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 Radar
and 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.