Connecting external antenna to wireless router circuit?

Thread Starter

Johnnyb60

Joined Sep 6, 2013
36
I bought an external directional antenna to extend my WIFI to out building and just realized that my extra router doesn’t have a removable antenna. I don’t want to buy another router and thinking of soldering the cable directly to the existing interna antenna. I don’t know much about the circuit, but think I know where the antenna is. I don’t know exactly how to connect it.

I’ve attached a photo of what I think is the antennas which I believe are 2 and I only need to connect to one. Any help will be much appreciated. The second photo labeled router is the antenna.
 

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sagor

Joined Mar 10, 2019
754
You seem to have two U.FL connectors, though I don't understand why one would be TX, the other labelled RX. You can get U.FL ( aka IPEX) to SMA adapter cables and try to connect that way.
You may have to disconnect the internal antenna to provide the proper impedance match to the adapter cable (do not use both internal and external at same time)
Second picture is not clear if it is a SMA or a RP-SMA connector. RP-SMA would have a female socket in the center of that connector, the standard SMA would have a male pin in that housing.
 

Thread Starter

Johnnyb60

Joined Sep 6, 2013
36
You seem to have two U.FL connectors, though I don't understand why one would be TX, the other labelled RX. You can get U.FL ( aka IPEX) to SMA adapter cables and try to connect that way.
You may have to disconnect the internal antenna to provide the proper impedance match to the adapter cable (do not use both internal and external at same time)
Second picture is not clear if it is a SMA or a RP-SMA connector. RP-SMA would have a female socket in the center of that connector, the standard SMA would have a male pin in that housing.
Its a Standard male SMA connector and I will probably buy a connector to fit it instead of cutting in to it. I'm pretty sure I have a couple more routers stored somewhere and I believe one has a removable antenna that I can plug into so I don't want to destroy the external antenna. It might be awhile before I find all my old computer stuff so I just need this to work now.

I have a small workshop 70ft away from my existing router and a not real good WIFI signal
 

LowQCab

Joined Nov 6, 2012
2,506
An "external" Antenna is likely to have worse performance because of
extreme Impedance mis-matching with a unit that is not designed for
use with a standardized external-Antenna.

If You don't want to buy a new Router, use a reflector on the existing Antenna.
Any modification to the existing Router will probably not work.
But something like an easy to build "Wind-Surfer" Reflector can
easily quadruple the Signal-Strength.
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=windsurfer+antenna&t=brave&iar=images&iax=images&ia=images
.
.
.
 

Thread Starter

Johnnyb60

Joined Sep 6, 2013
36
An "external" Antenna is likely to have worse performance because of
extreme Impedance mis-matching with a unit that is not designed for
use with a standardized external-Antenna.

If You don't want to buy a new Router, use a reflector on the existing Antenna.
Any modification to the existing Router will probably not work.
But something like an easy to build "Wind-Surfer" Reflector can
easily quadruple the Signal-Strength.
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=windsurfer+antenna&t=brave&iar=images&iax=images&ia=images
.
.
.
I need to do a little more research on this. The reason I bought this antenna was because my shop is inside a steel shipping container and nothing penetrates the steel walls. I need to drill a hole for a cable of some sort to bring the signal inside. Someone in a computer forum suggested this antenna, but failed to tell me that I needed a router with removable antennas only.
I found some wireless routers on Amazon for under $20, but not sure if the new antenna will fit.
 

LowQCab

Joined Nov 6, 2012
2,506
There are several options .........
Check your local Goodwill/Thrift-Shop, or Computer-Repair-Shop for old Routers,
or,
get some bricks, or Concrete-Blocks,
place 2 of them on the roof of the Container/Shop,
cut a piece of scrap Plywood roughly 12" square and place it on top of the Bricks,
this will space the Plywood up off of the roof to keep it from getting wet when it rains.
Next, find, or buy, a big plastic Storage-Container and place it over the Bricks/Plywood,
then place several bricks on top of the plastic Container to
prevent it from being blown-over by any wind that might kick-up.
Extend the Power-Supply wire from the original Router-Wall-Wort by about ~10 or ~12 feet.
Then place your Router on top of the piece of Plywood, and you're in business.

