Instructables
Picture of Mobile wifi antenna
Turn a external usb antenna into a mobile wifi antenna to get a better wifi signal. I work approximately 24 hours from my vehicle each week. I use my laptop while in my vehicle to access public wifi. My internal wifi antenna on my laptop computer does not get a good wifi signal. I purchased an external usb wifi antenna which gave me better range. I decided to modify this antenna so that I could mount the antenna on the roof of my truck. I saw a big difference in my wifi signal when I mounted the antenna on the roof of my truck.



Parts List

Radio Shack project box $3.99

2 ceramic magnets - (Lowes) $2.73

Gorilla Tape - (Wal-Mart) $4.65

J B Weld epoxy - (Wal-mart) $6.46

10 foot USB 2.0 A Male to A Female (I made my own) * if you solder the cable to the usb adapter your project box can be smaller.

mini USB Lan adapter antenna $10.00 - (Newegg.com)

model # 159-99054-04-001

Item # 951A1PK0NG9085





Tools needed

Drimel or file

Drill





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Step 1: Mobile wifi antenna

Picture of Mobile wifi antenna
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Drill a small hole in one end of the project box for the external antenna. Take your dremel or file and cut a slot in the other end of the box for the usb cable to exit. Insert the wireless Lan card into the box and screw on the antenna. Plug in the usb cable and run it out the back of the box. Secure the top of the box with the included 4 screws.

Step 2:

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Cover all sides of the magnets except the bottom with Gorilla Tape.  This tape will protect your vehicle from getting scratched by the magnets. JB Weld epoxy the magnets to the project box. I put the magnets on the screw side of the box, this will prevent rain from entering the screw holes.

Step 3: Mobile wifi antenna

Picture of Mobile wifi antenna
Place the antenna on top of your vehicle and plug the usb cable into your laptop computer for great wifi range.



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cgosh1 year ago
There's a small photo of the wi-fi adapter in Step 1. This is a slightly unusual model that has a USB connection on one end, and an antenna on the other end. Most USB wi-fi adapters don't have an external antenna. If you already have one of the simpler adapters, give it a shot. Just putting it outside your vehicle can only help.

If it's not raining, you could even forget the box and magnets, since you'll be parked anyway. All you need is the USB wi-fi adapter and a special "USB Male A to Female A cable." Ordinary cables are Male A (rectangular) to Male B (square).
cgosh1 year ago
Typically, for wi-fi, "higher" is not as important as an unobstructed path (going through glass isn't too bad, going through fog or moisture is very bad), so getting above the other cars in the lot is important. Going a little lower might still put you above the cars, but under the brick and through the glass of the building. A larger antenna element is usually better, as long as it's for the correct frequency. For example, an old rooftop TV antenna is big, but is tuned for the wrong radio frequency. Pointing the antenna/signal in the right direction (try a 90-degree angle) is also a biggie. Try horizontal and vertical orientations to match the public router's antenna. Keep notes for your next visit.

The metal of your vehicle tends to act as a ground plane that reflects (focuses) the signal away from it. Think of it as a mirror behind the antenna. Therefore, if the public wi-fi router is directly ahead of your vehicle, having the antenna mounted on the hood could be better than if it were on the trunk. Putting it in front of the radiator might turn out to be the best of all if there are no obstructions. Your mileage may vary. Install a wi-fi signal analyzer app to get better resolution about your signal strength.

If the signal cable is USB with a USB wi-fi adapter on the far end, 15 feet is the maximum recommended length without special extension devices. Wherever a coaxial cable is carrying the actual signal (round connectors instead of rectangular), any length will "work," but the shorter the better.
ROD917 (author) 1 year ago
Billrose, that is correct you will improve your signal by mounting the antenna up high.
Billrose1 year ago
So if I want to improve my wifi signal just get an antenna and mount it high and use a usb cable from the antenna to the laptop?? or am I on the wrong 'wavelength'
Nice! I use panel antenna with tp-link 722n and it works great for 1Km range.
dana-dxb1 year ago
can that work in a big hours ?
ROD917 (author)  dana-dxb1 year ago
Yes it will work in a big house. I suggest if you are in a big house or a small house you should always put your router in the middle of the house.This will give you the best coverage for the whole house.
thanx for the fast reply ill as you say thanx agian