Picture of The Wireless Internet Cantenna gets Dished
I just built this Cantenna, and I must have an addiction to the internet or something because I'm hot-rodding the poor thing.

In this, I describe how I use the Cantenna and add it to an old satellite dish.

First, you must have a Cantenna. If necessary, search for that on this site or in google.

Then, you need an old satellite dish. It might not be like the one I use here, so take a look at: This primestar has an easy to use feed arm. I had to improvise a method of mounting the can, because the arm on my dish doesn't go all the way to the feed-point area.

Tools were just a couple wrenches to re-configure the dish, a phillips screwdriver to rip apart the old lnb's, a utility knife and a roll of electrical tape. Oh, and an ink pen.
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Step 1: What the cat drug in

Picture of What the cat drug in
So I decide to build this, I drop by a friends place and grab his old dish and drive up to the shooting range. Now to see just what exactly I'm going to be dealing with.

There's a pair of LNB's on a y-adapter. The y-adapter is a two-piece clamshell plastic affair that looks rather doubtful. It looks like I'm going to have to add something to get from the arm to where the cantenna is going to go. Oh well, I'm feeling determined at this point. Besides, if I tear it apart enough, maybe something will inspire me. It's happened before
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cezar118 days ago

hello i need help please, i did everything that you said and it does not work for me, what am i doing wrong? firstly i attached my wireless USB adaptor to feed arm and position it in all directions but did not work and then i used the woods like you did in the pictures but nothing worked for me, i use very short USB cable for testing right now, once i make it work i will use longer cable, we have many wireless networks around my house, i can only see 1 wireless network and sometimes i see 2 or 3 but they all with weak signal except one my close neighbors, i saw a video where the guy were seeing maybe 8 or more networks using this method, so can you please advice me what to do? any help would be really appreciated, thank you for sharing.

Shadetree Engineer (author)  cezar118 days ago

First off, I can't recommend anything that involves accessing the wifi signal of someone who does not know what you are attempting. My opinion regarding your USB wireless adapter should at all times be considered secondary to the opinion of the neighbor you wish to connect to. So my first bit of advice is to talk to the neighbor with the strongest signal and ask them for help with setting up a wireless connection to their network. I think they will be better able to assess the situation than myself. For example, they could give your setup a closeup visual inspection which may locate any obvious mistakes that I may not think of asking about. If you are not able to talk to them first about this, then maybe you should consider a different method of connecting out to the internet?

you misunderstand me my dear, i did not feel comfortable from your comment! what you think i'm theft? i'm not trying to steal from someone! what i'm trying to do is i want to connect to my brother house WIFI who live 3 blocks away, i'm not trying to connect to any neighbor's but what i said in my first post that i can only see 1 strong signal from my neighbor's which means that the thing i made doesn't really work, i suppose to see more wireless network if the signal is strong! right?! i can't see my brother WIFI signal, or any other signals, we also have few OPEN PUBLIC WIFI shops here around my house but i can't see none of them from my house. so please if you have positive and helpful comment to say to me that's would be great, otherwise please don't reply
Shadetree Engineer (author)  cezar117 days ago

I do not mean to accuse the innocent, but you did not mention your brother at first. I would help you to setup a legitimate connection, but you should send me a private message about this matter. I've been occupied with other hobbies and haven't really been on this instructables site in a while. I'm changing my posts here, as no matter how law abiding you are, there can easily be others who will read all this and use what I have done for illegal activities. So I will be deleting this instructable in another day or so.

