DIY: Wi-Fi Long-Range Antenna

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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DIY: Wi-Fi Long-Range Antenna
You may be able to extend the range of your home's Wi-Fi signal with a homemade long-range antenna. (student with wireless Internet image by Paul Hill from Fotolia.com)

The reception of a Wi-Fi signal rests solely on the ability of the antenna to lock on and receive the wireless signal that is being sent by a transmitter. You can build a long-range Wi-Fi antenna that will enable a device to operate farther from the wireless home network's Wi-Fi transmitter. A few household and grocery supplies are all that's needed, along with a few parts from an electronics store. No special skills or expertise is needed, but because a soldering iron will be used, adult supervision of minors is suggested.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Newspaper
  • Crisp tube
  • Glass bowl
  • 16-gauge solid-core copper wire, 2 inches
  • Wire cutters
  • Utility knife
  • Ruler
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • Hot glue gun
  • Glue stick
  • Pigtail N adaptor
  • N adaptor plug
  • Laptop
  • Wi-Fi card
  • Wireless home network

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place a sheet of newspaper on a table to protect the surface. Remove the lid from the crisp tube. Pull the paper or aluminium foil cover off the top of the crisp tube. Empty out the crisps into a glass bowl to eat later.

  2. 2

    Stand the crisp tube on the newspaper with the open end facing up. Measure three inches up from the bottom of the tube. Cut a hole in the side of the tube with the blade of the utility knife. Twirl the blade around the inside of the hole to smooth it out.

  3. 3

    Heat up the soldering iron. Solder an end of the piece of copper wire to the centre contact on the front of the N adaptor plug. Let the solder cool for a minute. Unplug the soldering iron.

  4. 4

    Push the free end of the copper wire into the hole in the side of the tube. Push the N adaptor plug against the side of the tube. Glue the sides of the N adaptor plug to the sides of the tube with the hot glue gun. Let the hot glue set for 10 minutes.

  5. 5

    Plug the "N" plug on one end of the Pigtail N adaptor into the port on the N adaptor plug.

  6. 6

    Go outside in your backyard. Place the laptop on a table. Place your DIY Wi-Fi long-range antenna on the table. Place the Wi-Fi card on the table with the antenna protector plug facing up.

  7. 7

    Remove the antenna protector plug from the Wi-Fi card with your fingernail. Insert the antenna plug of the Pigtail N adaptor into the antenna port on the Wi-Fi card that was hidden by the plug. Insert the Wi-Fi card into the slot on the side of the laptop.

  8. 8

    Aim the open end of your DIY Wi-Fi long-range antenna toward the Wi-Fi transmitter of your wireless home network inside your house.

Tips and warnings

  • Cellophane tape can be substituted for the hot glue gun if desired--duct tape is not acceptable as it will inhibit the Wi-Fi signal.

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