Turn your standard WIFI antenna into one just like the $30 range extender antennas for about 5 cents! Follow these easy steps, and then check out the video if you need extra clarification. Digg if you like my very first Instructable.
Step 1: Remove the top of your stock WIFI antenna.
A small flat jeweler's screwdriver works great!
Step 2: We're going to match the Range Extender layout form as you see here.
You'll need: small gauge solid copper wire, insulated or non-insulated, and a wood screw/drywall screw, measuring tape or ruler, and a soldering iron.
Step 3: Measure off 2 3/4" of your wire and make a small bend.
Then, starting with the bend, use the grooves of the drywall screw as a template and make 7 COMPLETE loops, then bend the wire flush to the screw after the sevenh loop. just unscrew the drywall screw to remove it from the wire.
Step 4: Measure off 3/4" from the end of the coil and cut.
Then strip off 1/8" of the insulation or sand off 1/8" of the coating on non-insulated wire (depending on what you're using).
Step 5: Cut down your stock antenna to 1/4"
And then strip off 1/8" of the insulation.
Step 6: Solder the new antenna onto your cut down and stripped stock antenna.
Overlap all the bare wire from the stock antenna base and the new antenna.
Step 7: Use a large diameter drinking straw and slide it over the new antenna.
McD's has them... they're slightly larger diameter than a regular drinking straw. I think they're for shakes, etc.
Step 8: The straw fits perfectly and snugly on stock WIFI antenna bases.
Amazingly, you don't even have to glue them. It's a match made in heaven! Use a black permanent marker or paint for a pro look...
Step 9: All Done!
Looks pretty good! You get a more omni-directional output (less fiddling with exact antenna placement) and approx. 5 dB gain. It works REALLY well on both your wireless cards and routers. See my video to see the results, and Digg this if you like my very first Instructable! 8D