Boost Your USB WiFi Signal Strength for Next to Nothing

In my workshop I have a Raspberry Pi whose primary function is to control the temperature of my home brew using Braubuddy.

Said workshop is part of a detached garage, so I planned to employ a USB WiFi adapter to connect the Pi to my home wireless network. This would allow me to:

  • Update software on the Pi without unplugging and taking it inside.
  • Monitor the temperature of my home brew remotely.
  • Stream music while I make beer and build things.

But as it turned out, the WiFi adapter's tiny internal aerial wasn't capable of maintaining a reliable connection to my Wireless Access Point. On the rare occasions that it did manage to connect, data transfer was hideously slow due to packet loss. Inevitably the link would drop out altogether as Linux' WiFi connection manager gave up in utter despair.

I had resigned myself to buying a USB module with an external aerial until I stumbled across this article in my Twitter feed. The author describes a similar predicament to my own as well as his solution: a home-made, foil-covered dish mounted behind his Wifi adapter.

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