wlambeth1 year ago
i have a question, if anybody can answer it please use the proper knowledge-base for the topic: i'm in the process of helping create a reliable network connection other than satellite or cell towers, i've found out how to create a satellite wifi setup, i run into a couple of issues, one is it is usb and is limited to 16 ft, i need to broadcast the signal several miles with line-of-sight, and theres lots of trees in the area, of up to 50+ ft tall and a good distance away from the house, i figured if a natual issue happens i could use a usb male to female adapter that connects into a 2.0 usb to ethernet adapter, which connects into a 100 ft cat5 cable, then i run into 2 issues one is that the tree maybe not 100% stable because of the bugs here which eat up pines & my second concern is the connection between the usb wifi adapter thats placed in the cantenna thats attached to the dish to broadcast several dbs (100s of miles might be needed for good source of network), i may need 20-60 dbs for this to work properly, but.. will the connection have issues if im using a adapter through to cat5 and back to usb to pc, can ethernet port be used instead of using 2 adapters on each end, meaning can i convert the usb to ethernet, then plug into the pc or do i need 2 adapters. question 2; if i choose to not post it uptop the tree, and use pbs piping to go straight up from a nearby location and secure it for making adjustments by cementing the base into the ground then putting the wifi dish uptop for fine tunning and secure it, would it work good or...what not, im posting this same message in several places to find help, if you can assist please message me on facebook "" or by email "" , thanks.
Now maybe I like to make things that have been over-killed but I was thinking if I used a 10 foot dish with a 4 foot yagi attached to the cantenna and then just as an added bonus to add a 180 db gain amp.

Could I get signal from over the horizon?

Now mind you I was just thinking, which gets me into trouble a lot of the time with my wife. But could this work?
This is a picture of what I am talking about. I think that it looks like a cross between a 50 cal. machine gun and a Star wars laser canon
Parabolic Yagi.jpg
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I don't understand what you mean by a "Hot Element"

I also am not sure if my picture explained it or not but I was thinking that the dish would have a broader area to receive a signal and then reflect the signal at its focal point to the yagi in hopes that it could be a bit less of pin point aiming in the direction of a tower.

Now I was only thinking that if any one of the components were able to boost the signal strength then maybe it would do a lot better if I used all of them into one unit.

On another note would it work if I used the cantenna at the back of the dish with a shorter yagi extending outward?

I am good at building stuff like computers and designing boats and I put together some really weird things that do seem to work.
But I don't understand the math that is involved with wave forms, in fact I am pretty poor when it comes to math.
So please bare with me if I seem a bit mentally challenged But I do work at trying to figure this all out.

Thank you very much for your feed back.
hhamer3 years ago
What is the range of that:?
dflores33 years ago
What about using a more old antenna, the first ones, does improve the range? (you know the big first ones)
This is my work in progress . still need to make the biquad antenna tip . and the umbrella text is shoped but the logo is painted and finished
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thanks ...the text is gunna say Umbrella corp. ...from resident evil .but i cant figure how to stencil it the right way ...and a fractal sounds cool but i wouldnt have a clue how to tune it to 2.4gh. good idea though
cut the stencil in cardstock, spray it onto contact paper and cut it again. stick to dish spray and peel. for 2 colors you need 2 stencils, registration marks help as well.
Saturn V4 years ago
I looked at this just because of the title. Love it!!!!!
Shadetree Engineer (author)  Saturn V4 years ago
lane294 years ago
i just switched to dish aand they left me with a older one great idea
Gathrax5 years ago
Wow, i just found this site and posted a similar project, though mine is crude and built with no knowledge of how it works, just knowing it does. I guess i should have checked to make sure there were no similar posts already. Good job on this though, im going to do some research and rethink my design.
sal8765 years ago has a few good tutorials on making these type's of antennas
H3xx5 years ago
I really like your idea to reformat the structure of your dish. Naturally, satellite dishes are designed to project all of the devices waves straight up to the satellite in space. turning the dish upside down, in my opinion, is brilliant! Not only does your dish point in the right direction, but it also makes it more compact and usable! Bravo!
Shadetree Engineer (author)  H3xx5 years ago
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Well if were designed to be perfect, it would probably be too good to be true. I'm going to use my dish to increase my cell signal. I get my internet through tethering with my phone, because I live in a pretty rural area. Not a lot of wifi connections around, and the few that are, are secured. So I'm going to try and find which direction gives the best signal and mount it in that direction. Wish me luck on that goose chase! ;)
Skeletel6 years ago
Can you make this thing wireless so that it Transmits to your house so that you can surf the web in your bedroom? And how many miles will it detect the WiFi signals for?
I have one of these set up inside my house and recieve signal from a site 6 miles away. it appears to have a -30dbm gain. Not too shabby for some scrap parts! I have seen articles where folks were using 2 home cordless telephones and linking them via two surplus 10' C-band dishes and they had a range LOS (Line of Sight) of 125 miles. You can also make one heck od a "Big Ear" listening device by placing a mic in the focal point. Even though the dish is mesh you'll get respectable amplification, but a replacing the mesh making it solid or placing foil or saran wrap, I know it sounds screwy or clear shipping tape, or my personal favorite, "The Handyman's Secret Weapon...DUCT TAPE!" on the mesh this will give a solid surface to reflect from as far as sound is concerned. It can also be used as a GIANT speaker where you could place one of those Pest eliminators in the focal point and move some rodents and any thing else that has sensitivity to high frequency sound. I watch way too much Red Green.
Hi Foxtrot70, Could you tell me where did you read that article where folks use 2 home cordless phone and 2 10` c-band dish to make a link of around 125 miles from each other,do they use any can with the adaptor, any yagi antenna can you explain a little or or can you give please give us the link...I m pretty interested thanks for your patient
Hi Marigo

