This is a howto from Elektra on building an antenna reflector for your Mesh Potato. Properly attached and deployed it should more or less double the existing range of the MP.
190 x 240mm blank aluminium sheet, 1.5mm thick.
You can use wider than 190mm, if the store sells 200mm wide this is also fine. I recommend to have a professional workshop cut the metal sheet to the outer dimensions. The store where you buy it might do this. They have the tools to easily cut it to a straight form. I did it by hand, it doesn’t look perfectly straight. Doesn’t matter for the function, though.
- drill (a drill press preferably, as a hand-held drill tends to slide over the metal, so holes might end up not positioned accurately)
- 5.1mm drill for metal (That is the diameter required for the 5mm rivets)
- white paint
- alcohol as solvent to remove grease from the surface and some old cloth
- cable ties
- some means to cut metal sheet (metal shears might do, but working with 1.5mm aluminium sheet is quite hard)
- four 5x10mm rivets
- rivet gun
- centre punch
- a small file
- 4 mm drill
- 2 pieces of flat metal to construct the support brackets
- box cutter / stanley knife
- double sided tape (goes between the MP and the reflector)
- optional: coping saw with metal saw blade (makes it easier to work out the 4x10mm holes)
- hose clips (instead of cable ties for the pole mount)
- Print the plan on A4 paper and have a copy shop print it on to transparent foil.
- Use the box cutter to cut the outer shape out of the foil.
- Fix the foil on the metal sheet. Mark the lines to cut.
- With the box cutter, cut the 4x10mm holes (for the cable ties) through the foil and into the metal.
- With the centre punch and the hammer mark the location of the holes.
- Drill holes and cut where indicated.
- Work out the 4x10mm holes.
- Round the outer corners with the file.
- Removed the cutting ridges with the file.
- Remove grease from aluminum plate.
- Spray paint the reflector, leaving plenty of time for the paint to dry.
- Fix the rear mounting support brackets with the rivets.
- Apply the double sided tape between the MP and the reflector.
- Carefully attach the MP to it. Make sure the LEDs match with the holes.
Finished MP with Antenna Reflector
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