How to Get Wifi From 4 KM or 2.5 Miles Away!!! UPDATED FOR FASTER SPEEDS!!!!

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Intro: How to Get Wifi From 4 KM or 2.5 Miles Away!!! UPDATED FOR FASTER SPEEDS!!!!

It has been years since I put this post up and I really appreciate all of the input and interest that you all have had in this project!

After research and development we have found ways to make this work EVEN BETTER.

You know what we need? MORE POWER!
Enter: The Binford 31000 Series Unidirectional Based High Power Wireless (Tim Allen grunt here) With easy aim led indicators! (LOUDER GRUNT!) That can be placed up to 328 feet away from where you need it via ethernet cable!

OH YEA! (Kool Aide man comes through the wall)
Can you tell I was a 90's kid?

ANYWAYS ON TO THE GOODS! (it's TP-Link not Binford)
https://amzn.to/2J4nO0M
The link above goes to a really beefed up wireless receiver. Get two and you can shoot signal between them up to FOUR KILOMETERS with line of sight!!!! THAT'S 2.48 MILES! OVER 7 times better than the original satellite dish setup.

Get two, hook one up to your wireless router via ethernet cable and run it out to the adapter (it's waterproof, you can mount it to a telephone pole or flag pole you own) Hook the other one up way out where you need it and point the two at each other until all of the indicator bars light up (or as many as possible) on the side of the unit.

If you don't have access to the signal source you can still get one and use it with the dish setup to get longer ranges,


And if you get two and you still have a weak signal, you can boost it as much as twice as much with a 24db antenna that will attach to it.
https://amzn.to/2vr030T


P.S. The Satellite dish setup still works fine, I built it using stuff I had on hand. The long range high power wifi adapters have gotten considerably cheaper than when I first got them. I paid over $100 each! Now you can get TWO for $80!

This has served me well throughout the years so hopefully it will help you too. ENJOY!

Step 1: How to Get WIFI Signal From 1/4 Mile Away [or More] for Less Than $60

Yea I know, you don't believe me. 1/4 mile? Shenanigans.

Still reading? Great.
The whole thing started when I dropped my friend off for Horse lessons and didn't want to drive all the way home only to drive back to pick her up in an hour and a half. So what did I do? Drove to the closest neighborhood and got on an open WIFI network.

[NOTE: Connecting to someone’s WIFI without their permission is illegal in some areas!!!]
The network I connected to was a local realtor’s OPEN HOUSE FREE PUBLIC WIFI network…so I didn’t break any laws.

The problem was, the signal was very weak and I had to hold the computer at odd angles just to do a simple google search.

THERE HAS TO BE ANOTHER WAY!
So after about twenty minutes of searching and finding things like “wokfi” and “parabolic asian cookware” I had the basic idea of what I needed to do; Concentrate the signal onto the antenna using a parabola. After a bit more searching I found out how to build a parabola out of a cd and a glass pot top, but I figured that it would be too weak for the distances that I am looking for [I would like to be able to connect right from the parking lot at the stables] Then there was the world record holder who had built a reflector out of a 10 foot diameter dish but that was WAY too big. So I compromised and picked up a rooftop satellite dish from a guy on Craigslist.org.

Long story short I built the thing and drove out to the stables, turned the rig on, started netstumbler, and started looking it took a little bit but I got the right angle to lock onto a signal and SHAZAM! I was connected!

So I knew that I had working signal, not just a fizzled connection from the router. The noise was at -100 and the signal was hovering around -75 or so. Not the fastest connection but based on the fact that I was ¼ of a mile away from the router I would say I was doing pretty darn good!

Ok enough with the stories, how do you build the darn thing!

You need:
A satellite dish [and the four screws holding it to the roof [YMMV]
A pair of scrap 2x4’s
A tin can [green bean sized]
A usb extention cord like this one: https://amzn.to/2qGJmcW

A usb wireless adapter like this one: https://amzn.to/2HITlWk
Or this waterproof high power one: https://amzn.to/2HebJph

Two wood screws long enough to screw your two 2x4’s together
Some hot glue
An unwanted cd [I picked up a free netzero disk at Wally’s]
A glass pot lid shaped like a parabola
Some spray paint to make it look pretty
And some carpet of you are going to be mounting it to the roof of your car so It won’t scratch it.

If you bought everything new it would cost around $60 [Not counting the dish]
Check your local craigslist or dump for dishes.

