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WiFry: Cooking up 2.4 GHz Antennas

Turn a $10 cooking scoop into a high-performance WiFi antenna for extended signal range.

By Stan Swan

Click for larger image
Take one parabolic skimmer, a few hand tools and a USB cable...

There has recently been a flood of cheap USB WiFi "dongle" adaptors that have greatly stimulated 2.4GHz WiFi applications and experimentation.

We obtained some from Dick Smith Electronics here in NZ – alas, DSE Australia appear to have decided not to stock these little beauties but they (or items very similar) are available from a variety of suppliers.

(For those not fortunate enough to reside on the eastern islands [aka North Island or South Island] , DSE NZ does do mail orders back to Australia [see contacts at the end of this article] .)

Given the line-of-sight (LOS) nature of microwave signals, obstructions from head high objects, partitions and vegetation may be at least partially overcome if the antenna can be mounted even a couple of metres or so higher, or at least clear of obstructions, away from noisy and shielding PCs into signal "sweet spots".

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