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Boost your wi-fi range. Cheap!

  1. #1
    Bronze Member taurius1's Avatar
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    Default Boost your wi-fi range. Cheap!

    I've noticed that there's quite a few people here using wi-fi networks. I know how frustrating it is when there's only that 2 square feet of space in the corner of your last room where you get a decent reception.

    I have a similar setup. My PC (and all associated hardware including my modem and wifi router) are in the north corner of the house. The main reason I installed wifi was so that my dad could access the internet in his bedroom, which is in the south corner of the house. In between the router and the laptop in question is a distance of about 50 feet, puctuated by four foot thick bricks walls, and the main fusebox for the floor. So, by the time the signal got to the bedroom, the interference was so much that I could barely get a signal of 5% at the door, and absolutely no signal on the bed. And this is with all the connecting doors open.

    I was contemplating getting another router and using it as an accesspoint or something of the sort, just to boost the signal. So, I did what I always do when I need tech help. I asked google.

    This is what I found: How To: Boost Your Wireless Signal With a Homemade Wifi Extender




    I tried it out, and it was brilliant. I've managed to save on the cost of new hardware, and built myself an antenna out of a sheet of boxboard and some alluminium foil.

    If you're feelin lazy to follow the links and do your own research, here's how I did it.


    1) Download either one of these templates: Click on the thumbnails to download the complete file. Imagehosting provided by xs.to

    A] For single page printout:



    B] For two page printout: [print each image on a seperate sheet]

    Dish:

    Brace:


    2) Assembly: Paste the antenna on a piece of mountboard / carboard / card paper /any stiff sheet of paper. Use two layers if you have to.
    Paste aluminium foil over one side. Take care to not leave any bubbles, and to avoid making any creases . I know it might seem impossible, but you can get a fairly smooth surface if you do this on the floor, and carefully press on it with a rolling pin. [belan, as your mom might call it.]

    Cut along the lines. Use a cutter to cut out the slots for the brace.

    3) Along similar lines, paste the brace on a stiff paper, and cut it out. Use a blade / cutter to cut out the cross hole for the antenna of your router.
    DO NOT USE ALUMINIUM FOIL HERE.

    4) Insert the tabs in the slots, it's fairly simple.

    5) Mount the dish on the antenna of your wi-fi router, and aim it in the direction you want to boost your signal. Keep in mind that the signal behind the antenna will also get reduced. This setup effectively "throws" your waves to one side. See image below:



    How do I know it worked?
    I tested the signal strength using the "Xirrus wifi monitor" vista sidebar gadget.

    Signal strength at farthest point in house:

    Before installtion of antenna: 0%

    Using antenna made using single page printout on A4 sheet of paper: 17~21%

    Using antenna made using two page printout on two A4 sheets of paper: 35~45%

    I am able to get my full bandwidth even there now. I'm happy.


    This is a great, inexpensive and quick solution to direct your wifi signal.



    I appologise for not posting this in the broadband "howto" section. I never thought of it as i'd only been browsing the reliance wimax section all the time.
    Last edited by taurius1; 19th September 2008 at 08:30 AM.

  2. #2
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    are you sure this works and is it really working for you
    I know about Hi-Gain antenna and wireless repeater but this is something really strange.

  3. #3
    Bronze Member taurius1's Avatar
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    Yeah I'm sure.
    If you wanna try it yourself, go right ahead. All you're gonna lose is a max of 50 bucks and 10 minutes of your time. Way better than spending 2000 on a new router and god knows how many hours figuring out the settings!

    THe science is simple. High reflectivity material, like aluminium actually "reflects" the EMwaves. I guess you must have seen the Radar parabolic dishes on navy ships and on TV.... the reason they are that way is to boost the reach in one direction with the same amount of power. Consequently, to keep a lookout over the entire area around them, it is set into rotation.

    I'm serious... try it out. You might be surprised. I just discoverd that this has let meget a decent enough reception in my kitchen. A place that messes up the network coz of the microwave oven, the fridge, and the very fact that the path between the router and the kitchen involes brick and cement interference of an effective length of ab out 4 feet. (the line of sight goin slanting through a wall always entounters greater resistance, remember?)

    OOh... do try it. I had fun doing this. reminded me of school. Arts and Crafts for geeks!! :P

  4. #4
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    will try this for sure
    thanks for update :clap:

  5. #5
    Guardian Angel just4kix's Avatar
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    This is a good "How To" article. Repo points to taurius1.
    *** Never argue with an idiot. ***

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  6. #6
    Alligator itsmemad's Avatar
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    I also researched about it few days back... The impression I got was... It doesn't actually boost the signal much... Therz only a minor change... If one has to get a good signal over a large area... he should go for a good wi-fi router at 1st place... with atleast 3 small antennas sticking to it... 4 will b better...
    but yes it does have its security advantages... As it blocks the wi-fi signal from spreading all over the place...

    Anyway u get a rep for bringing in a new idea...
    Last edited by itsmemad; 21st September 2008 at 07:19 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  7. #7
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    Thanks for sharing

    Has anyone here tried this yet?

  8. #8
    Guardian Angel just4kix's Avatar
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    I will try it next weekend. In therory it should work.

    The effect would be maximum if the antenna core (stick) lies at the radial line.
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  9. #9
    Bronze Member taurius1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by just4kix View Post
    This is a good "How To" article. Repo points to taurius1.

