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Home made WLAN 802.11 Antennas.


he performance of several homemade wireless antenna systems.

na with USB dongle inside ngle na with built in antenna antenna lic Dish antenna omnidirectional indoor antenna ical parabolic reflector point: Wireless router with an Omnidirectional antenna, Omnidirectional antennas always have vertical polarization.

equency spectrum and modulation methods:

2412 1 2417 2 2422 3 2427 4 2432 5 2437 6 2442 7 2447 8 2452 9 2457 10 2462 11 2467 12

cy (MHz)*

m analyser measurement of wireless communication between 2 computers:

02.11 documents, see below modulation. modulation modulation, 802.11g channels (Europ): channel 1 and 6

ed power of the transmitter (omnidirectional): 15 mWatt = 11.76 dBm, a common value

sed materials:

802.11g wireless network card; chipset: BCM4306/BCM2050

s router: Airvast

s router: Airvast, internal view

mnidirectional indoor antenna

nect g wireless SMC USB 2.0 dongle, SMC2862W-G

m RG213 coax cable, Loss: 50/100m; (2.4GHz)


connector, impedance: 50

connector (crimp) male

na 1

ions: er D: 100 mm l: 183 mm antenna lenght: 31 mm a offset from the left: 45 mm

na 2 with USB dongle inside

ions: er D: 155 mm l: 215 mm USB dongle inside: 28 mm rom the left: 35 mm ect of Horizontal or vertical ent of the dongle: must be vertical he photo.

rical parabolic reflector with ectional antenna

ions: mm mm


ions: of each side: 31 mm rom plate: 15 mm plane: 123mm/123mm

lic reflector with Biquad a

a gain: 22 dB

lic antenna with USB Dongle

uetooth antenna

USB antenna modification

d-link dwl-122 e first the internal antenna. he external antenna. a taken from Wireless Airvast

a gain: 8 dB

e: Network Stumbler 4.0; GEOGEBRA

st environment:

from Access point (Wireless Router as an Access Point) to the receiver: 45 meter, open air. tware: NetStumbler.

easurement and calculation of the coax cable impedance:

racteristic impedance of a coax cable: Zc = (138.log ( /d)) / Er, where d is the diameter of the inner conductor and D is the diameter of th

or: Er: dielectric constant of the medium (if you don't know take 2.3) conductor

tric constant (Polyethylene: Er = 2.3) conductor (Tinned copper braid) ed aluminum foil t (Polyethylene)

be 50 for all antennas, described here

Common Used Coaxial Cables: Type Impedance () RG-213 A/U 50 RG-58 A/U 50 RG-59 A/U 75

Attenuation 1 GHz (db/100m) 25 50.8 / 900 MHz 39

DUT's (Measurement 1) Bluetooth antenna, top Bluetooth antenna, front Wlan antenna Bluetooth antenna with Cylindrical parabolic reflector Can dongle USB dongle Cylindrical parabolic reflector (optimal position) Cantenna Cylindrical parabolic reflector new Signal+ -55 -66 -72 -60 -56 -75 -49 -39 -49 Noise -100 -100 -100 -100 -100 -100 -100 -100 -100 SNR+ 45 34 28 40 44 25 51 61 51

DUT's (Measurement 2) Biquad antenna Wlan antenna Bluetooth antenna USB dongle Can dongle Cylindrical parabolic reflector Cantenna Bluetooth antenna with Cylindrical parabolic reflector Parabola dish with Biquad antenna Parabola dish with Cantenna

Signal+ -37 -61 -39 -58 -49 -37 -39 -37

Noise -100 -100 -100 -100 -100 -100 -100 -100

SNR+ 63 39 61 42 51 63 61 63

mparison chart of the measurements:

ement 1:

ooth antenna at the top of the computer ooth antenna in front of the computer orkcard antenna ooth antenna in the focus point of the Cylindrical parabolic reflector ongle rical parabolic reflector enna drical parabolic reflector new construction

ement 2:

d antenna orkcard antenna ooth antenna dongle ongle rical parabolic reflector enna drical parabolic reflector with the bluetooth antenna

me calculations

wer gain calculations:

dBmW is the power measurement relative to 1 milliwatt, dBm = 10 log P/P0; when impedances are equal

