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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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  • Re:Bars (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Gaygirlie ( 1657131 ) <gaygirlie AT hotmail DOT com> on Saturday September 10, 2011 @05:43AM (#37361112) Homepage

    Since when is WiFi signal strength measured in bars? It's a pressure unit.

    The writer is likely a person that doesn't have much experience with WiFi technology and is only familiar with the GUI WiFi signal icon. I agree that telling some actual numbers of expect boost to signal would be more useful, but.. well, the point is that it boosts the signal reception somewhat, ignoring the point and nitpicking about the wording expresses only arrogance.

  • Re:News? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 10, 2011 @06:13AM (#37361202)

    Yes, and no. If you cut up a pringles can and use it like this cut-up beer can, then yes. But the trick of the pringles can was that you could use it as a waveguide, or you could put a yagi inside it. It's pretty poor as a circular waveguide for 2.4GHz actually as it's too small; dunno about the yagi inside.

    Building a good waveguide is a bit trickier than this. It starts with most materials expecting you to do all the horrible math yourself (it boils down to two constants, eventually, after you've fed the right formulae with the right parameters through wolfram alpha) or they give rules of thumb on not enough digits in the wrong measurements system. Or they use twice-converted stuff. And that's just for knowing where to stick the probe in the side of the can. What's much harder to find is information about what size & length the probe ought to be; the one study I could find was for 10GHz and it basically said "try a lot and see what works". Anyhow. I know all this because I spent weeks trying to understand just what was going on with waveguides.

    A 1d parabola like this is far, far less complicated, and cheaper too. Print it out or cut it up and stick it over the 2dBi omni you already have. Not counting tools, a usable waveguide costs more in N-plug and pigtail already.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead