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How to Build a Cantenna

How to Build a Cantenna

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Published by Moseyspeed

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Published by: Moseyspeed on Nov 21, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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How to Build a Cantenna
As promised, I am now posting pictures and instructions that I used to build my cantenna. As
always, if you injure yourself or damage your equipment, or get in to any kind of trouble, I
cannot be held responsible. Do at your own risk!
Things you'll need:
A wireless adapter with an external antenna port
An N-femail connector
2 inch, 12-gauge copper wire
4 #6, short screws
One can
A drill, or a nail and hammer with some patience.
Solder and a soldering iron.
Step 1: Get a wireless card that has an external antenna connector. These are surprisingly
hard to find. Check out E-bay, there are severalOrinoco, IBM Wavelan, or Buffalo PCMCIA
cards that will do the trick.
For the brave, you can also modify several existing cards or USB devices to create an
external antenna connector. This is what I chose to do. I have a Linksys WUSB11 wireless
USB network adapter. If you pop it apart by removing the screw under the top left rubber foot
(voiding your warranty of course), there is an MMCX connecter that is used to connect the
existing antenna. (on versions2.5 and above, previous versions you will have to buy a
connector and solder it in yourself.) Just disconnect the antenna from the connector, and you
have a nice port you can use for your cantenna.
Step 2: Get a can. Don't bother with different cans, enough people have tried these things, if
you want to know how to build a cantenna, then do it right. Use a can the size of a Nalley
Chile or Nalley BeefStew can. (About 3.9 inches in diameter).
Step 3: Buy an "N Connector". You can buy these all over the place online, or in some
electronics stores. I just bought mine on E-bay. Get one with the mounting holes so you can
mount it to yourcantenna.
Step 4: Buy a "pigtail" that you will use to connect your wireless card to yourcantenna.
Remember that different adapters have different types of connectors.One side needs to be an
N-mail connector and the other end needs to be whatever you need to match your card. Just
do a Google search for connector information for your card if you are unsure what type to
Step 5: Drill the holes for the connector. The distance from the back of the can must be as
close to 1.78 inches as possible.
Step 6:Solder the copper wire into the N connector. Then cut the wire so that the length of
the copper wire and the holder on the N connecter is as close to 1.21 inches as possible. The
portion that sticks into the can altogether should be 1.21 inches.

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