For short-range and in-the-home wireless, you don’t need much more antenna than what is supplied with your router, dongle, or laptop. Handheld FRS (Family Radio Service) radios are great for inside a warehouse or around a campus. Once you start thinking about a longer link such as to supply Internet connectivity at a temporary site, improve marginal mobile phone service, or set up your company’s new repeater system, you’ll need outdoor antennas. And something to put them on. That may not be a workbench topic but it’s certainly a part of wireless!
The goal of this column is to give you an idea of what options you have and point you to resources where you can learn the details of doing things right. Along the way, I’ll introduce some terms and techniques to get you started.
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