GL-Mifi: external antenna howto?

My use case would be to use the device in a camper or yacht. This creates two scenarios:

  1. Mobile LTE to WiFi. This seems to work nicely with the EC20 LTE module.

  2. WISP connection on the camp ground or harbour. The challenge here though is that the provider’s AP may be 100m away. For this an external antenna is needed maybe even with a directional characteristic. So the question is how to modify the device accordingly.

Thx in advance.

If you check the wifi module on MiFi, you will find uFL connector. If you want to connect external antenna, you need to remove one resistor R57 (the one nearest to the uFL on the baseboard) and then you can connect external antenna.

But I suggest you try the internal antenna first. 100meters maybe a problem for external antenna as well, as this is related to the hotspot as well.

BTW, please try firmware v2.23-3 from http://www.gl-inet.com/firmware/testing

Now you can config multiple WAN like repeater and modem at the same time. Repeater will have priority. If repeater is not connected it will use modem. The repeater will connect automatically if in range.

 

Thanks for the reply and also for pointing me to the uFL. You say I should try with the internal antenna first.

Tests with other devices (not GLi) already showed, that 100m is tough to reach for a stable connection.

Is there any experience what antenna at what dbi shows best results in average, assuming there is no wall/tree etc. between GL-Mifi and an AP?

It assumes higher gain (bigger) antenna works better.

I assume 100 meters is tough for all devices except for industrial grade, e.g. CPE

Hi I have the GLZT_MIFI_V2.6.3 is there still a requirement to remove the R57 resistor to get the external antennae to work properly or can I just send commands to the device to make it work better for UK Three 4G LTE network?

Yes. If you want to connect external antenna for WiFi you always need to remove the resistor.

Do you have a detailed picture of the resistor in question - I am assuming it is the resistor under the uFL connector on the underside of the circuitboard - do I just cut one of the pins to that uFL or is it the black circular thing to the bottom of the R57 name tag on the board?? See attached image [https://drive.google.com/open?id=12HjxZHcj8_Cm2YicbAcDOynikdr4fGr6](http://Board picture on this link)

You need a better smartphone.

image

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My GL Mifi looks a bit different.

Do I simply desolder the R57 pin I’ve circled? Also, do I use the SMA connector on this backside or the two on the top side? I have 2 external antennas.

Yes. You need to connect the connect as shown in your picture.

Thanks for reply.

Do I remove solder from the R57 pin?

R57 is a resistor, not a pin. A resistor needs two pins to solder. So you need to remove the solder from both pins.

Okay. I just realized is was asking wrong question. Sorry.

I dont need antenna for Wifi.

I want to improve 3g/4g/LTE and use 2 external antennas. Can I simply connect two SMA connector on other side of board? Or do I still need to modify something else?

You don’t need to modify anything, just install external antenna and connect to the uFL adapter on the modem.

Awesome, thank you so much for all your help :slight_smile:

@alzhao we need to add external 2.4 GHz antenna on MiFi units we have - similar to second picture above. There is no R57 we can find. There is R57 marking on board but no resistor as in previous revision.

We measure DC common between u.fl center pin and three pads nearest to the RF connector in the picture. By the trace to the u.fl connector we assume to desolder second pad from end or pad on end?

Please confirm correct way to disable internal antenna on this version of MiFI.

Thank you!

Currently we do not want to support customized hardware modification. This is dangerous without too much benefit. I suggest not to do that unless you have a good reason.

We can usually figure this stuff out ourselves but we’re in a remote area trying to get internet into a valley. I was hoping we might get some information on how to extend the range on this particular unit.

This customer bought a MiFi, but could not get service. They saw us putting in a neighbors system - I put a cellular antenna on the unit and stuck it 60 feet in the air and got service. I just wanted to extend the reach of the MiFi as I’m sure the internal antenna was never meant to be used 20++ meters away. And there IS that connector on the WiFi module so it just seems natural to use it.

We had done this on the previous model where we removed R57 and it worked great. We assumed there would be a similar removal to ‘activate’ the connector on the module but were unsure about where you take to signal from the module to the board in this version.

This would actually be a nice enhancement for the MiFi. The MiFi is an awesome unit. Usually we put two cellular antennas on it for better 4G speed, but one cell and one WiFi would be awesome for campers with a larger campground to still have battery operations.

Can that be a good enough reason? ;]

We have hot air rework tools with us so surface mount work is no problem. If it’s an involved procedure then the customer is out of luck.

OK. I understand and accept the reason. I will ask hardware engineers to confirm.

OK. There is hardware change.

Now please remove R113, not R57