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Jennifer

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11:35 pm: adventures in wifi
My latest obsession has been home built wifi antennas. I have been basing my designs off designs I found online. So far I have 2 antennas built. One is a pringles can Yagi based off this design by Rob Flickenger. http://www.oreillynet.com/cs/weblog/view/wlg/448?wlg=yes . the main difference between my design and his is that I use a wifi dongle instead of the usual N connector. Testing so far shows that I get better signal strength with the can than without. I seem to get a boost of about 5 arbitrary units boost in signal strength.

My other antenna made of a long metal can doesn't seem to do much better. In fact in a recent test the metal can wasn't able to get beyond the highest signal strength achieved with the pringles can. My next antenna will be made out of a cookie can. I found some plans for a cookie cantenna, so mine should work. I just hope it works better than the pringles can. It seems that a wider can works better.

At some point I am going to post some images showing the signal strength with the different antennas. I did a test of the pringles can with an access point at a starbucks down town. Now that I have that as a base line it will help in testing the other antennas. It also helps that I know the location of the access point. When running a test from my apartment I have no idea where exactly the access point is. So I can't be exactly sure as to where to point the can.

I have also been wanting to make a parabolic wifi antenna based off these designs http://www.usbwifi.orcon.net.nz/ I will go ahead and post some more once I have made and tested some more antennas.

My goal is to creat a robust antenna with good gain. At some point I may be moving to an apartment complex near campus. It would be nice if I could pick up a good wifi signal from there. That way I could avoid getting cable internet or dealing with dial up. I don't know if I would have a clearn enough line of site to the access points on campus though.

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