Three Solid Ideas On How To Build A DIY WiFi Antenna (2021)
DIY WiFi Antenna setups to build – Are you looking for a low-cost DIY solution to boost your antenna signal quality and range? Then the POPtenna will tickle your fancy. If what you are after is being able to share signal to dead zones in your home, neighbours, and garden area, you won’t want to miss out on the Waveguide technique. However, if what you seek is an insane distance signal pickup for your devices and router, then Yagi DIY is worth every minute of your time.
There are many ways to build a long distance WiFi antenna and for two reasons: no network or poor signal. For you to have stumbled on this page, you surely must have exhausted every other troubleshooting angles to see if it is from the wireless router or connection and came out empty handed. I know I did.
Today, I am going to lead you through three effective and way cheap process of building a DIY Wi-Fi antenna to catch WiFi signal from long distance in your home or shop or wherever. This way, you can, without stepping out to purchase anything major, get your network working great around your space in no time.
A WaveGuide WiFI Extender
Now, the first thing in your mind as one who hasn’t heard or seen this at work is: huh? Followed by curiosity. There are so many benefits of building a waveguide DIY Wi-Fi antenna. The following are some of those reasons:
- To get public WiFi signal a distance away from your home.
- To get signal into parts of your residence and garden that has none.
What you need to get started:
1. Get a metal can that is about 147mm tall and 92mm wide
This way you can have an inner diameter of approximately 76mm. The general rule of thumb for can sizing to get one that works is to ensure your tin can of choice has an internal diameter between 76mm to 101mm.
So, get what you can within this limit. For me, what usually comes close to this is the big meal can at 101mm. You should always try this tool alongside your tape to get the perfect can and wire length.
2. Secure your 12 gauge copper wire of 2mm thickness
This item will serve as your aerial probe. Don’t know what that is? It means your copper wire will be the instrument for receiving the WiFi signal. When in doubt of where to get a copper wire that fits the spec, check your abandoned plug sockets
3. Retrieve or purchase your soldering iron with a bit of solder
4. A file
5. A USB wifi adapter
6. The types don’t matter, just ensure it has a removable aerial
7. Get your pigtail connector ready, also known as the female RP-SMA to male N-type connector
If you are much into DIY, you can have it self-made. If not, hit up a local shop or order online.
8. Make sure your stepping drill bit is close by
9. You are going to be drilling some holes into the can
- Using the tool mentioned above, determine your can diameter and the length of your probe― the copper wire. It will be passing through the center of your tin can. Best practice is to slightly exceed the needed wire length because if it is a bit less, the performance will be affected.
- Solder one end in place in the brass socket at the top of your female connector.
- Using the tool, determine how far from the bottom of your can do you need to install the probe. Make sure to get it right. For my meal can of 101mm, the precise spot is 43.7mm. You will find the right measurement at the point titled probe to the reflector in the tool.
- Now take your tape and measure from the base of the tin can and not the ridge. Mark the spot for your probe.
- With the nut removed, measure the diameter of your N-type connector.
- Using the probe to reflector measurement and the diameter of your Connector, drill a hole into your tin can. Now, the size of the hole should be slightly bigger than the width of the pigtail connector to allow it to pass through without a hitch. To get this, you can drill it a bit smaller than the required size. Then use a file to widen until your N connector can slide right in without more unneeded space.
- Now, use the file to smoothen the rough edges inside, outside, and at the top of the can to avoid harming yourself while working.
- Slide the connector into the made hole without the nut.
- Now, take the nut and fasten it to the connector from inside the can.
- Take the WiFi USB adapter and connect it to your router or PC and install. This solely depends on if you want to boost the signal from your router as the source, or your computer as the receiver.
- After installing, disconnect the device and unscrew the aerial that comes with it.
- Now insert the smaller end of your N-connector to the Wi-Fi USB adapter.
- After that, take the other side of the smaller end and connect to the protruding N-connector.
