OK heres my setup, im an amature astronomer and there is a wifi router near where i like to go that i have permission to use, its a friends router. the only problem is that when i set up my laptop is out of range. i would like to add a directional antena to my laptop so i can bridge that extra range. i have star finding software that i use and if i could talk with other astronomers i know while doing my thing i would be happy.
now heres what i have, a belking 802.11b pc card and i have another one which actually got me to thinking about this that i yanked out of a router. my old $20 compusa cheapy blew a cap and the wifi card inside of it got me thinking maybe i could adapt that. so far i cannot find workable drivers. if anyone could direct me to finding directions on adding a antena or on finding a be all end all prism driver, which is what i pulled from the router, then i would be a happy camper.

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Nice project. First, tell me how far away you are and if you have line of sight to the transmitter. Since you are on the ground with the antenna, it´s going to make the link more problematical. Also, what kind of antenna does the transmitter have and how is it situated as far as location goes (in the building or whatever.)

You can definitely put an external antenna on some wireless nics, but they are usually engineered for this and have an existing port. If your card does not have this port, then you need an engineer to help you - that is if the antenna port does not need more circuitry to function, which I don´t know. If it does, it would be a lot cheaper for you just to buy a card that already works.

As for the antenna, you can find that anywhere. A directional parabolic antenna is one of the most inexpensive antennas available, but I would think you need a smaller one for portability. It should be simple to google a source and when you do, you might call them and ask them about sizes.

i have a complete line of site to the transmitter and im a few hundred feet past its range i was thinking of using the pringles can antena (compusa sells thempre made). there is no port for it, and i was wondering if there was a way to figure out were to soder the antena end or if there was a pc card that had an antena port.

one thing i do have, is a pc card that was pulled from an old router its an 802.11b card that has an antena end sodered on it already, ive spent more than 2 weeks looking for drivers and i cannot find any. the system shows it as a wlan prism pcmcia c17c card. i could mod an antena on to this if i could get drivers for it.

Yes, the pringles can looks like it would work...I like the idea ;) . I know you want to use something that you already have...and you can probably get it working. Good luck with the drivers.

However, you can spend just a little money and get an updated card that you know works. I looked them up at a large distributor and there are a few options you might consider. 3-com and some other large guys make cards with external antennas, you just have to find somebody that can sell you one.

There are cards with better built-in antennas - one is the Hawking high-gain card, it has a 6 dbi swivel antenna, which is directional and it´s $99 retail, which means you can probably buy one for a little over $50 somewhere.

The zyxel 91-005-016009 card with external antenna only retails for $69. It has an RP-SMA external antenna port.

So they are available and pretty inexpensive and would give you the latest g technology, which would allow b links as well.

Good luck, this is a great application for wireless...

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