How to Make a Collinear Omni Antenna

Written by adam quinn
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How to Make a Collinear Omni Antenna
Boost your wireless signal and go mobile with a collinear antenna. (working on laptop image by kastock from Fotolia.com)

A collinear omni antenna can be used to strengthen your Wi-Fi signal, and increase the transmission distance of your wireless card. The collinear design consists of multiple radiating elements stacked in a vertical array. The array resonates at a particular radio frequency depending on the spacing between elements. Build this collinear omni antenna, constructed with four coils bent along a single wire, and extend the range of your wireless card.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Copper wire, 12-gauge, 19 1/2 inches long
  • Aluminium sheet metal, 4 inches square, 1/16 inch thick
  • N-type connector, female, screw-on mount with solder tab
  • Washers
  • Pigtail wire, low-loss with male N-type connector and wireless card connector
  • Stationary clamp
  • Soldering iron and solder
  • Finish hammer
  • Power drill and various metal-cutting drill bits
  • Ruler
  • Permanent marker
  • Pliers
  • Wire clippers

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure and mark 1 inch from the end of the wire. Clamp the wire at the mark, and bend it at a 90-degree angle using pliers and a hammer.

  2. 2

    Measure and mark 1 7/16 inches from the first bend. Bend the wire at a 90-degree angle in the opposite direction of the previous bend, creating a Z shape.

  3. 3

    Twist the segment of wire between the two bends into a 3/8-inch circle. To do this, clamp the wire against a 3/8-inch drill bit at the second bend point. The L shape created by the first bend should be sticking out from the bit. Bend the horizontal leg of the L around the bit so that the first bend point makes contact with the second bend. This will be the bottom coil of the antenna.

  4. 4

    Bend another coil 3 1/16 inches from the first coil. First, measure 3 1/16 inches, and make a 90-degree bend. Make a second 90-degree bend 1 7/16 inches from the first one, but in the opposite direction. Bend the wire around the bit as before, creating a second coil.

  5. 5

    Bend a third and fourth coil, each separated from the previous one by 3 1/16 inches. Make sure all four coils are bent in the same circular direction, either clockwise or counterclockwise.

  6. 6

    Clip the remaining wire segment--from the fourth coil to the end of the wire--to a length of 3 1/8 inches.

  1. 1

    Find the centre of the aluminium square by drawing diagonal lines from the corners. Drill a small hole in the centre of the aluminium. Gradually increase the size of the hole until the N-connector fits.

  2. 2

    Mount the N-connector to the plate. Bring the white insulation material surrounding the solder tab flush with the plate by installing washers below the plate.

  3. 3

    Solder the 1-inch end of the antenna wire to the N-connector solder tab.

  4. 4

    Stretch each coil out vertically 3/4 inch, from bend to bend, using the clamp and pliers. The final length of the antenna from plate to tip should be 16 3/4 inches.

  5. 5

    Attach the antenna to your wireless card with a pigtail.

Tips and warnings

  • Work the antenna straight by sliding a 3/8-inch metal rod through the coils.

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