How to make a parabolic dish reflector

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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How to make a parabolic dish reflector
(Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

A parabolic reflector is able to enhance the signals being received by the antenna on a wireless router. A homemade parabolic dish reflector can be made with a few supplies, most of which can be found around the house. A parabolic calculator will provide the needed imaging, and can be downloaded from the Internet and printed.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Computer
  • Inkjet or laser printer
  • Graphic paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • 6-by-9 inch cardboard sheet
  • Tracing paper
  • Utility knife
  • Bonding glue
  • 6-by-9 inch metal sheet
  • Wireless router

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Download the parabolic converter from the website in the Resources section. Double-click the file once downloaded to install it on your computer's hard drive. Restart the computer once the installation is done.

  2. 2

    Click "Start." Select "Parabolic Converter" from the "All Applications" pop-up menu. Enter "13" into the Diameter text field. Click the "Calculate" button. Click the "Save to File" button. Navigate in the window that appears in the desktop. Click the "Save" button to close the window. Quit the program.

  3. 3

    Double-click the file saved to the desktop to bring it up inside a text editor. Place a piece of graphic paper on the table. Plot a parabolic curve, based on the data provided in the text file, on the graphic paper using a ruler and pencil.

  4. 4

    Place a sheet of tracing paper on top of the graphic paper. Make a copy of the parabolic line with the ruler and pencil.

  5. 5

    Place the cardboard on the table. Place the tracing paper on the cardboard. Trace the curve through the tracing paper onto the cardboard with the pencil. Move the tracing paper 2 inches away from the first line. Repeat the tracing on the cardboard through the tracing paper.

  6. 6

    Dispose of the graph paper and the tracing paper. Cut the two parabolic curves from the cardboard using a utility knife. You should have two, half-moon shaped pieces.

  7. 7

    Place bonding glue on the curved edge of one of your half moons and place it against the top edge of the cutout metal sheet. Curve the metal sheet so that it follows the curve of the cardboard. Glue the second half moon in place at the bottom of the sheet.

  8. 8

    Cut holes in the middle of your cardboard pieces and push the antenna rod on your wireless router through them. Rotate the curved metal sheet that is now a parabolic reflector so that it is facing the devices that are using the wireless signal.

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