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Where is the wi-fi antenna in a laptop

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by Salvador Freemanson, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. I use a Toshiba Satellite A100-386 laptop, which has a Centrino Duo.

    The wi-fi signal in the bedroom is very weak indeed. But I can get
    usable reception with the laptop placed in some rather precarious
    positions.
    I was wondering where exactly the built-in wifi antenna is situated, so
    that I can try and better position the laptop.
    Is it in the lid? or in the base? If so, whereabouts? I've tried
    twisting the laptop around while monitoring the results on Netstunmbler.

    I've also tried using external wifi cards, either USB or PCMCIA. They
    are all less sensitive than the laptop's built-in wifi receiver.
    Is there any way of connecting an external wifi antenna onto this laptop?

    Thanks

    Salvador
     
    Salvador Freemanson, Nov 8, 2007
    #1
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  2. Salvador Freemanson

    Dan Dubosky Guest

    The wi-fi antennae in my Toshiba 2455-S305 are two wires running vertically
    (when the LCD is in a vertical position) behind the LCD. I don't have
    built-in wireless so I have no way of comparing a built-in to my PCMCIA
    wireless card. Seeing the length of the wires I can imagine that the
    built-in could be much more sensitive.

    Dan

    "Salvador Freemanson" <> wrote in message
    news:4733477b$0$5249$...
    >I use a Toshiba Satellite A100-386 laptop, which has a Centrino Duo.
    >
    > The wi-fi signal in the bedroom is very weak indeed. But I can get usable
    > reception with the laptop placed in some rather precarious positions.
    > I was wondering where exactly the built-in wifi antenna is situated, so
    > that I can try and better position the laptop.
    > Is it in the lid? or in the base? If so, whereabouts? I've tried twisting
    > the laptop around while monitoring the results on Netstunmbler.
    >
    > I've also tried using external wifi cards, either USB or PCMCIA. They are
    > all less sensitive than the laptop's built-in wifi receiver.
    > Is there any way of connecting an external wifi antenna onto this laptop?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > Salvador
     
    Dan Dubosky, Nov 8, 2007
    #2
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  3. Salvador Freemanson

    pj Guest

    Dan Dubosky wrote:
    > The wi-fi antennae in my Toshiba 2455-S305 are two wires running vertically
    > (when the LCD is in a vertical position) behind the LCD. I don't have
    > built-in wireless so I have no way of comparing a built-in to my PCMCIA
    > wireless card. Seeing the length of the wires I can imagine that the
    > built-in could be much more sensitive.
    >
    > Dan
    >
    > "Salvador Freemanson" <> wrote in message
    > news:4733477b$0$5249$...
    >> I use a Toshiba Satellite A100-386 laptop, which has a Centrino Duo.
    >>
    >> The wi-fi signal in the bedroom is very weak indeed. But I can get usable
    >> reception with the laptop placed in some rather precarious positions.
    >> I was wondering where exactly the built-in wifi antenna is situated, so
    >> that I can try and better position the laptop.
    >> Is it in the lid? or in the base? If so, whereabouts? I've tried twisting
    >> the laptop around while monitoring the results on Netstunmbler.
    >>
    >> I've also tried using external wifi cards, either USB or PCMCIA. They are
    >> all less sensitive than the laptop's built-in wifi receiver.
    >> Is there any way of connecting an external wifi antenna onto this laptop?
    >>
    >> Thanks
    >>
    >> Salvador

    >
    >

    Not familiar with the specifics of that Toshiba but more laptops have
    the antenna(s) in the lid. The actual antenna is only a couple of
    centimeters in size. "L" shaped elements are popular.

    Google < high gain WiFi antenna > and you'll see plenty of external
    antennas -- both omni directional and very high gain directional
    antennas. Biggest difficulty is matching them to either a WiFi card or
    your internal WiFi chip.
    hth -- pj
     
    pj, Nov 8, 2007
    #3
  4. pj wrote:


    > Google < high gain WiFi antenna > and you'll see plenty of external
    > antennas -- both omni directional and very high gain directional
    > antennas. Biggest difficulty is matching them to either a WiFi card or
    > your internal WiFi chip.
    > hth -- pj


    But how can you connect an external antenna to the internal wifi chip?

