties were part of its selection?

A dielectric mast and a conductive mast will see different element intervals, and lengths!

I am not saying that any of these steps are wrong, just saying that "I got plans, lets build" does not always work out 'the best'.

All this drivel said, Yagis are actually hard to mess up. Get the elements within 10% on length, the spacing within 5%, and it will still work fine.

The Driven element, however that can be fun! It has to electrically 'match' the properties of the coaxial-cable or whatever the current antenna is. A USB dongle, position in the 'right spot' could work well as the Driven Element.

Oh, and I just re-published my all Brass Yagi Candle-Stick holder Steam Punk WiFi Extender thing.

Why inkjet
Can I connect this antenna to my nrf24l01 module
AnthonyS94 months ago

Hi there, can somebody please help us, ... we have an issue at our rural property (not too rural but) where our 3G smart phones work okay outside but inside a timber framed house with a metal roof they don't work at all, we were told to install a Yagi 850 MHz Antenna outside on the roof and the shortest cable possible into the house with a phone cradle, which then makes the phone not mobile and stuck in one place, it is legal to buy and overseas mobile repeater , so can somebody please tell me if this would work, ...placing a Yagi Antenna outside, with a smaller car antenna attached to the other end inside - would the small car antenna acts as a repeater inside ?? we cant afford the ridiculous price tag the 2 telcos are offering for their smart repeaters (over $1000) so was wondering if this is a ridiculous idea or not??.

apparently if we are receiving a good signal outside the house (4G and 3 G) then we would have no problems inside the house.

Regards Anthony

I think for the internal antenna to act as a repeater you'd need a device to power it and transmit that signal. Maybe the thing to do is buy the Wilson powered device for your carrier's 3g frequency. Plug it in to the outdoor yagi and indoor antenna and that should do it, as far as I know. But I'm pretty sure that situation you're describing would need some power input to make the repeater work.

This is fantastic. So what about with an existing yagi antenna -- would I be able to get additional gain/directionality by adding more directors/elements (at the appropriate lengths and distances? For example, this one:

Would making it a couple of feet longer improve the gain?

thegreekgeek4 months ago

So I have a question for all you more knowledgable types. I purchased a external wifi adapter to go with my homemade yagi, and unfortunately, i purchased the wrong type of connector for my antenna (purchased a coax cable with male SMA connector instead of a RP-SMA connector). My question is, is it necessary for me to connect the shield and the inner conductor to each end of the driven element, or do i just need to connect the inner conductor?

Aaaand I think i figured it out. Didn't read the annotations of the third picture.

ozerob4 months ago

Great job, I'm digging out some fiberglass tubing from the supply scraps to use instead of popsicle sticks, you definitely motivated me to try this out.

hamamam5 months ago

I tried to built it but step 7 is so hard so my usb was damaged , but any where this was amazing topic and I appreciate your effort . any way I get a professional wifi antenna from chines store with very cheap price and high gain , that is it

Potha ReddyK6 months ago

Should I use A4 paper or letter size paper?

ya welad el metnaka 7ad yerod 3ala den omy :D

plz reply me

what are the dimensions between every metal piece

amalshaji made it!11 months ago

Please Help me , My problem is that how to connect coaxial cable to router. I made the antenna with a long piece of plastic. I plan to connect it via coaxial RG-6 F to my router because SMA and N type connectors are not available in my place. I also made a balun with folded coaxial (like a horseshoe) so that the impedance mismatch may be rectified. My router has a fixed antenna( photo attached).The router has only one antenna solder point but the coaxial have central wire and outer braiding. Do I need to connect both or only the central element. Any help would be appreciated.

