WiFi Antenna

Monday, 30 August 2004

After reading through some websites and gleaning information from different sources, I decided to experiment with some antenna design. Even though I don’t have much of an artistic/creative mindset I figured I had some tools and a roll of duct tape… so I gave it a go. The first idea I tried to implement was the Pringles “Cantenna”. It is a neat design, plus I was able to munch on some ketchup flavored Pringles for my first time here in Canada. To make a long story short… it didn’t work with my USB adapter… partially because I changed the design in the process. Probably not good, right? So moving on, I found an awesome webpage called Poor Man’s WiFi. I must say, this is a masterpiece of an idea. They simply took the dish concept, like from a satellite dish, and put a USB WiFi adapter to it using common household items. For my pseudo WokFi, common items I could find in my area happened to be a spaghetti strainer, rather than a Chinese cooking vat scoop.

Items I used:

1 USB WiFi adapter
1 Spaghetti Strainer
1 roll of duct tape
1 ruler
$9.99 ($29.99 mail-in rebate)
Free (graciously taken from wife)
$4.99? (I can’t remember)
$0.99? (I can’t remember)
Karl holding his spaghetti strainer usb 802.11 2.4 GHz antenna The spaghetti strainer 802.11 2.4 GHz antenna
The dwl-122 connection utility that shows the signal strength without the dish attached The dwl-122 connection utility that shows the signal strength with the dish attached

While a permanent structure would have been sturdier, this one worked great. Check out the screen shot pictures. I was able to get a 24% increase in signal strength and 40% increase in link quality. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get Netstumbler to work with the DWL-122 USB adapter correctly, so I wasn’t able to capture decibel and wattage information. I have estimated by pacing that the distance the signal is traveling is 126.4 feet (38.5 meters). The signal is originating off of a DI-624 AirPlus Extreme-G router, and then travels through a window, across the yard, and another window.




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