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Beer Hardware Hacking Networking Wireless Networking Build

Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal Using Only a Beer Can 229

Posted by timothy
from the for-some-values-of-only dept.
First time accepted submitter AmyVernon writes with a small hack that "is supposed to boost signal strength by at least 2 to 4 bars," and which requires little more than a can of beer (or Orangina). She writes: "What you need: scissors, a utility knife, some adhesive putty and an empty beer can. The brand doesn't matter for the router, but I suppose it would be cooler looking if it were Asahi or Stella Artois than if it were Budweiser." Perhaps this will be added one day to my favorite (and very extensive!) list of low-budget Wi-Fi amplifying rigs.
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Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal Using Only a Beer Can

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  • by gzipped_tar (1151931) on Saturday September 10, 2011 @04:37AM (#37361090) Journal

    1. This is old news.
    2. Amplified signal power in your direction == amplified noise for your neighbors in other directions.
    3. This is probably illegal in many jurisdictions.
    4. Nerds don't measure "signal strength" in "bars". Use S/N or leave /..
    5. ???
    6. Profit!!

  • Bars (Score:5, Informative)

    by TarMil (1623915) on Saturday September 10, 2011 @04:37AM (#37361092)
    Since when is WiFi signal strength measured in bars? It's a pressure unit.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 10, 2011 @04:49AM (#37361134)

    I suppose it would be cooler looking if it were Asahi or Stella Artois than if it were Budweiser.

    There is nothing special about Stella Artois, in Belgium (where it has its origin) it is the most ordinary beer you can find. The coolness ("premium beer") it has in some other countries is nothing but marketing. When I was a nerd, nerds did not fall for that, but it seems the power of marketing has no limit nowadays.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 10, 2011 @04:53AM (#37361150)

    you could run the freeantennas.com template [freeantennas.com] through your printer, cut out the bits, glue them together, slap a bit of tin foil on the back, and off you go. It really takes less than ten minutes to make one. That's an easy 8..9dB extra gain.

    The thing that's critical to beer can and paper-and-tinfoil construction is a reasonable parabolic shape and positioning the antenna at that parabole's focal point. Though a nice square angle will do too, but there again it's the focal point that does it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 10, 2011 @05:23AM (#37361240)

    OTOH, amplified signal power in one direction = reduced noise for your neighbors in other directions. Granted, if you measure signal in "bars", it's safe to assume you know nothing about laying out a site for minimal interference, but for those who know and care, directional antennas of modest gain can be quite effective for making your home network work without tragedying up the commons.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 10, 2011 @06:17AM (#37361400)

    Obviously you're going to measure the maximum gain and adjust the power output to avoid exceeding the allowed EIRP. Then you'll still have better reception, and if the other side also uses a high-gain antenna pointed at your access point, you can each hear the other side better (because you lowered the received noise and increased the received signal), radiate less total power and create less noise for other Wifi users. That's what you're going to do, right?

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