Woosh -DIY "boutique" portable antenna

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by manuka, Feb 19, 2005.

  1. manuka

    manuka Guest

    As a spin off from our celebrated 2004 student project "Cookware" WiFi
    dish mesh antenna (=> http:// www.usbwifi.orcon.net.nz ), we've
    recently considered a similar approach to enhance marginal Woosh
    signals here in Wellington/Hutt. Of course 2.4GHz WiFi is near Woosh's
    ~2GHz IPwireless service, but usefully a parabolic reflector brings
    signals to a fixed focal point that's unrelated to frequency. The small
    Woosh modem ceramic antenna is behind the curved top indicator LEDs, &
    has best pick up when at 90 degrees to the Woosh site - it works better
    one way too ( when upright with the Woosh label/battery cover side
    pointing AT their site)

    Gentlemen - using the same 300mm "scoop" cookware as for USB WiFI, it's
    been a doodle to bring weak Woosh signals up GREATLY. A typical
    portable trial over a ~5km link ( mostly LOS harbour but with some
    trees & buildings our end) raised both a miserable 1 bar strength &
    quality signal to 3-4 bars, with corresponding service speed
    improvement. Not only is this new antenna dead easy to make and adjust,
    but it even looks (eek!) a fashion accessory that'll suit portable work
    in a library etc. Covered with a jersey or plastic bag it becomes
    almost invisible. Recommended !

    Of course Woosh market an external antenna, BUT that best suits a fixed
    location & hey - this is the laptop age ! In fact our "scoop" approach
    can even still be used for WiFi by swapping out the Woosh modem for a
    USB dongle. Such flexibility is handy here in Wellington where the
    celebrated CafeNet WiFi covers the city. Along with the original 4
    Wellington City sites, the 4 new Woosh Hutt sites ( Petone, Moera,
    Naenae, Queens Drive) allow us capital road warriors extreme wireless
    Internet convenience.

    NOTE: Woosh have a 6.5km radius footprint here in Wellington, & even if
    signals are strong ( such as 8 - 11km away across the harbour in
    Eastbourne) the service will annoyingly NOT connect. Don't know why
    they've limited to this, since similar IPWireless services elsewhere
    are greater - Maui Sky Fiber in Hawaii quote 7 miles (~ 11km) & even
    GSM/GPRS cellullar is good for 35km.

    Bill of materials largely a 300mm #12" cookware scoop ( ~ NZ$10 from
    most Asian Food outlets - Davis Trading Petone etc) & a flexible stalk
    desklamp ( ~NZ$8 from The Warehouse) + screws etc. For $NZ 20 & basic
    hand tools you could rustle one up in a flash.
    See the WiFi version => http://www.usbwifi.orcon.net.nz/btique.jpg -
    we'll add a Woosh variant as =>
    http://www.usbwifi.orcon.net.nz/wooshant.jpg in a few days.

    Stan. @ Massey
    manuka, Feb 19, 2005
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