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Mounting an Antenna

Step 1: Preparing Your Wire Prongs
Each radio frequency has a specific wavelength. To function as an antenna, the dipole loop has
to be half the length of that wavelength. Take your needle-nosed pliers and carefully straighten four large paper clips.

Step 2: Preparing Your Antenna Platform
Carefully mark on the wooden platform the five places where the wires of your antenna will be
passing through. See Figure 2-14 for hole spacing for the paperclips. This design is optimally tuned for reception on Wi-Fi Channel 6 (the approximate middle of the frequency band). It will also work on the other Wi-Fi channels. But if you really want to get peak frequencies, paperclip length and distance apart from each other will differ for each channel. Using your hand drill, drill the five holes using a drill bit slightly smaller than the paperclip wires. Platform can
be any length 5.15 cm 5.2 cm 5.35 cm 5.8 cm

Step 3: Creating Your Dipole
Take the longest wire (the one that is 4.52 inches long) and form it to match the template in
Figure 2-15. This template is printed to scale. After bending the paperclip as described here,
lay it on top of this diagram to ensure the correct dimensions
Take your needle-nosed pliers and make a line on the nose at the point where it is 0.16 inches
(4 mm) thick. Clamp the largest wire with the pliers and make a bend that starts 1.3 inches
from one end,. Slowly wrap the paper clip wire around the needle nose, creating a fishhook that
is 0.16 inches wide (4 mm). Carefully press the longest end of the fishhook through the first appropriate hole on your platform.Work the wire into the hole, until the second end comes up to its appropriate hole. Be careful not to snip off the smaller end of the pigtail, which needs to be attached to your laptop wireless card. Strip off about three-fourths of the outer insulating jacket and the inner dielectric insulation surrounding the core conductor. You will need about 1/4 inch of the central core free, to create a soldered connection to one end of the dipole. And you will twist about 3/4 inch of the outer shield into a tight coil in order to solder it to the other end of the dipole.
Step 5: Soldering the Pigtail to the Dipole
Put the bent paperclip dipole in a stable grip, either in a small tabletop vice, or in a pair of vise grips. Don’t touch the paperclip or the solder iron while you work on this, both will be very hot. Be sure to wear eye protection because splattering solder can cause serious eye damage. Also, the solder resin causes some fumes that can damage your lungs, so make sure your workspace is ventilated to avoid any unhealthy buildup of vapors. Carefully solder the core conductor and the shield to either end of the bent dipole radiator Both sides of the paperclip need to be soldered to the pigtail, but they must not touch each other or the antenna will be useless. When you choose a mounting platform, plan ahead to prevent the ends from touching.
Step 6: Securing the Pigtail
Run the pigtail cable alongside the wooden platform (as shown in Figure 2-20). Use small
drops of glue or some tape to fix the first inch of insulation firmly to the wooden platform. Zip ties or plastic bundle-ties also work great. Just don’t use anything made of metal or antenna
characteristics could change. Do not use metal twist-ties to secure the pigtail. Twist-ties are often used to bundle cables together in consumer electronics, especially with wireless networking gear. The metal inside the twist-tie may adversely affect the antenna properties. Use a nonconducting
plastic or glue for best results. This will guarantee that the fragile soldered connections do not need to bear the weight of the antenna, and will help prevent breakage when the antenna is moved relative to the laptop.
Step 7: Inserting the Antenna Elements
Insert the remaining three wires in their appropriate locations as “elements.” The prongs
don’t need to be centered on the platform, but it is best to center them in relationship to
each other. Touch each wire with a drop of glue where it passes through the platform, just to hold

the wires in place.