Wierd Wireless problem solved

I have a Macbook Pro and use it mainly wireless - unless doing large file movement, then I connect via copper.

Until recently I had no problems with my wLan and neither had other people using my wireless network. I then started to get disconnections on my macbook - pretty regular and also noted the signal had gone down to almost nothing (was about 27% where I normally use it in the bedroom (Wireless router is downstairs).

It turned out to be an X-Pad - for those of you who don't know, it is for sitting your notebook on so that you can use it on your knee without getting burnt legs. It's properties according to the manufacturers is to dissapate heat.

Does a great job, but also causes wireless signal loss - whatever is in the 'heat' pads. Strange thing it does not have the same effect on my wifes Toshiba??

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Antenna location??


Reply to
Larry Finger

The 17" MacBook Pro has two antennas, both in the LCD display section. It's rather improbable that the x-pad would shield the antenna unless your MacBook Pro has some other antenna arrangement, possibly in the base. Open it up and look inside:

This might also be of interest:

As for your wife's Toshiba, the antenna location can be determined once you disclose the model number.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Thanks for the useful information. My Macbook pro is a C2D, 15" 2.16ghz, the wifes Toshiba is a A100-338. I'll grant you it's a strange problem and I like you suspect the antenna will be in the same place as your 17".

I've now been using my MBP for 3 days without the X-Pad and not a dropped connection. I'll try using it again and see if the signal loss comes back - very strange, but thanks again; interesting links, but not brave enough to start taking my MB apart :-)

Reply to

Clive hath wroth:

I couldn't find anything on the A100-338 but found this on the A105 series:

The black and white wires showing in "step 14" are the two antenna coax cables going from the MiniPCI card on the bottom, to the antennas inside the LCD display section. Also see "step 11" for where the coax cables go. You can just barely see one of the white colored antennas in the enlarged image in "step 6" near the top right:

Putting an x-pad under the laptop isn't going to affect the wireless performance.

However, some variations of the 15" MacBook Pro is quite different from the 17". The antennas are built into the display hinge clutch area near the base of the LCD display. In my never humble opinion, this is a terrible location and will probably be affected by the x-pad. It will also be affected by just about everything on the table. In the previous Powerbook, the antennas were on either side of the display, but fairly low toward the hinge.

I've never ripped apart a 15" MacBook Pro, but I have had some entertainment dealing with range and performance issues. We were in a local pizza dive after a radio club meeting and most everyone dragged in their laptops. The pizza dive did not have wireless, but there was a rather weak but usable hot spot nearby. Everyone's laptop could connect except the 15" MacBook. The owner demonstrated that if he stood the laptop on end (with hinges pointed upwards), it would work. Flat on the table, it just wouldn't work. He also demonstrated with KisMac how directional the 15" MacBook seemed to be on the table. With the back of the laptop point in the general direction of the hot spot, it would barely hear something. Pointed in any other direction, it was comatose. I wasn't impressed.

If you've never done it before, it's a fairly messy proceedure. Take lots of photographs so you know how things looked before you ripped it apart. I've posted a few of my tear down photos, mostly so customers can see what's really involved in fixing their sardine can like laptop. For example:

I also have a trick where I take a photo of the top and bottom, print the photo roughly 1:1, and place the printed photos on styrofoam pads. As I remove various screws and parts, I push them through the photo in their corresponding locations. This way I can put the original screws back in the correct holes.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

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