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Beer Hardware Hacking Networking Wireless Networking Build

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

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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  • News? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nbetcher ( 973062 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {rehctebn}> on Saturday September 10, 2011 @05:55AM (#37361164)
    Haven't we known this since 802.11 came out? Pringles can, anyone?
  • Re:Bars (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pjt33 ( 739471 ) on Saturday September 10, 2011 @06:25AM (#37361244)

    Asking for figures to be given with units which actually make sense indicates competence, not arrogance. The arrogance, if any, is the submitter assuming that everyone uses the same software as them (boosting by "at least 2 to 4 bars" indicates that it can boost by more, which would be quite impressive with software where 4 bars is as high as it goes), but I think it's fairer to assume ignorance than arrogance.

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Saturday September 10, 2011 @09:10AM (#37361754) Journal

    2. Amplified signal power in your direction == amplified noise for your neighbors in other directions.
    3. This is probably illegal in many jurisdictions.

    This isn't amplification. It's just a reflector.

  • Re:Bars (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Idarubicin ( 579475 ) on Saturday September 10, 2011 @11:45AM (#37362530) Journal

    Asking for figures to be given with units which actually make sense indicates competence, not arrogance....

    Not really. For the person asking the question "Will this mean I can get reliable wifi in my bedroom now?" the qualitative experience of "I'm seeing two to four more bars" is a relatively meaningful unit. The little 'bar'-type displays of wifi signal strength, or battery life, or whatever other electronic property one might wish a consumer to be aware of virtually always have between 4 and 6 bars at full scale; one doesn't have to be familiar with a particular brand or device in order to interpret a 2-to-4-bar increase as significant-but-not-magical.

    In contrast, saying "The reflector provided me with a 4 dB gain" isn't helpful to the average individual ("The router is how loud now?") and shrug-worthy to any competent electrical engineer ("Meh; that's about what I would have guessed. The gain is going to depend quite a bit on exactly how the can is placed and shaped - and on the design of my router - anyway; I'll just fiddle with mine until I get the best signal.")

    Demanding precise measurements in technically-correct units characterizing a one-off device held together with Blu-Tack isn't an indication of competence, it's an indication of arrogance and pedantry.

Don't get suckered in by the comments -- they can be terribly misleading. Debug only code. -- Dave Storer