2 Replies Latest reply on Apr 8, 2012 3:38 AM by VulcanTourist

    Need advice placing third 802.11n laptop antenna


      Is anyone familiar with laptop antenna placement for 450mbps (dual band) 802.11n?


      As an upgrade for an 802.11g laptop, I bought an Intel WiFi Link 5300 802.11n Mini PCIe adapter that supports three antennas and maximum 450mbps, presumably using both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. Initially I just installed the adapter and connected the two existing antennas, which allows a 300mbps data rate, but now I have the third antenna here ready to be installed... if only I can determine where best to locate it.


      There are three existing antennas behind the LCD panel: two for the previous 802.11g and the third for Bluetooth. The 802.11g antennas are located along the top edge of the panel, about an inch offset from the left and right margins. The Bluetooth antenna is at the bottom edge, offset from the left margin by about 4 inches. It's a 17 inch Toshiba model, to give you an idea of overall dimensions.  I can of course take a photo if more detail is needed.


      Can anyone suggest a proper placement for the third 802.11n antenna, or point me to specifications that might hint at it? At the moment I'll be forced to make a dartboard guess. Predictably, Intel Support refused to make any comment on the matter at all "as a matter of policy", so here I am asking the rest of you!





      P.S. To Intel Support and TPTB: I am going to follow through with my intention to install this antenna whether you choose to be helpful or not.  I have already installed the adapter in an "unsupported" device, which you also had no power whatsoever to prevent.  I own the adapter and antenna outright, you cannot wrest them from me, nor can you prevent me from installing them in a device not of your choosing.  Your only control in this situation, your only choice, is whether to assist me in achieving the best result reasonably possible (without liability) or be the selfish brat on the block and take your ball home and sulk because the conditions of the game weren't to your liking.  So far you've taken the ball home; care to reconsider?

        • 1. Re: Need advice placing third 802.11n laptop antenna (now with photo)

          I didn't think it would be all that difficult for someone with better RF background than I have to make an educated guess of good placement.  Is there no visitor here with that background, or is it a too-many-variables issue?  Would a photo fill in a few?  The Insert Image function here is disabled, but here's a URL to a photo:


          This is a photo of the area behind the LCD panel, showing the existing antennas, aluminum shielding(?), and the new antenna coiled in the center.  If the aluminum is present as RF shielding, why doesn't it interfere with the antennas?  Is the square copper plane portion of each antenna not an "active" region that gathers signal?  Is it only the zig-zag portion of each antenna, where the lead connects, that actively gathers signal?  I ask that because if the aluminum is RF shielding, then it should be the areas not covered by it that would allow signal pickup, and the zig-zag portion of each antenna is in fact located so that it's just outside the shield.  The Bluetooth antenna is also partially inserted underneath it, so that the whole of it is exposed to the outside, although that isn't true for the 802.11 antennas.

          My best guess so far, without any more knowledgeable guidance, is that I need to lift up or cut away a portion of the aluminum shield and mount the third 802.11 antenna similar to the others, perhaps along the lower edge.  Is the specific front-back orientation significant?  I'd still appreciate an educated guess from someone else before I commit.

          • 2. Re: Need advice placing third 802.11n laptop antenna (now with photo)

            I couldn't wait any longer for a good Samaritan to appear.  I replied upon my own limited judgment and installed the antenna.  I don't yet know if it will enable the maximum bandwidth as I hoped.


            Having seen all the unanswered requests for help and advice in this forum, it's apparent that Intel does not consider the people who post here to be customers at all, thus not worthy of any allocation of human resource.  Considering the blunt "policy" rejection I received when I contacted Support directly, what I observe here isn't surprising.  Anyone who dares to buy an aftermarket Intel WiFi interface card with the intention of *gasp* performing an unauthorized upgrade is more akin to a leper, pirate, or criminal than a customer.


            A leper is precisely how I was treated by Support.  That person was taught and trained to behave so callously; it is very unlikely it was that person's usual voluntary behavior.  The decision-makers directing Intel's policies and employee training are directly responsible for that person's bad behavior.  Putting an end to that unethical and irresponsible corporate behavior is one of the goals of the "Occupy" movement.  I certainly hope that movement succeeds, so that no one else who needs help with a legally purchased Intel product is treated like a leper.