DIY: Cellular Modem Antenna

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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A cellular modem enables wireless devices to access the Internet through a cellular signal, rather than using a cable connected to a DSL modem or cable modem. Increase the efficiency of the cellular modem by building an antenna booster. A do-it-yourself parabolic antenna booster can be made by adapting a satellite dish purchased from a satellite supply store and using a few supplies from home and an electronics store.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Satellite dish
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Portable drill
  • 1/2-inch drill bit
  • "Flat patch" antenna
  • Bonding glue
  • USB cable, 3 feet
  • USB extender cable, 6 feet

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place the satellite dish on a work surface. Measure the length with a tape measure going across the middle of the dish. Make a dot with the pencil at the halfway mark. Repeat this procedure with the width of the dish.

  2. 2

    Triangulate the centre of the dish from the two lines. Drill a hole through the centre with the portable drill.

  3. 3

    Insert the plug connected to the "flat patch" antenna into the antenna socket on the cellular modem. Place the tip of the "flat patch" antenna through the hole in the dish. Push the antenna into the hole until about an inch of the base is still outside.

  4. 4

    Apply bonding glue around the base of the "flat patch" antenna to secure it to the dish. Hold the base in position for a minute so the bonding glue can take hold. Let the bonding glue set for an hour.

  5. 5

    Apply bonding glue to one side of the cellular modem. Hold the side of the cellular modem that has the glue on it against the back of the dish for a minute. Release the cellular modem. Let the bonding glue set for three hours.

  6. 6

    Plug one end of a USB cable into the bottom connector on the cellular modem. Plug the other end of the USB cable into the extender side of the USB extender cable.

  7. 7

    Stand the satellite dish against a wall outside in your backyard. Plug the free end of the USB extender cable into a USB port of a laptop.

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