Removable Router Antenna


[Mike] takes us through the process of adding  a removable high gain antenna to the WRTSL54GS in this article. The antenna that comes on this unit from the factory is a bit small and underpowered. After upgrading it using OpenWrt, an open source full featured router software package, he felt it needed a beefier antenna. So, he cracked it open. The new antenna can simply be soldered in place, where the old antenna was.

10 thoughts on “Removable Router Antenna

  1. @tetteurbv
    Yes, that’s seriously illegal. Transmitting so much power that you drown out everybody in a mile radius and interfere with aircraft is a bit naughty, so there are laws to prevent it and punish those who do it.

  2. Yes, it can be very easy to violate regulations using additional antennas with this device. Standard output from the factory on these devices is 32mw (which can be increased via OpenWRT). Add a 23dB yagi/directional antenna to this device and it will violate FCC regulations.

    RF math of 3’s and 10’s: 10dB = x10, 3dB = x2. So, 32mw * 10 * 10 * 2 = 6400mw or 6.4W of EIRP. FCC regulations specify a maximum of 1W indoors and 4 W outdoors.

    One note, the repost of the original story was by [mike], but the original post was by [larry]…

  3. What’s the point of soldering in the antenna? There’s a connector on the back of the router. Even if you don’t have the very common mating connector, you can salvage it from the original antenna.

  4. “What’s the advantage of openwrt vs tomato?”

    While both are linux based, tomato is more of an “end user” type firmware, stressing graphical based configuration and usage, while openwrt is for more advanced users and is mostly administered through the bash shell. openwrt is also much older, and therefore more mature, and has an extremely large selection of pre-compiled modules available for it to allow it to do many, many non-router related duties. Taken to the extreme, one could install openwrt on a USB enabled router with a USB keyboard, mouse, and VGA adapter, and have a fully functional linux PC, albeit a slow one… :)

  5. ^^^Also, tomato uses alot of the closed-source modules written by the original manufacturers of the equipment, while openwrt, by now, has mostly rewritten or replaced most of the proprietary closed-sourced modules with open-source equivalents…

  6. Well, openwrt is an amazing piece of software. DD-WRT is nice as long as you do not touch its limits, because its a hell to extend. Its more for end-users that want their routers to do a tad more than the manufacturer made possible. Openwrt on the other hand gives you the whole cake, at the expense of having a steeper learning curve. You should have a look at X-WRT, which is a web frontend for openwrt, giving you easy entry into a complex system.

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