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Behold the Beerquad [Jun. 27th, 2006|02:28 pm]
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As they (don't) say in Italy

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Boofisima!


That's right, Double Biquad luv! Twice the copper, twice the pleasure.

Preface:
Ahhh, the art of the Cantenna. There's nothing like finishing off a reliable DIY 2.4GHz antenna to fill oneself with pride. When $10 of shopping nets you a $100 antenna plus lunch, you begin to appreciate junkfood in a new way. As a project approaches, each Pringle tastes sweeter and sweeter (or saltier and saltier, so many flavors!)

Alas, there are many cans. They come in many shapes and many sizes. Not all are well suited for cantennas. Thus, the world of the Beer Cantennas is lonely, with few examples.

Ladies and gents, kids of all ages, THAT HAS CHANGED! I sumbit my latest, greatest invention. An invention that utilizes cans of any shape or size! An invention that revolutionizes the way we do wireless! A tool that will turn the world of cantennas INSIDE OUT!

Behold! The Beerquad!

Biquads aren't new. Just googling for biquad nets lots of results.

The hard part is making a reflector that is 123 X 123mm, or, for a double, 246 X 123mm (or 110 X 110mm for use with a dish, see Google links.) For a biquad, 14oz Guinness cans are perfect. For a Double Biquad, the Labatt's Blue at 25oz was a TIGHT fit (practice your cutting!)

Alas, I am not the authority for wireless works. This is, literally, my first antenna of any shape or size. Compared to other double biquads, it rates on par (others are around 45dB SNR, mine peaked at 48dB with sustained of 46dB. Without a side by side comparison, though, these numbers are meaningless.)

My project was an answer to the fact that, indeed, beercans aren't used for cantennas, and that's just wrong. All garbage is created equal, some pieces more equal than others. Beer cans? Beer cans can be a symbol of taste and pride. Besides, they can be made to look damn cool.

So the following isn't the worlds best guide to how to make a biquad, it's merely an example of how to make a beerquad.


I'm Labattman!
I really like how this turned out. I was split between whether I should keep both logos or just go for one, but since this is a double biquad, it made sense to go for double theme. I'm glad I did because it looks great, and I didn't have to drill or solder through the logo.

Cementing this much aluminum to acrylic isn't easy, and was almost as hard as drinking 25oz of beer before it went flat (a task I failed.) People interested in trying this, you need to find a good way to vice the two surfaces together. When cured, you'll see where the contact failed. Adjust, and make another.

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Turning the world of Cantennas inside out!


The reflector is 244x122mm so it's quit large for, say, a laptop mount. I'm going to do it anyway because it's 1337! This IS a stand alone unit. I won't be using this with a dish.

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Note where the antenna would intersect itself. I have a little jog there to prevent problems


There aren't many tricks to my application. For the brushed aluminum, I used a Dremel and a steel brush (I wanted to use the brass brush, but it didn't live long.) For the element, I was especially careful in preventing the wire from touching itself. Otherwise, I pretty much followed the instructions from Engadget.

It works fantastic. I haven't had a Pepsi (Labatt's?) challenge with anyone else's equipment, but my readings with netstumbler look typical.

I have 3 more to build, all Guinness. Two for my dishes, and another standalone. All of these are single biquads.

Fun stuff!

UPDATE:
I just made a mounting system out of 3 PVC joints and some thumb screws. Pictures later. I SHOULD be writing my final essay.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: xothia
2006-06-27 09:53 pm (UTC)

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Forgive my ignorance, but what is it?
[User Picture]From: demi0urgos
2006-06-27 09:57 pm (UTC)

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No, forgive me. I should have explained. I'll get to that. It's for wireless networking. It's a directional antenna using the finest Candian has to offer. You should be proud!
From: (Anonymous)
2006-06-27 10:40 pm (UTC)

What's more disturbing.....

(Link)

is how you were able drink that much of that crap.
[User Picture]From: demi0urgos
2006-06-27 10:47 pm (UTC)

Re: What's more disturbing.....

