802.11b Cantenna Notes

I wanted to build a point-to-point wireless connection to a neighbor's house along the street, and I decided to save some money and make my own "cantennas" following these instructions. Here are some notes on what I actually used and did.

Finding the can

There wasn't any Nalley "Big Chunk" at the store, so I used Nalley "Original Chili" 40oz can instead - it seems to have the same dimensions. There was no way I was going to eat this stuff, so I gave it a decent burial in the back yard. Then I washed out the cans, a lot.

Bits and pieces

I used 2 WAP11 v2.2 access points ($137 each) running in point-to-point mode to make the actual bridge. The v2.2 parts don't have a USB port any more - just RJ45 and you configure them with a web browser. Much better, particularly if you plan to mount the WAP11s on the roof.

Connecting the WAP11s to the cans requires a pigtail ("48 inch Reverse Polarity TNC Male - N Male LMR400") and a "N Female Panel Mount" connector.

Both parts from Fleeman Anderson & Bird Corp (FAB Corp),
Note: the WAP11s didn't connect at all until I'd changed the "Antenna selection" setting to use "Right" antenna only.

I found a food container that holds the WAP11, cut a hole for the pigtail, power and network connections, and viola - it's kind of weatherproof. At least against the "weather" in California, anyway.

Mounting the Cantenna

A $0.50 shelving bracket and a $0.00 block of wood to holds the cantenna on the side of the house. There's a single screw through the back of the can into the "block-of-wood" (tm). I used a couple of screws to hold the whole thing approximately in place, lined it up on the target, then put the rest of the screws in.