Re-installed internal antenna wires to WF card and now low reception

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by Zepp, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. Zepp

    Zepp MDL Member

    Mar 7, 2010
    103
    4
    10
    #1 Zepp, Aug 25, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
    Hello all...

    Acer 4530 laptop with internal Wifi card has two antenna wires connected to it by gold snap-on connectors, one black wire, one white. Always worked great. My router is not 15 feet away, so always get full 5-bar signal.

    Yesterday the mouse button on the track pad stuck in the down position so had to disassemble the entire laptop to fix that.... all components had to come out, including the Wifi (cause there are screws under all of them that hold the covers on).

    So when I reassembled I had trouble getting those connectors to snap back on to the Wifi and was frustrated by that point and used needle nose to try to get them to snap in.

    Well now my wifi only shows 1-2 bars and even petered out last night to no signal, so obviously the antennas are not working right. (Yes, the router was working and even turned off/on to make sure and my other computers connect.) I tried re-connecting the antenna wires several times and they LOOK like they're making good contact, so.... I'm starting to wonder if the other ends of them -- I believe they are taped to the back of the LCD ? -- came loose and are not attached where they belong or something....

    Any ideas? I want my full signal strength back! TIA
     
  2. Michaela Joy

    Michaela Joy MDL Crazy Lady

    Jul 26, 2012
    3,716
    4,053
    120
    You may have to disassemble the unit to see if the wires are actually on correctly. Are they coax? If so, check to see if you mangled the center pin on one or both of the wires. Was(were) the other end(s) connected to something? It's normal practice -not- to ground both sides of a shield, but in this case, they may have been connected to another spot.

    I haven't worked on this particular laptop, but that's what I'd check.

    Do you have the service manual? Usually you can download it from the manufacturers site.

    Just some of my thoughts. I hope it helps. :)
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. Zepp

    Zepp MDL Member

    Mar 7, 2010
    103
    4
    10
    #3 Zepp, Aug 25, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
    (OP)
    Thanks Michaela... I am not sure if they are coax as I am not that familiar with antenna wires and they are so darn tiny... but I will look closer. I believe the other ends are taped to the back of the LCD but when I disassembled it I was working on the mouse and had no reason to check the antennas... so I guess I will take the LCD apart again to make sure they did not become dislodged. But I have had to take the LCD apart like 6 times (replaced one LCD, then the replacement failed after 1 yr, then the RMA was bad, so had to get a second RMA...) and this was just a couple months ago. And I can tell you this laptop, as much as I love it, is not made to take apart 5 and 6 times... yesterday two of the little threaded barrels that are connected to the lid and allow you to secure the LCD frame screws just broke off in the process of unscrewing the screws. So I had to secure that corner of the lid to the bezel with duct tape.... and now 24 hrs later I have to undo that all again and risk breaking more threaded barrels!

    But I do think I need to rule that out.... however I have little confidence that's it.

    Oh, and yes I downloaded the service manual yesterday but aside from the order in which to disassemble, there wasn't any detail about the antenna wires... basically just said "take them off the card with tweezers" and that's it.
     
  4. Zepp

    Zepp MDL Member

    Mar 7, 2010
    103
    4
    10
    Hey Michaela, you got me on the right track and I fixed it, so thanks. It was a stupid error on my part. I never had a reason to look at antenna wires before and had no idea some were coax.... and when I disassembled the laptop I took so many things apart, I didn't realize I had pulled those wires off the tiny little coax connectors on the card... so when I reassembled I stupidly pushed each wire's connector into the gold hole on each side of the card, which they snapped into perfectly, thinking that's where they belonged, not knowing they were coax wires! So I when I opened it back up to look at it again with your "coax" words in mind, I recognized the tiny coax connectors on the card and saw what a dumb thing I did! Connected them where they belong and we're back in business. D'oh!

    Thanks a bunch -
     
  5. Michaela Joy

    Michaela Joy MDL Crazy Lady

    Jul 26, 2012
    3,716
    4,053
    120
    Glad I could be of help. :)
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...