Replacing laptop's wifi antennas' connectors

  1. nIGHTmAYOR's Avatar
    Posts : 1,190
    Windows 10
       #1

    Replacing laptop's wifi antennas' connectors


    So I am attempting to upgrade the PCI-e Wifi card that ships with an old laptop to an Intel AX200 NGFF card , so I bought an NGFF to PCI-e adapter only to realize something I haven't considered . Seems the antennas' connectors from back in PCI-e era were twice the size of the modern ones that fit the NGFF .

    So basically I researched into replacing the antennas as well but then googled a tear down video for that laptop then realized I have to tear it down to the last screw in order to replace them where some parts even wont ever come back to how they used to so its definitely not an option .

    I also googled the ability to replacing the metal parts then saw it to be a matter that require a microscope and some jewelry maker skills .

    So finally the last thing I came to think was , I can acquire connectors that would fit the NGFF then cut the wires and node them with the built in ones even solder them if necessary , but I haven't seen this attempted in any post , nor someone ever thought its cons / pros if any .

    So my question , are those cables shielded ? would removing the shield (cable cover) affect reception ? would covering them back in with tape do the trick ? would the reception lose quality in that case ?

    Thanks in advance .
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 2,056
    Windows 10
       #2

    " are those cables shielded ?"
    Yes, they are just very thin coax cables, and very small coax connectors.
    "would removing the shield (cable cover) affect reception ?"
    Yes, it is just another factor making for inefficiency. In addition to inefficiencies like using a 2.4 GHz aerial at 5 GHz.
    Removing the shielding also enables a stronger RF field close to other Laptop components, which might cause additional problems.
    "covering them back in with tape " that indicates a likely botched job.
    I have been soldering electronic components for over 50 years, like coax plugs and sockets, but I would not even try with something so small.
    Rather obvious but why not just use a suitable USB Wireless dongle.
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 5
    windows 10
       #3

    It most probably will work fine. you wont lose alot of range, and there's a good chance it's not even noticable.

    I've had to resolder some antennas that broke, due to screen hinges that broke and cut through part of cables.

    But if you're going through the disassembling phase, why not buy a set of 'new' antennas to replace the old ones with the bigger connectors? Won't cost more than a few bucks.

    Laptop antennas are usually just a copper 'sticker' against the backplate of your screen with a wire running to the module on the motherboard. And replacing those isn't much more work, but it's work worth looking into. (removing screen bezel would be the most tricky part since that isn't screwed in place, but rather clicked)
      My Computer

  4. nIGHTmAYOR's Avatar
    Posts : 1,190
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Helmut said:
    Rather obvious but why not just use a suitable USB Wireless dongle.
    because it is given to toddlers and they broke the dongle . the laptop however is more hard for them to destroy yet .
    Helmut said:
    Yes, it is just another factor making for inefficiency. In addition to inefficiencies like using a 2.4 GHz aerial at 5 GHz.
    This first time I hear that , actually the wire in laptop is much dense than those I see on my new laptops but I usually believe those relate to the days when metal was cheap :) also to note i have 2 laptops that shipped with those fine wires one had a 2.4 GHz card that seemed identical to the other one that had a 5 GHz one , I replaced later the 2.4 card to a 5 one and noticed no drop in reception . So are we really talking noticeable effect on range with current wires ?
    - - - Updated - - -

    Rkdl said:
    But if you're going through the disassembling phase, why not buy a set of 'new' antennas to replace the old ones with the bigger connectors? Won't cost more than a few bucks.
    I did mention why in OP plus i occasionally may acquire those to salvage the connector part in case i proceed with this .
    So basically I researched into replacing the antennas as well but then googled a tear down video for that laptop then realized I have to tear it down to the last screw in order to replace them where some parts even wont ever come back to how they used to so its definitely not an option .
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 5
    windows 10
       #5

    nIGHTmAYOR said:
    I did mention why in OP plus i occasionally may acquire those to salvage the connector part in case i proceed with this .
    Yes indeed you did, i misinterpreted it as being about the card itself, and it's location.

    I would 'cut and solder' in your case. it'll be finicky with small parts. It would also be easier to undo the change and cut and solder on the old cable (if length allows).I don't see a reason for reception to decrease, if it was noticable at all.
      My Computer

  6. nIGHTmAYOR's Avatar
    Posts : 1,190
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Seems I have it figured , I think I rushed into buying my current converter as it seems there were few others well thought of like this one :
    Replacing laptop's wifi antennas' connectors-71nb-darptl._ac_sl1000_.jpg
    Just it doesn't ship to my location so probably i'll wait up on my next travel and freeze the case for now .

    Thanks all .
      My Computer


 

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