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 .
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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

Hi - I think the greeen pad is the USB Wifi modem ?

Thanks to have details and possible suppliers



Can someone make a schematic? That would help us who need to visualize it.

Wazzupdoc3 years ago
I think the reason your original antenna hookup didn't work was the geometry of the driven element. For a clear explanation see http://makeprojects.com/Project/Homemade-Yagi-Antenna/623/1
She builds a larger Yagi, but the principles are the same. Neat ibble, though.
Biotele (author)  Wazzupdoc3 years ago
it is working with one wire driving the loop.

It would work better if you connected the ground plane of the antenna to the ground of the transceiver though the shield in the coax. It probably didn't work for you because you hooked it up to the wrong place on the loop.

sschoemann15 days ago

what people don't realize is the "cantenna", (pringles can antenna) is really just another Yagi, this one is an optimized antenna with different construction

Arduino4Me15 days ago

Thank you so much for sharing this!


pirobot6681 month 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.

"The diameter of the wire in the elements has a direct influence on the capacitance of the element" This translates in practice to wider bandwidth (the radio definition, not computer) especially at lower frequency , which is why TV antennas are made of tubing and not wire.

I built that BYCSHSPWE thingy but never could get any steam!!

racer28315 days ago

Can this be used in a wifi reciever?

Okay... yes it can.

If I could connect a second router as a wireless access point could I replace the antenna with this or is it just for recieving? This is all quite over my head but im pretty sure i could do the build something out of paper clips part. Ill have to read this all again more thoroughly later.

AnthonyS95 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

Your idea won't work. You will have to buy a repeater. But be aware that getting a better signal for a cell phone can be a difficult. The best thing for you to do, regardless of what country you live in would be to google Wilson Antennas and then call then and explain the situation.

The repeaters have several antenna options. You have to have two antennas . If there is only one cell tower in your area then you can use an omnidirectional antenna high and low. If there are two or more towers then you will need to install and orient a directional antenna to null all but one tower. Where you place these antennas will have a huge effect on your results.

A repeater system will not get you a strong signal. It may get you a signal that will work. Cell phones are incredible sensitive. If you can operate your cell phone reliably outside you should be able to get it inside with the repeater, but not necessarily in the whole house. The repeater will not get you a large operating area. Some say they will, but they are basing this on ideal situations witch do not exist outside a testing setup

If you buy a Wilson cell phone repeater and it doesn't work the chances are you have installed the wrong antennas or the antennas are in the wrong position. You are going to wind up paying $400-$500 US.

Oh, in the US the cell phone people managed to get law passed that says you have to tell them if you use a home repeater. They have no way to tell if you are unless you do tell them.

Don't expect too much. If you just need a good strong signal in one room then they usually work fine. If you want a strong signal everywhere in your house then they don't work so good. The key is the outside antenna. That weak signal that your cell phone won't work on, is also too weak to amplify. There is also the chance that the signal is so low that no antenna can pick it up. Most cell phones have a signal strength meter, open it and walk around your property. If you can't find at least a signal level below 110 db (lower is better) then the repeater won't work. You don't have to understand what a db is just that lower is better. If the signal fluctuates when standing still the repeater won't do you any good either. In other words if you can't find a place where your cell phone will work on it's own, then a repeater won't work either.

A repeater works by you being able to put it's outside antenna in a place where there is a signal (that will actually work with the bare cell phone) then amplifying that signal and redistributing it using another antenna. A weak but usable signal outside will get you a somewhat stronger signal inside. A strong signal outside will get you a good strong signal inside with wider coverage inside.

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.

MikeJ2015 days ago

looks like an old school TV antenna to me

XXXX3 MikeJ2015 days ago

That is a Yagi.

My problem is going through a wall and then a floor. I'm lucky to get 10mps from a 30mps connection. I'm using a D-Link DWA-130. It has an extension with a 45° angle base. It seems the best position is the face of the unit aimed toward the router in the basement. A bit of aiming and draping of wire is needed. Is it possible to build an aluminium foil bowl to focus or bounce the waves into my unit. Just a thought.

thegreekgeek5 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.

i read the annotations and i still didnt figure it out :-)

diy_bloke15 days ago

nice, but it is unclear to me wher you solder yr antenna. 'the active element of the strip antenna' and the 'driven element'
Ok the driven element is the round paperclip, but what is the 'active element'
and what do i solder on what? does the core go to the active element and the shielding to the driven element? or the other way around?

mdblocher15 days ago

Will Legal size paper be long enough?

For those with limited experience making antennas, and to keep from having to open up the WiFi router and soldering wires, it would be far easier to just get a USB gain antenna and connect it to your computer. You would have to install a software driver on the computer, but this might be easier for a lot of folks.

In one case the gain antenna is attached to the WiFi router and internal antenna on the computer, and in the other the gain antenna is used by the computer and the regular antenna is used by the router. There is no hardware modification to the computer, only software. And of the two antennas, the one in the computer is usually the weakest link. I have a usb antenna and when I use WiFi in my shop with the laptop the signal is very weak and intermittent. With the usb antenna connected the signal is 3-4 bars.

If you are trying to increase the range of several surveillance cams then the yagi on the WiFi router won't work anyway, since it is so directional it can only be pointed at one device. And to use it with your laptop you will have to use the laptop in only one direction. The direction the antenna is pointed towards. The usb antenna on the laptop on the other hand will allow you to change positions.

If you're trying to connect several surveillance devices through a router to a computer, it might be better to get a WiFi repeater(s). Then place them between the surveillance devices and the Wifi router. And then if the signal is still weak to a laptop location use either another repeater or a usb antenna. The usb antenna is usually cheaper.

If my humble opinion the best use of a high gain Yagi antenna is to steal a signal. Much easier to just drive a little closer. LOL

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?

The gain of a yagi does increase with additional elements, but cannot be increased much beyond about 17 db. So about 11 elements is max. Also there are multiple links giving the length of the elements and spacing, so it would be much easier to just cut the elements using a caliper and mark a ruler or other piece of beam material for the spacing and drill a hole slightly smaller than the elements and push them through. Using a printer to print the antenna is a little bit iffy. The beam can be almost anything, since the dipole elements have a null in the middle. They can be attached to a piece of stiff wire, but considering the size a plastic or wood ruler would be ready made. It's also ok to shorten the antenna by leaving off a few elements. A yagi with just 4 or 5 elements will likely be all that most folks need. Each additional element adds a diminishing increase in gain.

If you really want to maximize gain, make two, four or eight 11 element beams and phase them. Two phased together (parallel) doubles the gain, four quadruples and eight doubles the four.

Solid copper hookup wire stripped of the insulation would be easier to cut.

Why inkjet
aditya jindal2 months ago
Can I connect this antenna to my nrf24l01 module
ozerob5 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.

hamamam6 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 ReddyK7 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!1 year 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?
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