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Thread: Mac Mini: connect antenna to internal airport card?

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    Newbie kshin86's Avatar
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    Mac Mini: connect antenna to internal airport card?

    I just opened my Intel 1.66Ghz Mac Mini and I'm trying to figure out what kind of connector I can use to hook the internal airport extreme card to an external antenna.

    There is a product on www.macwireless.com that has images of the connector and it looks like an mcx or mmcx male.
    http://www.macwireless.com/downloads...e/Ant_Mini.pdf
    I'm not sure if the pictures are for an intel mac mini or not. Can anyone confirm what type of connector is in the Intel Mac Minis?

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    Couldn't tell you. All of the web pics I see don't show enough detail.

    Have you had trouble with the range? I've found it to be quite sensitive even with it buried in the dash.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
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    Newbie kshin86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugbyte View Post
    Couldn't tell you. All of the web pics I see don't show enough detail.

    Have you had trouble with the range? I've found it to be quite sensitive even with it buried in the dash.
    Just trying to do some planning as I bought the rooftop antenna from mp3car.com


    I'll try and open it up to post a pic. So far someone's told me it's an IPEX connector.

    The rooftop GPS uses an FME Female connector.

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    Newbie kshin86's Avatar
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    Here is a detailed pic of the inside of my Intel 1.66Ghz Mac Mini.

    The big silver card is the airport card. At the top right of the card is a screw and right below it is what I believe is an IPEX or u.fl connector. It seems that IPEX, u.fl, etc are different names for the same connector.

    If you look closely there is a loose cable with a gold end just above close to where I disconnected the wireless antenna from. If you tilt your head to the right, you can see just beside it the female connector is labeled "MAIN". If you notice just below it there is also another female connector that looks exactly the same and is labeled "AUX".
    There was nothing connected to the AUX so I'm assuming I could attatch 2 antennas to this thing? I'm going to test this out. I'm going to head to my local electronics store to get some kind of IPEX female to FME male to attatch to my sharkfin antenna i got from the mp3car store.



    what do you think?
    .
    .

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    Logically, you would think that AUX would mean an AUX antenna :-P

    It certainly won't hurt anything to try it out. Do you have any way of measuring the difference with/without the antenna or with just the shark fin antenna alone?
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
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    ptk
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    It will work fine connecting to only one external antenna.

    I use senao 56G which is essentially a mini-PCI atheros chipset. I hooked it up with external roof top antenna (the one sold here at mp3car.com). You need to custom make the IPEX - FME male connection.



    or you can do what i do, I run the IPEX out with IPEX-SMA (to standardised with the rest of the connections), then run a SMA - FME.

    I find that for UTMS (cellular broadband) even without antenna you can make connection. For WLAN, you probably can't detect anything beyond your car. As for GPs, goes without saying that without antennae you can't see anything).
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    Newbie kshin86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugbyte View Post
    Logically, you would think that AUX would mean an AUX antenna :-P

    It certainly won't hurt anything to try it out. Do you have any way of measuring the difference with/without the antenna or with just the shark fin antenna alone?
    I guess I'll have to try both of them out! I'm going to be using iStumbler (http://www.istumbler.net/) to check signal strength.

    Sorry for the late reply, I still haven't gotten the connectors sorted out yet. I have found a local electronics store that stocks them though.

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    Newbie kshin86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptk View Post
    It will work fine connecting to only one external antenna.

    I use senao 56G which is essentially a mini-PCI atheros chipset. I hooked it up with external roof top antenna (the one sold here at mp3car.com). You need to custom make the IPEX - FME male connection.

    or you can do what i do, I run the IPEX out with IPEX-SMA (to standardised with the rest of the connections), then run a SMA - FME.

    I find that for UTMS (cellular broadband) even without antenna you can make connection. For WLAN, you probably can't detect anything beyond your car. As for GPs, goes without saying that without antennae you can't see anything).
    I think I'm just going to make an IPEX - FME for the airport card and a MMCX - FME for the GPS. Nothing hooked up to the GSM antenna.

    Although, I do have a question ptk. Total shot in the dark and I thought I'd give it a try. Can I use the GSM antenna to connec to the AM/FM connection on my car stereo? will this create any problems for me? I want to delete this ugly old school antenna off my fender because the hole is creating rust.

    Here's the car! 1986 Corollla GT-S


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    Quote Originally Posted by kshin86 View Post
    I think I'm just going to make an IPEX - FME for the airport card and a MMCX - FME for the GPS. Nothing hooked up to the GSM antenna.
    kshin86, you are correct. U.fl and ipex are the same thing. There was another post on the boards where a guy was trying to find a U.FL to FME pigail for the sharkfin antenna from the MP3car store. He wound up getting a U.FL to SMA female pigtail and an SMA male to FME male adapter.

    As for making the adapters yourself, let us know what you come up with. I've never successfully made a pigtail like that, but you may have more luck than me. If it doesn't work, I'm sure you could find a local shop to make the pigtail. Let us know how it goes.

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    I found this while surfing:

    http://www.hfield.com/wifire.htm

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