Upgrading ASUS UX32VD Wireless Card - Antenna Connector Problem, Help!

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by aznriptide859, Sep 10, 2013.

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  1. zn7

    zn7 Newbie

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    Hi link, sorry for the delay. I had to order the card from another store. The first store didn't ship on time, but this one should arrive tomorrow.

    Right now it appears there are three options:

    1) Swap the W.FL board connectors from the internal 802.11n card to the new 802.11ac card (will require a hot air tool, tweezers, solder paste, and SMD soldering experience) (could also buy the W.FL connectors rather then swapping them from the 802.11n card)
    2) Make a W.FL<->U.FL conversion cable/adapter (soldering and crimping skill required)
    3) Find or scavenge 2 U.FL antenna that fit inside the UX32VD case

    I'll plan to do the first option by Thursday, will report back. Also as an added benefit to that choice, I'll end up with U.FL connectors on the 802.11n card. :)
     
  2. yzarc1

    yzarc1 Newbie

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    zn7 and aznriptide859 - Do you have any tips on how to remove the ring from the U.FL without otherwise damaging the adapter?

    I managed to get myself into a difficult situation while attempting this upgrade, and am trying to dig myself out.

    I just bought my UX32VD. In anticipation of all the wireless problems people have reported, I bought the Killer 1202 wireless adapter, and soldered the antenna's W.FL connector to the adapter's U.FL connector. Bad move!!! :(

    It turns out that whenever the antenna lead touches the ring on the male U.FL connector, the antenna functions very poorly. (Perhaps the ring is grounded? I should check.) So I had to desolder my connection. The antenna's W.FL connector was subsequently destroyed, so I cut off the connector.

    The good news is that if I very carefully touch an antenna lead to the U.FL pins, I get a very nice signal. The bad news is that everything's so tiny, and it's extremely difficult to avoid contact with the ring.

    So now I'm desperate for suggestions on what to do. My tentative plan is to attempt removal of the rings and solder the antenna leads to the remaining pins. But I have many concerns:

    How can I remove the rings without otherwise damaging the adapter?

    According to a photo on this page, the antenna wire is shielded. How bad would it be if the shielding contacted the antenna lead?

    Now that I have cut off a few millimeters by removing the W.FL adapter, will this significantly change the antenna's characteristics? (I may need to cut the wire slightly shorter to get a good lead, especially to keep it away from the shielding.)

    If I want to revert back to factory configuration, is there a place where I can find a replacement antenna?

    I don't have that much time, and I am very desperate for suggestions. Thanks!

    P.S.
    zn7 - were you able to swap connectors?
     
  3. zn7

    zn7 Newbie

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    That will be a bit of a problem. But hang on there may be an option.

    Yes, the outside ring of the antenna connectors (and also the sheath of the antenna cable wire) are grounded together. This is to protect the weak internal signal from outside emf sources. The signal wire does have an internal bypass to ground on the WiFi card for DC voltages (fyi: if you attempt a continuity check between ground and signal they will appear shorted), the signal line however cannot be connected directly to ground for operation.

    If you've already removed the connector from the antenna wire, what you will need to do is strip back the antenna sheath to reveal the inner core (reveal about 1mm). This will need to touch the center pin of the U.FL connector. You can leave enough of the metal sheath you peeled back to rest on the rim of the U.FL outer ring. However, this will be fairly hard because of the size. If you have a microscope, tiny tweezers, and a tiny razor blade you should be able to pull it off. To secure the cable you may need to solder the signal wire directly to the inner pin of the U.FL connector and the sheath to any part of the outer ring.

    As a side note, both of my WiFi cards had a large via (hole) under the U.FL/W.FL SMD connectors. The via was also insulated (non-conductive). I mention this because this via gives you direct access to the bottom of the U.FL connector where the signal pin should be directly exposed. You may be able to pull the sheath back as mentioned before, run the inner core up into the via to touch this pin (tape), and then solder a wire from any ground on the WiFi card (the metal shield cover, a ground via, or the U.FL ring ground) back to the metal sheath that you pulled back on the antenna wire.

