Saturday, July 10, 2010

How to Use a Satellite Dish for Wi-Fi Internet

1:10 AM |

Perhaps the best DIY Wi-Fi antenna is one that uses an old satellite dish. The dish provides perhaps the largest parabolic surface for a DIY project, and the USB Wi-Fi adapter is a robust signal carrier with no signal loss over lengths up to 16 feet, unlike coaxial cable. Old satellite dishes are also easy to come by. A simple replacement of the LNB unit at the end of the satellite dish arm with a Wi-Fi USB adapter is all that is necessary.

Step 1

Acquire the dish. If you don't have your own, search flea markets and thrift stores. Old satellite dishes are abundant.
Step 2

Modify the dish. Remove the LNB unit that receives the satellite signal, and replace it with a USB Wi-Fi adapter.
Step 3

Attach the Wi-Fi adapter to the arm of the dish. Nylon cable ties are the easiest way to secure it.
Step 4

Connect the USB cable. Depending upon the length of cable to the computer or router, there may need to be USB cable extensions employed.
Step 5

Affix the dish at a proper point outside. Signal strength boost with the dish as the parabola should exceed 15 dB. Position the dish in the direction of known Wi-Fi hot spots.
Step 6

Connect the cable to a computer. Use any available USB port.
Step 7

Install the Wi-Fi software. The Wireless Network Setup Wizard in Windows XP and Vista will guide you through the process. The converted satellite dish antenna will help you access public Wi-Fi hot spots.

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