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5.5 GHz cantenna as a feed horn

A cantenna (a portmanteau blending the words can and antenna) is a homemade directional waveguide antenna, made out of an open-ended metal can.

Cantennas are typically used to increase the range (or discovery) of Wi-Fi networks.


A Pringles cantenna for Wi-Fi

The cylinder portion of the can may consist of metal-coated paperboard.

Although some designs are based on a Pringles potato chips can, this tube is too narrow to increase the 2.4 GHz signal by a useful amount,[1] although at 5 GHz it would be about the right size. However, a cantenna can be made from various cans or tubes of an appropriate diameter.[2] Some designs include a pole mount to elevate the cantenna.[3]

At 2.4 GHz, losses can occur if the cable from the cantenna to the Wi-Fi circuitry is too long. A more efficient cantenna can be made by minimising this length or connecting the cantenna directly to the Wi-Fi circuitry.[4]


A cantenna on an OLPC laptop

Cantennas are typically used for extending a wireless local area network (WLAN).

The tiny design makes them ideal for mobile applications such as wardriving.

Cantennas can be used to increase cell phone range,[5] improve reception, and decrease noise.

A cantenna can be used as a satellite dish feed horn. The 5.5 GHz cantenna dimensions are almost perfect in that they make a good fit for the standard TV satellite dish. The resulting setup is a low-cost high-quality high-gain antenna.[6] Such setups are widely used in wireless community networks for long-distance Wi-Fi links.

Cantennas may be used with other RF devices such as wireless security cameras.[7]

See also[edit]

a Cantenna


  1. ^ "PC FAQ's: Build a 'Cantenna' Aerial". Archived from the original on 2008-04-11.
  2. ^ "Wlan antenna Waveguide type (includes table of suitable dimensions for cantenna)". Archived from the original on 2009-07-18.
  3. ^ "Cantenna build on a pole (includes construction plans)". Archived from the original on 2006-10-24.
  4. ^ "Episode 3 is On-The-Air – AmateurLogic.TV". 20 December 2005.
  5. ^ MAKE: Blog: Cell phone - Cantenna diagram and parts list
  6. ^ "How to make 5ghz cantenna - feeder for sat-dish - P Wiki MN". Archived from the original on 2016-10-29. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
  7. ^ "Cantenna.com User Guide" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2021-03-01. Retrieved 2010-10-06.

External links[edit]