Building a Wireless Antenna

The application of a wireless antenna network has become popular because it is efficient and economical. Building an antenna is simple and does not consume much time and money. One of the best methods to improve a wireless signal is to use a wireless antenna. In a wireless antenna there are five categories including Parabolic, Dish, patch, sector, etc. These antennas are available in stores but they are very expensive. 

You need not purchase an expensive antenna when you can build one at home yourself. The easiest way to build a wireless antenna is by using old juice tins or cans and wiring all at a cost of less than five dollars. You need not be an electrical engineer to build this antenna. The steps to build the antenna are given below.

Things You'll Need for Building a Wireless Antenna

  • An N-female chassis mount connector
  • Electric drill
  • A few inches of 12-gauge copper wire
  • Solder
  • A tin can
  • Soldering iron
  • Bolts

Step 1: Finding the Right Tin Can

Look for a tin can that is 4 inches in diameter and 5.4 inches in length. Use this can to build the antenna. Try finding a large soup can that is suitable for this task. Open its one end, eat the soup and clean the tin can thoroughly. 

Step 2: Drilling a Hole into the Can

Using a marker, draw a line of 1.9 inches on the side of the can that helps when making the hole. Now drill the hole where the line is drawn. This hole is made for the connector to pass through. The wireless connector must be fixed at the right spot which is a challenging task.

Step 3: Soldering

Take the 12-gauge copper wire and insert it into the connector at its shorter side. After inserting the wire, solder it so that it remains in place. Soldering is done to fix the wires firmly to the antenna and also to prevent short circuits or shocks. Cut the wire to make it 1.3 inches long.

Step 4: Fixing the Connector

Finally use the bolts to fix the connector in place. Now your custom-made wireless antenna is ready for testing. 

Useful Tips and Warnings

  • The trick behind building a successful wireless antenna is to place the connector at the right place. For best results the connector should be kept 1 1/4 upwards of the wavelength measuring from the bottom of the can.
  • The size of the tin can described here is the same wavelength used by the 802.11 series of wireless devices.
  • The screws should be mounted so that the head of the screw faces the inner part of the can, and the nut faces the outer part. This is done to prevent the radio waves from getting blocked.
  • To make a strong connection, the connector wires should be twisted before soldering.
  • The negative and positive wires of the connector should not be connected to each other.
  • To prevent rain water or condensation from collecting in the can, drill another small hole into the can. This will act as an outlet to drain the rain water.