Bristol Wireless volunteer Tony Stone has been experimenting with increasing the range of USB wifi dongles and has come up with a splendid bit of home-made kit.
In Tony’s own words:
I was having trouble picking up my local WiFi hotspot. I was using a USB dongle and added an extension cable to put it outside the window. This allowed me to access the local network. The signal was still weak and after a bit of thought and research I decided to add a reflector to see if it could be made to work more effectively.
I found an old desktop fan and removed the metal fan mesh guard. I found it had a hole and I was able to mount the dongle through it using the low-tech fixing solution of twisted wire, although cable ties are an alternative.
Upon testing, I found this significantly increased the reception range of my access point. It had suddenly started to pick up networks that were over half a mile away!
Congratulations Tony! You’re continuing a fine old Bristol Wireless tradition of home brew kit (news passim).