DIY Wi-Fi Extended Range Yagi. (Trailerhood Style)

Okay, when you have a lot of time on your hands, you start acting like a mad scientist, or I’m watching too many Sci-Fi shows. Which reminds me, Svengoolie comes on this Saturday. “Curse of the Werewolf” will show, but I digress.

Living in a park, (Trailerhood) for new readers. Wi-Fi signals can sometimes be temperamental. When you have several neighbors close by, the amount of signals can saturate the air, this can make it hard to get good range from the office here, back nearly 70 feet to the master  bedroom. Or in your yard.

I tried buying a Wi-Fi Yagi antenna off eBay, and the thing was so poorly made, as far as measurements and spacing, it was just a paper weight. There was no surprise there. After all, at $12 you get what you pay for. I found plans for a DIY antenna from a Google search. Here is a picture of one someone made with paperclips, clothes pins, popsicle sticks, a very small Wi-Fi dongle (under all that tape). Diagrams, measurements, and pictures can be found at the link below. This is not step by step, but if you are technically inclined, you can follow the directions in the link. As always, practice safety when doing projects. 
Easy to Build WIFI 2.4GHz Yagi Antenna

Gathering parts and tools.

  • Superglue  It works better on skin than it does most parts, be careful.
  • Micrometer for measuring the paperclips. You have to be as precise as possible with the length, since you are working with microwave frequencies.
  • A plastic rod from a pair of cheap blinds I had lying around, which I cut to my length needed. (Lets not repeat that, Michelle doesn’t know yet).
  • Box of Jumbo paperclips I already had. 
  • Some Tinfoil From my protective conspiracy hat.
  • A waxed Dixie ‘snack-size’ plate, Tinfoil covered as an added reflector.
  • A Medium plastic Dixie cup.  (Southern Champagne Glass) in case of light rain, if used outdoors for experimenting.
  • A spare Alfa USB Wi-Fi adapter One I had an extra of. 
  • A RP-SMA female wire pigtail from an old router to connect the Alfa Unit to the driven element on the antenna.
  • Soldering Iron and solder
  • Some ointment for any burned fingers I usually get from my soldering skills.
  • Small wire cutters for trimming the paperclips.  (Band aids if your clumsy like me)
  • Spray can of flat-black paint Already on hand. I picked black, as the only other flavor was fluorescent orange, and I look horrible in that color.
  • Some spare parts from my Go-Pro drawer to mount it to a tripod, or flat piece of wood for table-top use.
  • Patience, LOTS of patience.

Pictures from the build.

Results: With just the signal from the router I was getting a power reading of -80 to -90 (lower numbers are better)  in the back bedroom. Now using the Antenna, we’re getting -30 to -40! No more drop-outs from interfering signals. I can use my laptop or tablet out in the backyard shop. I can also use this to pick up open wireless sources if needed should the Internet go offline here at home.

This is not a detailed instructional, but has link/s needed for detailed instructions. Construction time was about 3 hours. Cost was free as all items were on hand.

Comments, always welcome.

14 thoughts on “DIY Wi-Fi Extended Range Yagi. (Trailerhood Style)

  1. You were right about too much time on your hands in the trailer hood.
    Ha ha ha

  2. Well done, Ron. I am always impressed with your tech skills. We contacted our phone/broadbad provider when the fibre-optic broadband wasn’t as exciting as we had hoped. We have all our services with them, including home phone, and two cellphones. So they sent us a signal booster free of charge (after some debate) that works really well.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. That was great support, Pete. Always nice to get a bonus for free. We just started with a fiber optic company to serve us. All new lines so maybe it will last a few years, before problems crop up.

    1. Now if I can just figure out why WordPress forgets to post my replies at times.
      Yes, Elizabeth. It’s been pretty quiet around here in the park. The area has been hopping though. High speed chases, house fires, shootings, fights, you name it. Happens all around us. Maybe we are in a bubble right now. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Talk about resourceful! You’re amazing!
    I got stuck at “70 feet” – from your office to your bedroom? What sort of mansion is your trailer??!! Lol!

  4. Ellie, it’s an old 1987 double-wide. I think it is 24X70. About 1600 or so sq ft. Our newer double-wide we had out in the country in 2013 was 2400 sq ft. on 7 acres of land, 25 minutes from any town. They make some big ones.

    This one is just old, and the plans I had to fix it up, sort of faded after the health problems. So we are treading water, till we can do better. There’s always hope. At least we finally got the leaks stopped! Which means, I have to take the houseplants outside now, to water them. ๐Ÿ™‚

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