External Antenna Hack

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by Toughbook, Jul 30, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Toughbook

    Toughbook Drop and Give Me 20!

    Reputations:
    1,267
    Messages:
    7,343
    Likes Received:
    361
    Trophy Points:
    251
    I normally don't double post... I put it in the wireless forum but think everyone here should be able to see it too. When I joined here... Nobody was on the CF-28 kick except me. Nobody had posted for months in the Panny forum. (About CF-28s anyway) I figured you guys might want to do this if you get a mini-pci wifi card. By the way... The 7dB antenna is shown here... The 9dB antenna I use now is about half as short... Or even sorter with the 2db antenna,

    One of the problems with the early Toughbooks is their lack of WiFi. One would think that this could be easily remedied by adding a mini-pci WiFi card. That is partially true. The main problem you encounter though is the fact that these things are encased in magnesium! You have to be able to access the signal! The little internal antennas do well if you are close to your access point. But what if you are hundreds of feet away? Or if you are War Driving? You add an external antenna!

    [​IMG]

    I stopped by Radio Shack tonight and bought a D-Link 7dB booster antenna. It allows several configurations but I wanted to attach it straight to the laptop. It works VERY well... Here's a close-up of the antenna connection... You can also use a little 2db antenna or 5db antenna. I think the power of the card has more to do with it more than the length of the antenna. Using a 400mw card... I only see 3 more access points when using my 7db antenna over my 2db antenna.

    [​IMG]

    It was important to me that the SMA connector not stick out too much... So I shimmed the back with washers and allowed only enough to stick out to ensure a good connection! This was the first antenna hack using the side mount type. I now use a very thick rubber "O"ring. This not only spaces it perfectly but also makes it comepletely waterproof. Though I'd bet money that the shimmed version was too.

    [​IMG]

    It was VERY easy to do... For those of you that have CF-28s out there! Just open up the back... Take out the hard drive... Take out the battery... Drill a 1/4" hole in the side of the case and wire it up. The two red circles show where the attachment points are. I used a 19" pigtail because that was all I had at the time. A 12" fits perfectly if using the side shown. If you have GPS you can still add one on the side of the LAN... In that case a 4" pigtail works well.

    [​IMG]

    I figured while I wait for the parts to come in to install my next hack on this (STAY TUNED) I would put this in. I was tired of hooking up my PCMCIA card and attaching the MC connector to my other antenna. Now I don't have to worry. For those of you wondering... The antenna doesn't get in the way when you type. On a few occasions you may need to slightly push the antenna over a little but otherwise... You're golden!

    Just drill the hole, insert the SMA pigtail and tighten it down! I use blue threadlocker to make sure it stays tight! The last thing you want is the connection twirling around and breaking the cable. (Ask me how I know!)

    [​IMG]

    Then work it over to the other side and attach it to the WiFi mini-pci card! (I'm saving the other connecion for my next antenna.)

    [​IMG]

    Then just tuck and tape...

    I used the Atheros 100mw A/B/G mini-pci card and it works great! (For the first one... I now use either a 400mw or 600mw card.) Net Stumbler pulls in 19 access points while my PCMCIA card alone only pulls in 5! (I'm sitting at my kitchen table now.) I'm sure if I stepped out on my deck the number would jump even higher! (I get 22-24 when on my deck... Some from almost two blocks away!

    This is an EASY first hack for a new Toughbook owner!

    So... Get to adding WiFi to your CF-28!!! ... Or ANY laptop for that matter!
     
  2. elysium6

    elysium6 Newbie

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    That looks great!
    I thought abaut an external antenna, too. I put in a w-lan with two internal antennas. I wanted get rid of one of them and connect one antenna jack with an external connector, like you did. Than I can use the internal antenna but have the possibility to put an external, when the signal is weak.

    By the way, I installed the internal antennas under the plasitc covers (where you build in the antenna connector, one on the left, one on the right).

    Is your other pci card for (cable)lan? Did you put the w-lan instead of the modem?
     
  3. DJACID

    DJACID Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    44
    Messages:
    493
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    30
    Toughbook Is Simply A Genius:cool:
     
  4. Toughbook

    Toughbook Drop and Give Me 20!

    Reputations:
    1,267
    Messages:
    7,343
    Likes Received:
    361
    Trophy Points:
    251
    The other card is a LAN card that came with it...
     
  5. DJACID

    DJACID Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    44
    Messages:
    493
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    30
    toughbook.............
    i have 2 mini pci cards under the battery which one do i remove one is a pulse h0011 (not sure what that is)
    and the other is the modem......
     
  6. Toughbook

    Toughbook Drop and Give Me 20!

    Reputations:
    1,267
    Messages:
    7,343
    Likes Received:
    361
    Trophy Points:
    251
    To be sure... Trace the wires from the connectors. Mine was the mini-pci card to the right with the modem closest to the connectors.
     
  7. DJACID

    DJACID Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    44
    Messages:
    493
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    30
    well where ur modem is thats where my one is, but in the other slot where you have inserted the wifi card, i have a pci card in there which i dont no what it is doing, it has a plug connector and the wires are going too the motherboard i think???:confused:
    did ur have another pci card init apart from the modem when you got it????? or was it empty???
    am thinking maybe its got something to do with the gps??????:confused:
     
  8. Modly

    Modly Warranty Voider

    Reputations:
    1,413
    Messages:
    1,890
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    55
    Got a picture of that? Sounds interesting, but nothing I have recalled seeing.
     
  9. DJACID

    DJACID Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    44
    Messages:
    493
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    30
    ok will take a picture today and upload later..........
     
  10. Action

    Action Notebook Consultant

    Reputations:
    1
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    30
    1 of the mini pci cards under the battery should be GPS DJACID. tho dont quote me on that lol :)

    Lan, modem and wifi are like Toughbook said are under the HDD caddy.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page