Cantenna and Plantenna for Wimax

A fixed line PTCL DSL is not a viable option for me in Abbottabad, so as luck would have it, I ended up owning not one, but two Wateen Wimax connections after moving to Abbottabad from Lahore – I believe this irony has something to do with god deciding to punish me for my sins in this world rather than the hereafter.

My first Wateen router, the indoor CPE, did not work out of the box, as I live on the ground floor and Wimax was probably invented exclusively for people higher up. After trying a hundred locations all around the house, multiplied by a hundred different angles and orientations, the best signal strength that I could find was a measly 2/5 bars, which translated to a 20Kbps out of the 1Mbps speed that I was paying for. Out of sheer desperation, I tried placing the device sideways and facing upwards, which is the exact opposite of how it is supposed to stand, and placed it closer to the floor, under a plant – and in a eureka moment (anything that increases bandwidth is pure bliss, right?), the signal strength shot from 2/5 to 4/5 and even 5/5 bars! Apparently, the plant catches the signals and throws them downwards using some kind of druid magic.

Since then, my experiments show that most plants and small trees act as great Wimax antennae – for the USB modems, for example, if you are working from a park, sitting below a tree will give you at least a 20% increase in signal. Now I understand what Buddha was up to when chose to spend his life beneath a tree. So here it is, my plantenna

plantenna plantenna

Perhaps Yateem can resuscitate their business by giving out a plant with each modem. If you try this configuration, do let me know about your results.

A few months ago, Wateen released the USB version of its Wimax modem, which would be perfect for the “location independent professionals” if not for the same signal strength situation as the larger modem. Their towers are a kilometer from my house, but the USB modem failed function inside my house. As I did not intend to die by frost or mosquito bites, I was planning to return the device the next day when I decided to experiment with cantennas. The cantenna I made took the Wifi signal inside my home from a non-functional 0%-20% to a fully functional consistent 40%-60%!

cantenna wimax cantenna

The instructions are simple. Take a cola can, chop off the top half, create a slit wide at the base that is enough to place the can between the modem and its USB adapter and you are done. No wire loops to make, no can diameters to calculate and no need to wrap aluminum foil around concave surfaces.

I think this hack should also work with the EVDO USB devices, as I hear a lot of complaining regarding the signal strength from the PTCL EVDO users. If you try it out, I’d be very interested to hear about it in the comments.

P.S. Being away from one’s blog for months isn’t a great idea, but I have been busy coping with a lot of change – the deliberate kind (like moving from Lahore to Abbottabad for a while – more on that later) and the uncontrollable kind (my family getting into a car accident – more on that later).  I will resume the brain-dump here in the days to come.

10 thoughts on “Cantenna and Plantenna for Wimax”

  1. Lol seriously this is research worth publishing. I’ll ask my friends who own Wateen’s WiMAX to try this out too. Lets see if they can get similar results.

  2. Yeah Its Really Cool Experiment. I’m going to post this with your name on my blog because Aamirs also posted on his blog………

    Thanks for sharing this! Hope All Paki Will take advantage and its very good advantage of WiMax Wateen’s

  3. Heyy, this beats my water planty thingy by a mile!! 😛
    Nice to see you back writing, man.
    You still ‘chilling’ (as in literally) in Abbot’s place? How’s that working out for you (as I have asked this before, I find this move inspiring, so you better tell me that you were forced to move to Abbotabad and you did not do it to get fresh on all counts of physical, metaphysical, spiritual etc etc! 😛 )

    Stay in peace, wherever you are, mon ami,
    God bless,

    P.S. And instead of Captcha, try WP-spamfree. Captcah hinders interaction 🙂

    1. Thanks M. – switched to WP-Spamfree – lets see how it goes.
      Life in Abbottabad has been great so far, I have managed to shed a lot of ‘baggage’ that comes with a “busy” life. Details in another post (yes, I have lots of free time here so can actually blog). I will probably spend January in Lahore, will try to meet up.

  4. Awesome article, however the thing which really caught my attention was that you have moved to abbottabad.

    I live in Lahore but since all my income comes from working online, I have been giving serious thought to moving some place “cleaner” like abbottabad.

    I would really appreciate if you can give me a general idea about for example the security situation there, type of people who live there (friendly or adverse to outsiders), what would be the best area to live in, rent etc. Or perhaps you can guide me to some online resources about this.

    I am particularly interested in your own views gained through your own experience.


    1. @S.A.Khan
      I am in Lahore right now, going back to Abbottabad tomorrow.
      A bunch of posts about the move, the difference and the pros and cons are in my queue of blog posts – I will get to them as soon as I can – so stay tuned 🙂

  5. Great!!!

    I am looking forward to that post.

    (Whispers to self: Dude write one already!!!)

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