DIY Directional WiFi Antenna + Tests

IMG_20130528_020617IMG_20130528_195107Yesterday I stumbled over the IKEA Baren Toilet Brush – yes, I do keep an eye on toilet brush holders since nazco and myself are planning a directional WiFi link. The box said 10cm diameter, which is a bit too much according to this heise.de article, however, once I arrived at RaumZeitLabor I was surprised that it is “only” 92mm in diameter – the optimal size.

The setup consisted of a TL-WR741ND on our balcony as well as an external Logilink WiFi adaptor which I used to measure stuff along my 2 hour trip.

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Test Point 1

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The TL-WR741ND sat on our balcony, approx 8m above ground level. It was equipped with the stock stub antenna. All tests were done using an external USB WiFi stick (Logilink, unknown model, rt73usb driver). For all test locations, I did the test with the stock stub antenna and my directional antenna.

I’ve used iperf to measure the throughput (iperf server on the TL-WR741ND, and iperf client on my notebook). I could have done send/receive stats, but at first I thought that it wouldn’t work so well if I had only one directional antenna – I was wrong! Performance was much better than expected, even at over half a kilometer I had nearly the same performance using only one directional antenna as I had when I was at home).

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Test Point 3

Big Win: With only one directional antenna, I was able to achieve 18.3 Mbit/s over half a kilometer with a non-optimal line of sight, which is only 4 Mbit/s less than placing both antennas next to each other.

You can find my measurements in the following file: Messwerte.ods (20kb or so)

Additionally, I have visualized the test points on Google Maps.

Note that performance is sometimes less because of trees in the line of sight, and the antenna isn’t constructed in an optimal way. Additionally, my hand is a bit shaky, so there’s room for some additional percent of performance.

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Test Point 4

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Test Point 6

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