How to create a Wifi antenna

So you have ADSL and a wireless network. You buy a USB wireless adaptor to give you access to your network on your PC upstairs. But alas! The reception is as poor as a pauper. Fret not; Chinese cookware will come to the rescue.

This guide will show you how to create a Wifi antenna capable of increasing your signal strength to a more than useable level.

Making your own Wifi dish relies on the very lucky coincidence that Chinese cookware like woks and steamers are almost parabolic. We are essentially making a parabolic reflector that focuses the radio frequencies from your wireless network onto a single focal point, just like a satellite dish.

What you need:

  • A wok
  • A USB wireless adaptor
  • A USB cable
  • Some thin threaded rod (very easy to find at friendly hardware shop)
  • A couple of nuts and washers
  • Something that will become a handle, like a thin plank of sorts

Step one: Go to your local Chinese supermarket and find a wok that looks like a satellite dish in disguise. Buy it.

Step two: The very important bit: find the dish’s focal point. The whole point of the parabolic reflector is to focus the signal to a point that can be picked up by your USB adaptor.

To find the focal point you can go do a course in physics at one of our fine institutions of learning; or you can line the inside of your wok with tinfoil, hold it up to the sun and put your finger where you think the focal point is. Move your finger around until it feels like a heat-ray has found it. This is the focal point. Measure how far this point is from the centre of the dish.

Step three: Drill a hole in the centre of the dish. Use a drill, not a hammer. A hammer is not a drill and turns healthy bones into shattered ones. Drill a hole through whatever it is you are using as a handle. Now bolt the whole lot together with the point of the threaded rod at the focal point.

A note: Once you have drilled a hole into the wok, it is no longer a wok. It is now a very inefficient strainer.

Step four: Tape your USB adaptor to the threaded rod and plug into your PC. Now hope that it works. If it doesn’t, fiddle with the length of the threaded rod until the signal is strong enough to use. Brilliant!

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