This article will describe how to make a cheap, portable, high performance (15-18 db) directional antenna out of commonly available parts that can be purchased in most grocery and hardware stores. Unlike these other designs, the CookieCantenna aims to let you have your cookies and eat them too!
Take off the lid and remove all the cookies and packaging. The interior should be relatively clean, but you may want to wash and dry before proceeding.
Use a can-opener to remove the bottom of the can. The lid of the can is totally flat, so does a better job of reflecting radio waves without distorting them. The bottom of the can has small ripples for strength, which seem to add a small amount of distortion. So, for our purposes, we are going to remove the bottom and use it as the opening into the waveguide. If you don’t have one of the fancy electric can-openers that will remove the bottom without leaving sharp edges, you may need to use a file to remove any sharp edges or protrusions into the can’s interior.
You now have a hollow cylinder. Pop the lid on one end of the cylinder and measure 44 mm down the cylinder lengthwise from the spherical plane of the lid and make a mark in the paint with a sharp object. It is important to measure from the face of the lid and not simply from the end of the hollow cylinder, as the two resulting distances are slightly different and could negatively impact antenna performance.
Drill or use some other tool to create a hole for your N connector, centered on the mark you made in the last step. The hole should be just big enough to allow the threading on the N connector to get through. In my case, this hole ended up being about 5/8″ in diameter, but yours may be slightly different. Try to avoid deforming the shape of the can during this process. If the hole has any rough edges, use a file to smooth them down.
Next, get out your N connector and copper wire and plug in your soldering iron. Cut a piece that will be a little long for our purposes, say 40mm worth and solder the wire into the center tap of the N connector. It may be difficult to keep the wire straight and solder at the same time, so you might want to get a friend to hold the wire in place (ideally with needlenose pliers. The wire will get hot!) while you hold the soldering iron in one hand and the solder in the other.
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