Try this link, It was the DEFCON WiFi Shootout
Shadetree Engineer (author)  Foxtrot706 years ago
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Hmmm...I do have a spare Amana Microwave oven this has possibilities!
Shadetree Engineer (author)  Skeletel6 years ago
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Oh well.(Shrug)Thanks anyway!
If you build up the dish antenna it will get a gain of about 30db, then go to this site and purchase the inside dome antenna P/N: CM222 on sale cost $38.95 this should work for you. It works on 2 bands 806-900mhz and 1700-2500mhz with a gain of 3db. Do not place the dome antenna in front of the dish antenna the signal will produce feed back ringing, if an amplifier is in the line this will cause damage to the amp. If the signal is still weak you will need to purchase an in line amplifier. Again go to Primecellular and look for wireless amplifiers for buildings. WARNING!!! Try the dish inside first. Keep in mind when you mount your dish antenna on the outside of your house or apt. you will need to earth ground the antenna mast and the antenna coax line failure to do this WILL result in lightening damage of the amplifier and also your house! Hope this helps.
I have just taken the LNB's out of a Dish Network 500 dish and used the gray shroud as a form and placed a bowtie antenna within with 2 ranges 2.4 Ghz and 1.9 Ghz. Again this unit is in my home office about 8' off the ground and shooting thru a 6" frame wall and the signal increases from -124dbm to -89dbm, now if I were to mount this on my roof it would have direct line of sight, should improve a little...LOL A LOT!
cx420ns5 years ago
ahhh you rule, i'm too poor for the net right now, had to get it cut off last month. i can pick up one bar on a router somewhere nearby but it's not enough to connect. i will have to do this very soon.
Gamer9175 years ago
Finally i can get free internet connection anywhere in a city (So many cafes w/ free wifi)
Looking at your side on photo, if that is how you actually direct the dish the 'beam' it is receiving is about 20 degrees below the horizon. As its an offset dish (oval) its designed to collect the signal without being interfered with by the feed. Best way to check is to look at the dish from its tagrget and have someone tip it back to the sweet spot, thats when the oval shape appears to form a circle - you are then directly in its beam!! Hope that makes sense, and if you already knew all that sorry again.
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Heres a question. What would happen if you put the feed smack bang central?? I know you would get losses from blocking but would the 'beam' be straight or would the beam converge to a point?? Is there a simulator that could show this?
Would this work for boosting a signal to receive wireless from a cell provider like Sprint or AT&T. Currently I have HughesNET and it is terrible.
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