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How to make a tin can WiFi antenna after an EMP

by Bridgette Wilcox , Natural News:


If you find yourself in an emergency situation, something as mundane as staying connected and being able to communicate can be the difference between survival and death. If the emergency was caused by an EMP, staying online can become particularly complicated but if you have the right knowledge — and a tin can — it doesn’t have to be. Here’s how you can make a WiFi antenna to boost your signal in the event of an emergency.

An article on TurnPoint.net shares steps on how to build your own WiFi antenna from a tin can.

To do so, you will need the following materials:

  • N-Female Chassis mount connector
  • Four small nuts and bolts (only if your N-connector is not a screw-on)
  • About 1.25 inches of 12 gauge copper wire
  • A clean, empty tin can, ideally between 3 to 3 2/3 inches in diameter

To build your WiFi antenna, do the following steps:

  1. Clean and remove the label on your tin can and open only one end of it.
  2. Drill or punch holes into the can so you can mount the probe. Make sure that the size of your hole is appropriate for the size of your connector. Also, keep in mind that where you place the holes is crucial, and needs to be calculated based on your can’s diameter. You can use the calculator on the TurnPoint.net site to determine the measurements you need.
  3. Assemble the probe and mount in the can using the wire.
  4. Use your antenna by connecting it to a wireless card or access point. To do so, you will need a pig tail cable, which connects your access point to to the N-connector in your antenna. Once you connect the cable, you can point your antenna to any direction and see how well it works!

Survive an EMP

An EMP or electromagnetic pulse could happen at any given time, whether naturally through a solar flare, or through nuclear warfare. While it doesn’t sound particularly catastrophic, an EMP could bring down all the electronics and power grids in the country. The key to surviving an EMP is to have non-electronic appliances and tools on hand, as these will be unaffected by the electromagnetic radiation.

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3 comments to How to make a tin can WiFi antenna after an EMP

  • videoctr

    If there is an EMP event, wouldn’t a wireless card as well as the computer you are trying to use also be inoperable? I would suspect the phone company’s physical plant infrastructure might also have issues? Let alone electricity from the power company.

    • Craig Escaped Detroit

      @videoctr, Absolutely right about the wifi card ( and computer circuits destroyed).

      As for making a tin-can wi-fi, yes, it’s a fun little project…BUT, you have to buy the N-connector, etc etc. and by the time you’ve purchased those things (by the way, you won’t be able to purchase things on the internet because a good strong EMP will destroy parts of the powergrid and the datagrid as well as the computers and switching gear that runs it.)

      Anyway, the time and bit of money spent, it’s just easier to go on Ebay or Amazon right now and BUY a long range WiFi antenna for $20-50.

      There are all different types available.
      I like the FLAT PANEL antennas, they can be the size and shape of a paper-back novel (5ghz), or as big as 12″x12″ (2.4ghz@ 25dBi gain). Higher gain also means more narrow signal pattern/path/directional.

      Low gain typically is wide scatter, or omni-directional.
      I’ve got several types.
      I bought ($50) a big 2.4ghz-parabolic looks like a BBQ grill dish (20″X 30″?), and if you point it at another such “dish” it can get full power link at 11 miles away. It has a narrow signal path, so people off the side, cannot find your signal.

      I gave away a big omni-directional “stick” antenna (2.5ft long) 8-10dBi gain.
      I really like the FLAT PANEL (and also “SECTOR” antennas).

      I’ve got a 2.4Ghz flat panel, narrow beam (25-29dBi gain). It fits in a briefcase (barely), and it’s another “multi-mile” unit when facing another high-gain unit.

      By itself, it’s great for DIRECTIONALLY locating signals. In the past, before all the routers came with security as default, I was getting FREE wifi for about 5 years!
      I mounted it onto my TV antenna rotator, and could “point it” around the neighborhood finding new unlocked signals when needed.

      Prices range from less than $20, up to $140. 2.4Ghz travels much farther than 5.4Ghz.
      (the higher the freq, the shorter the range.)

      Don’t dismiss 2.4ghz as “old”, because it actually can carry up to about 10-11Mb/sec of data.

      At the Las Vegas hacking computer conventions, they have a contest for “longest range” NON-amplified WiFi connection. 300mw peak power.

      The all time winner, used an old (throw away) 12ft C-band satellite TV dish modded for wifi, and a “chase car” using a hand held antenna to a laptop.
      The signal was still 5 full bars at 130 miles apart until they ran out of (line of sight) road.
      The big dish antenna was a few hundred feet up the side of the local mountain to get a good view of the desert road & the chase-car. This is not so strange, as the MOON rover (and Mars rovers), and VOYAGER (Veeger.. for you star trek fans)…do NOT transmit much power either, and those are VERY far from earth.

      TIN CAN wifi? Generally, the wider the can, the better the signal. Forget the “Pringles cans” as they are paper board and rain will destroy them. They are typically about 14dBi.

      But, in a real EMP disaster, electrical items will not be our priority, as food and water (and heat) will be number one.

      The higher gain, narrow beam antenna, gives you the privacy of not scattering your signal in all directions, but it’s harder to aim it at your target.

    • paul

      “If there is an EMP event, wouldn’t a wireless card as well as the computer you are trying to use also be inoperable”

      Not necessarily.

      http://www.askaprepper.com/emp-myths-and-facts-whats-bs-and-whats-true/

      http://www.futurescience.com/emp/EMP-myths.html

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