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Home Brew USB WiFi Extender – Dozens of New Access Points has reported on several off-the-shelf USB extenders, but they are high priced, at least for the home user. If you have low signal strength and on a tight budget, here is a tutorial on making your own beefed up WiFi USB extender.

USB wifi extender

Using this home-brew WiFi extender will help pick up dozens more hot-spots in your area; don’t believe it – we’ll you’ll just have to try it – this really works. The premise of this solution is taking a parabolic dish and bouncing all possible waves into the focal point of the “dish” or in this case, the WiFi USB stick.

So lets break this down into 3 simple steps.

Step 1: Get the supplies

  • Purchase cooking strainer from Asian food market (must be PARABOLIC)
  • Some sort of handle for the strainer makes it easier to work with.
  • Mesh of the strainer should be tight and consistent…don’t get loose mesh.
  • USB wireless stick
  • USB extension cable cord
usb wifi

Step 2: Build it, they will come

  • Using wire snipers cut a hole in the mesh JUST the size of the USB cable.
  • Squeeze the USB cable through the new hole.
  • Attach the USB wireless stick to the USB cable and adjust everything so the USB stick is the focal point of the parabola.
  • Now, fasten the cord into place, this is where the handle of the strainer comes in handy.
wifi extender

Step 3: Test and adjust

  • Find your favorite access point where you have a direct line-of-site.
  • Get as far away as possible to dial in the USB wireless stick while pushing the distance limit.
  • Use software like NetStumbler to see the signal strength. From here, simply adjust your new wireless USB WiFi extender until you obtain the best signal you want.
  • Secure the USB WiFi extender and enjoy!
usb stick extender

Tips: You can paint the strainer to have it look more in-line with your decor, just don’t use metallic paint.

Attach the strainer to an old lamp or something which has an adjustable stand/arm; that way you can get a more professional look while maintaining the ability to adjust your USB WiFi.

Source: Instructables, these guys are great and have a lot of other unique projects. Definitely worth a visit.

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3D Printing

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