    Because the U.FL is an SMD part, it is soldered to copper pads on the PCB. If you attempt to remove the U.FL connector mechanically, it is very likely that the copper pads will be ripped off. If you have a hot air tool.. or several soldering irons you can heat both sides of the connector to remove it. I don't think there is a safe way to remove the ring from the U.FL connector.

    If you can remove the connector, you will expose the pads underneath. You can then solder the antenna wires directly to these.

    Don't.

    A few mm won't be a significant difference, 1cm - don't go that far. It's true that impedance matching will be affected, but this is also just as true for the quality of the solder joints.

    You might check with ASUS or look for an online shop selling the OEM parts for repairs.

    Let me know how it goes.

    Yes I was!

    Will post the details around Tuesday.
     
  4. Linkyyy

    Linkyyy Newbie

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    Nice update, thank you :)
    I actually managed to find some new, cheap chinese antennas with U.FL connectors(Ebay, where else?), which fitted perfectly, but while i tried this mod i managed to break the screen...
    I sent my laptop in for repair, and somehow got it back with new screen, stock wifi card and stock wifi antennas, without paying anything. lol

    Anyways, If i was going to mod it again, which i certainly will, i will probably come up with some kind of W.FL(?) to U.FL adapter, so all changes would be easy to roll back...

    I thought the connectors were IPEX MHF4, how did you confirm they were W.FL?
     
  5. Solviken

    Solviken Newbie

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    So i upgraded my Asus UX32VD to the Qualcomm Killer willerless 1202, wich has the same connectors as the intel. What i did was i ripped open an old laptop, took out the antenna plugs witch fittet the killer wireless perfect. Then i just cut of the original connectors and soldered the "new" ones. Just took away the isolation on both of the cable stumps. Sorry for my bad english. :D
     
  6. User1585

    User1585 Newbie

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    I can confirm the connectors on the laptop are NOT W.FL. I picked up some W.FL connectors on digikey and replaced the U.FL connectors on my 7260. They do not fit. I also ordered some MHF4 connectors from mouser to give it a try. If they work i'll let you know in a week or so when they arrive.
     
  7. User1585

    User1585 Newbie

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    I can verify the MHF4 connectors are the correct ones. I took the stock ones off and soldered the MHF4 ones on without issue, of course this helped with a proper soldering station with a heat gun.

    You can get these connectors right on mouser. I bought these:

    Mouser Part #:
    960-RECE20449-001E01
    Manufacturer Part #:
    RECE-20449-001E-01
     
  8. rajmohan

    rajmohan Newbie

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    Hi, could you share the picture of how you connected new antenna to removable cover of UX32VD. I also used antennas (2 black) whose head fit to AC 7260 but then connection is not consistent. speed test show poor download speed. thanks
     
  9. rajmohan

    rajmohan Newbie

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    Hi, could you share the pics of the card connectors. Could you share on how did you manage to remove the circular connector "locks" on the card. Thanks.
     
  10. thenextdon13

    thenextdon13 Newbie

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    First of all, I would like to users linkyyy and user1585 for posting the correct socket type (mhf4)
    This allowed me to order the right part, solder them to my card, and have the antenna leads lock onto the sockets as expected (i had previously purchased the w.fl and the outer ring was too small - the connectors would not lock).

    I'm going to order a small handful of these cards, I think, and swap out the antenna connectors on them.
    Intel 7260HMW IEEE 802.11AC, dual-band, 2x2 Wi-Fi plus Bluetooth 4.0 Mini PCI Express combo Adapter - 867 Mbps+300Mbps - Internal - Wireless Adapters - Newegg.com

    Let me know if you'd be interested in one. Probably about ~20$ more than the cost, for my time.
     
    shouff77 likes this.
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