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Old June 28th, 2011, 06:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default WiFi antennas

I've been reading on other forums that some plugin USB antennas do a good job improving the WiFi performance on the FT3. The two I've seen mentioned are the Edimax 7711UAn (based on Ralink RT3070 chipset) and the Skylink 1504n (based on the Realtek 8191SU chipset). Supposedly they work plug and play if the WiFi switch on the FT3 has to be turned off. Can anyone on this forum confirm that these or any similar devices work?

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Old June 28th, 2011, 11:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Last I heard, none of them were android compatible.
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Old June 29th, 2011, 02:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If you don't mind voiding your warranty by opening the pad there are many cheap internal antennas available (look for "internal antenna" on ebay) that you can hook up inside your pad. I plan to do that once I get my pad if the WiFi range turns out to be too poor.
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Old June 29th, 2011, 03:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mburwen View Post
I've been reading on other forums that some plugin USB antennas do a good job improving the WiFi performance on the FT3. The two I've seen mentioned are the Edimax 7711UAn (based on Ralink RT3070 chipset) and the Skylink 1504n (based on the Realtek 8191SU chipset). Supposedly they work plug and play if the WiFi switch on the FT3 has to be turned off. Can anyone on this forum confirm that these or any similar devices work?
Yes, I can confirm the EDIMAX EW7711 UAN adapter works fine as you describe. It arrived with an extension cable and a weighted, vertical base holder to allow the dongle to be further removed from the tablet if desired, or it fits directly into the tab's USB and swivels to the vertical so it looks the DB's
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Old June 29th, 2011, 03:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by sansjunk View Post
If you don't mind voiding your warranty by opening the pad there are many cheap internal antennas available (look for "internal antenna" on ebay) that you can hook up inside your pad. I plan to do that once I get my pad if the WiFi range turns out to be too poor.
I'm not at all sure this will help you much with a range problem. All the internal antenna I have seen have all been passive. They are dipole based, either wire or etched copper patch. They will all perform about the same.

What you really need to do to improve the signal reception (and transmission) is to get a properly matched antenna clear of obstructions and sources of RFI. Better placement of an internal antenna could provide a performance improvement but no-where near as good as getting the antenna clear of the casing.
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Old June 29th, 2011, 04:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'll try with a RT3070 common usb Wifi. And let you know. This would be great if one day will get out a wep cracking app.
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Old June 29th, 2011, 08:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'll try with a RT3070 common usb Wifi. And let you know. This would be great if one day will get out a wep cracking app.
As I recall there are quite a few free [as in cost] 'war driving' apps on the Market, I am sure one of them will meet your requirements...
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Old June 29th, 2011, 12:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm not at all sure this will help you much with a range problem. All the internal antenna I have seen have all been passive. They are dipole based, either wire or etched copper patch. They will all perform about the same.

What you really need to do to improve the signal reception (and transmission) is to get a properly matched antenna clear of obstructions and sources of RFI. Better placement of an internal antenna could provide a performance improvement but no-where near as good as getting the antenna clear of the casing.
If you are willing to open the case and do a bit of fussy soldering, look for posts by kb7urx. He can tell you exactly how to proceed to add an antenna that will greatly improve wifi reception. Note: kb7urx is an experienced electronics technician. If you are not, you might want to try another solution!
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Old June 29th, 2011, 01:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mburwen View Post
If you are willing to open the case and do a bit of fussy soldering, look for posts by kb7urx. He can tell you exactly how to proceed to add an antenna that will greatly improve wifi reception. Note: kb7urx is an experienced electronics technician. If you are not, you might want to try another solution!
Thanks mburwen, but I don't need to improve the wifi in my tablet, I have all the range I need from the internal antenna and an external dongle if I go somewhere where I am struggling for range. I am pretty sure I would be aware of the advice kb7urx would be giving as I am also a licensed radio amateur and am not a novice in the field of antenna characteristics.
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Old June 29th, 2011, 03:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have been thrilled with the WIFI performance of my non-Ibex FT3. I took it with me on the road and though the WIFI wasn't strong from the hotel, it worked well on the FT3.

