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> Looking For Some Soldering Mojo!, Mod my CF Wifi!
maytagman
post Mar 16 2006, 02:50 PM
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G'day!
I'm fishing for a bit of expertise and perhaps some suggestions into either modding out a CF Wifi card to have some sort of antenna connection (preferably orinoco/mmcx). This topic has been discussed before, but it's also sort of a solicitation for some help. I live in a barracks where I don't exactly have room for a clean dustless space and a nice desk for all sorts of soldering equipment.

I'm looking for any suggestions as to an easy to mod CF card, and possibly someone to mod it out for me, in light of the above circumstances. As I've been unable to find a CF card that comes natively with any sort of antenna jack, I'm looking for help. My requirements are as follows:

1) Ability to use internal antenna when external gain is less (I know this is performed at the software level on some cards, where the stronger gain leads are drawn from)

2) Either a PCB-mounted jack or pigtail with a common wifi connector.

3) A natively compatible card if possible, if not, at least one that supports promiscuous mode and enumeration under kismet (which should be just about anything).

4) Hopefully the maximum (which I believe is 300mW) transmission power.

I'm sure we've dealt with this before, I've seen several options from d-link that look easy to do, but I hate d-link. I can provide you with a working CF card and any connectors you might require, along with very fair payment for your quality work. I don't need any warantees, or anything stupid like that. I'm not going to sue you. I just want it solidly built, slathered in epoxy, or heatshrunk preferably, the neater and more solid the better. I think I would like an in-built connector on the PCB better than a pigtail, as it allows more flexibility.

Again, I'd do it myself if I had the time, facilities, and expertise. The most soldering I'm used to is plumbing and some light antenna construction.
I'm in the US too, and would prefer to ship to someone on the continent before going overseas. Or, if you just have some tips or a photoguide, I'd appreciate that too! cool.gif
Thanks!
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Da_Blitz
post Mar 16 2006, 07:38 PM
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I have done it however my wifi card has scince died (is recignised but all ID fields are blank, i hvent tried to fix it thogh)

when you pop off the top you will find that most already have a pigtail connector, i didnt have one handy so i solder directly to it

for antennas i belive that the dlink antennas that come with thier AP's are just the right size, however if you use a socket you can change to any type quickly enogh

as for power transmission you are not supposed to go over that however im sure there are pleanty of people that do, also note that that only applies to omni directional antennas, point to point are allowed to go higher

1) is done by the card so you dont have to worry, 2) as i said early is also done, all you need is the pigtail unless you are unlucky 3) is basically any 802.11b CF card on the market

Do not use the soldering iorn you used for plumbing, grab a cheap iorn with a low wattage and some resistors/vero board to practice on, Clean room conditions are nice but i cant think of any time where i have bothered and all my stuff works fine (including the bluetooth adaptors with external anntennas i added that are inside my NSLU from linksys

took me about 15mins in total to do, longest part was drilling a hole
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maytagman
post Mar 16 2006, 10:51 PM
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Hmm, well I haven't been able to find mention of any CF cards with the jack inbuilt...
How abouts the buffalo unit? Does anyone have any experience with a CF card that features an inbuilt antenna jack? If it's as simple as lifting off a plastic shroud then I'm more than willing to work with it. But if it requires solder work, I have the fine motor skills of a buffalo.
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daniel3000
post Mar 17 2006, 05:33 AM
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Well, some days ago I fell down the stairs in our house, having the Z with WiFi card in my hand. The cover of the WiFi antenna broke and uncovored the antenna.
Directly besides the antenna I saw a small coaxial connector which seems to be u.FL. u.FL pigtails can be obtained on ebay easily for a few Euros, so it should be easy to connect an external antenna.
My card is a D-Link DCF-660W H/W version A1.

Here is a picture of a u.FL connector:
http://www.heise.de/mobil/artikel/51931/2

Pigtails look that way:
http://www.profi-wlan.de/index.php/cPath/1...f489127264ef050

There are also antennas with an own u.FL connector:
http://www.novaets.com/rf.htm

Only problem: Where to mount external antenna on a small CF card?

daniel
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maytagman
post Mar 17 2006, 07:33 AM
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Thank you thank you thank you!
This makes life much easier!
I appreciate all the guidance.

As for mounting, I don't plan to mount an antenna on the card, simply run a pigtail to my wifi amp, and eventually to a large external antenna which is usually on a tripod.

Or simply using my pringles cantenna. For normal walking around or cafes, the internal antenna should be enough.

I wonder though why it has two antenna jacks? Is that a B/G card? Maybe one is for 5.4ghz.

Oooh, that picture must not be of your wifi card, it looks like a miniPCI. Maybe this is why there are two jacks.
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maytagman
post Mar 17 2006, 07:49 AM
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It looks like the connector on this card is not a u.fl, but a proprietary connection used by D-Link to perform radio testing at the factory. It may very well function as an antenna feed jack, but I'm not sure...

link to the thread
http://forums.wi-fiplanet.com/archive/index.php/t-2347.html
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Da_Blitz
post Mar 17 2006, 08:27 PM
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Most have an antenna and a jack as most cards allow 2 antennas for diversity to improve reception

even if you have the anntena mounted externaly i would sujest epoxing the antenna cable to the case so it doesnt pop out/off
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maytagman
post Mar 17 2006, 08:56 PM
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Yep yep... I see there are a few cards with u.fl connectors on board
Does anyone have a Symbol card who can tell me if one is present? I am most interested in the symbol for a number of reasons.

As a sidenote I just finished my order through Conics on a new SL-C1000. Will serve as my segway until the next Z, and my transition from an SL-6000 to a clamshell.
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maytagman
post Mar 17 2006, 11:08 PM
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And once again, I discover discouraging news.
The U.FL jacks are designed as test set ends only. They typically have a connect life of 4-5 before deterioration, which shoots my idea of being able to use em rather more frequently than that. So, back to my original question, can anyone tack a standard mmcx or something on a symbol/dlink card for a fee? I've searched exhaustively for a pre-made card in this way, and only found one by Artem, an obscure German company that wants nothing to do with the US.
Oh, and the embedded symbol version with no external antenna that NOBODY seems to stock.
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Da_Blitz
post Mar 18 2006, 03:42 PM
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Thats why i recomended epoxy, if its not comming off then you dont have to worry about it wearing out

or cut it off and solder to it
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maytagman
post Mar 19 2006, 08:19 PM
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Heh, guess I'll just slap together a u.fl>N connector on a 3" piggie and call it good ><;
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xatax
post Mar 19 2006, 09:07 PM
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Any idea about the a Linksys WCF12 ? I'm very interested in modding it attaching an external antenna.
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Da_Blitz
post Mar 19 2006, 09:11 PM
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pop open and take pics
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maytagman
post Mar 20 2006, 10:11 PM
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I was looking at the Linky CF card too.. looks tiny as well.
The ambicoms I've heard good about and are $30 on ebay, so I think I'll pick one up. I'll pop it open and post pics, if it has an easily accessable antenna leadoff, or a ufl jack, then great. If not, it'll be my clean small mobile card, and I'll buy a seperate card with the mod for the down-and dirty stuff.
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Da_Blitz
post Mar 21 2006, 01:48 AM
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as you said there is already an antenna in there, might be easier to solder to that
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