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Why can't I use just any radio or tv antenna?

Basically you need to size an antenna in relation to the wavelength of the frequency you are transmitting and receiving. The wifi frequency of 2.4Ghz (2400 Mhz) has a wavelength of approximately 12.49 centimeters (4.92 in or .41 feet or .125 meters). The design of the antenna needs to match up with these measurements. For example, a quarter wave vertical 2.4Ghz antenna is a ¼ (approximately 31mm or 1.22 inches) of a wavelength long.

On the same note, the cables and connectors for wifi antennas need to be microwave friendly in order to contribute to overall signal stength. You wouldn't use a half-inch garden hose to put out a towering inferno. A 4-inch diameter hose designed for high volume supply and minimum friction loss connected to a fire hydrant would be a much better choice. Use the right parts for your particular situation.

CB frequencies run from 26.965 MHz to 27.405 MHz so stock CB antennas are not usable as well.

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Revised: 08/08/2006