Now that Shannon is going to stay in Boston (did we mention that Shannon took a job in Boston?), we’re planning on turning the room at the back of the apartment into her study and crafts room. And rather than stringing a cat 6 cable all the way from there to the front of the apartment (where the T1 comes in), we’ve decided to do the wireless thing for her computer. Unfortunately, this is an old house, with plaster and lathe walls, so the WiFi signal really starts to wheeze a bit back there. I started researching stronger antennas, and eventually settled on a HyperGain 8 dBi Range Extender. Of course, in between I found a ton of confusing information and terminology. It took a bit of hunting around, but I finally found a few good references, and now I present them for you:

Now, the next step is to get all of Shannon’s stuff out of storage in South Jersey…


Personally I think you should have gone for the Pringels can :-)


• Posted by: Paul on Sep 8, 2003, 11:38 PM

My downstairs neighbor wanted to hook into my WiFi network so i was looking around for antennas that could boost the signal. One of the more interesting I came across was the Cantenna, a somewhat commercial version of the Pringles can hack.

• Posted by: Cam on Sep 10, 2003, 11:49 AM

So, how did the HyperGain antenna work out? I have the same problem: lath & plaster walls between the access point and the laptop, and I’m trying to decide between 1) figuring out how to get line of sight to happen, or 2) just upping the gain as much as possible.

• Posted by: Harry Saddler on Nov 17, 2003, 4:33 PM

Hi Paul,

I too am curious how it worked out. I recently bought the same hypergain 8 dB antenna, and connected it to my Snow Airport. Unfortunately, using various freeware signal measurement programs revealed that the antenna boosted my signal by less than 5 percent, in line of site tests from 5-50 feet. Even worse, the restrictive return policies of Hypertech essentially mean I can’t return it. I am curious to know if others are having similar problems. For what it’s worth, I also checked the better business bureau (after I purchased the antenna), and discovered a history of problems.

• Posted by: Scott on Dec 29, 2003, 7:19 PM

Well, it worked and it didn’t. It’s a great antenna, and it undoubtedly boosted the signal, but I’m not sure that 8 dBi is enough for this house; I’m now thinking about dipping into the well again, either for a 14 dBi patch antenna or something more powerful (but less omnidirectional).

Nonetheless, the machine at the back of the house can see the antenna, and the connection is pretty much fine.

• Posted by: Jason on Jan 1, 2004, 6:51 PM

Okay, so you’re wanting more return from your Basestation. Fair enough, but one warning. The general public all over the world is worried about mobile phones and their emissions. That’s at 900 meg and above. Your standard microwave oven works at a few gig. Now just imagine that your microwave cooks the food by exciting the water molecules in the food you’re cooking. The high frequency radio waves impart energy on the molecules, which have so much excess energy in them, they give it off as heat! Now your basestation is working at 2.4 gig. At the output it’s designed for it’s pretty much safe, just as long as you’re not carrying it around gluedd to your head. By attaching an antenna to it, custom made to really boost the signal and adding an amp etc, you’re pumping the power way up there. The problem is when you get into these realms, you start to produce energy that if you’re around it for any length of time, your body can’t dissipate it. It’s called whole body heating. It’ll heat the water in your body and if you’re around it for too long, you won’t cool down. Your eyes are most susceptible. Hence, place the airport out of the way, in the roof, on the ceiling, but if you’re amping it in any way, make sure the antenna is a good few meters away from a living/ dwelling area. Oh and makee sure you’re using something like an omni if it’s close to a dwelling unit (radiates 360 degrees) or if you’re using a narrow beam antenna, make sure your line of sight is clear of any dwelling units within 12 meters or more.

• Posted by: Ender on Aug 14, 2004, 5:54 PM
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