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  • homemade wifi antenna

    I figure people would like to see why the heck I have a pvc pipe mounted as an antenna on by Ramcharger. Check out the pictures. It is a homemade omnidirectional wireless networking antenna with a built in USB dongle. I mounted it last night and drove around town with netstumbler and found access points EVERYWHERE. Although its kinda illegal to use someone's access point without permission, its ment to be used at truck stops and the sort. Many business have free WiFi internet now, even McDonald's. I specifically made this one for my business plan for Entrepreneurship class in college.










    The USB dongle is located in the steel pipe at the base. I used two small steel pipes for a cheep mount with two u bolts. I cut a slot at the top side of the steel pipe for the cable and sealed it with silicon. I'm contemplating painting it black and thus rip the silicon off for something paintable.

    Here is a link for antenna directions...
    http://www.nodomainname.co.uk/Omnico...4collinear.htm

    The antenna is considered a vertical collinear antenna... Let me know what you guys think.

  • #2
    Nice, I've got a smaller one with a N female connection for my wifi card. The one I have is only about a foot long though. You should try one of the linux live cds and run kismet to really see what's out there. Netstumbler will only show you wireless access points that have the ssid broadcast turned on.
    Failure is not an option....



    It's installed by default on every version of Windows.

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    • #3
      I thought about mounting a 6 foot pvc pipe on my jag for an antenna. I would just mount it to the bumper. What are you using as the actual antenna?
      New Age Garmin - Skin for RR
      New Age Slider - RR SKin In Progress
      "It's called CODE because I don't want you to know"

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      • #4
        So have you thought about selling this pipe dream?
        Avengerki
        PC Install: 85%
        Car PC: Revo-Sys X300 Double Din: 1.3GHz Pentium
        Software install and setup: 35%
        Entertainment Package: 85%

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        • #5
          I'm using a vertical collinear antenna with a USB dongle built into it at the base. See the link I posted...

          http://www.nodomainname.co.uk/Omnico...4collinear.htm

          I have the adapter attached with a thin piece of coax now, but this is what it sorta looks like...



          I'm using the ZdYAS 1211 chipset now, and from what I read it's widely used with Linux. I'll give the liveCD a try before I go through the process of loading my spare computer with Gentoo or something. I think I'll try something easier than Gentoo this time though. Last time I tied I had trouble getting old RaLink drivers to work for a PCI card.

          I think the think I'm going to worry about the most right now is getting the antenna on a spring mount. I'm worried about hitting a tree or something. I am considering producing them. They would probably be sold for about $100 each, and the only competitor on USB powered antennas markets theirs for marina/boat use.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ThunderStick View Post
            I thought about mounting a 6 foot pvc pipe on my jag for an antenna. I would just mount it to the bumper. What are you using as the actual antenna?
            He posted the link for the antenna. The PVC is just the radome.
            Failure is not an option....



            It's installed by default on every version of Windows.

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            • #7
              I know that but he stated that he did it as part of his business plan for his entrepreneurship class.
              Avengerki
              PC Install: 85%
              Car PC: Revo-Sys X300 Double Din: 1.3GHz Pentium
              Software install and setup: 35%
              Entertainment Package: 85%

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              • #8
                I've considered producing them, but the idea is just for my project now. They are pretty hard to make and I don't see if being worthwhile unless I can figure out how to make one in an hour's time. I figure with a lot of small machine shop tools I can quicken the process dramatically, but I don't know to what extent in a 3 person startup shop. In my business plan I'm considering marketing it towards truck drivers and trucking companies possibly who want wireless. One person told me he wanted his drivers on wireless networking while idle in a parking garage.

                By the way, I haven't posted on this board in ages, can't find my old login and have no traces in my old email accounts at least on this computer. If anyone has been around here for like 6 years my name is Nick and I'm from Parma Ohio.

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                • #9
                  Just a Gentoo update, they now support the Ralink drivers natively. all you have to do is
                  Code:
                  emerge rt2500
                  . I currently use an old linksys with an rt2500 in it on my gentoo box and it works great!

                  cheers,

                  - Tam -

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nicksmurf111 View Post
                    I've considered producing them, but the idea is just for my project now. They are pretty hard to make and I don't see if being worthwhile unless I can figure out how to make one in an hour's time. I figure with a lot of small machine shop tools I can quicken the process dramatically, but I don't know to what extent in a 3 person startup shop. In my business plan I'm considering marketing it towards truck drivers and trucking companies possibly who want wireless. One person told me he wanted his drivers on wireless networking while idle in a parking garage.

                    By the way, I haven't posted on this board in ages, can't find my old login and have no traces in my old email accounts at least on this computer. If anyone has been around here for like 6 years my name is Nick and I'm from Parma Ohio.
                    I'm pretty sure there's already a commercial usb antenna/wifi adapter unit that looks really close to this. Besides, you'd have to get fcc approval to sell one of these things, plus approval of the manufacturer of the wifi stick.
                    Failure is not an option....



                    It's installed by default on every version of Windows.

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                    • #11
                      Thats true with a little searching I found a surprising similar porduct but without the built in usb wifi for $61. it was at http://wlanparts.com/product/OD24-12 They even look the same.
                      Avengerki
                      PC Install: 85%
                      Car PC: Revo-Sys X300 Double Din: 1.3GHz Pentium
                      Software install and setup: 35%
                      Entertainment Package: 85%

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                      • #12
                        $94 with USB wifi
                        Carputer Project Status:
                        0% - Mobo died on 2/17/08
                        Check out the worklog for my '01 Pathfinder.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by walstib View Post
                          $94 with USB wifi
                          That one uses the same zydas POS I threw away.

                          Found one.

                          http://www.radiolabs.com/products/wireless/waverv.php
                          Failure is not an option....



                          It's installed by default on every version of Windows.

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                          • #14
                            I'm aware that I'd need FCC approval and that's why I probably won't ever produce them in the long run. I wonder how much money it costs to have them approve it anyhow.

                            I'm also aware that multiple people say this card is a piece of crap. So far it's the first WiFi adapter I've owned that is shipped with Linux drivers. I haven't had any issues with it yet. I haven't tried Linux yet either, but it works well with Windows 9x and 2000.

                            Radiolabs is the only place I've seen that sells two USB powered antennas like this so far. I like their marine model more. It looks more weather tight than the RV one. The $61 antenna is probably an excellent antenna but requires a feed line. LMR-400 ends are as expensive as the dongle itself.

                            So far I can't complain, this thing is freaking powerful. I'm about to buy some more of those crappy adapters cause they seem to have AP modes built into them also (and very easy to solder the traces). I might create a Linux base station or something to go along with my future parabolic dish antenna I've been wanting to build for years. The USB dongle design just reduces the cost and signal loss of all those expensive connectors. With USB cable at like $4 or so for 10' with no signal loss (as long as the USB port can power the device) it's awesome!

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                            • #15
                              If I bought a external antenna ( lazy ) I have a tp-link pcmcia card I dont mind destroying how/where do I go about soldering the two together ?
                              Would it be at the point I have highlighted ?

                              Thanks
                              Attached Files

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