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2.4 GHz Heavy Duty Cantenna
This is about a pair of 2.4 GHz antennas that I built about 4 years ago.
Not wanting to buy antennas to link 2 buildings together, I decided to build.
I debated various cantenna designs and even bought a few products for their containers.

I wanted to optimize these antennas as much as possible and decided against regular soup cans because I read that the ribs inside them can cause some small degree of unwanted distortion to the signal. I decided on 3"? exhaust tubing that I had scrap. I found the caps and the bells for the ends at home depot. It is all held together with SS hose clamps.

Wanting the driven element to be cheap and simple I finally hit on the idea of using SMA extension cables. I modified the cables by machining off the outside of the connector until it was flat with the insulation material, leaving me with only the center pin protruding. I then created the driven elements from 10ga solid copper wire trimmed to the calculated length. I used a tiny drill to drill a hole in one end of the element. Solder was put in the hole and the wire heated with a small torch, the SMA center pin pushed into the hole and soldered nicely. The ends at the SMA connector where sealed with a bit of silicone for good measure.

All of the dimensions where calculated on the web. If I can remember the exact site I will post it. If you are unsure if a material absorbs 2.4 GHz put a sample in the microwave oven (with a glass of water so as not to damage the oven) If it stays cool then it isn't absorbing anything.

After 4 years the antennas are still working great. I found out quickly that a radome is a good idea to keep the birds and wasps out. I put a plastic grocery bag over the end for temporary. I don't know if the end bells help much, but once I had it working I left it alone.

I hope you had fun reading this. I had fun constructing it!
I have never seen this exact construction anywhere (yet!)

(Click to enlarge)


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