How Do I Build a Homemade Antenna with a Dual-Band Wireless USB Network Adapter?

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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A dual-band wireless USB network adaptor enables a laptop to receive a strong and stable signal while connecting wirelessly to a home network. A homemade directional WI-FI antenna will improve the adaptor's reception by directing it toward the network's Wi-Fi transmitter. You will need a few supplies from a grocery store and a hobby shop, along with some common tools most households have on hand. You will not have to disassemble or modify the dual-band wireless USB network adaptor in any way.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Empty coffee can, 1106gr.
  • Newspaper
  • Ruler
  • Portable drill
  • 1/8-inch drill bit
  • "N" adaptor plate
  • 12-gauge solid core copper wire, 2 inches
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • Pigtail "N" cable
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife
  • Electrician's tape

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place a sheet of newspaper on a table to protect the surface. Place the empty coffee can on the newspaper with the open end facing up. Measure 1 3/8 inches up from the bottom of the can. Drill a hole through the can at the 1 3/8 of an inch mark with the portable drill.

  2. 2

    Place the "N" adaptor plate on the newspaper with the open end facing up. Heat up the soldering iron for three minutes. Solder an end of the copper wire into the centre hole on the top of the "N" adaptor plate. Let the solder cool for a minute.

  3. 3

    Push the free end of the copper wire through the hole. Place the "N" adaptor plate flush against the sides of the can. Solder the sides of the "N" adaptor plate to the sides of the can. Let the solder cool for at least three minutes before proceeding.

  4. 4

    Plug the "N" port on the Pigtail "N" cable into the "N" connection on the "N" adaptor plate. Cut off the plug at the other end of the Pigtail "N" cable with the scissors. Cut a 1-inch slit from the end in the outer insulation with the blade of a utility knife. Pull the insulation back from the two wires inside. Strip 1/2 inch of insulation off each end of the two wires.

  5. 5

    Place your homemade antenna next to the dual-band wireless USB network adaptor. Rotate the open end of the can in the direction of the network's WI-FI transmitter.

  6. 6

    Place the exposed end of one of the two wires attached to the Pigtail "N" cable on the side of the dual-band wireless USB network adaptor. Tape the wire to the adaptor with a strip of electrician's tape. Place the other exposed end of the wire attached to the Pigtail "N" cable to the tip of the dual-band wireless USB network adaptor. Tape the wire to the tip with a strip of electrician's tape.

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