Weatherized Wireless Network Adapter Using a Water Bottle





Introduction: Weatherized Wireless Network Adapter Using a Water Bottle

While in Iraq, I used a water bottle to weatherize my wireless network adapter. It is a simple procedure, but it is very effective. Obviously, this instructable will be most useful to services men and women in the Middle East, but could also be useful in other situations.

My weatherized adapter survived the rainy season and the extremely hot summer as well as several dust and sand storms. I gave it to a friend when I left in November 2007, and I can only assume to it is still there. I made this one specifically to show how I did it.

DISCLAIMER: this instructable requires the use of a knife. Use it safely. I am not responsible if you injure yourself or damage any property while following my instructions. Also, the application is weather resistant, not weather proof. The wireless adapter may still become damaged by the elements. So, please use common sense.

Step 1: Materials and Tools Needed

The materials need for this project are as follows:

a wireless network adapter (I used a Linksys Wireless-G)
a USB cable (I would recommend at least 15 feet in length)
a used water bottle
a rool of 100-mile-an-hour tape or duct tape
(optional: paper or white paint and 550 cord)

The only tool need is a sharp knife. (If you have one, a Dremel tool would be useful as well).

Step 2: Get Cutting

Cut the bottle in half (Remember your knife safety). This is also a good time to dry it out. (Remember, you will be putting electronics in here to protect it from water, so it should be dry).

You will also need to cut the cap. If you bottle has a sport/sippy cap, cut out the post holding the mouth piece from the inside. Check to see if the end if the USB cable slides in easily. If not, you will need to carefully cut a slit in the tube on the top of the cap.

If your water bottle has a normal cap, place the knife point in the center of the cap. careful not to cut or stab yourself or anything else, push the knife down, creating a slit. Now, on on the edge across from that slit, make another slit that meets the first slit in the center. In the same manner, continue making slits until you can easily push the end of the USB cable through the cap.

With the USB cable through the cap, screw the cap on to the top of the bottle.

Step 3: Taping It Up

Wrap tape around the USB cable so that is thick enough that the cable will not pull out (This precaution should save you the head ache of the adapter becoming unplugged).

Now plug the USB cable to the wireless network adapter. If it has an external antenna like mine does, this would be the time to extend it.

NOTE:Most wireless network adapters do not deal well with extreme heat. For my Iraqi version, I rolled some paper, and placed it in the bottle around the wireless network adapter. The thought was that this might shield the wireless network adapter from some of the heat. It seemed to work ok, but I am sure that white paint on the outside would be more effective.

Place the top and bottom of the bottle together, encasing the wireless network adapter. Tape the two ends together, and continue wrapping the bottle on both sides of the seam to ensure that it is well sealed. Also tape the cap to the bottle and the cap to the USB cable.

Step 4: Finishing It Up

If you so choose, this is the time to paint you bottle white. Any weather resistant/proof white paint should do.

Follow the installation instructs for your particular wireless network adapter, if it has not already been installed.

In Iraq, I use 550 cord to hang my wireless network adapter just under the roof of my trailer. You could also mount it to a mast (broom sticks seem to work well), or hang it from a tree (good luck finding a tree in most parts of Iraq).

I just set this one on my front porch with my laptop.



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    24 Discussions

    Old comment...but 100 mph tape is a mil-spec tape. It's a raiting, not a brand name. It is similar to duct tape, but uses a stronger backing but with basicly the same adhesive. It's name comes from it supposedly being able to hold up to 100 mph winds, when used to patch tarps, tents or what ever. There is also 200mph, 600mph and 1000mph tapes. All with different backings and adhesives to give them their stronger rating. Most regular duct tape has a wind raiting of between 60-90mph so they are not the same tape. Those with the mil-spec raiting will say on the product that they are 100mph tape.

    This look pretty decent, I'm going to try this and does this pick up it's own Wi-Fi or somebody else's Wi-Fi.

    The wifi adapter in a close bottle,i don't think its a good idea in summer to proof water.anyway,the temp. is very high,when it works

    1 reply

    It worked just fine in the 120+ F summer of Iraq. Waterproofing also protects against sand and dust.

    Under what circumstances would you need to weatherproof your wireless router but not your laptop itself... o__O

    4 replies

    Well, in Iraq the wireless signal is very weak inside the trailer in which the service members and civilian contractors live. Since wireless connections are all that they have, one needs a weatherized adapter. RVs and travel trailers may encounter similar problems. Honestly, this is mostly for the troops, but maybe someone could make an Instructable about weatherizing a laptop.

     2 words: tough book best computer ever completely indestructable. The only thing it couldn't withstand was a bullet from point blank range. Oddly enough it held together sitting on a few pounds of dynamite.....

    Yes tough books are great, but unless you plan to sit on your porch to get wifi in Iraq, you'll still need something like this. I must say I firmly believe a tough book could survive being used outside during a sandstorm; even so, I would rather be inside.


    you could get even more sun protection lining with a mylar chip bag, shiny side out, though they also make pretty good emf shielding so don't go all the way around, just put it on the sunward side of the bottle. foil or metallic paint (on half the inside) might work too. the shade material could be installed on a well ventilated 2L bottle which encloses the smaller one the way it encapsulates the adaptor, but maybe that is adding too much weight and bulk.

    3 replies

    thats a nice idea but with base security stuff there a small reflective bottle just screams come harrass me

    the reflector wouldn't have to be the outermost layer to do some good, that could be a light coloured paper with the mylar or foil inside/behind it.

    We never had any problems at Camp Victory, but mat white paint would also make it so it isn't shiny.

    So wait, does this adapter work anywhere in the world or only when wireless networks are in range?

    Nice! Just so you know, I should be your favorite sister because I voted for you!