Note: you can boost the strength of your router’s signal by attaching a cantenna to it, and at the same time increase the range it goes from the receiving end through another cantenna. What you should know though is that, by doing this, you will limit the wifi signal strength to other directions. However, it will give a significant boost to the extent of sharing the network with a neighbouring home! While at it, you might also need to upgrade the firmware of your WiFi for even more significant benefits. For those whose router doesn’t have a spot for the RP-SMA female connector, you can create a parabolic reflector, place it behind the router, and direct the signal.
And that is that! Congratulations! You just did your first Waveguide DIY WiFi antenna! Let the testing begin!
To see if what you have built is working superbly or not, take your PC to the part of the building that has little to no signal and settles. Take your Waveguide long distance wifi antenna with you. Now face the cantenna to the direction your Wi-Fi signal broadcast from to receive signals. While at it, you should check your computer to be sure it is using the adapter you installed by heading to the Network and Share center and clicking on adapter settings. You might need to get a tripod to perfectly adjust the cantenna for the strongest signal and keep it in that position until you are done.
15 Element 2.4GHz Yagi Antenna
Now that we have wrapped up the waveguide setup, here is another diy WiFi antenna to consider building. The advantages are pretty much the same. Here are what this is going to offer you:
- Some miles or kilometers Wifi coverage
- Some miles or kilometers extension for your2-4GHz devices including surveillance cameras.
Read More On 2.4GHz Vs. 5GHz: Main Difference
Things you will need:
The following are the stuff you will need to get this to work:
- A computer
- An ink jet printer. Yap, you are going to see what’s for.
- Crazy glue
- Popsicle sticks
- Sanding papers
- Big paper clips. If you don’t have one close by, you can settle for a long, thick and bendable metal wire.
- Soldering iron and solder
- A USB WiFi adapter of 2.4GHz
- A metric ruler or metric calipers
- And paper plier or nibbler.
And that’s that! You are all set to get this to work, but brace yourself this might take a few moments of your time.
- With your computer, download the Yagi scale template or diagram here
- Two connect your printer and ensure it is set to print stuff in the original size. Also, set the print orientation to Landscape mode.
- Unzip the yagi template file you downloaded. Now, the template is too long to enter just one A4 paper in any orientation. Hence, there will be a part 1 and 2 to print. You can also head here to create your very own yagi scale template for either 2.4GHz of 15 elements or even 20 Yagi elements.
- After printing, take your metric ruler or caliper and verify the measurement to ensure the vertical bars are spaced correctly according to scale across the horizontal line. The vertical bars represent the spot you are going to mount your paper clips to make the elements, and the horizontal line is for the popsicle sticks.
- You will notice two pairs of numbers on one side of each bar. The first to each bar represents the length of the element. The second represents how far each bar or element is from the start of the diagram. Both figures are measured in millimeters.
- Now, take your metric ruler and check at random some of the elements for scale consistency. Don’t forget to check both the size and the distance from the start. That’s super important.
- After the print has passed the consistency test, merge both parts of the template with your white glue. To do this, overlay the second part on the first. Make sure that they match. The right spot will be between element 10 and 11.
- Now take out your white glue and seal both prints.
Congratulations! We are halfway through. Now, let’s get our long distance wifi antenna up and running!
Making the diy wifi antenna:
- Retrieve your paper clips and nibbler.
- Starting from bar 15, place them on the printed template and use the nibbler to cut them to size. Leave bar two and one for now.
- Now, fix them in place using the crazy glue, starting from bar 15 to bar three. Leave bar two.
- Cut pieces of popsicle sticks and place them between the gaps of the fixed elements and stop at element three. Ensure that they overlap each other and the elements.
- Apply the white glue on the popsicle sticks to make them stick with the elements.
- Now, take out the clip you have for the second element, and expand it into a loop without the ends touching. It is going to serve as the driven element. As the name implies, this is the part where the Wifi adapter connects to the yagi antenna.
- Now, place it at bar two and fix it into place with crazy glue.
- Take out another cut piece of a popsicle stick and pass it through the second element to create the backbone. Use white glue to hold it in place.
- Complete the placement of the elements and their backbones.
