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Thread: Extending Antenna

  1. #1
    Variable Bitrate jschrauwen's Avatar
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    Extending Antenna

    I've got a Toshiba mini PCI WIFI card whose antenna leads are too short for my needs. They're a very thin gauge wire (white and black leads) that have a square 1.25" tabs on the ends at slightly staggered lengths. I'm not very familiar with this type of antenna and was wondering if I can just solder extra lengths of similar gauge wire to each lead? If so, do I still have to maintain the staggered length difference? I plan on routing those 2 square tabs to a spot on the upper front windshield on the passenger side. I estimate that I'd have to add approximately 4 feet of additional wire to each lead. Will adding that extra wire affect the antenna's sensitivity and capability?
    Part of the bench testing process - Thanks in advance.
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  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate BarryWoods's Avatar
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    Yes, adding extra wire will pretty much kill your signal. Those little bitty wires are coax, just like your cable tv, but much smaller. That gauge wire is also only used for really short runs, like 6 inches or less.

    http://www.hyperlinktech.com/web/cab...UFL&pgType=ufl
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  3. #3
    Variable Bitrate jschrauwen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarryWoods View Post
    Yes, adding extra wire will pretty much kill your signal. Those little bitty wires are coax, just like your cable tv, but much smaller. That gauge wire is also only used for really short runs, like 6 inches or less.
    http://www.hyperlinktech.com/web/cab...UFL&pgType=ufl
    Barry, thanks for the info and link!!

    The card I have is the Toshiba/Askey AR5BMB-43, PA3373U-1MPC. It looks similar to this;



    The antenna that came with it is exactly like this one;

    The antenna cable lengths are ~18"(white lead) and ~23"(black lead). How do I or can I extend these antenna cables so that the terminating square tabs will reach a spot in the upper inner passenger's side of the front windshield? Right now the antenna cables just sit loose outside of my Travla case. If extending is not an option what is the best way to orientate those antenna cables for best reception? The PC will be residing under the passenger seat.
    Also, can you confirm that the antenna's card connectors are referred to as U.FL (Hirose™/iPax/Mini-PCI Compatible)?
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  4. #4
    MySQL Error jcdillin's Avatar
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    Yes those are U.FL connections.

    The way I did it on mine was convert the U.FL to SMA and then just used a standard antenna. That way you can run it anywhere you want. Those little peices of coax are not going to extend well and even if you do they will lose all the signal you gained by moving them up to the window.

    edit: if you want to keep those little guys I would just stick them on each side of the case with a bit of double sided tape, I know inside the screens of the laptops they are just stuck to the back of the case on each side with some sticky tape.
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  5. #5
    Variable Bitrate jschrauwen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcdillin View Post
    Yes those are U.FL connections.
    The way I did it on mine was convert the U.FL to SMA and then just used a standard antenna. That way you can run it anywhere you want. Those little peices of coax are not going to extend well and even if you do they will lose all the signal you gained by moving them up to the window.
    edit: if you want to keep those little guys I would just stick them on each side of the case with a bit of double sided tape, I know inside the screens of the laptops they are just stuck to the back of the case on each side with some sticky tape.
    Excellent, thanks JC, now I'm getting somewhere, or at the very least think I know where I should be headed. I found pics on that antenna routing to the back of a laptop case. Will using that 2 sided tape and attaching to the side of the Travla case present a realistic method for good signal strength? In my mind I think it would be very limiting, but then this is still very new to me.
    I tried to find some how-to's or threads relating to antenna mods for the mini pci cards but I wasn't successfull. I'm not sure what is meant by "used a standard antenna"?




    *Edit*
    Is this the cable you're referring to?
    U.FL (Hirose™/iPax/Mini-PCI Compatible) to SMA-Female Bulkhead, 1.13 Cable
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  6. #6
    MySQL Error jcdillin's Avatar
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    Standard antenna, meaning like something off of a router, or the antennas that you find at compusa for enhancing your signal strength. I personally went with a magnent mount antenna t from ebay to stick on the outside of my car because my house is so far from where I park.

    Yeah to be quite honest with you, I played around with those patch antennas and I wasnt really impressed with the signal strength. Granted I didnt mount them standing up just like on a laptop. So maybe someone else knows something I don't, thats why i went with the normal antenna.
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  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate BarryWoods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jschrauwen View Post
    Excellent, thanks JC, now I'm getting somewhere, or at the very least think I know where I should be headed. I found pics on that antenna routing to the back of a laptop case. Will using that 2 sided tape and attaching to the side of the Travla case present a realistic method for good signal strength? In my mind I think it would be very limiting, but then this is still very new to me.
    I tried to find some how-to's or threads relating to antenna mods for the mini pci cards but I wasn't successfull. I'm not sure what is meant by "used a standard antenna"?




    *Edit*
    Is this the cable you're referring to?
    U.FL (Hirose™/iPax/Mini-PCI Compatible) to SMA-Female Bulkhead, 1.13 Cable

    That's exactly what you want. The sma connector is what D-Link uses for it's access points, so any external antennas that say they will work with D-Link will work with that cable. Once you plug the cable into your network card stick it down with a little bit of tape. Those connectors are ungodly fragile.
    Failure is not an option....



    It's installed by default on every version of Windows.

  8. #8
    Variable Bitrate jschrauwen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarryWoods View Post
    That's exactly what you want. The sma connector is what D-Link uses for it's access points, so any external antennas that say they will work with D-Link will work with that cable. Once you plug the cable into your network card stick it down with a little bit of tape. Those connectors are ungodly fragile.
    Thanks Barry!!
    That U.FL/SMA connector will replace 1 (Main) of the 2 antenna cables from the card, what do I do about the 2nd (Aux) cable?
    Should I have 2 x U.FL/SMA cables going to the PC case body?
    I take it that the antenna frequency I should be looking at is 2.4GHz??
    Are these the right type of antennas I should be considering? http://www.hyperlinktech.com/web/mobile_antennas.php
    So the type of cable I should be looking for to connect to the antenna is called "D-Link"?
    Do these antennas take both the Main and Aux feeds from the PCI card? If so is there different type of antenna I should look for?


    I know, lots of questions and unless this is already posted somewhere, my appologies and please direct me to the right thread because I just can't seem to find an all encompassing thread.
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  9. #9
    Maximum Bitrate BarryWoods's Avatar
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    You should be okay just using the main connector. Wifi is 2.4Ghz, that's what you're looking for. Those antennas should work for you. Whatever you do don't buy the "economy" one. They all look like they come with 10' cables, so you shouldn't need to worry about that. D-Link is a manufacturer of wireless equipment, that's why I sugested it, most local comp-usa's or best buy's have add on antennas for them. If you buy anything from hypertech, it doesn't really matter what connection you use, as long as everything has matching connectors.
    Failure is not an option....



    It's installed by default on every version of Windows.

  10. #10
    MySQL Error jcdillin's Avatar
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    if your going with an external antenna don't worry about connection the 2nd antenna. I have only one on mine and it works great.
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