External antenna for HP Notebook?

I am new to wireless and want to know if there is an antenna that will work for my hp notebook that has built-in wireless? Or do I need another wireless card? I was told a signal seeker will work? Thanks.

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The HP laptops (and I don't know about notebooks, so maybe it is the same) were not designed to have an external antenna connection; however, there is actually access to the connector through a lid on the bottom. It certainly was not intended for connection to an external antenna and I would not particularly recommend trying it, but it could be done.

PCMCIA wireless cards that have connectors for an external antenna are hard to find. I don't know if any currently manufactured models have a connector.

Hence for many such situations a USB connected wireless is the only reasonable approach. I don't know if and have antenna connectors, but there are at least two other possible ways to use a USB wifi.

Several models come mounted as an integral part of an antenna, which in may be a high gain directional antenna or omni directional antenna. The advantage of course is you can locate them at the end of at least a 15 foot length of USB cable, which is "lossless" (as compared to placing an external antenna that far away, which would be nearly a total loss...). In fact I'd expect almost any of them to work at the end of a pair of tandem connected USB cables, 30 feet or so long, even though that exceeds the USB specs.

A second method with USB is very popular too. Buy one with a very small builtin antenna, and use that to feed a reflector. The reflector can be a waveguide antenna like the popular "cantenna", or something like a parabolic reflector. Other configurations are possible, so let your imagination loose.

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Floyd L. Davidson

Which model HP laptop/notebook and which wireless card?

Most HP Laptops use MiniPCI cards for their wireless. The RF connector is a Hirose u-FL connector. Most cards have two antenna connectors for diversity reception. What I did was sneak a pigtail in through the cooling vents, near the MiniPCI card, and attach it to the

2nd antenna connector. The other end went to a do-it-myself antenna that was attached with double sided tape to the back the display (Hint: use the LCD metal back as a reflector). I did have to drill a small hole in a plastic wall to pass the coax. A big problem was that the coax needed to go around the hinge and therefore tended to dangle in a open loop that gets caught on literally everything. I taped it down to the case, but that really looks ugly. If I had to do it again, I would have drilled the LCD lid, and run the coax through the hinge. However, that was way too much work, and the custome didn't want me drilling his laptop case.

Finding a u-FL pigtail was a problem. I had a few laying around, but they were only about 6" long. Barely long enough for this one job, but not really useful for sneaking through the LCD lid. At this time, I do not have a reliable source of u-FL pigtails. See:

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some hints. Note that the u-FL connector is VERY fragile, will not survive more than a few insertions, and cannot easily be hand assembled.

There was also a web site offering a kit to mount an SMA connector on the back of a laptop. That might not be a bad idea as the external antenna could then be removed. I couldn't find the site.

Omni laptop mount (but lacking a u-FL connector):

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My suggestion would be to get a USB or PCMCIA card, with an external antenna connector, and leave the internal card alone.

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Jeff Liebermann

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has some USB adapters with the antenna removed, or with the antenna used as the radiator in a cantenna setup, and one parabola reflector.

The mini-USB dongle adapter can be used directly on a reflector or in a cantenna setup.

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The mini-USB is $9.99 at CompUSA, so it's cheaper than a commercial antenna, and probably cheaper than the connectors for building your own.

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Check out:

SMC Elite Connect 2.4GHz, 11Mbps Wireless card.

model SMC2532W-B this model has a removeable external antenna with connectors.

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8> I do not have a reliable source of u-FL pigtails. See:

The "Netgate" link on the "Seattle" site is invalid but they still do kits,according to their web-site :-

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