10 $ WIFI 16dBi Super Antenna Pictorial




In this pictorial I'm showing you how to make a 16dBi very powerful wifi antenna for under 10 dollars. I've already posted a movie about this but a lot of people asked or a pictorial, so I've made another one so I could make pictures.

Step 1: Materials Needed

This picture shows you what you need.

A 12x12cm brass, copper or tinned metal plate, a BNC chassis connector, a BNC cable connector, 35mm thick PE or styrofoam (can also be thicker) and some 1.5mm2 single core wire. This stuff is used in the netherlands in 220V in house cabling.

Other possible materials:
I can imagine that people want to use other materials, like a pipe to mount the antenna wire on. If you could get a pipe with roughly a 35mm diameter, you can use that IF the material is good for radiowaves. There is a very simple way to find out. Place a piece of styrofoam in your microwave, together with a piece of the material you want to use. Turn on the microwave for 30 seconds. Stop the microwave immedeately if you see the other material melt. Now check out how warm the other material is, if it's not warmer, or a little warmer than the styrofoam, you have found suitable material, if it has melted or is very hot,that you're dealing with lossy material which absorbes microwave radiation and turns it into heat, this material is useless for making high performance antenna's. This trick works so well because the WIFI band is at 2.45GHz and microwaves also radiate at that frequency, so it's a perfect test. Some very good materials are PE tubes, teflon tubes (if you can afford them) and PolyProlylene tubes.

Step 2: Mount the BNC Connector to the Plate

Find the center of the plate by drawing lines between the corners and make a mark 20mm from the center. Drill a hole in the plate at that point that is big enough to fit the center conductor and its isolation. After drilling, you can put the connector in the whole, mark the 4 fixing holes, drill them and mount the connector using small bolts.

Step 3: Cut the PE or Styrofoam

We need to cut 3 pieces of PE foam or styrofoam. PE foam is often used to protect computer or measurment or other sensitive equipment during transport it should be easy to get when asking around if you don't have it yourself. Styrofoam is even easier to get, but a little harder to work on. Styrofoam can be bought at DIY stores as a standard isolation material for houses.

We need to cut two 12x12 centimeter squares that are 3.5cm thick. A 3.5x3.5cm hole must be made in the middle of the squares. We also need to cut a 46cm long beam that is 3.5x3.5cm square. The beam should fit snugly in the 2 squares we've already made.

Step 4: Mark the Beam and Wind the Antenna Wire

You must mark the beam every 3 centimeters. After doing that the 1.5mm2 wire can be stripped. The wire must be stripped since the isolation is not suitable for high frequency uses. It will be very lossy which means your antenna will have much less gain.

When the wire is stripped, it can be wound around the beam, exactly over the markings, in a nice equal spiral.

Step 5: Solder the Antenna Wire

This is a critical part.

The BNC connector has some insulation around it's central conductor. You must cut this until it is 1mm above the metal plate.

The copper wire must run at a height of 1mm above the plate over a length of 30mm before following the spiral shape. This is very important to tune the antenna's VSWR. A good VSWR basically means that the antenna is capable of 'absorbing' the radio waves coming from the wifi card instead of reflecting them back to the card.

Cutting the isolation of the connector helps you to get the right height when soldering the wire. You can place some tape below the copper wire on the plate to prevent short circuits. Since the wire is quite thick, it easily retains the shape you put it in. It is very important to cut the 1.5mm wire that is too long at the BNC connector. One side of this wire goes up into the spiral, the part sticking out at the other end must be cut close to the central pin of the connector. Leaving a part here will make the VSWR worse.

When the antenna wire is soldered to the connetor, we can push the squares down over the beam. This will hold the beam upright. As a last step, the squares are fixed to the plate with some tape.

Step 6: Connecting the Antenna to Your WIFI Card

There are multiple ways to connect it to your wlan card.

If you have a card with an external antenna, you can cut the wire, and mount a BNC connector to it that you can connect to the antenna.