- After doing that, proceed to reinforce the backbones with a popsicle stick. When done correctly, the construct should feel solid enough to serve as an antenna.
- Now, rip off the template so that you are left with your yagi antenna only.
Activating your Yagi antenna:
Now that we are done with creating the yagi antenna, what is probably on your mind is how we can get this thing to work.
Well, practically, at the moment what is left is for you to connect your yagi diy wifi antenna to the RF output of your Wifi’s board. Now, doing this can be tricky or easy depending on if you purchased a USB Wifi modem with an internal or external antenna.
External antenna: If what you have is external then all you need to do is solder a flexible copper wire to one end of the driven element on your Yagi and solder the other end of the wire to the transmitter of your whip antenna.
Internal antenna: for this type of modem, you are free to adjust the process to find what works best for you. Using a coax cable and soldering iron, solder the wire to the internal connectors and then to each end of the loop of your driven element. That’s all!
Note: ensure that the transmission line— the wire between driven element and Wifi— is tops 2.41-ich. If you can make it smaller better, why? Because to get the best output, the line should be as short as possible. So, you can take apart your Wifi adapter, get a USB extension and connect to it while attaching the modem to the yagi antenna. Using a copper or paper clip for your element doesn’t matter. What does is ensuring that you cut them to size. There is only one looped element and that will be the element two.
Congratulations!! You’ve just concluded the process of building your 2-4GHz yagi long distance wifi antenna. With it you can catch wifi signals from long distance like two miles away or more. It totally rocks!
WiFi POPtenna Booster
I know the name sounds kind of funny, but its performance is impressive and that’s why it is the number three on the list. With the POPtenna you will be able to increase the signal quality and range of your Wi-Fi. It’s that great, and the good news is that unlike others on this list, you don’t need much:
- A 2-liter diet coke bottle or its matching equivalent.
- Label cleaner
- Windex cleaner or its alternative.
- Tin foil
- Glue stick
- Get your 2ltr pop bottle or its equivalent.
- Get rid of the label on the bottle and ensure the entire outer part is clean and not sticky.
- Sit the bottle and get a large and sharp-mouthed pen.
- With the pen, draw a circle around the bottle close to the bottom. That means drawing a ring.
- Determine the diameter of the bottle.
- Now, using the pen draw two straight lines at half the diameter of the bottle to make a window.
- One end of the straight lines should touch the ring you made below. The other end should stop at the point where the top begins to slope to the mouth.
- Now, connect the end of the straight lines at the top using the pen.
- With the adequate tool in hand, cut through the lines of the window first to create your perfect window. After that, cut off the bottom.
- Now those are out of the way, retrieve your Windex cleaner or the alternative and wipe the inside of the container.
- Take out your tinfoil and glue stick.
- You will be wrapping the inside walls facing the window with the foil, so cut to size and ensure the foil smoothly attaches to the wall. It will help to focus the signals into the vertical omnidirectional antenna as a sort of dish.
- Get the bottle’s cap and wound it to the container.
- Take out your pen and draw X on the cap, an inch closer to the foiled part of the bottle. This will give more signal benefits than drawing it at the center.
- Unwind the cap and using your cut tool, cut through both lines. The cap will serve as the ring adjuster.
- Now, fasten the cap back on the bottle. This bottle construction will serve as your reflector or antenna booster.
- Slide the antenna into the x and force the bottle down the antenna until the edge of the antenna reaches the top of your reflector— bottle.
Congratulations! You have just completed this diy wifi antenna construction! Now, sit back and reap the benefits.
How it works:
It is time for you to get your poptenna to work, to test it. Take the antenna to a high point, preferable your roof. Now, place it somewhere safe and begin to turn the antenna until you notice an improved signal on your PC. For me, I got a stunning 90% increase! For some who have tried, they recorded within 76 to 90% increase in signal quality and also a boost in range of over 300ft.
Which one of these long distance wifi antenna has you excited? With these three Diy wifi antennas I am sure you have more options of quickly arresting your WiFi challenges until something even better comes up. Until next time, enjoy!