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Wireless Router Antenna
Old 06-22-2007, 09:23 AM   #1
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Wireless Router Antenna

I knocked over my wireless router and broke off the antenna. It is a couple of years old, D Link 802.11g / 2.4 GHz. variety.

I know they are cheap and I could just buy a new router, but I'd rather avoid the hassle and replace only the antenna.

Would a screw-on antenna be a standardized part or unique to that router?

Thanks. I'm a mechanical engineer, electronic things baffle me.
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Old 06-22-2007, 09:36 AM   #2
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If you mean "Can I buy a replacement part?" the answer is "No, you can't buy replacement parts for any consumer device made after 1962."
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Old 06-22-2007, 09:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
If you mean "Can I buy a replacement part?" the answer is "No, you can't buy replacement parts for any consumer device made after 1962."

I know that a coat hanger works pretty well for a car antenna, but I'm guessing that this solution might confuse the electrons on a wireless router.
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Old 06-22-2007, 10:04 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by travelover View Post
I knocked over my wireless router and broke off the antenna. It is a couple of years old, D Link 802.11g / 2.4 GHz. variety.

I know they are cheap and I could just buy a new router, but I'd rather avoid the hassle and replace only the antenna.

Would a screw-on antenna be a standardized part or unique to that router?

Thanks. I'm a mechanical engineer, electronic things baffle me.
I'm sure there's nothing about the electronics that are unique to that router--they all operate on the same freq. The only thing unique would be the mechanical connection to the router. If you are as cheap as I am, you'd take the broken antenna to Home 'Despot' and buy a machine screw that is the same diameter and a little longer. Screw that into the router box and wrap a coat hanger wire around it to serve as the new antenna. Make the length match (approximately) the length of the old antenna, and orient it straight up-and-down.

Or, you could look around for replacement antennas. Radio Shack sells them, including high-gain ones which will increase the range of your system (in at least some directions). I've also seen them at CompUSA
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Old 06-22-2007, 10:48 AM   #5
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Depends on how it broke off. And antennae for wireless routers come in three different connection styles that i'm familiar with.

Buy.com - TRENDnet TEW-432BRP - 54Mbps 802.11g Wireless Firewall Router - TEW-432BRP

Ten bucks after rebate. But check on the rebate, the company is famous for pretending you didnt include your UPC code. But the minute you call them they'll send you a check.

This is a lower end version of the router i'm using. Love it.

You cant get an antenna for under ten bucks.
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Old 06-22-2007, 11:08 AM   #6
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The good news is that you can try out your jury-rigged coat hanger or wire thing right away and you'll know whether it works.
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Wireless Router Antenna
Old 06-22-2007, 02:19 PM   #7
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Wireless Router Antenna

The link below is one example of the enhanced wireless antennas that are available. If you watch for web specials you can certainly get a cheap 802.11b/g router as cheaply as the replacement antennas.

FRYS.com*|*Airlink

Good luck
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Old 06-22-2007, 03:04 PM   #8
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uh ... can you move it a little to the left?
sorry ... it' Friday and the made me do it.
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Old 06-22-2007, 03:13 PM   #9
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What model d-link is it?

Connector options include tnc, bnc, mmcx, mc card, sma, rtsma, n type, amx, proxim and hirose. In both male and female options.

Worse than I thought. But after just getting back from a trip to the plumbing supply store (another frickin broken irrigation pipe), i'm not surprised.
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Old 06-22-2007, 06:17 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the good suggestions. It appears that I can pick up a used wireless router on Craig's List for about the price of a new high gain antenna. I may just pursue that.
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Old 06-22-2007, 08:49 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the good suggestions. It appears that I can pick up a used wireless router on Craig's List for about the price of a new high gain antenna. I may just pursue that.
Aw c'mom, we want to know if the coat hanger worked!

In all seriousness, if your computer was getting a strong signal before, and you can physically attach a piece of wire about the same length, it really should work fine. If your signal was marginal, a bit more iffy, but you could (by chance) end up with a better match than the original.

These are just monopole antennas. Nothing fancy. The fact that you're a mechanical engineer is an advantage. Measure, attach, see if it works. An electrical engineer (of the RF variety) would just get bogged down with impedance matches, VSWR, ERP and end up re-designing the whole friggen thing. Just stick a wire on it.

-ERD50
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Old 06-23-2007, 09:06 AM   #12
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In all seriousness, if your computer was getting a strong signal before, and you can physically attach a piece of wire about the same length, it really should work fine.
-ERD50
I agree! It's not the money, it is the loss of half a day while you buy the new device, get it home, and then try to de-install your present network and re-install a new one on all your devices. I'd sure try the easy fix first.
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Old 06-23-2007, 10:23 AM   #13
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I peeled off the plastic from the antenna and it has a tuner (tiny coil of wire) as part of the construction. A piece of wire works but does not provide coverage to the far end of my house.

I picked up a new one for $20 on Craigslist. I'll install it at my leisure.

I'm retired.
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Old 06-23-2007, 01:43 PM   #14
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My D-link router has different firmware for each antenna design. The antenna differences are not visible. Even the same model went through several iterations, and you need to look at the serial number before upgrading the firmware. So I don't think the antenna is something that you can willy-nilly modify.

And always try to upgrade the firmware and make sure you add a password for the admin account, both for security reasons.

Kramer
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Old 06-23-2007, 02:52 PM   #15
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So I don't think the antenna is something that you can willy-nilly modify.
Kramer
Sure you can. It most likely will not be optimal, but it can be done.

The OP got pretty good results. Said it worked until he got to the far end of his house. So that could be fine if you were not pushing the range too much.

Heck, my d-link router has a screw-on antenna. I just unscrewed it completely - no antenna, and I'm still getting all five bars because I'm just 10 feet away. So it sure would have worked for me.

-ERD50

edit - successfully posted thru a wireless router with no antenna.
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Old 06-23-2007, 03:45 PM   #16
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The OP got pretty good results. Said it worked until he got to the far end of his house.

-ERD50
Unfortunately I only use the wireless connection at the far end of my house. My main desktop is hardwired to the modem.
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Old 06-23-2007, 04:08 PM   #17
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Unfortunately I only use the wireless connection at the far end of my house. My main desktop is hardwired to the modem.
travelover - you need a new router then

Hang onto the old one, it might be OK for someone that only needs to cover a short distance. Re-use is better than re-cycle.

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Old 06-24-2007, 06:56 AM   #18
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Travelover

I have a broken Dlink router. I'd be happy to remove the antenna and give it to you. Let me know and I will throw it in the mail.
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Old 06-24-2007, 10:38 AM   #19
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Travelover

I have a broken Dlink router. I'd be happy to remove the antenna and give it to you. Let me know and I will throw it in the mail.
Outstanding. I'll PM my address. Thank you.
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