Safe to run WRT3200ACM without antennas?

This is a simple question but may have an answer both in software and hardware. I am tired of the WiFi performance of my WRT3200ACM so I finally decided to buy another AP for the WiFi part of it, otherwise this device is a great guy. Now to my question. I'm aware some equipment may take damage being ran without antennas, specially if it has powerful amplifiers. How safe is it to run this router without antennas? Consider also that I am planning on turning the WiFi off. It would be more convinient to take them off but I also want to be able to get the best performance out of its WiFi if I ever decide to use it again.

leave the antennas on, disable the radios in openwrt ?


For what it is worth, i run mine without the antennas quite frequently. Both with wifi disabled and enabled, as it is my main test router (currently).
Still seems to work fine.

I'm sure i've seen advice saying not to, but my personal anecdote says it has been ok (so far...)

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I'm just guessing there is no way to know how this has affected you? I'd guess they would not just stop working but that performance may dip.

This is the safest for sure. It would just be more convenient to take them off. If I'm not sure its a good idea they will have to stay on, hence me asking here. And I'm curious to know of course.

There are 50 ohm RP-SMA terminators (resistors), basically a cap to screw on - but still, the safest option (in terms of SWR matching) is to keep the original antennas attached.


This might actually feel like the better option together with disabling the radio in software.

I have terminating resistors mounted instead of antennas. It is usually pretty easy for a transmitter to burn itself out if it do anything without antennas or terminator resistor attached since the transmitting wave is reflected back in to the receiver.

The general problem with wifi equipment is that it is reverse center pin so you will need a sma polarity shift adaptor if you want to mount a terminating resistor.

I'll buy some of these. Do you use these on the same router? And if so, do you do so because you don't know for sure the transmitter is off when turned off in software or are you just cautious.

Use them mostly because I don’t know if the boot test system activate the transmitters or only flash the LED for fun which seems to be hardwired to the transmitters.

I think it is sound to follow the led status indication in this case as you are doing.

Maybe. The thing with transceivers is that if they transmit without proper termination the energy will reflect back to the receiver and fry it sooner or later.

I once tried using the wifi led to indicate other things but every time the LED lit up a kernel radio transmitter error was printed in the log. So the wifi led are very hardwired to the radios.

But nowadays my old wrt3200acm’s are only my development ginny pigs so the wifi radios wellbeing is not really a priority anymore. So the terminating resistors are mostly left where they are mounted from the time that this device was my operational router.

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