Autonomous wireless networking

a PC equipped with PCI wifi card and handmade antenna under the roof of our hackers


This HOWTO doesn't go into technical detail, if you are new to soldering and cutting metal we recommend to team up with an experienced friend before engaging this funny adventure :)

Also this HOWTO doesn't go into detail, instead tries to link and reference more detailed information sources that you can follow; our focus here is to inspire.

Wireless card

To connect the antenna to the computer we need a WIFI card. The one shown here was found at the price of 18 EU in a shop in Amsterdam.

It is a PCI card to be inserted in the slot inside the computer.

Beyond the branded name and smiling face this card mounts an Atheros chip which is well supported by the MadWifi drivers.

The wire coming out is a modification: the shop sells this card with a short black antenna connected. But we need a bigger one ;) so we will connect our antennas with a thick coaxial cable to avoid dispersion and get a better signal. In this case an "N-connector" was soldered, providing a bigger plug than the usual small wifi plug (also called pigtail)

Soldering this cable requires some skills, with the help of a few tools. If you never did it, a talented patient friend might teach you how to do it.

On the other side of the cable the connector goes to an antenna which in this case was self built with recycled metal:

The back of the antenna is the plug connected into this metal plate

On the other side the antenna spreads into romboids

Which is a variation (3 romboids each side) of the double-quad antenna described here:

You can build many different shapes... see for more plans

This website has a useful collection of resources for autonomous wireless network development

As well this other website

And Jason Hecker's wireless goodies which include also instructions translated in Turkish, Bahasa Indonesia, Nederland and Polski

Once the connection antenna -> card -> computer is completed, boot from live CD or install the back|track operating system which comes ready with network tools and wireless card drivers.

Wireless software

Installed in the Backtrack operating system you will find the Aircrack software which can help to detect and connect networks (even if encrypted).

For a full collection of WIFI software see

Suggestions to autonomous wireless network developers:

Be tollerant and ospital in sharing connectivity: everyone needs it.

And If you have no other way to get online, dare to crack a WEP key.

We should all be online, really ;^)

big up to:

and all the other roof hoppers not mentioned here...

happy hacking -jrml

AntennaDIY (last edited 2008-06-26 09:55:32 by anonymous)