Question Adding an external WiFi antenna to Virgin Media Hub 3 ?

May 10, 2022
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Hi, I would like to add external antenna to my virgin media hub 3. I have seen videos where people have added antenna to hub 2 but I don’t know if anyone has done that on hub3.
I opened the hub 3 and it has integrated antennas on the motherboard and I can’t recognise the connector on the motherboard. It is not rp-sma pigtail as the connector on the motherboard is square and rp-sma is circular. Any help will be much appreciated.
 
They are going to make it hard on you so they don't have issues with the license they have with the FCC and other similar organization in the world.

They have to ensure that their equipment does not put out more than the maximum effective power. The whole reason they even have RP-SMA connectors was to discourage people from hooking up common large radio antenna. It didn't work so well because there are many illegal antenna being sold with RP-SMA.

Are you even sure those are antenna connectors. Many of the on board antenna are simple copper traces on the motherboard. I suspect if there is a connector it is not standard on purpose.

In the end you will find it makes very little difference. The radio amplifier chips are designed to function with antenna with certain gain. You can to some extent put larger antenna on but at some point it makes no difference. Mostly the problem is you might get more output power but on the receive side a bigger antenna also means you are receiving more interfering signal and since the end device is still output the same power. At some point all the extra noise is going to override the signal you want. You would have to put bigger antenna on both ends and you still have the issue that the increase the noise they receive.
 
May 10, 2022
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If you look at this video (
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Em9VHulGR0
) of virgin media hub 3 teardown, at 8:09 in the video you can see the connector close to the antenna. It looks like a rp-sma connector but it is square instead of circular like rp-sma.
I am novice but even if the connector (if it is a connector) is a non-standard one, would it be difficult to add an external antenna.
Many thanks!
 
Could be a test port used when they manufactured the board.

This is your problem. This is what the spec says from the FCC and this device is complaint. This is actually a legal thing they can get sued by the government if they violate it.
"§ 15.203 Antenna requirement.
An intentional radiator shall be designed to ensure that no antenna other than that furnished by the responsible party shall be used with the device. The use of a permanently attached antenna or of an antenna that uses a unique coupling to the intentional radiator shall be considered sufficient to comply with the provisions of this section. The manufacturer may design the unit so that a broken antenna can be replaced by the user, but the use of a standard antenna jack or electrical connector is prohibited."


I am not sure what you think you can accomplish. The device puts out the maximum legal power already. It will be far easier to buy a inexpensive router/ap that has external antenna and use it as a AP and turn off the wifi radio in the homehub.

If you intent to use antenna to exceed this limit, ignoring it is illegal, the problem is not the output power. The problem is getting the signal from the end device. By increasing the antenna you have increased the amount of garbage signal it gets and this will overpower the receiver in the chip and make it harder for it hear the signal you want.
 
May 10, 2022
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I didn't realize that it was illegal and I also appreciate your point on increasing the amount of garbage signal. I will rethink my options. I just didn't want to invest in another equipment if I could enhance the available device. To me it seemed like a greener option to upgrade the existing router than to buy another router and consume extra energy around the house.
Many thanks for your input.
 
What I suspect you would find is the cost to have a microwave rated cable made with a end to connect to that connector is not going to be much different than buy a used router that has removable external antenna. Even the more common U.FL to rp-sma cables cost as much as a used router.
 
Good luck on figuring that out. All these variations of "FL" connectors are so similar but incompatible. If I had better eyes so I could actually see them clearly it would be simpler. All I know is they change the ones used on internal wifi cards for laptops when they went from half size pcie to m2
 

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