10 log P/P0 00.3.P0 P0

= 10 log P/P0 01.P0 0 P0 0 mWatt

= 10 log P/P0 0-5.P0 .00001 P0 0 nWatt

also use: dBm/dBW/MilliWatts Calculator

wer density from an isotropic antenna: [Watts/m2]


smitted power nce from antenna : - this value must be multiplied by the antenna gain G of the antenna (omni directional antenna) - dBi = dBd + 2.15

: al strenght decreases by 6 dB when the distance doubles (outdoor), indoor: 9 dB

wer density received by the antenna: [Watts]


= effective area of the antenna

n of the receiving antenna

s Equation:



velength calculations:

gth = c/f of light: 3.108 m/s dio Frequency for WLAN, f = 2.4 GHz

ht of the internal antenna (cantenna) must be: /4 m

used carrier frequencies are a little bit higher (see frequency table above), for optimal results take 31 mm for antenna lenght.

abolic Dish calculations:

atical formula: y = a (x - p)2+ q et, take 0 zontally displacement, take 0 2 plified formula: y = a (x)2 or y = x /4f where a= 1/4f ; use this equation to design your own parabola

s f of a given parabola = D2/16.c diameter of the parabola antenna

of a Cylindrical parabolic reflector:

; a = 0.05

x f) a)

for a better result take a= 0.025

on of the needed surface:


x = 2 013 (1 + ((0.05x2)')2) dx = 0.2 013 (100 + x2) dx, to solve this integral use the formule:

e definite integral with a = 10, gives lenght = 44 cm

we need a metallic surface with lenght = 44 cm, and height = 30 cm

tenna calculations:


= 3.108m/s / 2.4 GHz = 125 mm, in fact a little bit lower. ntenna lenght: 31 mm = / 4
offset from the left:


/ ((1 - (/1.706D)2)

of the cantenna must be > 0.75

eful online calculators:

naCalc v0.2

sion from Watts (W) to decibels "milliwatts" (dBm)

ective Isotropic Radiated Power calculator


nning for Wireless LAN (WLAN)

ulator Conversion calculator from Watt to dBm and from dBm to Watt

oss calculator

oss calculator Km

Some practical calculations:


tion of Free Space Loss = FSL = 10 log ( /4.d) = -100.4 dB for a distance of 1000 m

tion of Maximum distance

PTR + GTR - PRC + GRC -10 dB = 12 + 22 - (-80) + 10 - 20 = 104 dBm

Transmitted Power (12 dBm) Antenna gain transmitter (22 dBi) Receiver sensitivity (negative value) (-80 dBm) = Antenna gain receiver (10 dBi) B = Fade margin, dynamic RF parameters which influences the signal

um distance d:

-104 dB) = 10 log ( /4.d)

dmax = 1500 m

Conclusions and remarks:

de wireless cantenna is the best for home applications. gger the diameter of the cantenna, the more access points you will detect at the same time. vity is dependent of the diameter of the cantenna. a gain is much higher when you will place the antenna in front of the computer or placing a metallic shield behind the receiver!!! oes not effect the RF signal. s indeed will cause a signal drop!! B can dongle is the best if you want to detect more than one access point at the same time our antenna as high as possible ood care about your connectors, the types listed above give the best results!!!!

Usefull links:

a Measurements

ronet Antenna Reference Guide


re Comparison of some routers

k Stumbler 4.0 a tool for Windows that allows you to detect Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) using 802.11b, 802.11a and 802.11g. Use ocations with poor coverage in your WLAN or detecting other networks that may be causing interference on your network.

er Values


Biographies/White papers:

2.11b White Papers pdf file

2.11g White Papers pdf file

2.11 white paper pdf file

a Operates in the 5-GHz frequency range (5.125 to 5.85 GHz)

2.16 WirelessMAN IEEE 802.16 WirelessMAN Standard for Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks, The IEEE 802.16 Working Group on Broadba Access Standards

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