To be honest, I have 3 HP laptops. The FT3 wifi has held on the signal better than any of the laptops.
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Old July 1st, 2011, 04:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Antenna Info

I got in contact with the head of Edimax' US office and discussed the antenna subject with him. He said the foillowing:

" I recommend the EW-7722UTn. It uses the same Ralink series chipset.


EW-7711UAn is 1T1R (1 transmit, 1 receive) 150 Mbps Ralink RT3070
EW-7722UTn is 2T2R (2 transmits, 2 receives) 300 Mbps Ralink RT3072


It is the same Linux driver, so if the 7711 works, it should work too and deliver even better performance. It is also smaller than the 7711."

On the strength of that recommendation, I ordered one from eBay for $19 (US) including tax and shipping. I'll report the results here.
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Old July 2nd, 2011, 09:46 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mburwen View Post
I got in contact with the head of Edimax' US office and discussed the antenna subject with him. He said the foillowing:

" I recommend the EW-7722UTn. It uses the same Ralink series chipset.


EW-7711UAn is 1T1R (1 transmit, 1 receive) 150 Mbps Ralink RT3070
EW-7722UTn is 2T2R (2 transmits, 2 receives) 300 Mbps Ralink RT3072


It is the same Linux driver, so if the 7711 works, it should work too and deliver even better performance. It is also smaller than the 7711."

On the strength of that recommendation, I ordered one from eBay for $19 (US) including tax and shipping. I'll report the results here.
Thats useful info...bear in mind the other end of the wifi link has to be capable of 300Mb to be of benefit!

Also, I wonder if it will have the same range. As the 2T2R has two, internal antenna, the 150Mb version (UAn) has a +3dB omni antenna, that means it theoretically has twice the range...So.. make your choice between small and fast or bigger and longer!! . In any event....it *will* be an improvement to the FT3's internal wifi!!!
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Old July 5th, 2011, 06:34 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Edimax EW-7722UTn doesn't work

The Edimax EW-7722UTn arrived today. It doesn't work. Cannot get a wifi connection with the switch in either position. Too bad, it is tiny and inobtrusive.
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Old July 6th, 2011, 07:20 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm sorry it's not working to you (maybe you went too far hoping that RT3072 would work).

However i've tried my cheap chinese usb RT3070 pen and it worked amazingly.

Now I've ordered from DE this beast, for 17 dollars.. Uh! And seems to be also wifi-n
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Old July 6th, 2011, 02:45 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Has anybody tried de-soldering the existing internal wifi module and replacing it with one of these free-standing wifi modules you guys have. The power and data connections on the existing one are afterall, USB!
That particular USB channel might be dedicated for just that purpose. (Although I have a sneaking suspicion it's not)
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Old July 6th, 2011, 03:03 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by giubari View Post
I'm sorry it's not working to you (maybe you went too far hoping that RT3072 would work).

However i've tried my cheap chinese usb RT3070 pen and it worked amazingly.

Now I've ordered from DE this beast, for 17 dollars.. Uh! And seems to be also wifi-n
You do realise the quoted 1.2Watts output from the dongle *will* be wildly overstated don't you? At 1.2Watts it would be illegal to use in every country in the developed world..DE are renown at quoting these silly performance figures.... It should be better than the internal wifi though!! Post a report when you have had a chance to try it please......
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Old July 6th, 2011, 03:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kb7urx View Post
Has anybody tried de-soldering the existing internal wifi module and replacing it with one of these free-standing wifi modules you guys have. The power and data connections on the existing one are afterall, USB!
That particular USB channel might be dedicated for just that purpose. (Although I have a sneaking suspicion it's not)
Yes, I saw an article last week of a tablet [a ZT-180 I think] that had been given the full 'Pimp My Tablet' treatment. The WiFi was one of the things they had upgraded.

