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Thread: small form factor directional antennas

  1. #1
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    Default small form factor directional antennas

    Hello all,

    I don't suppose this will really catch the attention of the wireless crowd buried in the noob section, but my searches didn't get me anywhere, and I guess I'm stuck here for now!

    So, I'm getting an Alfa 500 for a eee 1000HE (thanks to some searches here), but I need a directional antenna for it. As I'm going to be floorwalking with this setup, I want to be able to locate wireless devices, be they rogue access points or laptops with wireless enabl

    What I need, as you can guess, is a small directional antenna. There's no need for a high-gain setup, but it would be nice to have something small that I can attach to the laptop, rather than carrying around on a boom.

    Unfortunately, most antenna vendors seem to focus on high-gain, and also don't tend to list sizes for their antennas.

    tl;dr: I need a very small directional antenna for an Alfa 500 and don't care if it's got a high gain or not

    Cheers,
    lt

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Thorn's Avatar
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    Aside from patch antennas like Toxic Veins linked to, there are some PBC based directionals like this one:
    Amazon.com: Ramsey LPY2 Logi Log Periodic PCB Antenna 900-2,600 MHz: Electronics
    Thorn
    Stop the TSA now! Boycott the airlines.

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    Thanks for that guys, much appreciated; I may well give both a try. The LPY26 looks like it might also be a possibility - I think it's smaller, which I'm assuming means lower gain.

    Hope one of the works! If they're all too strong for up-close identification, I'm wondering if an attenuator might help, but wow those are seriously expensive. Life would be easier if I could just buy a Shmoo Bloodhound gun on expenses. Mind you, would I feel even dorkier wandering around with that than with a laptop? I probably would...

    (I tried linking to an article on the bloodhound gun, but I can't post links yet.)

    thanks again,
    lt

  5. #5
    My life is this forum Barry's Avatar
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    I've got one of these. It works okay.
    Of course, if you really wanted to have some fun, go to Wal-Mart late at night and ask the greeter if they could help you find trashbags, roll of carpet, rope, quicklime, clorox and a shovel. See if they give you any strange looks. --Streaker69

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    Senior Member Thorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by llamatron View Post
    Thanks for that guys, much appreciated; I may well give both a try. The LPY26 looks like it might also be a possibility - I think it's smaller, which I'm assuming means lower gain.

    Hope one of the works! If they're all too strong for up-close identification, I'm wondering if an attenuator might help, but wow those are seriously expensive. Life would be easier if I could just buy a Shmoo Bloodhound gun on expenses. Mind you, would I feel even dorkier wandering around with that than with a laptop? I probably would...

    (I tried linking to an article on the bloodhound gun, but I can't post links yet.)

    thanks again,
    lt
    Attenuators work very well for close in work, but are, as you noted, expensive as hell. Sometimes you can find them cheap at hamfests. Other places to look are classified ads or (possibly) Craigslist.

    Old ham tip: A REALLY tiny directional antenna can be constructed by halfway straightening out paper clip. Bend it to 90 degrees, and leave one loop. Place the straight end in the antenna connector.

    The Bloodhound in a great device. The v1 was used during the Fox and Hound portion of the WarDriving Contest at DC12. I was there as it found the Fox. It had traced the Fox within 2' on the other side of a wall in a hotel. By the way, the team using it won; no other teams came close.
    Thorn
    Stop the TSA now! Boycott the airlines.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thorn View Post
    Old ham tip: A REALLY tiny directional antenna can be constructed by halfway straightening out paper clip. Bend it to 90 degrees, and leave one loop. Place the straight end in the antenna connector.
    That sounds like a useful little trick - thanks for that.
    The Bloodhound in a great device. The v1 was used during the Fox and Hound portion of the WarDriving Contest at DC12. I was there as it found the Fox. It had traced the Fox within 2' on the other side of a wall in a hotel. By the way, the team using it won; no other teams came close.
    Impressive! Did they ever release the details of how the whole thing was put together, or the bits they used?

  8. #8
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    I have an eee pc 901 and a alpha 500mw it's a really good setup I use a 14db planar antenna like this one:

    xxx.ciudadwireless.com/images/int-pan-14bp.jpg

    I think it is the best compromise between portability and gain: 19,7x19,7x2 cm and 14db. It works really good with the alpha and it isn't very expensive.

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