I replaced the ceramic WiFi/BT antenna with the following (you can see the original antenna for reference):
UPDATE: the howto video is linked further down.
- disassemble the mainboard module, remove power
- drill a 2mm hole on the side of the case
- remove the insulation of the antenna cable to expose the core and move the shielding down (cut it before you solder, for a cleaner result)
- remove the ceramic antenna, heat both sides alternating, then lift it from one side when the solder is soft with the soldering iron, then remove with pincers while heating the second pad. this is the trickiest part of the entire mod
- add some solder to the pads. the idea is to sink the (insulated) core into the solder, melting the inner insulation, and soldering the insulation wires to the second pad
- measure with a multi meter that the two pads are not shorted, this can happen if you apply too much heat to the insulation solder point, and it melts to the core
- gently pull out the cable and close the case
- connect power and everything else, and boot to check if it still works
- remove the sticker thing at the back of the antenna and glue to the case (see video)
The result is a much better WiFi signal:
The antenna comes with a selfadhesive tape so you can tape it to the case like this:
It worked :). At least for me.
Will this void your waranty? I’d say yes.
Is it worth it? Totally.
Is it easy to do? I think yes (if you have some experience soldering SMD parts).
Would I do it again? Always (I pretend to know what I do)
Some technical details:
The ceramic antenna has 50Ohm. The external has also 50Ohm. This seems to be important.
The ceramic antenna has 0.5dBi. The external has 4.5-5dBi. I was told this is more than twice the range.
The spec of the Wifi chip says “0-2dBi antannas”. This one still worked