How to Connect WiFi to a TV Antenna

By Tom Johnson

For many people, it might seem intimidating to repurpose a TV antenna to be able to receive a Wi-Fi signal. But in truth, the only real difference between a TV signal and a Wi-Fi signal is that Wi-Fi transmits a slightly higher frequency of signals than a TV transmission does. Knowing that, all you have to do is make some slight additions to a TV antenna, and create a shape that is more receptive to those higher-frequency Wi-Fi radio waves.

Things You'll Need

  • Metal can, 4 inches or more across, 5 inches or more tall
  • Power drill
  • Drill bits, 1/8 inch, 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, 1/2 inch, 3/4 inch
  • Type N Connector
  • Coaxial cable
  • Sandpaper
  • Copper wire, 12-gauge

Step 1

Clean the can completely, and strip it of all outside labels. One end of the can should be open and the other should be closed. A coffee can or large stewed tomato can would be ideal.

Step 2

Drill a small pilot hole into the closed end of the can. Begin with the 1/8-inch drill bit, taking care not to apply too much pressure. Too much pressure might accidentally dent the can, which will lessen the performance of the Then gradually increase the sizes of the bits until you've completely drilled through to the other side. Widen the hole with the 3/4-inch bit if it's not already 3/4 inch wide.

Step 3

Insert the stem of the N connector into the hole you've just created to ensure that you've drilled the opening wide enough. If the connector doesn't fit, drill a bit more with the 3/4-inch drill and sand it until the rough edges are smoothed out.

Step 4

Fit the 12-gauge copper wire securely into the end of the N-stem. If it doesn't fit, sand it down as needed. You may want to use electrical tape or a mounting plate to secure the cable's position inside the can.

Step 5

Attach the coaxial cable to the other end of the N-connector. Attach the other end of the coaxial cable to your computer's wireless card. If the wireless card doesn't have an external cable connection, you may need to get an appropriate adapter.

References & Resources