Homemade WiFi Antenna

How To Build WiFi Antenna
Directional And Omnidirectional WiFi Antenna Kits

Homemade wifi antenna:

In 2006 the FCC gave their approval for the use of USB Wireless Network Adapter technology.

Since then, there has been an increase of wireless network adapters flooding the market, and lots are constructed and built using different wireless standards and internal antennas.

The Wireless USB Network Adapter is a very elaborate piece of technology with the exception to the WiFi USB antenna.

That is why we feel it's important to provide some training on how to build wifi antenna extenders to maximize their WiFi signal capturing potential.

Homemade WiFi antenna kits have become very popular in the wireless community in recent years, and can greatly increase the adapters ability to capture WiFi signals being broadcasted from devices in the surrounding area.

homemade wifi antenna kit

This trend has created some unusual concepts on the web as to how one should build the best wifi antenna.

While it might seem fun using household appliances, WiFi antenna elements need to be arranged properly to produce the correct results.

Which is why we're going to show you the correct way to build a homemade WiFi antenna.

Getting started:

There are 3 basic components that we'll be discussing while we learn how to build a wifi antenna which include; the WiFi Module, Cable Assembly and the Antenna Element.

The best WiFi antenna is always one built to accommodate the wireless environment in the area in which the wifi USB antenna will be placed, which is why we will start our project on selecting the correct type of antenna element.

For those who are not comfortable diving this deep into electronics, there are WiFi Kits that can be purchased to assemble your homemade wifi antenna and eliminate some of the need for soldering and technical jargon that we'll be digesting in the sections ahead.

antenna element

Antenna Elements:

As previously mentioned the best wifi antenna is the one that suits your needs, so we'll be covering 2 different designs of antenna elements that each produce a specific result, just read through and match up the best homemade wifi antenna that fits your situation.

Directional: With this type of long range wifi antenna the radiating RF signal pattern is focused into a beam pattern and can be pointed in a particular direction producing coverage over great distances. As long as the location between transmitter and receiver is known, a directional wifi antenna can be an excellent tool to boost signal performance in wireless devices located further away.

Omnidirectional: This type of antenna design is used when the WiFi source location is not known or is constantly changing its position relative to the receiving station. Omni antennas dispense 360 degree coverage designed for indoor environments where electronic devices are located nearby as signals are reflected off of objects creating a multipath signal environment.

antenna cable pigtail

Cable Assembly:

The antenna cable sometimes referred to as a "pigtail" is the connecting apparatus between the WiFi Module and external wifi antenna element.

This is the same type of antenna, which are used to line the inside edges of laptop computers to form a signal antenna array.

Although this might seem like an insignificant part of our project, adapters and cabling play an important role in signal attenuation.

tech tip

TIP: Attenuation is the gradual loss in signal strength as the waves propagate through electronic components, so it's worth noting that the connections on either end of the cable be properly terminated to the connecting device or your new antenna might spring a leak, so to speak.

usb network adapter

WiFi Module: (current antenna)

The Wireless module or transceiver is the business end of our homemade WiFi antenna, so we're going to be closely examining the original antenna that comes attached to your wireless network adapter.

The entire reason for us learning how to build wifi antenna to capture signals better then what comes standard on your new wireless USB network adapter, is because the engineers never gave a single thought we would have to use this device in a real world environment.

wifi module antenna

To make our case, take a close look at the antenna included inside a standard USB wireless network adapter and it becomes very clear the engineers never gave it 2 seconds of thought when they decided to give you the most pathetic WiFi Antenna possible with your adapter.

How to build wifi antenna:

In our example of assembling a homemade WiFi antenna we choose to use a directional antenna that comes with a built in male SMA connector and attached pigtail. If your WiFi kits antenna element requires soldering, than refer to the Homemade WiFi Antenna procedure.

  1. Open the USB WiFi module to expose the internal PCB and gently remove the PCB module from the USB housing.

  2. Locate the surface mounted IPX terminator plug, normally located at the far end of the PCB in relation to the USB connector.

  3. Using the SMA to IPX cable assembly, attach the IPX connector to the WiFi USB antenna modules surface mounted IPX terminator plug as shown.

  4. Attach the female SMA connector on the other end of the cable assembly to the male SMA connector on the Antenna Element.

  5. homemade wifi antenna
  6. To create a passage for the cable assembly through the housing of the USB wireless adapter, snap closed the wireless adapter housing(minus the transceiver module) and drill a small hole slightly larger in diameter then the SMA to IPX cable near the location where the cable connects to the PCB board.

  7. Reopen the casing to the USB wireless module and insert the PCB transceiver module back into wireless adapter housing allowing the cable to fit through the new drilled hole, and close the housing.

Your done!

That's how to build WiFi antenna systems with directional and omnidirectional elements. Just mount your directional antenna element pointing in the path of your wireless router and enjoy the powerful signals being captured by your new homemade wifi antenna.

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