I will see if I can find the link...
-------
Sorry, spent half an hour searching and googling but can't find it.

dart, you seem like the adventurous sort, how do you feel about sticking your WiFi dongle on the inside, in the place of the standard module, as kb7 suggests?
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Old July 7th, 2011, 02:25 AM   #18 (permalink)
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You do realise the quoted 1.2Watts output from the dongle *will* be wildly overstated don't you? At 1.2Watts it would be illegal to use in every country in the developed world..DE are renown at quoting these silly performance figures.... It should be better than the internal wifi though!! Post a report when you have had a chance to try it please......
It's on his way from Hong Kong, let's wait a month.
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Old July 8th, 2011, 08:42 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Edimax EW-7711UAn works - a little

I tried out the Edimax EW-7711UAn today and it works - sort of. The Wifi range is extended from about 40 feet max to about 75 feet, but I had hoped for better than that.

Others have reported that the WiFi switch needs to be turned off when using this antenna, but I find that it doesn't make a difference.

The Head of the Edimax US office is going to look into the driver situation if he has time. If he learns anything interesting, I'll report it here. He claims to be a Linus expert.
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Old July 8th, 2011, 09:47 PM   #20 (permalink)
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He claims to be a Linus expert.
Give my regards to Charlie Brown and Snoopy!
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Old July 9th, 2011, 12:40 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Give my regards to Charlie Brown and Snoopy!
S=X
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Old July 9th, 2011, 09:03 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tbod View Post

dart, you seem like the adventurous sort, how do you feel about sticking your WiFi dongle on the inside, in the place of the standard module, as kb7 suggests?
Umm... don't think so...

The dongle has a 6dB vertical antenna attached, this, and the fact that it is outside and in the clear is what I would attribute the apparent improvement from the original internal adapter. Fitting it inside makes little sense to me.
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Old July 9th, 2011, 09:26 AM   #23 (permalink)
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S=X
Ok, I give in, what does that mean?
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Old July 9th, 2011, 02:03 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Ok, I give in, what does that mean?
substitute s for x in Linus
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Old July 10th, 2011, 12:00 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Default Everybody's a critic

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substitute s for x in Linus
tbod and dart, if you guys ever get to San Francisco and want to do some editing, let me know.

Sidenote: THe Edimax antenna comes with a short USB extension cable. Theoretically, performance should improve if the antenna is not next to the case. I find the opposite. I'm getting better reception without the extender. If anyone has the same EW-7711UAn antenna I have, try it with and without the extender and see if it matters.
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Old July 10th, 2011, 10:25 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mburwen View Post
tbod and dart, if you guys ever get to San Francisco and want to do some editing, let me know.

Sidenote: THe Edimax antenna comes with a short USB extension cable. Theoretically, performance should improve if the antenna is not next to the case. I find the opposite. I'm getting better reception without the extender. If anyone has the same EW-7711UAn antenna I have, try it with and without the extender and see if it matters.
Using Tokaplot 2.4 -
I'm getting -55dBm from my internal, original wifi dongle & antenna
I get -49dBm from the Edimax when mounted in the top USB slot and
I get -43dBm to -49dBm when its fitted to the extension cable, dependent on exactly where I place it.

Both of those gains are pretty worthwhile.....
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Old July 10th, 2011, 02:26 PM   #27 (permalink)
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tbod and dart, if you guys ever get to San Francisco and want to do some editing, let me know.
Why would we need to be in San Francisco?
Can't these things be done over that wide world of webs thing?
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Old July 11th, 2011, 06:29 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Default Edimax EW-7711UAn test results