    I didn't know we had rep points here. O_o

    Cool!!
    *runs off to copy other guides to spam for more rep points*

    Lol. Just kidding. :P

  10. #10
    Guardian Angel just4kix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taurius1 View Post
    I didn't know we had rep points here. O_o

    Cool!!
    *runs off to copy other guides to spam for more rep points*

    Lol. Just kidding. :P
    No problem in doing that but do not steal someone else's IP. If you wish to provide link to some other forum please seek permission.

    And keep up the good work. We need people like you here who can make real meaty contributions.
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  11. #11
    Bronze Member taurius1's Avatar
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    It is at the centre. I've found that increasing the surface area of the dish makes it go further away... So my dish occupies almost one complete A4 sized paper.


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    I have a similar set up like yours but this is in a room on the first floor unit of my house. The room is west facing and my antennae and wifi router is east facing. The signal needs to be constant through out the house on both the first and ground floor. How do I acheive this with your antennae design?

    Should there be a larger surface reflection area ? If I use two such antennae will this increase the signal strength to a greater degree?

    Cheers,
    Srini

  13. #13
    Bronze Member taurius1's Avatar
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    Larger surface area means that the signal is "thrown" to a farther distance from your antenna. But there is obviously an upper limit to how far you can make the signal go.

    Also, keep in mind that every wall, door, or just about any obsctruction will lessen your signal by as little as 3 dB to as much as 75dB. When the signal has to travel diagonally through a wall, it sees an even greater interference than when i has to go straight through. So keep this in mind when positioning your router!

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    Looks like a nice idea.But i am not sure enough if it work.Even if it does works it will be unreliable and inconsistent.

  15. #15
    Bronze Member taurius1's Avatar
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    Like I said, It's workin jsut fine for me. There's no question of it being unreliable. Don't be apprehensive about it, it works beautifully. IF you want, I'll stamp a D-link or Linksys logo on it to pacify the brand conscious geeks here. DO try it out. The most you have to lose is about fifty bucks of materials and 10 minutes of your time.

  16. #16
    Bronze Member nethack's Avatar
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    Nice work,
    don't care for "brand conscious geeks "...
    in this world u can find every kind of people.

  17. #17
    Guardian Angel just4kix's Avatar
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    This works like a charm people. At my place, the signal boosted by two bars. I get "Good connection" without the contraption, with this one added, I get "Excellent".

    That is the reason, I have bumped this thread.
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  18. #18
    Platinum Member puchu's Avatar
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    Pleased to see the use of microwave engineering in practical, good work, I thought I am the only one. I use simillar kind of setup to boost the signal strength of my mobile phone and my old FM radio.

    Quote Originally Posted by manojjonam10 View Post
    Looks like a nice idea.But i am not sure enough if it work.Even if it does works it will be unreliable and inconsistent.
    Well the performance depends upon you, how you make it and more importantly how you place it.

    As the reflector is a concave one ,and the source is supposed to be at infinity ,so the wi-fi reciever antenna should be at "f" where it would give maximum intersection. So now you need to go back to your school science book and read some more about optics.

    Even you can use this technique not only for reception but also for transmission as a directional antenna.
    Last edited by puchu; 2nd March 2009 at 05:21 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  19. #19
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    Good info, and thanks for it.

    Least we have had people on the forum who have tried it out and now have reviews on it too.

  20. #20
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    Great..

    Simply superb!!!

    I will try this after i get the BSNL connection.

  21. #21
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    Great Idea will try It tomorrow and see if its working fine with me

  22. #22
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    Let me check this.

    Thanks for sharing.
    "Change is the only Constant thing in the Universe"

  23. #23
    The Master imrock's Avatar
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    it works yaar i tried it and i took it outside my home and it worked with 100% signal
    "LIFE IS LIKE AN ICE-CREAM SO ENJOY IT AS MUCH AS U CAN"

  24. #24
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    could someone re-post the step by step guide with images...

    images not currently visible..

    thanks

  25. #25
    Bronze Member taurius1's Avatar
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    Please follow the reposted guide in the howto section here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by puchu View Post
    Pleased to see the use of microwave engineering in practical, good work, I thought I am the only one. I use simillar kind of setup to boost the signal strength of my mobile phone and my old FM radio.


    Well the performance depends upon you, how you make it and more importantly how you place it.

    As the reflector is a concave one ,and the source is supposed to be at infinity ,so the wi-fi reciever antenna should be at "f" where it would give maximum intersection. So now you need to go back to your school science book and read some more about optics.

    Even you can use this technique not only for reception but also for transmission as a directional antenna.
    How would you go about boosting your mobile phone reception? I am in a dead area for mobile reception. Thanks.

  27. #27
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    @MasterPuppets206
    How would you go about boosting your mobile phone reception
    Google search: cellphone booster antenna
    commercial and DIY websites available.






    DIY: Do it yourself

  28. #28
    birender
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    this method is to reflect the signal in a particular direction.... you can search youtube you can get lots of videos for the same.

    Birender

  29. #29
    Its Time To Change ! deepmohan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by birender View Post
    this method is to reflect the signal in a particular direction.... you can search youtube you can get lots of videos for the same.

    Birender
    Thanks for giving this info.....
    ___________________________________

    Cheers...!

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