I created this exact setup as a supposed "temporary-fix",
but wound-up using it as described for about ~2.5-years without a problem.
This was in Florida, about ~20 years ago, where it rains every day during the Summer,
using a Linksis-WRT54G-Router with the factory installed Antennas.
.
.
.
 

bassbindevil

Joined Jan 23, 2014
558
I'd guess that if the board has a socket for an external antenna, then it's capable of using one. But if you can settle for wireless-G speeds, the classic Linksys WRT54G routers usually have removable antennae, and can be flashed with better firmware like OpenWRT or Tomato which can be configured as a wifi extender or repeater and stuff. Hardware versions higher than 4 have less flash memory so can only run "lite" versions of aftermarket firmware. Or look for the WRT54GL (L for Linux) version which was explicitly sold as being compatible with aftermarket firmware. The last two I picked up both had issues with the power socket on the router, possibly due to corrosion or tarnishing; twisting the center pin with needlenose pliers fixed that.
There's a book: "WRT54G Ultimate Hacking" which can be found online.
 

Thread Starter

Johnnyb60

Joined Sep 6, 2013
36
I'd guess that if the board has a socket for an external antenna, then it's capable of using one. But if you can settle for wireless-G speeds, the classic Linksys WRT54G routers usually have removable antennae, and can be flashed with better firmware like OpenWRT or Tomato which can be configured as a wifi extender or repeater and stuff. Hardware versions higher than 4 have less flash memory so can only run "lite" versions of aftermarket firmware. Or look for the WRT54GL (L for Linux) version which was explicitly sold as being compatible with aftermarket firmware. The last two I picked up both had issues with the power socket on the router, possibly due to corrosion or tarnishing; twisting the center pin with needlenose pliers fixed that.
There's a book: "WRT54G Ultimate Hacking" which can be found online.
I have a Linksys WRT54G router as well as an old ASUS WiFi Router with 2 antennas packed away in a large box along with multiple desktop computer network cards, but I can't find it. I moved a few years ago and there are lots of boxes that I haven't unpacked yet. They are stored in another uninsulated steel container and I wanted to wait until it cools down a bit before going through that thing.
 

bassbindevil

Joined Jan 23, 2014
558
If you want something that just works, there are white plastic things from TP-Link like the CPE210, 510, and CPE710. They get power over an ethernet cable from a power supply box mounted indoors (which is where you'd plug in your computer, or a Wifi router configured as an Access Point). Range on the 710 seems like overkill, but you can always turn down the transmit power if it cooks your house pets. The models 210 and 510 are end-of-lifed but still seem to be available and cheaper: https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-CPE210-300Mbps-dual-polarized-directional/dp/B00P4JKQGK

And maybe I should mention powerline networking, which could work if your shop isn't on a separate meter from the house.
 
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Thread Starter

Johnnyb60

Joined Sep 6, 2013
36
If you want something that just works, there are white plastic things from TP-Link like the CPE210, 510, and CPE710. They get power over an ethernet cable from a power supply box mounted indoors (which is where you'd plug in your computer, or a Wifi router configured as an Access Point). Range on the 710 seems like overkill, but you can always turn down the transmit power if it cooks your house pets. The models 210 and 510 are end-of-lifed but still seem to be available and cheaper: https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-CPE210-300Mbps-dual-polarized-directional/dp/B00P4JKQGK

And maybe I should mention powerline networking, which could work if your shop isn't on a separate meter from the house.
Thanks, I wish I would have seen this before buying that other antenna. it would have made it so much easier
 

Thread Starter

Johnnyb60

Joined Sep 6, 2013
36
I don't know what to do now. I can either return the antenna I already bought or buy another router for around the same price. I remembered while looking for my extra routers that I gave them away before moving.

I guess I'll also have to bridge it to my existing router to get internet so I'll need to look into that as well.
 
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