Archive for the ‘cantenna’ Tag

Cantenna Workshop Followup – Pictures & Lessons Learned

I wanted to post a quick follow-up on the “Build Your Own Cantenna” workshop that I facilitated at the University of Advancing Technology as a part of their Tech Forum 2010.

While we limited the number of registrants to 15, we were able to sneak in a few others last minute because we had the available supplies and space.  All together, we made 18 cantennas.

We were building simple waveguide antennas using tin cans.  We used the instructions from Turnpoint Wireless.  I had acquired several different sizes and types of cans for the workshop.  I thought part of the fun would be the experimentation. While it says it in the instructions, cans with a diameter of less than 3.25” do not work.  This is because you need to place the antenna element at a specific point on the can related to the ¼ wavelength of the 2.4 GHz frequency.  There were a few small cans (for canned veggies) that we tried where the diameter was less than 3” – when we made the measurement of where to place the antenna connector, we found out the can was not long enough!

Also, the instructions call for #6 ¼” nuts and bolts.  I bought the N-Type connectors from Fleeman, Anderson, & Bird.  When they arrived, I took one to a Home Depot to size out the nuts and bolts.  Size #6 seemed to be a little too big, so I downsized to #4 ¼ bolts.   If I did it over again, I would have actually bought #4 ½ bolts because the connector does not sit flush, due to the curve of the can.   This was the worst with the widest cans – they seemed to have the deepest curve. Because the connector wasn’t flush, the bolts weren’t long enough to hold the connector in place.  We worked around this by cutting a much larger hole for the N-Type connector in the can.  We used a circular drill bit to accomplish this – my advice on this is to go slow and apply steady pressure, or you’ll severely warp the opening as the bit goes through the can.

Here are a few photos from the workshop:

Build Your Own “Cantenna” Workshop

Tomorrow afternoon, I will be teaching a workshop on how to build your own 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi antenna using a household can such as soup can, coffee can, or veggie can.  It is a simple waveguide antenna.

The workshop is going to be held at the University of Advancing Technology and is a part of their Tech Forum 2010.

My session is tomorrow, November 2nd, at 2:30 PM Pacific Time.  UAT is located at:

University of Advancing Technology

2625 W Baseline Road

Tempe Arizona 85283

If you want to go, please send me an email or Twitter @reply quickly and I will try to sneak you into the class.  We have a limited amount of seats because we have a limited amount of supplies (and soldering irons).

If you can not attend, but would like to undergo the project on your own, we are just following the instructions/outline from Turnpoint Wireless.

I bought my cantenna kits from Fleeman, Anderson, & Bird as suggested in the instructions.  I ordered 20 kits and had them shipped 2nd day and Fleeman, Anderson, & Bird had no issue fulfilling the order.  The neccessary nuts,bolts, and wire I picked up at a local Home Depot.

If you build one of your own, please stop back and leave me a comment to let know know how it went.  I’d love to hear about your experience!