My USB Radio Communications Dish

This 'dish' is sending and receiving signals for a WAN wireless network in Christchurch, New Zealand. The Access point is located on the Port Hills at a distance of about 5Km from my house.


Materials for the dish:

Once the antenna was erected I connected my laptop to the usb cable and used the software supplied with the USB wifi device to monitor the signal strength and quality. The antenna was adjusted vertically and horizontally until the maximum quality signal was received.

Checking at the access point indicated a signal strength from my end at about -80db with ping times averaging 14ms. I am connected to the Christchurch wireless community in the South Island of New Zealand.

Two hours of scanning with NetStumbler produced the listed 54 WiFi contacts in the small sector of the city to the east of my house.



The aerial in position on the roof of the house. It is attached with "100 mile an hour" tape to the air vent tube. The guy wires provide extra support and rigidity.

I found that the USB cable connections are prone to corrosion. The ones I am using appear to have nickel plating on the contacts and after damp, misty conditions the USB wifi device is sometimes not detected. Any connectors need to be well protected from harsh weather conditions.


The sensor unit is enclosed in a 35mm Kodak slide/transparency box which has been waterproofed with a hot glue gun, "100 mile an hour" tape and joints sealed with the hot glue gun.

The Neurofen container is hot-glued to the base of the wok and then the Kodak slide box is hot glued on to the lid. This brings the USB Wifi device to about 77mm but previous experiments had shown that this had no noticeable effect on signal strength.

The cable has also been glued down to stop flapping and stress in the wind.

Dish and Wifi receiver setup


The mount showing the movable arm which allows limited swing movement in a vertical direction by loosen the butterfly nuts and swiveling the handle of the wok. As you can see, the handle needed some (rough!) trimming back to make it narrow enough to fit in the clamp.  

View towards the Port Hills. The Telecom repeater site can be seen on the horizon in about the centre of the picture.

The yellow circle gives a very rough indication of where I think the Yobbo AP is located. Maybe Yobbo could correct me if he sees this!



For more explanations and examples visit the original site which inspired me to
try this out:


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