Wireless Antenna

Wireless antennas are used in capturing a wireless signal, such as how a car’s antenna helps it pick up a wireless radio or satellite signal. There are many different types of wireless antenna, some a bit better than others. There are five general categories for wireless antenna:

Omnidirectional Antenna

This type of antenna gets it’s name from how it operates. It is good at drawing a wireless signal from any direction, hence the term “omnidirectional”. These are good for general purposes, and also work well with mobile devices. The longer this type of antenna is, the better it tends to work.Remember those old wireless telephones with the super long extendable antenna? This is the basic idea.

Patch and Sector Antenna

These type of antenna are currently popular in use. The patch antenna gets its name from the metal patch that is suspended over a ground plane. These are typically square in shape, and lay flat against a smooth surface. The sector antenna are a kind of directional antenna with a sector shaped radiation pattern. Both are used in point-to-point broadband systems.

Parabolic (dish) Antenna

These are typically seen in use for receiving satellite TV, and are great for picking up signals with a long range. They are also good for establishing point-to-point connections, but must be aimed accurately in order to receive maximum performance.

Yagi Antenna

These are best used with point-to-multipoint connections where the destination antenna is in a straight line, as this type uses a very pinpoint connection.

Build your own wireless antenna!

Did you know it is possible to build your own wireless antenna? These devices are commonly known as a “cantenna”, as they are typically made using a can of some sort, be it a Pringles can or a beef stew can. While there are many good resources out there in finding out how make your own, I would suggest the guide from turnpoint.net, as it is clear and concise on how to build your own cantenna. To give you an idea of what you’ll need, some of the materials needed are listed below:

  • A N-female chassis connecter
  • (4) nuts and bolts
  • Some thick wire
  • And, of course, a can

For instructions on how to actually put it all together, you can visit the guide I mentioned here. If you do decide to try your luck and make one, I wish you the best of luck and hope that your efforts are fruitful! :)

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