Homemade WiFi Lid Antenna.
A homemade Antenna using a USB Wifi adapter, a lid and some wood. I got 13dB gain. (7/29/2007)
I did purchase a Hi-Gain WiFi antenna one year ago that gave me 14dB signal gain, but after a while, I decided to build my own as I saw it on http://www.usbwifi.orcon.net.nz
Before I build my own, I tried to install an external antenna on my Linksys USB adaptor but the result was not good enough; I got only 4~6dB Gain. It wasn't too bad but I want more. I was looking for better signal even if I'm at the back room of the house where I get no signal at all.
As soon I got a perfectly round lid; $0.49 USD at the flea market, I was able to start my own "Wifi Lid Antenna".
Basically, I just need some wood, an USB extension, an USB WiFi adapter, Lid and screws. I also need a drill.
First, I need to make some holes for the USB extension.
*** Warning: power tools are dangerous, always use safety googles, gloves, etc, etc. Do not build this project. This material is for educational purposes only. Read the disclaimer from the main page.
Installing the USB cable (extension)
Using some hot glue to fix the USB connector:
Using a tie to fix the USB cable... and the antenna is almost ready. The second photo shows the Linksys WUSB54GC USB adapter with a "homemade" external antenna.
Now, just one screw on the base [to be able to rotate the antenna] and it is almost ready.
Now my Homemade-hi-gain-lid-antenna is ready. I guess the signal is better close to the window.
[Don't ask me who was the idiot that put an Air conditioner at the kitchen window. This summer is really hot and I was not able to get a better location to install my AC.]
Now is time for some tests. Using only the USB adapter, with or without the external antenna, (not the lid), Windows XP doesn't detect any signal.
I did use NetStumbler to see how good is the signal that I get.
The A signal is using only the Linksys WUSB54GC USB adapter.
The B signal is using the WUSB54GC adapter with the external antenna.
The C signal is the WUSB54GC + the external antenna + lid antenna.
As you can see, using the lid, I was able to get about -13dB Gain, plus -4dB, I got more than -17dB gain! Not too bad.
I will post details how to install an external antenna on wireless devices later...
Basically, I just put two short wires from the board to the antenna. If the signal doesn't improve, it can be connected to the connector below the capacitor (NOT below the LED). The capacitor is the little piece at the right side where the external antenna was connected.
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