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Friday, November 11, 2011

Poor wi-fi? Cook up a better signal with a baking tray
No matter how well prepared you are, there are times when you don't quite have to hand all the technology you really need.

Today, I find myself on a boat in just that situation and unable to get online with wi-fi or 2.5G for want of a better antenna. My mobile phone is showing one bar of 2.5G and one bar of wi-fi. My laptop isn't doing any better, and a data connection is proving impossible.

There are some buildings behind the trees on the other side of the river, and my scanner is showing a number of open access wi-fi opportunities. But all I have is what I carry, and that does not include a high-gain antenna. Time to improvise. A visit to the galley turns up a much-used baking tray. A few simple experiments later and I'm able to locate the direction of the 2.5G base station and the strongest wi-fi signal.

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