Over the weekend I put the Edimax EW-7711UAn antenna (the mfgr calls it a “High Gain USB Adapter’) through a few paces. This post summarizes the results.
I found that, in order to use it, the Pad has to be booted with the WiFi switch in the Off position. Once booted and the signal captured, the switch can be in either position, and the Edimax works. In fact I found that with the switch in the On position, the signal bounces less than in the Off position. For example, with the switch in the Off position, the signal might vary between -50 and -60- dBm, but with the switch in the On position, the variation might be -53 to -57.
My router is a Linksys WRT160n V2. I tried several signal monitoring programs and settled on one called WiEYE which is free from Android Market. I liked it because the sampling rate is fast enough so that I could quickly find the optimum position of the antenna. Here are some results in dBm. The numbers are the average reading – as noted the signal strength tends to bounce around a bit. Metric distances are given for the rest of the world where they don’t know any better.
1. Pad in same room as router
Internal Antenna: -53
Edimax: -37
2. Pad 40 feet (12 meters) away from router. Signal travels through one wood stud/drywall wall.
Internal antenna: -77
Edimax: -59
3. Pad 80 feet (25 meters) from router. Signal travels through 3 wood stud/drywall walls.
Internal antenna: No signal
Edimax: -80
I also tried using the 6” (15 cm) USB extender that came with the Edimax. Unlike Dart who saw some improvement with it, in my case I got the same reading with and without it.
In conclusion, the Edimax does a decent job. It even detected a few of my neighbors' networks although the signal strength was very low.
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Old July 11th, 2011, 11:26 PM   #29 (permalink)
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I have been thinking we could take out the board from these EW-7711UAn USB adapters and replace the stock one inside the FT3. Has anyone tried this? Is it possible to replace the stock driver?
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Old July 12th, 2011, 03:05 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mburwen View Post
Over the weekend I put the Edimax EW-7711UAn antenna (the mfgr calls it a “High Gain USB Adapter’) through a few paces. This post summarizes the results.
I found that, in order to use it, the Pad has to be booted with the WiFi switch in the Off position. Once booted and the signal captured, the switch can be in either position, and the Edimax works. In fact I found that with the switch in the On position, the signal bounces less than in the Off position. For example, with the switch in the Off position, the signal might vary between -50 and -60- dBm, but with the switch in the On position, the variation might be -53 to -57.
My router is a Linksys WRT160n V2. I tried several signal monitoring programs and settled on one called WiEYE which is free from Android Market. I liked it because the sampling rate is fast enough so that I could quickly find the optimum position of the antenna. Here are some results in dBm. The numbers are the average reading – as noted the signal strength tends to bounce around a bit. Metric distances are given for the rest of the world where they don’t know any better.
1. Pad in same room as router
Internal Antenna: -53
Edimax: -37
2. Pad 40 feet (12 meters) away from router. Signal travels through one wood stud/drywall wall.
Internal antenna: -77
Edimax: -59
3. Pad 80 feet (25 meters) from router. Signal travels through 3 wood stud/drywall walls.
Internal antenna: No signal
Edimax: -80
I also tried using the 6” (15 cm) USB extender that came with the Edimax. Unlike Dart who saw some improvement with it, in my case I got the same reading with and without it.
In conclusion, the Edimax does a decent job. It even detected a few of my neighbors' networks although the signal strength was very low.
Interesting gain figures, broadly in unison with the ones I obtained from my dongle. I think the difference we observed with the extension cable could well be because the extension cable I received was 1.2 meters long, not 15cms!!.

It would be interesting to see what figures are obtained if a dongle is gutted and fitted inside the tablet, I would expect to see the gains drastically reduced but perhaps still worthwhile......
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Old July 12th, 2011, 03:33 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Default Go for it!

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Interesting gain figures, broadly in unison with the ones I obtained from my dongle. I think the difference we observed with the extension cable could well be because the extension cable I received was 1.2 meters long, not 15cms!!.

It would be interesting to see what figures are obtained if a dongle is gutted and fitted inside the tablet, I would expect to see the gains drastically reduced but perhaps still worthwhile......
Beyond my pay grade, but you have my permission to try it on your Pad.
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 01:18 PM   #32 (permalink)
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It would be interesting to see what figures are obtained if a dongle is gutted and fitted inside the tablet, I would expect to see the gains drastically reduced but perhaps still worthwhile......
Has this idea gone any further?
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Old February 4th, 2012, 04:45 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Has this idea gone any further?

Yes.. people have gutted the Edimax EW7811Un and fitted it inside TAB10 tablets, but that was because they had flashed firmware that resulted in their internal wifi modules to stop working (different chipset) and the EW-7811 uses a RTL8188CUS chipset.....

I wouldn't expect any great improvement between the standard wifi dongle and any other add-on dongle when placed inside the case, the Realtek chipsets used in the original adapters are pretty much industry standard and all of the dongles conform to the maximum output power regulations, so the only improvements are to be had by better antennas and better impedance matching.
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Old February 6th, 2012, 04:41 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Has anyone tried the Edimax EW-7711UTn, essentially the EW-7711UAN without the antenna. I guess it wont have quite the same range but its much smaller
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