A grid antenna can improve the reception of wireless signals by more than 50 percent. These antennas attach directly to several different types of wireless devices and help to create long-range wireless networks. A grid antenna supports wireless local area networks, Wi-Fi, wireless applications and wireless data transfer on Internet-enabled computers, cell phones and other wireless devices. You can purchase these antennas from a variety of manufacturers, or you can make a homemade grid antenna.
Grid Antenna Specifics
A grid antenna features a grid usually made of wire. The shape of the grid typically takes the form of a rectangle, triangle or square. While the grid can attach to any type of antenna, including radio and television antennas, the grids most commonly function as part of Wi-Fi antennas. High-quality grid antennas are not typically expensive to purchase.
Grid Antenna Materials
The materials required the make a grid antenna depend on the type of grid antenna and its intended use. A grid antenna will usually require aluminum to make the grid and cable to connect the antenna to the wireless device. A high-quality grid antenna will also use a rust-proof aluminum for the reflector grid that increases the strength of the antenna while maintaining a lightweight frame.
A grid antenna features two essential qualities that directly extend the range of an Internet signal -- polarization and hi-gain. Polarization of the grid antenna is the orientation of the electric field relative to the Earth's surface. Hi-gain, on the other hand, refers to a grid antenna's focused radio wave beam width. Hi-gain allows grid antennas to leave a smaller footprint than other types of antennas, such as a Wi-Fi backfire antenna or a panel antenna.
One of the most important aspects of any homemade grid antenna is durability in various weather conditions. Always use a high-grade aluminum to construct the grid, such as 6061-T6 aluminum. Additionally, power-coat the aluminum and weld each seam of the grid. While not requirements for building a functional grid antenna, these techniques will help contribute to the durability of the grid antenna.