Cantenna: The Results
Just a short note to readers on the results of installing a wireless 'cantenna' for my daughter in her college apartment (as described in the 03 Jan 2007 post, "Cantennas and Better Wireless Signals."
The Yagi antenna, usb wireless adapater and connector cable didn't arrive until my last day in Arcata, but fortunately all the correct parts were sent and received in good order. After a quick check to make sure the new antenna and wireless adapter worked, I walked to the hardware store to get parts to make a stand for the Yagi antenna. A few dollars worth of parts, including a 30" long piece of 1.5" diameter pvc pipe, with some easy connecting of pieces, and we had a strong, reliable signal. Prior to setting up the Yagi, the wireless reception was spotty, varying from weak to non-existent. Once the Yagi was hooked up, the signal strength was either strong or very strong, and the daughter was happy! The only caution note is that the connector coax cable was high quality, but large diameter and extremely stiff. Give yourself five or ten feet more than you think you need for the connector cable so the large bending radius doesn't cause installation problems for you.
For anyone who would like the option of connecting an external wifi (802.11 b/g) antenna to their computer, I'd highly recommend the equipment from Air802.