Baking tray key to Wifi signals issues

| 07/11/2011

(Telegraph): Confronted with a weak wifi signal and no mobile reception, a top technologist knew exactly the right solution. Use an old baking tray as an amplifier. Peter Cochrane, formerly the Chief Technology Officer at BT, was on a boat on the Norfolk Broads but unable to get online. By improvising, he could boost a flagging, useless signal to something much more effective. Writing on his blog at Silicon.com, Cochrane explained that the baking tray proved just as effective as an expensive high-gain antenna which he didn’t have.

“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.”

The solution was not, however, to stop and visit a nearby community on land. Cochrane instead used an old baking tray to focus the reception.

“Time to improvise,” he wrote. “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 wifi signal. So I now have three bars of wifi and 2.5G by way of the unlikely combination of a baking tray and some judicious positioning.”

 

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Category: Technology

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