Pi Zero W uFL antenna mod

Here is my take of a Raspberry Pi Zero W with a uFL connector added to it. This allows you to have an external antenna for added range. It was difficult but fairly easy with the right tools and good eyes. With just a hot air rework station on high heat and low fan. I used the low fan to prevent the 0 ohm resistor from blowing away. I heated and removed the resistor. Then added a very small amount of solder paste to the uFL pads and the one pad for the 0 ohm resistor. With the resistor out of the way I laid the uFL connector down and increased my fan speed to re-flow the solder paste. Once it started to take, I then turned my fan speed down. I placed my 0 ohm resistor back on the board just rotating it 45 degrees from its original placement.

I will say having a microscope or magnifying glass would have been nice, but I was able to pull it off without it. If I were to do more than 1 at a time it would be a must. After the re-flow and it cooled down I tested it with my multi-meter in continuity to make sure I didn’t short anything out.

With how small everything is I wasn’t able to get a good picture of the resistor rotated 45 degrees, but Brian Dorey’s website has a very nice closeup. When I got my first Pi W I saw the uFL pads. After seeing them I knew I was going to have to try it. Doing a few google searches online I found a hackaday post that referenced Brian’s page. He has some nice images check out his site below.

http://www.briandorey.com/docs/2017-03-04-raspberry-pi-zero-w-external-antenna-mod/03-connector-fitted-close.jpg

Here is a picture of mine with the uFL to SMA and then the SMA antenna.

This is my signal strength to my AP not to far away. This mod is overkill for what I needed for this project. I just wanted to see if I could do the mod.

Here are 2 screenshots the left one is from the Pi and the other is from my android Samsung s7. Note the few extra APs on the Pi.

Sources:
http://www.briandorey.com/post/Raspberry-Pi-Zero-W-external-antenna-mod
http://hackaday.com/2017/03/07/adding-an-external-antenna-to-the-raspberry-pi-zero-w

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