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for those who want to increase wifi signal for very cheap...


Caffeine-->Code Converter
so yeah, it was a very boring summer vacation tuesday yesterday. i was roaming the internet, browsing random forums, lookin for anything to do, and i stumbled across this page:

The cheap antennas page

its kinda weird to browse and get to exactly the one u want, so here's two urls (i used the first design)

Design I Used

Windsurfer Design

the materials i used, as u can see from the screenshots were:

  • Cardboard from any box (I used the type that's used to package PC Hardware)
  • Styrofoam (also the one used to package PC Hardware)
  • Normal Kitchen Tin Foil
  • Scotch Tape

it works WONDERS. i made three, two for the antennae on my router and one to put beside my adapter. using the right positioning i jumpe from an oscillating signal between 60-73% to a solid 93%!!
it really helped my webcam chat with my gf on msn, a LOT less cut offs...
:) :)

so yeah, if ur up to it, grab the materials and build it. it shouldnt take more than 30 min (i took 1 hr and 45 min makin all three). it will really help the signal, plus u can concentrate it to certain areas of ur home and cut it off others (my front yard for example....*mumbles* damn neighbours *mumbles*) heh heh



I have a consistently good signal with my Netgear MR814v2 at home (both floors), but I just might give this a shot over the weekend or something.
Thanks for the links. The design you used seems especially simple to make, so there's no reason not to try it really.


F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
we have an almost 700sqft one bed apartment and the signal is full strength everywhere...

my brother has a similar setup to us but his house is about 2700 sqft and he does have a coupla dead spots... I might recommend this to him...

consider writing up a little review for the item and submitting it to EP :) to sweeten the deal I'll drop in a Rep Point :cool:

you already have most of the shots you need to write it up :)


Caffeine-->Code Converter
thats not a bad idea :)
question tho, this would be the first review id be writing (of anything at all). what are the points i should cover?


The One and Only
hmm... do those only really work in one direction? if so, anyone know how one might make something like that which would work in any direction? i get rather good signal while my lappy's in the same room as my computer, but just about everywhere else it's almost half, maybe around 70-75ish. even pretty bad on my pool deck which only really has a single window/wall between it.


F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
apu95 said:
thats not a bad idea :)
question tho, this would be the first review id be writing (of anything at all). what are the points i should cover?
well just start off with a description of what it is... what it is supposed to do and what came in the contents and what you thought of the relative construction and so on/so forth to start with...

then give a description of how you set it up and how the device functioned in your raw tests (however or whatever you consider to be tests, ie with and without the antennae thinger)

then just stick a conclusion down :)


Prodigal Son
Interesting. I really haven't found any dead spots yet but would love to see if I noticed a difference. Thanks for the info. :cool:


Caffeine-->Code Converter
ElementalDragon said:
hmm... do those only really work in one direction?
i think they do....a good analogy is if u use a megaphone to direct your voice at some place. kinda like that, u just reflect the "non used signal" to a place where its gonna be used.

i tested my pocket pc outside and in my bathroom and basement and the signal is weaker now that its being reflected straight to my room.


The One and Only
hmm... wonder how one could make a multi-directional thing like that..... any ideas or templates maybe?

P.S. Nice Avatar there, apu. you waiting patiently for the new zelda too?
How to get less directional coverage:

Antennas are always directional, it's how they work. An antenna is just a reflector used to concentrate radiated energy into a reduced area increasing the field strenth. The shown design takes the energy that would be sent out the back side and bounces it back (in phase) at the antenna increasing effective signal strength out the front creating a stronger, but narrow beam. It's the same concept as your satellite dish except the satellite dish amplifies on 2 axis and this design only amplifies on one axis.

Beam spreading at the source:
If you have a router with 2 antennas you can aim the two reflectors at different angles (not at the same point) to spread the amplified beam area. You will get a weaker signal.

You can also put reflectors (flat metal plates on the walls to scatter the beam). Aluminum foil on the back of a poster or painting, bookcase, etc will work. Using the high school geometry you all forgot - to aim the scattering remember that the angle of reflection is equal to the angle of incidence on the reflector. Be careful, wrinkling the aluminum foil will ruin the effectiveness.

The best use of this antenna for people with several directions to cover would be to install them at the receiver only. Try the two antenna trick and the reflectors and if that doesn't work just use the antenna on the receiver.

You can also make the basic parabolic dish less directional by making it narrower.

If you need some signal out the back side but with less range cut some holes in the metal.

BTW I love this idea. It makes me wish I had a wireless system to play with it on...


Caffeine-->Code Converter
ElementalDragon said:
P.S. Nice Avatar there, apu. you waiting patiently for the new zelda too?
oh yeah sure....very "patiently" :D
i cant wait for it, it looks freaking amazing. im dying to see that super secret second trailer which has been seen by the most elite press, heh heh

about the multi direction thing, what lee said is true, but less signal. that why i have both of mine pointing towards the same area (im hogging all the signal, my dad's barely getting reception :p). i cant do it with mine, but i guess increasing the power would help with the signal, and again, as lee said, metal things help ;). u can wrap your mouse in tin foil, for example....lol.


The One and Only
...i'm guessing not... but are there any changes in the following screenshot that i could change of my router that MIGHT increase it's range?

note: for the Antenna Transmit Power, it has the following choices:

100% 17dBm
50% 15dBm
25% 12 dBm
12.5% 10dBm

Also, i was kinda wondering... which i'm also guessing not... do you think that the range might increase a bit if i just wrap the antenna itself in aluminum foil? main reason i'm guessing not is because it seems that it would not be able to communicate in any direction, nor be able to send/recieve any kind of data, due to the difference between the wi-fi antenna, and say a radio antenna.


Caffeine-->Code Converter
as for the first thing, no, cuz decreasing that would only decrease the total power, so if u think of the signal going in every single direction (forming a sphere or something similar), ud just make that "sphere" smaller. since u have it at 100% then nothing u do to the actual settings might help that

as for the second, it wouldnt hurt to try. i was considering doing that but decided to go all out. im not sure if itll work tho, cuz the aluminum would be bouncing the signal just as the antenna would be doing, since itll be wrapped up against it. what u could do is just stick some aluminum foil to a square paper, and then place that near your receiver, in a position which will bounce the signal to your receiver (like what i have), and leave the router as is (i did this in the beginning and went from 60-73% to 80-83%)


OSNN One Post Wonder
A different approach...

When I wanted to set up 2 Linksys WRT54Gs with one as a repeater to the 1st, I had to get customised firmware from sveasoftSveasoft to set one up as a client.

One of the many added features you get is to alter the amount of power the router transmits at. The default setting was something like 28 mW and they're now chugging away happily at 50 mW giving great coverage, although the upper limit is 80 mW. With the old linksys firmware, I don't think you got to choose the transmission power, let alone ramp it up to 80 mW.

I'm not sure if the sveasoft make a flavour to suit every router, but its worth a look.

Sorry if I sound like an advert.


I may actually be insane.
Sveasoft make nice firmware's, it's just a shame the developer is a complete asshole.

You need to be careful with the transmit power, boosting it too much can take more power (and theoretically cause heat problems, although I've never heard of any) but also creates a 'noisy' signal offering better range, but not as good quality. You should be safe around 50mW though, just don't push it too much :)

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