Tips for Building an Outdoor WiFi Antenna
If you want to use an outdoor wi-fi antenna as part of your wireless network, there is no reason for you to spend a lot of money. In fact, some of the best wi-fi antennas are made at home by amateurs, using improvised materials. However, simply tossing materials together will not lead to good, cost-effective results. These tips should make your DIY wi-fi antenna a huge success, while saving you a lot of time that would normally be spent on experimenting to find functional results. Of course, this does not mean you cannot experiment on your own.
Using a USB Extension
While a powerful wi-fi antenna can give you a great deal of improved range, leading to stronger connection signals, more networks found, and larger networks, the truth is that a simple USB extension can often give you nearly as many benefits on its own. This is especially true if you are using a USB wireless extension in conjunction with a USB cord to position it farther from your computer. As you need both of these things to make your own wi-fi antenna, you have nothing to lose by purchasing them first, trying them out, and seeing if they give you a stronger connection that you find satisfactory.
Picking a Dish
If your USB extension does not give you the results you require, you should pick out an item to use as a dish. There are many cooking tools that will work. The best ones are made of one piece of material, but a strainer made of a section of wire mesh will be the easiest to work with, and you should choose it for this reason.. Additionally, the best already made, improvised antennas you can find will be shaped roughly like a parabola, though this does not need to be exact.
Other Materials and Tools
In addition to the main antenna, you will also need a support system for it and wire cutters. You can make a support out of anything solid. A PVC pipe will work, as will a piece of scrap wood. Choose something that you can attach to a wall or furniture easily and semi-permanently. Simply use wire to attach your antenna to your support by wrapping your wire around it and through the mesh, tying off the ends.
Putting it Together
To begin, you will need to cut a hole for your USB wireless extension. Choose a point that is as close to the center of your improvised dish of choice, and cut a hole in it. This hole should be as small as possible, so you should measure it using your USB extension before you make your final cut. Once you have cut this hole, push your USB extension through it from the back. It should extend fully from the hole with its extension core coming out of the back. If you need to, use more wire to hold it in place.
Testing the Antenna
Your outdoor wi-fi antenna should increase the range of your ability to detect wireless networks significantly. It can be helpful to set it up in an area free of obstructions.