Jackzuky1 year ago

wait so your not supose to connect any of the other paper clips

Jackzuky1 year ago

thanks your a life saver

michi1 year ago
Please provide better pictures, I can see absolutely nothing here...: Step 7: Connect the Antenna to the Wifi Modem, first picture. Which wire goes were?
michi1 year ago
I did built this antenna, but it does not work. There is absolutely no gain. Instead it is worse then before.
It is also not clear how you need to solder the antenna to the board. One wire, two wires?
brian-kn2 years ago
Hi Having made the antenna how or what do i need to connect it to my laptop to increase the extra antenna power, Kind Regards Brian UK
brian-kn2 years ago
Hi, I thank you very much for the reply about the antenna wiring it is more clear now that you have explained, Kind Regards Brian UK
brian-kn2 years ago
Hi can the wires from the yagi antenna be connected with the wires in a a usb connecter and connect directly into my laptop. kind regards brian
If you mean just soldering a USB connector on to the feedline for this antenna, no, that won't work. You still need something to handle the actual generation and reception of the wireless signal.

However, if you mean connecting the antenna to a USB wireless adaptor, that's possible, provided you connect the feedline from the antenna to the antenna connector on the wireless adaptor. If the adaptro doesn't have one, you'd have to tear it apart and find where the internal antenna was connected.
popefelix2 years ago
If you mean just soldering a USB connector on to the feedline for this antenna, no, that won't work. You still need something to handle the actual generation and reception of the wireless signal.

However, if you mean connecting the antenna to a USB wireless adaptor, that's possible, provided you connect the feedline from the antenna to the antenna connector on the wireless adaptor. If the adaptro doesn't have one, you'd have to tear it apart and find where the internal antenna was connected.
Can i use a wire if so what is the diameter. Thank you
Biotele (author)  sololife.sai3 years ago
Of course, it has to be stiff and solid. I don't think it has to be exactly a certain diameter. Maybe someone with antenna theory can enlighten us further.
Dr.Bill Biotele2 years ago
I think a larger diameter wire will result in a larger bandwith antenna.
For a router with 2 antennas, why not build 2 yagi's and stack them?
A stacked phased array just like the EME array's for moon bounce.

I have a major problems that needs solving quick: how exactly do i connect the driven element to the antenna? as you can see, the antenna boom is missing the element, because i popped in my original antenna with the usb card, and worked fine, but not the strongest signal. why didnt it work with the copper wire? because i just took the 2 wires coming off my board, and put them on each end of the element, completely skipping the original antenna? how is the wiring diagram? any help would be greatly appreciated, as im bored of trying to get around the schools internet filter, with this i can mooch off of someone elses:D
estefan20202 years ago
here is a matching using a piece of coax to get the 300ohm down to 50ohm
estefan20202 years ago
@kiranrpatil01 if your phone has an external wifi jack, or you plan on opening ypur phone and soldering some lmr-400 cable to your phone and have a 2ft antenna attached, go for it.
estefan20202 years ago
here is an online yagi calc for 2.437 ghz, gives more options
chrislarkin3 years ago
it did not work because you were completing the circuit at the end of the coaxial cable stopping the signal from traveling through your antena
if this was dc theory, yes, but this is ac theory. the driver element acts much like a loop. just like the old circle uhf antenna, this way is called a folded loop, when the folds are the same distance. dc looks like a short, ac does not.

here is another yagi folded antenna with aproprate matching cable for 50 ohms.

if you need a wifi with detachable antenna, alfa on fleebay is a good choice
estefan20202 years ago
I would suggest ether placing glue on your sticks and let it dry, or using plastic wrap around the sticks. this will prevent moisture from the wood interfiering with the antenna.
is there any danger by using it ,like licence for WiFi and can it be connected to android mobile to access internet?
estefan20202 years ago
for cable ebay 'rp-sma lmr 400' 3ft 1mcable $13 this is the only thing you don't want to skimp on, as it is for these frequency's cable signal loss can eat up the gain.

you can get 'RP-SMA male flange' and connect your antenna to your usb antenna adapters jack, and avoid the cable loss. just mount the driver element so it hooks up at the bottom instead of the top.

frankortega3 years ago
I found a company and there antenna are not too expensive, I try to build
two type of antenna in (easybuild2.4 GHz), but still lacking some imformation, and its end up lossing my time, need more information,kind ofcable,connector,and how long
the maximum leght of the cable.

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Biotele (author)  frankortega3 years ago
I don't understand your question. You build this antenna but you can't connect it to the usn wifi receiver? Can you post a picture of what you build so far? Thanks.
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