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What Wi-Fi antennas do you like to use?


WiFi Cowboy
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Do you like big directionals?

Do you like portable ones that are easy to hide?

What kind of antenna setup do you use in your secret lair vs mobile?

Do you prefer to use a specific kind of antenna together with a specific wireless ALFA card or chipset?

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I'm planning on making one of

.

This is an instructable video on youtube by Andrew McNeil about how to make a mighty powerful biquad yagi. I think this is the perfect combination of size and efficiency. I'm sure like everybody doing wifi I've got the biquad in a CD spindle and for my home AP I'm considering making a sector antenna but haven't gotten around to that just yet.

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For distance I heard the RTL8187 is hard to beat. However, I heard it's receive capabilities are also it's handicap as it also picks up a lot of noise. I have a couple of these, one hooked to a 24dbi parabolic dish and one hooked to an 18dbi yagi which seem to work very well, however, I don't have a big omni (yet) to compare against as I'm sure an omni would pick up more noise. Of course I could be wrong. So I bought a couple 15dbi omnis to do some testing :) Now I need to get a couple short pig tails and drill some holes in my roof...

Edited by WiFi Cowboy
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For distance I heard the RTL8187 is hard to beat. However, I heard it's receive capabilities are also it's handicap as it also picks up a lot of noise. I have a couple of these, one hooked to a 24dbi parabolic dish and one hooked to an 18dbi yagi which seem to work very well, however, I don't have a big omni (yet) to compare against as I'm sure an omni would pick up more noise. Of course I could be wrong. So I bought a couple 15dbi omnis to do some testing :) Now I need to get a couple short pig tails and drill some holes in my roof...

Never go through the roof! Go out an eve if you can, with plenty of silicone. If you have to go out a roof, try to go out one of the roof vents. That way it's properly flashed and won't leak! Noise really has nothing to do with the antenna, unless it's a shitty antenna to begin with.

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I have to go through the roof if I want to mount the antenna as high as possible with the shortest coax. I'll patch it up nice. :wink:

I guess my theory behind the omni picking up more noise is that it's picking up noise from 360 degrees instead of a focused direction, though I'm not sure if this is the case. It makes sense but I still gotta try it myself as I could be wrong and the directional may "channel" in just as much noise from one direction and it may be a wash between the two. I guess I'll find out. At the very least, I'll have given my Kali a couple more "arms".

All of my antennas (except a home brew yagi and a couple cheap yagis) are ALFA brand and seem like good quality antennas. Unfortunately, I have my main antenna cluster mounted in the attic on a remote control rotator. I can't have that thing on the outside of my roof as I'm sure it will raise some eyebrows. :huh:

Also I would be interested in Cooper's idea for an antenna. I'm going to look into that.

Antenna rotator...

Antenna_zpseb1a8d6c.jpg

Edited by WiFi Cowboy
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I have to go through the roof if I want to mount the antenna as high as possible with the shortest coax. I'll patch it up nice. :wink:

I guess my theory behind the omni picking up more noise is that it's picking up noise from 360 degrees instead of a focused direction, though I'm not sure if this is the case. It makes sense but I still gotta try it myself as I could be wrong and the directional may "channel" in just as much noise from one direction and it may be a wash between the two. I guess I'll find out. At the very least, I'll have given my Kali a couple more "arms".

All of my antennas (except a home brew yagi and a couple cheap yagis) are ALFA brand and seem like good quality antennas. Unfortunately, I have my main antenna cluster mounted in the attic on a remote control rotator. I can't have that thing on the outside of my roof as I'm sure it will raise some eyebrows. :huh:

Also I would be interested in Cooper's idea for an antenna. I'm going to look into that.

Antenna rotator...

Antenna_zpseb1a8d6c.jpg

Holy crap!

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Watch "Parabolic Antennas for 2 4GHz part 1" on YouTube

Parabolic Antennas for 2 4GHz part 1:

For directional home build, this would be my recommendation... the parabolic reflector will take your driven element threw space and time :-P or threw walls and tree's

Edited by i8igmac
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I built this yagi but haven't tried it yet, I need a pigtail.

yagi_zps0c3afa70.jpg

I would definitely like to build one like in Cooper's video and i8igmac's video and do a comparo (that bi-quad looks sinister :grin: )

I think my favorite antenna so far is my ALFA parabolic dish. That thing really walks the dog, but it's HUGE.

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I have built yagi's and biquad's, I was not that impressed... if you include a parabolic rear reflector in your build then you will experience HUGE gain

I can play online first person shooters with no lag... extremely long distance threw walls and trees.

If you need a a pig tail, I opened up a detachable antenna, spliced on a barrel connector that will fit most coax cable connectors the dish network guys leave behind

I have example videos on youtube if you are interested

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I appreciate it i8igmac, but I already ordered some cable/connectors off Amazon. I would still be interested in seeing how you spliced the cable onto the antenna connectors though...

One thing that amazes me since I started playing with microwaves... How damned reflect-able (and absorb-able) they are!

Good stuff, Cooper. That one looks way easier to build than mine was. I had the luxury of a digital mill. He built his with just common tools.

Edited by WiFi Cowboy
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This made a few laughs over at the netstumbler forums years ago. I shopped it up a bit though...

acmeantenna.jpeg

The dude couldn't understand why his antenna didn't work very well...

Had this hooked up to a bluetooth dongle once. I could see headsets a quarter mile down the street, my house at the time was at the top of a T.

IMG_0073.JPG

IMG_0074.JPG

Edited by barry99705
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I've made many antennas like the coyote (a piece of wire wrapped around a pencil), and they worked about as bad as they looked :grin:. Actually, one that impressed me a lot was the "inverted V dipole"... 2 strands of copper wire in an upside down V. But, I like that picture of the coyote's antenna.. I've been there and tried making antennas like that. I'd like to try some more complex designs like in barry99705's bottom two pictures or some of the vids posted earlier but time has been a factor. I think I'm going to have to try the bi-quad yagi next.

One thing that I still don't quite understand, the pineapple has regular SMA connectors where almost everything else wi-fi has RP SMA. I read earlier in the forums that it was for a quality connection. Are regular SMA connectors superior to RP SMA? If that's the case, I'll switch to regular SMA.

Edited by WiFi Cowboy
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  • 3 months later...

Due to distance you'll probably prefer directional and preferably sensitive/powerful so you can handle going through a wall or two.

Here are some options you can use. Pick one depending on the size and to what extent it's necessary for you to hide it.

1.

2.

3.

And yes, when it comes to Wifi, Andrew McNeil is my hero.

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Thanks Cooper.

Andrew sure knows what he is doing and his videos are superb, but does he sell ready made antennas? I really need an off the shelf solution, not something I would have to build myself as I have already wasted enough money and time on other self-build projects in the recent past. Is there a tried and tested ready-built solution someone can recommend on say ebay?

I like the idea of a Yagi In A Can because it looks discrete. It could be a poster or a canvas painting rolled in a tube up for all anybody else would know - and therefore not likely to arouse suspicion.

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  • 1 month later...

Built in fractal antenna most the time, if I'm mobile and need range in towns and villages directional patch, in cities and I need range helical, cities just shitting about cloverleaf. Need to cover an area sector antennas, point to point parabolic and if I need something cheap, easy and reliable to make, biquad or slotted wave guide.

Fractal are fairly easy to make to be fair if you have access to a etching equipment or a small cnc machine.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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