If your wireless card has a connector, you can either buy a cable that fits in your card on one side and has a BNC connector on the other side, or buy a cheap external antenna, cut the wire and mount the connector yourself.

Instructions on how to mount a connector can always be found on the website of the manufacturer. Just make sure you know who made the connector when you buy one. There is one practical tip that is important to know. When soldering a connector, at some point you'll need to solder the center pin. This will always leave some solder on the outside of this pin preventing it from going into the connector housing. You have to 'suck' it away with some solder braid, after that it easily slides in.

When you've got a suitable cable, plug in the connector and give it a test run. You'll notice that you're able to receive much more accesspoint. In my case I got 3 times as many accesspoints. Some people who saw the movie about this antenna on Metacafe made one and they were very enthousiastic about the results.

Step 7: Results:16dBi Antenna Picks Up 21 Ap's Instead of 7 With the Original Antenna!

When using this antenna, you should be aware that this antenna has a lot of gain, but because of that, a narrow beam in which it has that gain. In other words, you have to aim it.

The 2 pictures show the number of accesspoints picked up with a normal antenna that comes with the wifi card, and with the 16dBi antenna after scanning it over 180 degrees. I didn't expect any accesspoints behind me so I didn't scan that, allthough I can't be sure of that. Anyway, you can see the new antenna picks up 21 accesspoints instead of 7!



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    153 Discussions


    5 months ago on Step 1


    Is there a drawback in using 2,5mm2 instead of 1,5?

    Thank You.


    Question 1 year ago on Introduction

    I have some questions about this. Firstly, how is the amount of wraps determined? Secondly, would putting a cone at the base allow the amplifier to grab from everywhere instead of being pointed? The end goal is to put an antenna together for a mifi with a dbi gain of 25+dbi since it'll be used overseas.


    1 year ago

    Hi, very interesting project. Could you help how to build a directional bi-polar mimo antenna for 3.5GHz? It is a frequency used at some point for wimax. I have internet provider working on this band and signal is absolutely rubbish. Antennas on the market are 50 EUR the cheapest. But I wonder If I can make one myself. Thank you in advance,


    Varen Greycloak

    2 years ago

    how would I go about adapting the BNC connecter to Ethernet or USB?


    2 years ago

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10
    My address is as follows?<> antoniousjohanes.salij@gmail.com


    Item title <> High Gain 24dBi 5.8G 300M WIFI ISM FPV Wireless Parabolic MIMO Antenna 2N Female ( trying to purchase this on eBay?)

    I need to get a directional antenna booster to increase reception from a tower 10.5 kilometres away as it in in the city, l’m in an outside that city living in a dead spot for receiving my 4G and 5G signals for my Telstra “Nighthawk 4g X WiFi receiver Modem” It can receive 5G band as well and the best speeds can be obtained with this WiFi receiver/transmitter (Can deliver to 20 devices) l have tried most things with little result?
    However l made an offer to someone supplying the ABOVE antenna that he wanted to sell for $159.00 USD. I made and offer on his eBay sale page for an $80.00USD which equates to the equivalent of $110.00 AUD (Australian dollars?) Now my question is should l withdraw my offer as i have only 10 hours left to do so?
    Because it says it is also a WiFi transmitter ( for the purpose of networking from “P 2 P” “POINT TO POINT” ) which means how can l use it to boost my WiFi Modem without connecting it directly or can it send a signal to my modem and if it could act like a repeater ????

    MY thought is <>“lt cannot do this?” <> so it is crucial l cancel this offer ASAP to save myself the commitment or l will get BAD CREDIT FROM eBay account?
    Your opinion would help me overcome my indecision and doubts?

    Or can l go ahead with the purchase and somehow by-pass the WiFi access and use it as a usual antenna booster because l believe it can pull the proper signal power l require to use for my business trading on the stock exchange?
    Cannot afford any unnecessary “latency” due to bad reception or “PING’’ delays?

    So far my other OPTUS MODEM gets 21ms delay or sometimes more? But modem is totally unreliable for using this to trade with?

