Enhanced Airport Express comparison

The objective of this post is to show how an home made WiFi antenna can improve (or not!) the strength of the WiFi signal.

Test configuration:

To measure the WiFi signal enhancement of my various “home made antennae” I used the Airport Client Monitor included in the Apple Airport management tools. On the picture bellow you can see my Powerbook positioned 2 and a half meters away from my Airport Express access point. All measurements were made in these conditions.
Airport express - benchmark setup

Improvement measurement:

The following pictures show each test and its results in sequence. The area highlighted in red on the measurement diagrams represent when the passive antenna “enhancers” were ‘active’.
Airport express without any reflectors

Airport express fitted with Chinese Kitchenware reflectorAirport express signal strength (Chinese kitchenware reflector)
Airport express fitted with Chinese Kitchenware reflector


Airport express with a metallic beer keg reflectorAirport express benchmark results with a beer keg reflector
Airport express with a metallic beer keg reflector


Airport express with a metallic plate reflectorAirport express - benchmark results with a metallic plate reflector
Airport express with a metallic plate reflector

Conclusion:

The measurement reported here are far from following any scientific and reliable method.
The test results confirmed that placing a metallic device behind a WiFi antenna (more or less around the right distance (focal point)) enhances signal strength. The Chinese kitchenware improves the WiFi connection by +10dBm and – unlike the others homemade antennae – gives a stable signal!

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