Laptop external antenna mod

antenna mod

Yes. [Minh-Tam]‘s addition of an external antenna to his Dell Latitude C840 is incredibly easy. We don’t remember seeing anyone else attempt this though. Minh-Tam has done it the “correct” way by using a pigtail so he should have minimal loss and get a lot more use out of his 9dB external antenna.


  1. Liam says:

    This was done long ago here and quite a bit better imho

  2. Stevediraddo says:

    I’m going to do this one.. I have a miniPCI atheros total card with two U.FL plugs on it, but what I need is an external plug for testing and such. The tricky part really is finding a good spot to mount the SMA plug :(

  3. Tired2 says:

    the hard part is finding a place to mount one on a newer laptop… pcmcia w/ ext jacks is probably your best bet still…

  4. mojotek says:

    I wish [Minh-Tam] had included pictures of the actual connection to the internal wireless card. otherwise it’s a great mod.

  5. larry wheeler says:

    i have a compaq presario the antennas are mounted on pcbs underneath the plastic covers just above the hinges for the lcd. i have thought about mounting an external connector for antennas but i have a suck ass broadcom card and want better signal strength i want to retain the original pcb tennas but i havent found a good jack that would fit

  6. grayskies says:


    basically, there are 2 leads going to the mini-pci slot, you need to splice into thoe wires. These wires are a main and a backup wire which run around the monitor of the laptop. It’s quite simple to do.

  7. craig says:

    2) Yeah, especially with some of the really thin laptops, where do you put the connector?

  8. Alex ~ says:
  9. Alex ~ says:
  10. bird603568 says:

    This was done years ago with a “clamshell” mac and an airport card. I gotta contact the person that did it because he took down his “book” that has it in it and i dont know if he wants me to put it up or not.

  11. bird603568 says:

    ok well i found his less detailed version of the pigtail on a old mac book

  12. flux says:

    man, this is crap. i did this to my thinkpad t20 over a year ago with a rp-tnc connector so you can use the wrt type antennas. i also beleive i submitted and it never got posted. it looked really quite nice.

  13. bird603568 says:

    ya im not impressed at this he used a pigtail with a card that had a connector for one and just drilled a hole. now if he modified an internal card that doesnt have a connector that would be another story

  14. Barry says:

    Done this twice now. Once with an old ass Itronix, and once with a titanium G4 powerbook. Still a nice easy mod though.

  15. andrew says:
  16. t3h says:

    I’m about to do it with a DWL-122 for KisMac.

  17. trebuchet03 says:

    Wow, exactly what I’ve been looking for… And all this time I was thinking how to boost the range of the router instead… Maybe finally I can get a little better signal through these concrete walls :p

  18. danny mackey says:

    im surprised that many laptops dont come with plugs built in for attaching an external antenna, especially considering all the people that use laptops inside cars or in the backyard just out of range of a network, they could just plug in an extended antenna

  19. strider_mt2k says:

    Adding external antenna capability to devices that don’t have it is classic hardware hacking.
    (adding connectivity of _any_ kind rocks!)

    Internal antennas are a compromise at best.
    Free the radiating elements and you’ll see RF performance jump considerably.

    I scoff at “asthetics”.

  20. ciphernaut says:

    have been sourcing the parts (and time) to do this to a thinkpad t40

    I think I’ll put the the mmcx connector in one of the vents on the left hand side. I could put it above the audio jacks (hello interefence) or at the front end in the cpu cooling vent… the third option is to bog up the rj11 socket and bung it through there

  21. paleck says:

    I been thinking bout this for over a year for my Thinkpad R51. There a cover over where a firewire port could have optionally been. Its between the vent and PCMCIA slot. Thats where i think i will put mine.

  22. Mace Bigelow says:

    Bah, I just went and bought a pcmcia card. The broadcom wireless card on my craptop dont get signal even when ur 10 foot away!
    So I dont know if making this external mod will make a difference. Please someone convince me. I have to be like 5 feet or closer to make my broadcom work…wtfover?

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