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Building Your Own Wi-Fi Antenna Cable

Think back to the olden days, say three or four years ago, when computers were tied to the desk with a phone line or network cord. Surfing the Web, reading e-mail, or checking your PetCam meant plugging in, jacking in, or getting wired. Now just about any device can be “unwired” to use a wireless network. You still need electricity though, so batteries or power cords are still in the picture. At least for a little while. Ironically, wireless seems to use twice as many cables as wired connections. This wireless paradox arrives in the form of extra power cords, antenna cables, pigtail jumper cables, and Ethernet patch cables. One critical component to a successful wireless project is the antenna cable, used to extend the reach of the radio to the antenna. This will show how to build an antenna cable for use with many of the projects in this book. You can purchase this type of cable in pre-defined lengths from online sources. However, building your own antenna cable is easy and can take less than 5 minutes. The instructions in this chapter apply to a Wi-Fi coaxial antenna cable (also called coax). The steps in this can be adjusted to apply to any type of coaxial cable, like that used in cable televisions.
You will need the following items:
Wi-Fi network device with an external connector (client adapter or
access point)
Wi-Fi pigtail cable, if using a wireless client adapter
Coaxial cable, preferably Times Microwave LMR-400
Coaxial cable cutters
Crimp tool, ratcheting style
Crimp tool “die” with hex sizes .429, .128, and .100I — Building Antennas
Long-nosed pliers
Small wire cutters
Single-sided razor blade
Type-N connectors, reverse-polarity male
Digital multimeter or electrical continuity tester
Known-good coax cable for comparison testing
Some of these items are specific to building an antenna cable (crimp tools, connectors, and soon). Don’t worry if they are unfamiliar to you. In the later posts, I will explain in detail about all the processing. Right now collect all the above posts.