How to Build a USB WiFi From a Satellite Dish

There are two distinct advantages to a USB Wi-Fi antenna made from a satellite dish. The first is that the USB cable does not suffer signal loss to the extent a coaxial cable does, thereby maintaining the robustness or strength of the Wi-Fi signal. The second is that accessing municipal Wi-Fi hotspots is enhanced by the large parabolic surface of the satellite dish itself, which expands the range of signals that reach the USB antenna. Finally, by avoiding the necessity of a Wi-Fi card, a USB Wi-Fi antenna from a satellite dish can connect to any open USB port on a computer, and be more economical.

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The Basis for Improved Wi-Fi Reception

Converting a Satellite Dish for Wi-Fi

Step

Modify an existing satellite dish. Modification consists of removing the LNB unit that receives TV signals, and replacing it with a USB Wi-Fi adapter.

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Secure the USB Wi-Fi adapter to the satellite dish's extension arm, pointing towards the reflective surface of the dish. Use plastic ties or a metal strap.

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Connect the USB cable. Depending upon the length of cable to the computer or router, there may need to be USB cable extensions employed.

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Position the dish at the proper point outside. Your signal strength boost with the dish as the reflective surface should increase up to 600%, and exceed 15dB. Position the dish in the direction of known Wi-Fi hot spots generally, as the radio frequency (RF) signals are highly directional.

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Connect the USB cable to a computer. USB cable lengths can be as long as 16 feet. Plug the cable into any available USB port.

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Install the wi-fi software. A software CD comes with every new USB Wi-Fi adapter, and software can also be found on the web. The Wireless Network Setup Wizard in Windows, Vista and Windows 7 provides a step-by-step guide through the process.

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Connect to a widened array of available Wi-Fi hot spots.