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Actually, I liked it. Except that it went flat.
From: (Anonymous)
2006-07-01 02:49 pm (UTC)

labatt blue

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i'm from canada and we have much better beers
[User Picture]From: demi0urgos
2006-06-29 01:00 am (UTC)

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There, I have a better explanation now. Cantenna's are a nerd artform. Most use Pringles cans. They are also, of course, can shaped. Because of the frequency of the signal, shape of the can is very important, so beercans aren't a good choice (usually.)

My method of changing this was using a different kind of antenna. Cantenna's are wave guides, mine is a biquad. Obviously, mine isn't can shaped.

Anyway, it's just goofiness. If, for some reason, you find this interesting, I can send you one. It will require about $60 of computer equipment as well, but if you wanted to apply your artform to the surface of one, it would be damn sexy.

Just think, you, at a cafe, laptop in tow, biquad, painted like a feathered beasty, pointed directly at a free internet source.

It doesn't get any better than that!
From: (Anonymous)
2006-06-29 09:52 pm (UTC)

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Oh man... I would buy one of these...
Nice job!

If you get the urge to sell one, let me know! Rikostan-at-gmail.com
From: (Anonymous)
2006-06-30 05:15 am (UTC)

nice

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I gotta put one on my WRT54G v3.1 with openWRT. To bad my l33t WRTSL54GS can 't take an external antenna or it would be the perfect wardriving tool (at 802.11G mind you), i even loaded aircrack (though i can't get deauth to work). The best option for 802.11G support under linux other than centrino a/b/g cards that are supported under SLAX, SUSE and other distros without NDISWRAPPER is a micro linux based router, plus with a router you can do many things at the same time on the wifi card without needing more than one transmitter. Anyways good work, it looks sweet.
From: (Anonymous)
2006-06-30 05:47 am (UTC)

cantenna

(Link)

This is what i have used for years.....

http://www.turnpoint.net/wireless/cantennahowto.html
From: (Anonymous)
2006-06-30 03:20 pm (UTC)

wifi antennas

(Link)

other cool diy wifi antenna designs
http://wireless.binarywolf.com

[User Picture]From: n6ko
2006-06-27 11:53 pm (UTC)

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As we in the US westend say, wootisimo.

Will a guiness antennae without dish do 100 meters or so?
[User Picture]From: demi0urgos
2006-06-28 12:10 am (UTC)

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Easily. With dishes, they should do miles.
[User Picture]From: demi0urgos
2006-06-28 03:43 am (UTC)

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To quote from http://martybugs.net/wireless/biquad/index.cgi

I also managed to get a marginal link to a 180 degree waveguide on an access point 10km away, using only the biquad by itself, connected to a 30mW RoamAbout wireless card.


So 7 miles without a dish. That sounds highly generous but who knows how much power that waveguide had.

It also depends on your equipment. I have a 2511CD Plus EXT2 which is a nice card. It can be cranked up to 249mW! It's only 802.11b but B is more useful and much more linux fiendly.
From: (Anonymous)
2006-06-28 11:54 pm (UTC)

(Link)

Note that the feed between the rear reflector and the biquad element needs to be shielded. Using coax to feed the biquad element directly, and positioning the coax inside the copper tube achieves this.

Use of bare conductors as a feed between the reflector and biquad element results in a radiating feed, which will have a detrimental effect on the biquad's performance.

For more details on building biquads, see this page (http://martybugs.net/wireless/biquad/).
[User Picture]From: demi0urgos
2006-06-29 12:26 am (UTC)

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Yeah. I read that (your?) sight at length, but I don't have a torch, so the copper pipe was a no go. I have a damn good iron, but even a damn good iron isn't good enough.

I liked the idea of crimping the pipe to the wire as well. Sadly, my efforts with pipe have been halted.

I'll look in to shielding another way. Thanks.
From: (Anonymous)
2006-06-29 07:41 pm (UTC)

Biquad antenna feeds

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I do that with a iron (75w) without you much trouble.
Check out :
- http://www.brest-wireless.net/wiki/materiel:biquad
- http://www.brest-wireless.net/wiki/materiel:biquad_exterieur

If you want other kind of antenna:
http://www.brest-wireless.net/wiki/materiel:les_antennes
From: (Anonymous)
2007-10-25 05:24 pm (UTC)

paleWH

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quick question., so after its all done and build how would i be able to use it with my comp?
From: (Anonymous)
2006-06-29 05:52 pm (UTC)

(Link)

Check this out!



