This summer I have been hitting up some campgrounds with the new camper, and most of them have WiFi access. Usually, we are behind trees, a hill, or other RV's of most AP antennas. At an earlier visit to a favorite campground, I could connect at a blistering 6~11 mbps with a weak signal (2~3 bars at best) wanted to see what was out there that could help me out, and found that there are many products geared for RV's and extending WiFi's but nothing in the budget I wanted to spend.

I did a search and found a couple of programs: NetStumbler and Easy WiFi Radarand loaded them into the laptop.

I also found this website:
Dusty Dragon Free Wifi Anywhere

I watched many of the youtube videos about extending your WiFi range and such, making antennas, cantennas, wifi dishes etc and it looked easy enough. so I went to work with what I could get my hands on cheap.

Making your own seems to be the gig, pretty cool perspective I think.

I had the USB wifi dongle that I had been using so there was no expense there. The task was to find a dish that had a focal point in the right place, was small enough to use in a camper (no big thing that eats up space) and had to weather the elements of camping.

So, after an hour of searching around the house, 30 minutes with some bench time and tools, and 15 minutes with the laptop this is what I came up with:



Shown here with my Homemade HD antenna, perched up above my camper you can see my own Mini WiFi dish. Its gain is amazing! From my place, I could only see my own network but with this mini dish I can find 28 access points just looking one direction, and looking another, I can connect at full speed, full strength to the public library's public access point about 6 blocks away, since it's within direct visual range with no obstructions to worry about.

Back at the campground 2 weeks later, I connected easily and found another 16 AP's that I could connect to! The gain was no less than -15db. but what was more amazing was how many AP's I could find and jump right into. I was able to aim the dish across San Diego Mission Bay, and connect to the AP at the Hyatt Regency about 3 miles away.

Amazing. I never knew it was so easy! Ya gotta love learning stuff on the internet.

SO, the question now is, has anyone else here done any local wifi sniffing? did you get the results you hoped for?

The Home made HDTV antenna you see there actually works BETTER than the set on my roof that I paid $350 for 2 years ago.


If you need any help with these amazing little DIY projects let me know.

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I need one of these sifi wifi thingys.  I am parked at my sister's for the winter.  She has WiFi but the signal is weak.  Call me 205-587-4612 or email.  Thanks, Ed

Ed,  message sent.

I want to know how you made the TV antenna - everything I've tried sucks!!

I just bought an rv with out any cable or wifi equipment on it,  I want to wire it so I can get wifi.  what did you use for material to assemble the dish.. and do you have any tips or tricks.  I have a 84 class A, that is basicly a blank canvas!  I really like the inginuity of your project.

Thanks

Cade

I'd like to order one of these as I will be doing a lot of writing during Bears' Quest, for newspapers and magazines and will need a reliable way of getting them off to the editors. Thanks Jim, and possibly you TV antenna too, can you tell me more about it?

Thanks again,

Bear

dustydragon website is defunct

The best info on your HD tv antenna is to google search for "Home made Coat Hanger TV antenna" and watch a couple of the videos.  Its super simple.

 

I'll have more detail on the wifi dishes shortly.

Jim, are you still making the si,fi wi,fi dishes? If so I would like to order one! Give me a call with the details
Dennis 503 341 1930

This is so genius  !!!! I gotta build one. I do have a question about the dongle..will any dongle work of does it have to be like the one you have? If so where do I get one?

The dongle's that work best include a desktop 'stand'.  I use that stand to base the dongle in the dish.  But as long as the dish focal point is at the point in the dongle where the antenna is,  then it will work great.   If you are not at the focal point,  its pure decoration.

Jim I am a math freak anyway can you send me the formula for finding the focal point?

Thanks Nick

Hi Jim, this kind of stuff always  gets me interested and will gladly make my own any day, would you mind putting a picture out there so I can see aha you made????After working in the ocal dump here where we live I am sure I already have what it takes.......thanks for your time........Richard

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