Bill of Materials:
Two milo tins or similar
F-Type chassie mount
Pig tale for F to Sma
Short piece of copper wire
Original content avaliable at BudgetHack.com
Step 1: DIY Wifi Extender - Preparing the Cans
Now you can build your cantenna with just one tin but chances are you wont meet the suggested overall minimum 3/4 wave length required when using the centenna calculator. So first thing to do is go to the cantenna calculator and enter the diameter of the opening of your can in mm. You will see the overall length on the can down the bottom, if your single can is too short then you will need to use two, Don’t worry if you a little over or under length but it should be fairly close.
Alright then what we want to do is remove the top of one can and the bottom of the other. Once you have done this on the can with the top removed cut out a small strip approx 10mm across and 15mm down the can. Then we are going to use this slit so we can push one can inside the other, The can with the slit will deform slightly but don’t worry about it at this point.
Step 2: DIY Wifi Extender - Joining Cans
Next we need to heat up our soldering iron as we are going to solder these cans together, You want your iron HOT I put mine on around 400 C and this seemed to work great. First thing is to tack the can in place with a few small solder joints then make sure your cans are straight and run a good solder bead all the way around.
Step 3: DIY Wifi Extender - Finishing Edges
Once the solder joint cools you will see the inside of the can is a bit raggard and raised. For this I just got a large socket on the end of an extension bar and used it to hammer the raised edge down, with a bit of work you can get the inside of the can fairly flat.
Step 4: DIY Wifi Extender - Main Element
Next from your calculator measurement find the height of your main element, Cut a piece of copper wire this length and solder to the top of the f-type connector as shown below.
Step 5: DIY Wifi Extender - Attaching Main Element
Last thing to do is have a look at your calculations again you can see the distance the element should be from the back of the can, measure this out on the can and drill a hole big enough for it to go through. Once the mount is in place go around and fully solder it to the can like in the image below.
At this point you have a working cantenna , Connect your piggy tail between it and your wifi card and you are good to go. Remember this is a directional antenna so it needs to be point in the direction of the AP your trying to connect to.
(Note: Some people have advised they had trouble finding the pigtales and connector’s so I’m trying to locate a bunch so I can make them available on BudgetHack.com)
Step 6: DIY Wifi Extender - the Stand
Now what about this stand business, this really was me just mucking about but it turned out to be quiet useful.
What you want to do is take the bottom of the tin you cut off and cut three small triangles out of it evenly around its circumference, bend the remaning triangles down to make a sort of tripod shape. Then you want to bend them in the middle so the corner of each triangle touches then solder them together, now just solder it to the cantenna. This might seem a bit silly but it really helps when trying to point the antenna and it costs you nothing.
Alrighty your probibly wanting to know was it worth the effort well for me yes. I have not had a chance to do exensive testing, but from some basic testing it seems to be giving me a 15db increase over the stock d-link antenna which is certainly a massive increase for the minimal cost of the build.