    My need to get this “Telstra Nighthawk 4G X” modem<> ( it is rated 10 times faster than the Optus modem?) l need this up and working ASAP is now extremely important to me?
    I’m losing a $1000.00 AUD per day income and l’m only starting to trade as l want to get off the pension at 66 years old retired to boot?
    Can it be converted or used to suit my purpose? And be able to advice me on the HOW?
    Can you advice me with your reply within the next few hours or l might as well cancel this offer which is half his going price and a good deal for me if he accepts my offer of $80.00 USD?
    Thank you in advance?
    Your newbie subscriber TONY SALIJ?


    3 years ago

    This is circular polirised? wouldnt the antenna on the modem and pc need to be changed to circular porized aswell?

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    When you attempt to transmit with a vertical antenna and receive with a horizontal antenna via line of sight, there is about a 30db polarization mismatch loss. The circular polarization on one of the antennas takes care of that. It has almost equal polarization in both horizontal and vertical planes, so the other antenna can be either V, H, or Circ. The measure of the quality of that circular polarization is called axial ratio. Satellites tend to "tumble" and their vertical antennas can be either vertical, horizontal or "in between", earth stations tend to use circular polarized antennas to provide optimum service.



    11 years ago on Step 6

    I made this antenna. I connected it with about 4' of TV cable and had no improvement altogether. Then I changed TV Cable to CAT 5e (by cutting the connectors off and soldering one end to antenna and another to my card's external antenna. That action killed the signal altogether and now I'm w/o Wi-Fi - thus w/o internet!

    7 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    my friend, you MUST ONLY use a coax feed line thats rated at 50 ohms. TV cable (rg-59 or rg-6 etc) is rated at 75 ohm. CAT 5e? different types of data cables have ratings of 300ohm, 600ohm & some at 150ohm. but cat 5-5e & cat6-6a are typically considered 100ohm. however, (real world) a UTP pair will give you less than 10ohms for approx 100m. either way, those options were destined to failure. The use of CAT5e to feed an antenna at 2400mhz+ probably resulted in nearly ZERO emission from the antenna at all. Instead, the CAT5e became the antenna itself. but was incredibly mismatched, (a) resistance of 10ohms instead of 50ohms & (b) length of wire certainly wasnt tuned to a 2.4Ghz wavelength.This probably caused all the RF energy to build severe standing-wave & reflect everything back into the output circuit..... POP! [smoke exits device, etc.]

    dont be discouraged. i've done worse to a $300,000 FM transmitter (i didnt really like that job anyway. but the competing stations LOVED me )

    keep experimenting (but read first),



    Reply 3 years ago

    "but cat 5-5e & cat6-6a are typically considered 100ohm. however, (real world) a UTP pair will give you less than 10ohms for approx 100m"

    Cat 5-5e, at 100 mhz is rated at 100 ohms impedance (different than pure resistance <10 ohm/100m ) Note that impedance results from inductive and capacitive reactance at a particular frequency versus resistance that depends length on cross section. Although, at high frequencies, skin effect can effectively reduce a conductors cross section, but impedence is still different than resistance.


    Reply 4 years ago on Step 6

    i burned out at least 3 cards before learning always ground yourself to something via speaker wire or buy one at radio shack $5. your wifi card is not built to last. try again or give up . done correctly this antenna is the preferred design for wardriving. in moms basement a simple dipole with a parabolic reflector cant be beat.. .


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 6

    Good call haha
    but yer friends house
    also amazing project but how well will this work through 4ft of stone and a distance of around 30ft? (i have a art studio with no phone socket in case your wondering)


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    You need to use coax cable that is rated for WIFI. At the frequency that WIFI operates (2.4 GHz), the signal loss is very high, and the longer the cable between the antenna and the wireless card, the worse the signal loss. Cable that is rated for WIFI is more expensive, but it's the only real way you'll get the signal from your antenna to the wireless card. It's worth the money spent.


    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    As he is receiving a signal from Pijnacker, it is most likely the Netherlands so I guess Dutch.
    His Antenna can't be that good that he is receiving Pijnacker all the way in Wisconsin