If you don't have any of the above supplies already I would recommend getting two of these high power wireless adapters: https://amzn.to/2HebJph

and pointing them at each other. As of April 2018 they cost $80 for two (you don't need a base station) and you can extend your wireless range up to 4KM or 2.48 miles with a line of sight between the two high power adapters, less if there are trees. The adapters are waterproof and can be mounted on a tree or a phone/power pole you own, and a cat5 cable can run up to 328 feet back to your house where your internet router is without signal loss.

Step 2: Form the Rear Reflector

Step 1:

Take your parabolic lid, remove the handle, it should just be a screw.
Take your CD, place it mirror side up in the glass lid.
Place the CD in the oven THEN set the oven to 300 degrees [faren if anybody is wondering]
[WARNING: If you put the cd in a preheated oven the cd will crack and the foil will wrinkle! This is bad for signal reflection! Start with a cold oven.]

Leave the CD in there for about an hour to an hour and a half [I just put it in there while I was building the rest of the rig]

After it is done forming take it out of the oven and IMMEDIATELY depress the center of the disk with something heat resistant like a spoon to form the CD to the parabola.

Let cool.


Step 3: Form the Rear Reflector Mount


Step 2:
Take your tin can and measure halfway and draw a vertical line around the can.

Cut the can in half leaving the entire bottom intact, you need it that way.

Now cut a hole in the back of the can in the center at the top of the ribs. Make sure the hole is large enough to fit the female end of the extension cord.

Drill a hole in the bottom of the can so that you can attach it to the satellite dish. [don’t mind the second hole that was v1.0 of the build.]

Attach the can to the dish open side facing in.

If your CD is cool then bend the can open and hot glue the parabolic CD to the can with the hole of the disk and the hole in the back of the can line up.



Step 4: Build the Support Rig


Step 3:
Attach the two scrap boards to form a “T” and sand them down to prevent splinters. The length of your boards is dependant on your dish, make sure that it is as long as the widest part on the dish on every side to prevent tipping.

Now line up the dish on the board a little farther back than the intersection at the T [looking back it would be more stable if you mounted it about halfway] and mark the four holes where the screws go. Pre-drill the holes. [You may skip this step if your screws are small but mine are ¼” thick.]

Mount the dish to the rig and check for stability, adjust as needed.

OPTIONAL: Apply a coat of paint over the wood and the back of the parabola CD. Do not spray the front as it will interfere with the signal concentration.

OPTIONAL: If you plan on mounting it to the roof of your vehicle, cut out a strip of carpet the size of all the points where the stand touches the ground and staple it to the bottom of the rig.

 

Step 5: Bring Everything Together


Step 4:
Attach the USB adapter in the hole in the CD and run the wire down the arm of the dish.

Plug everything in and turn on the WIFI adapter.
I use a program called Network Stumbler to find the best angle for the dish, it has a refresh rate of one second so I can watch the signal strength in near real time. [You cannot connect with Network Stumbler, only see data on the signal. Once the correct angles have been found, close the program and connect with your default configuration program.]

Another program I like is inSSIDer, it can show you a graph of the signals coming in and how they interfere with each other. It’s neat but it doesn’t refresh as fast as Network Stumbler.


Like My Instructable? Visit my blog!

http://ProjectUpcycle.blogspot.com

Sponsors:
I would like to thank these wonderful businesses for donating to make Project Upcycle possible!

Ranco Roofing and Insulation
Lubbock Texas
Call Kirk A Cooper
Fax: 806-793-0673
Phone: 806-786-4867

Jackson Brothers Meat Locker
Post Texas
Http://www.jacksonbrothersmeat.com
Jacksonbrothersmeat@gmail.com
David Hernandez & Jose Hernandez
806-495-2898 & 806-495-2631
 

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    40 Discussions

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    JonK81

    Question 3 months ago on Step 5

    Will this allow me to pick up signals from other WiFi networks??
    I am looking for a way to pull free WiFi to my home from open networks about a mile maybe two miles from my home.

    1 more answer
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    Project UpcycleJonK81

    Answer 3 months ago

    It won't reach two miles without a tplink from the first step attached to the wifi source. Think of a light bulb vs a laser. The light bulb is the wifi with standard antennae and the laser is the tplink with a directional antenna. The energy from the light bulb spreads out in all directions so if you increase distance you decrease energy, but the laser focuses all of it's energy in one direction and it can go a very long distance without losing much energy.

