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Old August 11th, 2010, 09:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Antenna plug on back of Captivate.

I noticed what looks like an antenna plug on the back of the phone. Anyone know what this is for? It looks like a wifi plug like the ones in laptops.

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Old August 11th, 2010, 10:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I noticed what looks like an antenna plug on the back of the phone. Anyone know what this is for? It looks like a wifi plug like the ones in laptops.
It is an MMCX plug... It is either for wifi, cell, or GPS. I am hoping GPS and I have ordered a GPS antenna with an MMCX plug that should get to my house by Friday.

I will plug it in and let everyone know what happens when I get it.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 10:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Where are you seeing this? All I got is the speaker slits.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 10:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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where do you see that at, all i see is the speaker and the camera lens ?
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Old August 11th, 2010, 10:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It's under the battery cover, near the SIM card.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 03:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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While I adore the idea of an external antenna plug (in fact, the Captivate is my first phone to not have one I can use), I cannot fathom the point of putting it behind the battery cover. Who's going to use their phone without a battery cover so that they can plug in the antenna???

Note: plugging in an external antenna that sits on the roof of your car, outside of the glass and metal, makes a gigantic difference in reception.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 04:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I am not sure what the connector is for but I can say with 100% confidence that it is not an MMCX connector. I am an engineer with a company that manufactures connectors.

I can say that it is a switching type connector and there are many interfaces in this category. This means that the signal normally passes through it, typically to an internal antenna, until it is mated to, then the signal passes through the mating connector. The most common use for these connectors is end of line testing at the factory. It is possible that an external antenna could be connected through this port but one would have to test that by trial and error. It is surely not convenient being under that battery cover.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 06:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I saw it too, I also have a Tundra and under the battery cover there is a small rubber plug, when you remove it there is a small connector. I have saw posts that show people cut a small hole in the cover and plugging an antenna connector into that hole. They all said it was an antenna connector and they showed a jump in signal. No I never tried it and no it's not worth chopping on my baby. I tend to believe the testing connector. Either I love this thing too much to screw it up.
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Old October 25th, 2010, 02:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Samsung's tech support just informed me that it "Absolutely, positively" is an MPX connector for an external antenna for the phone. Not the GPS, the phone.

And that they have no other battery covers, either you have to make a hole in a spare cover, or use some other cover for the phone.

But they swear it is a fully functional external antenna plug, MPX female, needs an MPX male on the cable to plug into it.

External antennas do wonders for cell phones. In cars, offshore, in the boonies...
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Old October 31st, 2010, 11:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Samsung's tech support just informed me that it "Absolutely, positively" is an MPX connector for an external antenna for the phone. Not the GPS, the phone....
Too bad. I"m thinking the GPS will never be worth much due to poor GPS antenna.
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Old October 31st, 2010, 12:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Not poor GPS antenna, and an external GPS antenna defeats the purpose o fhaving a GPS *in* the phone.

The poor GPS reception may be from a bad design of the GPS circuit (from Broadcom) which is normally all-in-one with a patch antenna included. Or it may be from RFI due to the phone's other radios. That's very possible. Or the portion of the phone's case that is over the GPS antenna may be radio-opaque.

There could be many reasons for the poor performance and it may only take a "minor" production change to address that. Samsung probably will have to be shamed and embarrassed into correcting it, since they apparently don't have the pride to fix it.

So let's all make up t-shirts that say "Korea must be closer to heaven, because Samsung GPSes can't reach the sky from anyplace else."
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Old October 31st, 2010, 12:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I've got a GPS antenna on top of both vehicles. I remember the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the GPS when the iQue made its debut. I just bought the antennas and made it a nonissue. I'd love to be able to plug in an antenna and see if it would solve the GPS issue at least in the car - where I'd use it the most.
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Old October 31st, 2010, 01:16 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I wonder if it's possible to have a GPS antenna that then can transmit its signal to your phone wirelessly? I seem to remember add-on cellular antennas back in the day that did not require a wired connection to your phone. That, or perhaps the crack is particularly sweet this afternoon.
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Old October 31st, 2010, 05:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I wonder if it's possible to have a GPS antenna that then can transmit its signal to your phone wirelessly? I seem to remember add-on cellular antennas back in the day that did not require a wired connection to your phone. That, or perhaps the crack is particularly sweet this afternoon.
Bluetooth GPS Antenna.
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Old October 31st, 2010, 06:39 PM   #15 (permalink)
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on the Captivate, I'm not sure how that would be used but may be an option to have decent working GPS on the phone.
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Old November 1st, 2010, 09:56 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Note that that's not just an antenna-- it's a whole separate GPS receiver.
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Old November 1st, 2010, 09:58 AM   #17 (permalink)
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on the Captivate, I'm not sure how that would be used but may be an option to have decent working GPS on the phone.
I believe you go to "Settings->Applications->Development" and check the "Allow mock locations" button. Then the external GPS unit can feed its data to the phone over bluetooth, and the phone will use that data instead of its internal GPS. Have not tried this myself, but that's my understanding.
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Old November 1st, 2010, 09:10 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I wonder if it's possible to have a GPS antenna that then can transmit its signal to your phone wirelessly? I seem to remember add-on cellular antennas back in the day that did not require a wired connection to your phone. That, or perhaps the crack is particularly sweet this afternoon.
Search for "Re-radiating antenna"
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Old November 1st, 2010, 09:57 PM   #19 (permalink)
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"I wonder if it's possible to have a GPS antenna that then can transmit its signal to your phone wirelessly?" Once it transmits, it isn't just an antenna. I suspect a "reradiating antenna" would be like one of the magic passive antennas they used to give away that you stick on the back of your phone to make it work better. (Snake oil, since you can't get any signal gain that way, without adding power.)

