GL-AR150 bad signal after testing new antennas


I was testing some different antennas on my AR150 (w/external antenna) to check which one gave me the best signal.
Using the original antenna that came with the AR150 router worked pretty good and was one of the best one base on signal strength.
I have like 10 different antennas I have collected over time including some cheap ebay once that when tested gave bad signal.
I can also include that when testing I did not turn off my router when changing antennas and some times when swapping the router was without an external antenna for quite some time.

After testing a lot I notice that many of the antennas I was testing gave very bad signal strength and I then put the original antenna back on the router. Now for a big surprise the original antenna also gave a very bas signal.
Before I started testing I could receive my AP that is on a different floor with a signal of 74% (reading from LuCI) and when i removed the antenna I could see the signal dropping down to 40% which should be expected. I could also see a lot of my neighbors AP’s when scanning.
Now after all testing the different antennas and using the original antenna again I could see the signal strength was dropped from 74% to 42% and if i removed the antenna I lost my AP completely. Now when scanning using the antenna i could only se my AP and my neighbors AP’s did not show up at all. (Yes I did check that they was not turned off using InSIDEer on my PC :))

So now i wonder if I could have damaged or burned my antenna-out circuit in any way when swapping antennas or running it without one.
I have some experience with ham radios back in the days and I know running without antenna could damage the radio but I have never heard about damaging a wifi circuit because of the small tx-power?

Any suggestions on what might have happened?


Bad luck,I think your router is badly damaged.The Wifi circuit is more sensitive than what you think.Every Time you change the ANT you MUST turn off the power.

That’s what I was afraid of.
Just ordered a new router and I will sure keep that in mind next time :slight_smile:

Btw. Can this router with external antenna be used without the antenna if you are very close the the AP you are connected to or will this also damage the router? (must there always be a antenna connected to the router?) (and yes I know there is a version without external antenna)

I can also think of a scenario where only using the LAN/WAN port and have the wifi radio disabled. I guess if the radio is not enabled there is no problem using the router without the antenna?

You had the same problem as I did, can you tell which firmware version you used and where you downloaded it from?

If you read the tickets from openwrt in the thread I’ve posted you’ll see this happens even if you keep the antenna connected all the time.

I did not change the firmware on the router. The router came with some modified version of BB 14.07 and that was working great for me.
This had an internal version number 2.12

I think it’s the same they have on their download page.
Firmware name: openwrt-ar150-2.12.bin
Firmware size: 6 356 996 bytes
Firmware MD5: 334E06917903738034CC972709E318D8

If this problem can randomly happened without antenna swap then this is not good.
Perhaps there is a hardware design fault on the router?
I ordered a new one and will do some testing with it to see if I get same problem again.
Perhaps leave it on for a month or two.

@mrflash, thanks for feedback. We didn’t get comments from others about this. Please get me updated about this.

@mrflash try measure capacitors in RF circuit. check the thread i’ve opened about this issue

I also tested an high gain antenna without the expected results, so I returned to the original antenna.
The explanation could be that the new antenna has an higher gain but to work well in transmission it should be adapted to the router input.
As the loosing of the signal is concerned it could be that if you are using a free wifi network, WOW-FI Fastweb for example, it is only a coincidence. You were testing the antennas and in the meantime the network signal went lower.
Anyway you could reset the router to the factory setting and reconfigure it to be more sure you did not damage it.