    S
     
    Salvador Freemanson, Nov 9, 2007
    #4
  5. Salvador Freemanson

    pj Guest

    Salvador Freemanson wrote:
    > pj wrote:
    >
    >
    >> Google < high gain WiFi antenna > and you'll see plenty of external
    >> antennas -- both omni directional and very high gain directional
    >> antennas. Biggest difficulty is matching them to either a WiFi card
    >> or your internal WiFi chip.
    >> hth -- pj

    >
    > But how can you connect an external antenna to the internal wifi chip?
    >
    > S

    Have never played with a Toshiba. On the Thinkpad the antennas are
    connected to the chip with short runs of 50ohm coax and a very small
    coax connector (about 1.5 mm, outside diameter.)

    I salvaged the coax and connector from a 'scrap' Thinkpad that the
    company techs were using as a spare parts bin. Connected that to a
    Pringles-can antenna and was in business. The Thinkpad antennas might
    be phased in some manner -- I have no clue. Left one connected and that
    seemed OK.
    --
    pj
     
    pj, Nov 9, 2007
    #5
  6. Salvador Freemanson <> writes:

    >I was wondering where exactly the built-in wifi antenna is situated, so
    >that I can try and better position the laptop.
    >Is it in the lid? or in the base? If so, whereabouts? I've tried
    >twisting the laptop around while monitoring the results on Netstunmbler.


    Does the manual say anything about this? I've got a Gateway laptop that
    has two wireless antennas in the upper part of the display, and it says
    that in the manual. I've also opened up a dead Compaq that put two
    antennas in the "shoulders" on the base where the display hinge is
    attached.

    They do need to be somewhere that is outside the usual RFI shielding
    that encloses the motherboard and most of the electronic parts.

    Dave
     
    Dave Martindale, Nov 9, 2007
    #6
  7. pj <> writes:

    >I salvaged the coax and connector from a 'scrap' Thinkpad that the
    >company techs were using as a spare parts bin. Connected that to a
    >Pringles-can antenna and was in business. The Thinkpad antennas might
    >be phased in some manner -- I have no clue. Left one connected and that
    >seemed OK.


    More likely, the two antennas are used in a "diversity reception" setup -
    the card uses whichever one provides the stronger signal at any given
    time (this can change rapidly if the laptop is moving).

    If your Pringles antenna produces a significantly stronger signal than
    the builtin antenna, the card will choose to use it all the time.

    Dave
     
    Dave Martindale, Nov 9, 2007
    #7
  8. The antenna is usually in the lid. The card is usually a mini-PCI card
    in the base. You could connect an external antenna to the card instead
    of the internal antenna.

    Salvador Freemanson wrote:
    > I use a Toshiba Satellite A100-386 laptop, which has a Centrino Duo.
    >
    > The wi-fi signal in the bedroom is very weak indeed. But I can get
    > usable reception with the laptop placed in some rather precarious
    > positions.
    > I was wondering where exactly the built-in wifi antenna is situated, so
    > that I can try and better position the laptop.
    > Is it in the lid? or in the base? If so, whereabouts? I've tried
    > twisting the laptop around while monitoring the results on Netstunmbler.
    >
    > I've also tried using external wifi cards, either USB or PCMCIA. They
    > are all less sensitive than the laptop's built-in wifi receiver.
    > Is there any way of connecting an external wifi antenna onto this laptop?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > Salvador
     
    Barry Watzman, Nov 13, 2007
    #8
  9. Salvador Freemanson

    Woody Guest

    What type of antenna is on your router or wi-fi gateway? Try changing it's
    position and check the signal level at the laptop. I find I get best
    reception on my ThinkPad with the Linksys router antenna in a horizontal
    position. Experiment for the best signal strength.


    "Salvador Freemanson" <> wrote in message
    news:4733477b$0$5249$...
    >I use a Toshiba Satellite A100-386 laptop, which has a Centrino Duo.
    >
    > The wi-fi signal in the bedroom is very weak indeed. But I can get usable
    > reception with the laptop placed in some rather precarious positions.
    > I was wondering where exactly the built-in wifi antenna is situated, so
    > that I can try and better position the laptop.
    > Is it in the lid? or in the base? If so, whereabouts? I've tried twisting
    > the laptop around while monitoring the results on Netstunmbler.
    >
    > I've also tried using external wifi cards, either USB or PCMCIA. They are
    > all less sensitive than the laptop's built-in wifi receiver.
    > Is there any way of connecting an external wifi antenna onto this laptop?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > Salvador
     
    Woody, Nov 19, 2007
    #9
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