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Can an external WiFi antenna be used with the WF32?

Created Thu, 23 Jan 2014 07:30:53 +0000 by thinkpeace


Thu, 23 Jan 2014 07:30:53 +0000

I would like to put the WF32 inside a metal enclosure. I was wondering if it is possible to connect an external WiFi antenna to the WF32. Is this possible?


Thu, 23 Jan 2014 11:46:35 +0000

Theoretically, yes.

There are two WiFi modules available - the -MA and -MB versions. The WF32 has the -MA version, which uses a built-in antenna. The -MB version has an external antenna connection.

I am not certain, but I think that may be the only difference.

The -MA version has a footprint for a 50Ω U.FL connector, so theoretically you could solder one to the board and connect to it. I am not sure what effect the existing PCB antenna would have on the signal quality though. You may need to take an xacto knife to it to disconnect the PCB antenna.

Risky business, and you would most definitely invalidate the FCC certification and your hardware warranty.

Better would be to replace the -MA module with a -MB version, but those SMD modules are a right royal pain to desolder, and 9 times out of 10 you'll lift the pads off the main board while doing it.


Fri, 24 Jan 2014 00:19:48 +0000

I did some research and determined that yes, it can be done. There is a procedure, but as majenko noted it would be tricky, and the result would be suitable only for laboratory work (because modification would invalidate the FCC certification.)

Probably much simpler to use a plastic enclosure, if that's possible.



Fri, 24 Jan 2014 10:55:19 +0000

Thanks for your replies. I think I will go with a plastic enclosure.