|Behold the Beerquad
||[Jun. 27th, 2006|02:28 pm]
As they (don't) say in Italy|
That's right, Double Biquad luv! Twice the copper, twice the pleasure.
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 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.
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.
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.
I just made a mounting system out of 3 PVC joints and some thumb screws. Pictures later. I SHOULD be writing my final essay.