Going to remote locations where your Internet connection will not work can be a problem, especially if you depend on the Web to pay your bills or communicate with friends and family. To get the connection you need without paying too much, you can build your own satellite dish using readily available materials.
Get a shallow steel strainer or colander with a handle and at least 12 to 16 inches in diameter. A small wok or stainless mesh scooper with handle also work well. See accompanying image for samples.
Drill a hole at the center using a half-inch drill bit. Make the hole big enough for a USB connector head to fit inside. Use a marker to trace the USB hook-up head. Keep the USB connector snug.
Insert the USB extension cable into the hole from the bottom of the strainer. A long cable will allow you to elevate the satellite dish.
Put glue around the "neck" of the USB. Seal around the hole to ensure that it is stable.
Place the other end of the USB extension cable to your laptop's USB hub.
Connect the USB Wi-Fi or Wireless Network Adapter to the USB extension cable in the dish.
Attach your satellite dish to a tripod using a duct tape or Zip ties. You can also use a clamp to hold it the side of a camper or tent. Using something tall like a tripod will capture a better signal than if you just kept your computer on your lap.
Choose a 30-degree angle to point to an unobstructed horizon, where there are no trees, mountains or tall buildings blocking your signals. Adjust the angle by tilting the dish back and forth until you get the ideal signal.
Things You'll Need
Stainless steel strainer with handle
1/2-inch Drill bit
USB extension cable (50 feet)
USB Wi-Fi adapter
Clamp, duct tape or Zip ties
Put duct tape around the handle of the satellite dish into a PVC pipe or an old coat stand. Wrap protective cellophane around the USB connector and USB Wi-Fi for protection from rain. Glue a small baby bottle around the base to shield the USB connector and USB Wi-Fi to keep it dry.
Do not tilt the dish directly under the sun as the heat can burn the USB, rendering it unusable.