The Micheal Weston “Cantanna”

Michael WestonAre you a Burn Notice fan? If you are then you will note that Michael Weston is the new MacGyver!  Being the burn spy that Michael is, he uses his spy skills and knowledge to help the less fortunate.  One of the amazing gadgets that he makes on the show (Burn Notice season 3 Ep 3) is a homemade wireless Bluetooth.

Have you ever watched a TV show, whether is was Burn Notice or just another channel and had asked yourself; Does this stuff really work?  Well, to answer that question, “yes it does!” with a little know how and some shopping at a hardware store you can make the same homemade Bluetooth that Michael Weston does in his show.  Here is the shopping list you will need to get:

Parts list:

All-thread, 5 5/8″ long, 1/8″ OD $1.00
two nylon lock nuts $0.10
five 1″ washers, 1/8″ ID $0.10
6″ aluminum tubing, 1/4″ ID $0.75
A connector to match your radio pigtail (we used a female N connector) $3.00
1 1/2″ piece of 12 gauge solid copper wire (we used ground wire from house electrical wiring) $0.00
A tall Pringles can (any flavor, Ridges are optional.) $1.50
Scrap plastic disc, 3″ across (like another Pringles can lid) $0.00
Total: $6.45

Tools required:

Ruler Scissors Pipe cutter (or hacksaw or dremel tool, in a pinch) Heavy duty cutters (or dremel again, to cut the all-thread) Something sharp to pierce the plastic (like an awl or a drill bit) Hot glue gun Soldering Iron

Construction time: about an hour

1Can blue tooth

Ok, so take an empty Pringles can and measure from the bottom up to 3 3/8 inches and then carefully drill a small hole big enough to allow a “N” type female connector can fit in.

For the female connector, make sure the you do solder one end of a RG cable to it; (see below)

 2Can blue tooth

Note: The RG cable is just a co-axial cable with a inner material as a conductor. You have to insert the protruding metal whereas the protective shield (insulating) has to be soldered to the body.

Then you need to solder the other end to the co-axial cable to the SMA male connector. The small male pin has to be soldered to the inner conductor of the cable and then it is carefully inserted through the hole of the connector.

Shown in the picture below you can see we need to solder a 12g copper wire with sufficient length to the “N” type connector

3Can blue tooth

Now that you have soldered all the pieces, you need to now place the assembly in the can and place the SMA connector in such a way that it passes through the hole in the can. (Notice the picture)

4Can blue tooth

This arrangement should be dropped down inside until the center along the length of the can. Then carefully pull the extra cable through and cut it off.

You can fix the arrangement tight with the help of a few screws if needed. Then you need to put back the cable, this means that the reflectors are now ready.

Then we want to cut the aluminum tubing into four 1.2-inch pieces using a hacksaw. It might be helpful to use a vice to hold the tubing while you cut it to protect your fingers, as long as you are careful not to bend the tubing. Make sure to cut the tubing as close to perfectly perpendicular as possible.

Cut the all-thread rod to exactly 5 5/8 inches using a hacksaw. This will ensure that there is enough room left for the pipe, washers and nuts. You may need to file the ends of the threads so the nut will be able to screw onto the all-thread pipe.

Pierce a 1/8-inch hole in the middle of the plastic lid from the Pringles can.

Cut the rim off the edge of a second Pringles plastic lid and poke a small hole in the center of the trimmed lid so that it will fit snugly over the aluminum tubing. You will need to trim down just enough of the edge of the lid so that it will fit snugly inside of the can.

Assemble the collector rod by inserting the piece of all-thread through the Pringles lid. Screw a nut on the all-thread on the portion that extends to the outside of the lid.

Slide a piece of aluminum tubing onto the all-thread from the opposite side of the nut. Slide a washer on next, and then another piece of aluminum tubing. Follow this with another piece of aluminum tubing.

Slide the trimmed Pringles lid over the third piece of aluminum tubing so that it is approximately halfway between the ends of the piece of tubing you slid the lid over. Place a washer on next, followed by the last piece of aluminum tubing. Place the last washer on after the fourth piece of tubing and tighten a nut down to hold the entire collector together.


Insert the rod with washers into the can and seal it with the outside plastic lid. The rod will be suspended from the lid, inside of the can. Make sure that the end of the rod does not touch the copper element inside of the can. Connect your pigtail with either a male or female adapter, depending on the type of connection you have. You can begin using your Pringles can antenna immediately.


Now, wasn’t that cool!  All you need to do is just take the time and use your head.  Before you know it, you to can have the know how!!  Keep it here to keep it real.  Until next time!



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