It's my first cantenna. I made it when I was 10. Which is a freaking long time ago now. My dad saved it... That part I don't get, but at least I have proof that I was a visionary and ahead of my time, even as a child. :) Anyway, it worked pretty good for UHF. I could slide the cans around on the stick and get different channels...

~S
[User Picture]From: demi0urgos
2006-06-29 09:52 pm (UTC)

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Hehehe, if your dad is as geeky as I think he is, of course he'd save it.
From: (Anonymous)
2006-06-29 08:45 pm (UTC)

Great job

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As a Canadian I think you have a great taste in cans :)

http://hackedgadgets.com
[User Picture]From: demi0urgos
2006-06-29 09:54 pm (UTC)

Re: Great job

(Link)

Thanks.

I don't know much about beer, but the Labatts wasn't bad. On more reason to run away to canada when the bushit hits the fan.
From: (Anonymous)
2006-06-29 11:34 pm (UTC)

Clever and tastes great!

(Link)

Beer is the inspiration of many a great idea. This ranks up there with the wireless wok guys in NZ: http://www.usbwifi.orcon.net.nz/
[User Picture]From: nancychan
2006-06-30 01:46 am (UTC)

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Congrats, you've made it to the digg.com front page~
Awesome work.
[User Picture]From: demi0urgos
2006-06-30 01:56 am (UTC)

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You love me! You really love me!

*sniff*
From: (Anonymous)
2006-06-30 02:34 am (UTC)

(Link)

great work man! Getting up on Digg with your own artform is really impressive!
[User Picture]From: demi0urgos
2006-06-30 03:40 am (UTC)

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My artform is a twist on that of others. I stand on the back of giants. Hell, I don't even know WTF I'm doing.

I appreciate your high praise, but this is merely a trend ;-)

I just hope the name "Beerquad" takes off!
[User Picture]From: eddiddiums
2006-06-30 03:11 am (UTC)

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The down side is that the Digg effect killed your image links. May they rest in peace.
From: (Anonymous)
2006-06-30 09:33 am (UTC)

No lips?

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According to this site (http://www.lecad.uni-lj.si/~leon/other/wlan/biquad/), lips on the biquad significantly affect the SWR of the overall antenna. I'm not sure how you're going to get that with a beer can, but a lot of your antenna's efficiency is currently being wasted. HTH.
From: (Anonymous)
2006-06-30 02:59 pm (UTC)

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Looks like the hardest part was drinking the beer (aweful).
From: (Anonymous)
2006-06-30 03:45 pm (UTC)

This is Great.

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I beat you to it though, back in October '05 :P I used busch and smashed the can between to layers of a CD case, The cd case just so happened to be with the 110mm size, and I could attach zip ties to hold the work together. (no glue, I was to lazy to go to the store :P ) work quite marvelously. Mine was only a biquad, not a dual. Mine was also not constucted with any mind to proper dimensions, well sorta, I had limited suplies - so its quality shows - I guess I'll have to post pictures too. Hats off the the great work though!! Long live the beer cans!

-Prozacgod
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: demi0urgos
2006-07-04 07:59 am (UTC)

Re: OMG! YOU ARE THE GREATEST ONE OF ALL!!!

(Link)

Woot! I've make'd it!
From: (Anonymous)
2006-08-04 12:18 am (UTC)

Re: OMG! YOU ARE THE GREATEST ONE OF ALL!!!

(Link)

Do you really manage 46db? thats amazing, all i get from my yagi is 16db.
[User Picture]From: demi0urgos
2006-08-24 03:04 am (UTC)

Re: OMG! YOU ARE THE GREATEST ONE OF ALL!!!

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I also have a high gain card, so, that might be pushing it.
From: (Anonymous)
2006-08-23 11:43 pm (UTC)

Silly Question, but....

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How did you straighten(flaten)the beer can?
[User Picture]From: demi0urgos
2006-08-24 03:03 am (UTC)

Re: Silly Question, but....

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Glue. Lots and lots of glue. I got 1.4" plastic and viced the can to the plastic.