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).
Tony recommends visiting this site, where he did his research, if you wish to emulate his feat. In addition to fan guards, other circular dish-like objects can be used, such as a vegetable steamer.
Thanks for the tip – This will be mentioned on PRBristol.co.uk!
Is there anything else, just put my USB dongle on an extension cord and wire it in the middle of a desktop fan.
Will try this at the weekend. This could be unreal!!!