    If you have access to the wifi router, ask if you can plug your Ethernet cable into the router box and just mount it on the roof pointing towards your house. Have someone at the house on the phone to help you aim it accurately.

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    JonK81

    Question 3 months ago on Step 5

    Will this allow me WiFi network from place two mile away from my home for free on open WiFi networks??

    0
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    Redgadget3

    1 year ago

    Help me out here, I like this idea but I am confused on something. The dish will receive a signal from a satellite and the wireless wifi antenna will send the signal out? Or do you connect the sub to your existing internet connection and all this just boost the signal. If I am seeing this correct, we would be getting free wifi and that would be awesome. Which one is correct. Thank You and that is a great project for me to do. I have a spare dish

    1 reply
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    Project UpcycleRedgadget3

    Reply 5 months ago

    no, it receives signal from a wifi hotspot and allows you to connect to it from further away.

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    Southerner

    5 months ago

    Why can't you use the LNA that came with the dish?

    1 reply
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    Project UpcycleSoutherner

    Reply 5 months ago

    I didn't use it because I already had a usb adapter, and usb extension cord on hand. If you do use the LNA take pictures and make an 'ible about it!

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    ajayt7

    1 year ago

    Ingenious!

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    DonnyT4

    1 year ago

    Does it matter where the wireless adapter is pointed at on the dish? Going to make ome of these. I have a dish network 500 dish that i found

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    highvoltage1998

    2 years ago

    Network Stumbler is a joke, it won't even see my WiFi adapters

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    CaseyJ10

    2 years ago

    Hi, I need help! What satellite dish should I buy, any specs on this?

    I'm trying to help my sister who moved into the apartment complex next to mine but she just found out they don't offer high speed internet :(

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    jlee113

    2 years ago

    I built one similar, only i used a square copper plate and made the copper wire quad diamond soldered one end to the plate, the other to a xm radio antenna, of course grounding to the plate the antenna as well, used the large magnet to hold it in place on the dish. Then on the other end of the very long antenna i soldered it directly into my laptop wifi antenna. I would noy recommend this to just anyone, but i could get signal anywhere i went. Driving thru town i picked up 86 signals. This was also a laptop that i had put together myself, sony vaio base with a compaqlaptop screen on top. Yes a little different but it worked excellent. I am into trying whatever is at hand and making tbe best of it
    Lol.

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    SergioG34

    2 years ago

    hello, i read someone mentioned ubiquiti stuff doesn't work really well solo, i bought an ubnt airgirid antenna, you think i will be able to scan and connect to a network with that? im definitely building that antenna, i have one spare dish network dish and your solution seems way better and to be working

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    Eantonio8506

    3 years ago

    One question what is that cable you insert at the end of the dish

    1 reply
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    Arizonarosewind

    3 years ago on Step 1

    My music studio only has windows into a small square court yard in the cennter of a building with corridors and outer offices....many walls. And even attaching it outside in the courtyard might raise questions from others in the building.

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    zikzak1

    3 years ago on Step 1

    WIFI using a dish can surpass what most people think are capable. If you were to use a circular polarized antenna at the feed point, and aim it at a second dish retrofitted in the same manner, you could get line of sight without a minimum of interference from other signals as well as reduce rain fade. Over water, a good 30 miles could be realized... Nice instructable BTW :)

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    george.waterson.39

    3 years ago

    Hey great article, i am gonna try this once it warms up outside. One question, instead of going into a laptop or pc is there some way I can connect to a router so I can make my own network?

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    livio.ciaralli.9

    3 years ago on Step 5

    Great stuff. Love the DIY and the reuse of the sat dish. Got a question though, isn't there a simple 8 db type of directional antenna one could purchase and simply mount. Noticed some of the RV forums run into this issue and have found some solutions Will be talking to Wilson Electronics ( known for cellphone boosting ) , and Dlink about antenna.

    The solution I am thinking off is an antenna mounted at roof line - 50 ohm cable in to house - 50 ohm adaptor to USB converter - wireless adaptor.

    Also noticed some mention of Ubiquity modems , these usually work in pairs and are not addressing the issue you have provided.

    Will paste what I find unless others post products they found off the shelf.

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    kelvinwop

    3 years ago on Step 1

    keep in mind that the IEEE 802.11b maximum LEGAL limit for a 21 dbi gain antenna is 20 mW. so make sure your power is not interfering with aircraft. that may be bad.