Once you start with magic antennas, you might as well spend $25-50 and buy a Bluetooth GPS, a complete GPS "in a stick" that transmits to your phone via Bluetooth. About $50 will buy a 3rd-generation SirfStar like that, but isn't that a waste, buying a whole new GPS because the one in the phone doesn't work? That's how you add GPS to a ten year old cell phone that never had it.
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Old November 1st, 2010, 10:11 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Back on the original topic, where would one get an antenna with an mpx connector? I'm not that familiar with antenna connectors, but out in the rural areas here I'd be willing to give it a try.
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Old November 2nd, 2010, 07:27 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Gilsson is the manufacturer I've always used.
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Old November 2nd, 2010, 09:25 AM   #22 (permalink)
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So is MPX a mistype for MCX? If so, that would seem to indicate that the connector is a GPS antenna connector, right?

Sorry if I'm making this confusing, I don't really know much about antenna connection standards.
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Old November 2nd, 2010, 12:56 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Jeremy, look around for anyplace selling cell phone antennas. See what connector is on the cable, it will probably be an "FME" connector. (Male, female, I don't recall offhand which.) Then if you're lucky the same place will sell mating FME-to-MCX connectors, either a pigtail or a metal adapter. A right-angle pigtail so it can lay flat against the back of the phone would be best.

And yes, these are the standard "GPS external antenna" connector. Mainly because of the frequency and cable characteristics involved, nothing to do with GPS except that it uses a similar frequency and cable to what cell phones use. Samsung could have used FME or other connectors on the phone, or like Apple, none at all.<G>
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Old November 2nd, 2010, 08:05 PM   #24 (permalink)
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So is MPX a mistype for MCX? If so, that would seem to indicate that the connector is a GPS antenna connector, right?

Sorry if I'm making this confusing, I don't really know much about antenna connection standards.
I will reiterate for the sake of saving you some money. I am an engineer with a very large connector manufacturer. Not a company like Gilsson but one that actually makes the connector. I can tell you with 100% certainty that the connector in question is not any standard interface. This includes MCX, MMCX, FME and all other standard interfaces listed on Gilsson.

I would recommend going the Bluetooth route. The cost is about the same and it is much more likely to work. Otherwise you are likely to end up with a big pile of antennas, none of which will mate to your phone.
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Old November 2nd, 2010, 09:23 PM   #25 (permalink)
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"I can tell you with 100% certainty that the connector in question is not any standard interface. "
Except, Samsung support says it is MCX. If it is not MCX, what is it?

The "bluetooth route" would be to replace the internal GPS with an external functioning one. The antenna connector and external cellular antennas has nothing to do with that. The purpose of the antenna connector (assuming that Samsung wasn't mistaken about what it is) is to improve cellular service. Nothing to do with GPS.
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Old November 2nd, 2010, 09:59 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Yeah, I already have a garmin 1450, so if I'm going to use an external GPS, might as well just stick to the one designed for the road. Improving the cell reception is definitely my biggest concern. There are towers 7, 9, and 11 miles away. I can only text outdoors or near a window. Obviously, anything external is going to be a bit cumbersome, but I might be willing to live with it on occasion.

That being said, my Captivate has much better reception than other phones I've owned. I'm very happy with it, considering what I have to work with.
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 10:52 AM   #27 (permalink)
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"There are towers 7, 9, and 11 miles away." Your phone should be able to work with those. The problem is that all cell phones work based on what is called the "FM Capture effect". That is, the tower locks on to (captures) the xx strongest signals, and whenever a stronger signal comes in, it knocks off the weakest one. So if your local tower is able to handle 100 calls at the same time, and you are the weakest signal, along comes someone on the highway, 101st caller<G>, gets closer to the tower, stronger signal, and bam you are knocked off the air, your call gets dropped.
Doesn't matter how clear your call was--a stronger signal knocks you off once the tower reaches capacity.

Check out Antennaworld (as usual, dot com) they have been in the real world of marine/aviation/cell antenna business for a long time and have some good stuff, as do a couple of other places. With those distances I would go with a yagi, which has to be pole mounted. If Samsung is right about that being an MCX connector...they probably can make up the right cable for you, custom, if they don't have a pigtail for it.

If you don't want to be tied to an antenna near a window (long cables kill the signal, so you want a short antenna cable) the next step up is about $300-350, which is to get a "repeater". That's a cigar-box sized radio. It gets mounted outside and high, with an antenna like the yagi, and then it acts like your own personal local cell tower, so your cell phone has a clear strong signal within 100' or so of the box.

This is not the "picocell" or "femtocell" that the cellular companies are selling now, it doesn't connect to the internet or your phone line. It is a two-way booster that stays completely on the cellular system, and will work for an cell phone near it, as long as they are the same frequency. The cheaper ones do not have full power, the real ones probably won't be under $300.
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