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antenna question: yagi-uda for use w/ Alfa AWUS036NHA


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Pretty straightforward...I'm getting really good results w an Alfa AWUS036NHA and 9dBi antenna, and wanted to try to extend my range. As far as I know, you can get 18dBi from a yagi-uda (correct me if I'm wrong) ? I know I saw Darren use one on an episode of the show, but don't know enough about electronics to know which is suitable. I don't want to fry anything. Any suggestions re: power and strength ? Thanks in advance.

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Riiight so...

Generally, your antenna directivity isn't directly drawn from the type, but the type and method of construction - while you can get 18dBi yagis, you can also get 22dBi (big) and 12 (small) and suchlike.

Antennas are passive equipment - they add no power and/or strength to your signal, only focus it, if that's how they've been built. It's exactly the same as a lightbulb - hanging from the ceiling, it lights all corners of the room. Put the same bulb in a torch with a reflector and it forces all the light forward to give you a clear path ahead at night.

If you have a wander through my post history, you'll spy that I write quite a lot about antennas, so I'll boil it down to a couple of points:

One from ebay for wifi // 2.4GHz shouldn't do your equipment any damage - they seem to be cheap enough about 18dBi as you suggest.

My preferred option is building them. It's not hard or an exact science - antenna performance relies on lots of variables we can't control so a slight quirk in build isn't going to kill it. I highly recommend either building a cantenna or an axial mode helical antenna. The first one is a tin of pringles, the latter one is some wire wrapped around a piece of plumbing pipe.

If your google fu for them is weak, give me a shout on irc - I never disconnect, so you can leave a message and I'll get back to you.
I should warn you - I can talk about these things all day and all night!

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