A Wi-Fi helical antenna can boost the wireless signal reception of a computer. Helical antennas work well for increasing reception of a wireless device that is on the far ends of your property or for generally locating Wi-Fi signals at distance. You can construct your own direction helical antenna and thereby save some money by not having to purchase signal boosters or repeaters. This helical antenna can be constructed in a day or two using parts that can be found at your local hardware store, as well as with a few hand tools.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 2 foot length PVC pipe, 1 1/2 inch internal diameter
- Tape measure
- 15 feet, 14 gauge copper wire
- Two 1 1/4 inch bulldog clips
- PVC adhesive
- PVC end cap, 1 1/2 inch internal diameter
- Clean Pie tin
- Tin snips
- PVC end cap, 6-inch internal diameter
- Drill and assorted drill bits from 1/4 to 3/4 inches
- 1/4 inch by 1 1/2 inch round head bolt with washer and nut
- N-type connector, female, bulkhead mount with solder tab
- Soldering iron and solder
- Wireless card with external antenna connector
- Male N-type to coaxial converter
- Coaxial cable
- Soldering iron and solder
Measure at 1 and 3/16-inch intervals along the PVC pipe and mark the intervals with a pencil. Start at the end that will be the antenna's base.
Wind the copper wire clockwise around the pipe diagonally 12 times, following the marked intervals. Attach the wire to the PVC pipe at the base end with a binder clip to hold it in place as you twist the copper wire around the pipe. Wrap the wire all the way to the end of the pipe and attach another binder clip to the receptor end of the pipe. Glue each coil of wire to the PVC pipe with a few drops of adhesive and allow to dry. Remove the bulldog clips when the adhesive has set.
Remove a 2-inch cross section from the side of the small end cap making it look like the letter C. This will create clearance for the N-type connector mounting.
Cut a 6-inch circle from the pie tin using tin snips and glue it to the inside of the large end cap with a couple of adhesive drops.
Drill 1/4-inch holes in the centre of both the small and large end caps.
Mark a spot that is 1 1/4 inches from the centre hole of the large end cap and drill a 5/8-inch hole.
Attach the small end cap inside the larger one by connecting them together with the 1/4-inch bolt. Make sure the lips of both end caps are pointed inward. The head of the bolt should be on the outside and the threads should be on the inside.
Seat the N-type connector, solder tab facing inward in the 5/8-inch hole.
Attach the base end of the PVC pipe into the small end cap.
Solder the end of the wire to the N-type connector.
Place the wireless card into a computer. Unscrew the antenna and attach the male N-type to coaxial converter to the wireless card's external antenna connector. Attach the female end of the N-type connector on the antenna to the male end attached to the wireless card with coaxial cable and start testing the antenna.
Tips and warnings
- Use free network-analysing software to test the antenna's capabilities.
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