Cheap wifi nic card with antenna jack?

hi, I want to build a wifi antenna and hook it up to my laptop, can someone suggest a cheap wifi card with an antenna jack? I have a hawking nic already in my laptop, will i get much better reception with the hormel can antenna? If so can I somehow disassemble the hawking and wire the tin can antenna into it or should I buy one with a jack? Thx

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"Lenny" hath wroth:


By "card", I presume you mean PCMCIA or PC Card type of wi-fi device.

Any particular model Hawking NIC?

Hormel? Didn't they invent spam? Are you sure you want to be known as a spammer? Maybe if you wear one of these:

nobody will notice.

I'll presume that you have no idea which Hawking product you own and therefore will have limited success with your adventure into Learn by Destroying. However, I can offer some general guidelines.

If you look at serial number label on the device, you'll probably see an FCC ID number. Plug the number into the FCC ID search at:

and look at the inside photos. That will give you an idea of whether a coax cable pigtail can be attached. The general proceedure is to tear your device apart, remove or disconnect any internal antenna, and attach a coaxial cable pigtail. The soldering is critical and has a huge impact on performance. If you've never soldered before, this is not a good beginners exercise.


for a few clues.

My guess is that the typical Hormel Spam can is too small to be useful as a 2.4GHz antenna. I'm not sure what you're thinking in the way of how the antenna is to be used (vehicle, bicycle, coffee shop, fixed location, etc) so there's no way to recommend a specific type of size. If you plan to build your own, I recommend one of the biquad types:

A good question is how much gain do you need. I have no idea because you didn't supply any clues as to how it's to be used. As a rule of thumb, if you *ADD* 6dB of antenna gain (minus coax cable losses), you will double your range. 12dB gain will give you 4 times the range.

As to the build or buy decision, that's yours to make. If you think you can build any of the above, then I suggest you build something.

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