Wifi Internet

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Goal

Provide wireless access to the Space.

Basic Requirements

must be able to both send and receive data from a nearby wireless network
must be able to interface with a repeater or another wifi hub in our space
should be hacked or something that can be done on the cheap IMHO

WTH (wonderful to have)

highpowered USB wifi stick
inhouse server
remote motor controls so the antenna can be pointed to specific coordinates
webcam to aid in pointing


Basic Design Thoughts

Stick something on the roof that can pick up signal and either have the antenna be attached to a router that acts as a repeater or to a server that then shares the connection over the wifi router in the space. Because of the amount of signal loss that occurs over coax given the power considerations we probably want to go the router route and have the router mounted up on the ceiling.

Antenna

There are three basic approaches I know of to DIY wifi antenna

Cantenna - directional
This could work but the the end result is going to very directional
Requires
Can
coax
The right connectors
A drill
DIY Biquad antenna
This is still directional but is more broad in its scope AFAIK (just found out about how to do it yourself
This basically requires
Copper tubing
Coax cable
The right connector
A copper plate / metal plate
Heavy soldering
Some metal machining
Re purpose a Satellite dish
This will give us the best "range" but also takes the most time/work and materials. Engadget was able to connect to wireless access points over 8 miles away (line of sight)
Requires
A dish (we have one)
Some sort of antenna (can, biquad, built-in one on a USB wifi stick)
Wood studs (hooray for pallets)

I'm leaning towards the biquad antenna because the omnidirectional one I tested outside the door was 11db and with a biquad we should be able to get 14+ while cantenna are more variable in what you end up with (depends a lot on the can / connections etc).

Helpful URLs

Cantenna

Biquad

DIY biquad
biquad store

Satellite

engadget
binarywolf
primestar

Router firmware