If you've ever gone out with your Wi-Fi enabled netbook or iPad and had to get within the 300-foot limit of standard Wi-Fi coverage, you know how frustrating it can be. With just a little expense and ingenuity, you can boost that coverage distance to a mile, putting your wireless capability well within range of Starbucks or McDonald's outlets, public libraries and other public access hot spots without ever leaving the comfort of your vehicle, home or office.
Buy a 1,242ml can of juice. Drink the juice or pour it in a pitcher and remove one of the can lids completely.
Wash out the juice can with soap and water.
Measure up from the closed can end 1.625 inches. Mark this point with a marking pen. Use a punch or a nail to create a hole in the side of the can.
Enlarge the opening with a drill to accommodate the type of N-connectors used. An N-connector is a coaxial cable adaptor commonly used for various cable connections. N-connectors are found online and at most electronics stores; 50-ohm N-connectors are most commonly used for Wi-Fi connections.
Measure a 12-gauge wire. Cut it to a length of 1.21 inches. Solder the length of 12-gauge wire to the N-connector solder end.
Attach the assembled N-connector to the juice can. If using a screw-on connector, the screw heads should be inside the can with the bolts outside.
Make or buy a three- to five-foot pigtail connector that terminates in a USB male end. Pigtail is the term given to various interconnect cables used for connecting an antenna to a wireless access point, bridge or adaptor.
Connect the pigtail between the juice can antenna and the laptop computer.
Position the juice antenna for strongest reception, monitoring signal strength on the computer screen.
Easy Wifi Radar is a free download for PCs that connects to Wi-Fi hot spots automatically and displays signal strength as a series of green, yellow and red dots.
Tips and warnings
- Easy Wifi Radar is a free download for PCs that connects to Wi-Fi hot spots automatically and displays signal strength as a series of green, yellow and red dots.