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Omnidirectional Antenna

2.4 GHz magnetic mount vertical antenna

An omnidirectional antenna is a vertical antenna. A vertical antenna's radiation pattern or signal radiates in all directions, losing power as the distance increases. Their radiation patterns are weaker directly above or below the vertical plane. Most wireless access points (WAP) come with a small omnidirectional antenna or antennas.

An omni-directional antenna picks up signals from all directions. The longer an omni-directional antenna is, the better performance it will have. A desk or wall mounted indoor omnidirectional antenna is a good choice for your wireless network. The simple and cheap spider antenna is a quarter wave omni-directional antenna made with a N-type chassis mount connector (a threaded RF connector used to join coaxial cables) with short lengths of stiff fencing wire soldered into each corner hole, acting as a ground plane. Quarter wave verticals will not operate properly without ground radials or a counterpoise.

For accessing truck stops, coffee shops, campgrounds and parks, look for a good quality commercial omni-directional 2.4 GHz whip antenna with a mag mount base. Some vertical whip antennas have loading coils to allow for a shorter overall length. You will definitely notice the increase in performace that you get versus a laptop card without an external antenna.

Here's an inexpensive mag mount 5X Range Extender.

A dipole is a bi-directional antenna, and its radiation pattern extends in two directions outward. It generally consists of a base with two antenna spokes going in opposite directions. A horizontal dipole is a half wave antenna that does not necessarily require a ground plane.

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Revised: 07/06/2011