Wiki: adding new dropdown values: internal antenna

I suggest
adding new dropdown values: internal antenna

Count: ?,-,1,2,3,4,5,67,8
Plugs: ?,-, IPEX MHF2¹, Hirose MS-156², Murata SWG MM8030-2610², unknown
? Means unknown if plugs available
unknown means plug available, but unknown plug
¹ antenna plugs
² antenna soldered, test plug

for possible using pigtails to sma-rp

see frixtender-dot-de/ipex_u-fl-und-hirose_ms-156/ for plug pictures

1 Like

It's a lot of work to make changes to the "Device Page" descriptions. I'm not worried about adding a field to the template - that's a couple minutes work. But to be valuable, that field needs to be updated for most of the devices that OpenWrt supports. That takes a lot of time/work.

So I would ask you to be specific about your request:

  • How would you use the information in that field?
  • How would it change the way you use OpenWrt?

Thanks.

If someone want to buy a router...
...in my special case for freifunk...
And... Hmm what about fritzbox... FB4040...?
Yes...
Performance... Good... Ram... Good, flash... Good...
And what about antenna.. jeah, built-in...

  • what -
    Hmm no external... No external plug...

So if I see, what is possible to plug a external antenna, maybe with directional antenna?

If the information is in this table I can say...
No, it's only a test plug, it's too small to me...
Or
Okay, before I flash, and mount it on the wall, I should buy the right pigtails, and how many...
And maybe some routers have no internal plugs... They have to have a very tiny soldering iron and a very calm hand...

For using as a dumb router, antenna information isn't necessary, but with this information you know before you open the case, before you buy one, if and how difficult to plug a antenna.

If I'd not point your question... German is my first language, and I'm not using very often English...

Disclaimer: I have no personal experience with the specific case of the AVM Fritz!Box 4040.

Internal- or external antennas do not equal bad- or good range. My best (longest range) devices actually have internal (integrated) antennas (some of the pretty good ones even PCB antennas) - and with 802.11ax devices you barely see external antennas (even less detachable ones), simply due to the sheer number of antennas required (8-12 is common on high-end devices) and technical reasons (more on that later).

Legally speaking, replacing the antennas of your devices (with a different model) voids its FCC/ CE certification - so you aren't allowed to do so. But let's focus on the non-legal side of it.

Since 802.11ac (theoretically already 802.11n, but there this generally didn't work anyways), MIMO (with 802.11ax, Mu-MIMO in particular) is an important aspect of achieving high throughput (and also good range). For (Mu-)MIMO (multiple spatial streams) to work, antenna orientation and polarization is critical, so your idea to use directional antennas (here we're in deep black legal waters) on a 'normal' device (not fine-tuned for this mode of operation) goes straight out of the window, as performance loses and does even affect basic functionality.

Technically, it's quite difficult to get half-decent pigtails or antennas as a mere mortal looking for single-digit quantities, especially for 5 GHz or 'dual-band' ones. In many cases the stated technical specifications (5 GHz in particular) are just a blatant lie to begin with and leave you with worse results than stock antennas (MIMO issues aside).

Economically it's not really a viable position either, let's assume 5 EUR/ USD for a pigtail and another 5 EUR/ USD per antenna (might work for 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz will be more - and/ or crap at the same time, but taking this as an average still works - with multi-plexed 'dual-band' antennas you're in a world of hurt to find matching ones)[0]. For your 'low-end' example of a Fritz!Box 4040 with two 2x2 802.11ac/ wave2 radios this would already amount to ~40 EUR/ USD (plus shipping) - for mid-tier devices (two 4x4 radios) you'd be in the 80 EUR/ USD range and for high-end devices exceeding 120 EUR/ USD (4x4 (2.4 GHz) + 8x8 (5 GHz) radios XOR wifi6e/ 6 GHz (4x4 + 4x4 + 4x4; while I have not seen devices with 4x4 + 8x8 + 8x8, these are very much imaginable as well, maybe with 802.11be/ wifi7). Spending a fraction of this on a "better device" will give you better results (without any tinkering at all).

--
[0] the expectation that you will find a 'good' replacement antenna (which would measurably improve your throughput/ range) on the first attempt, without 6-figure measuring equipment and a hf lab, is rather 'optimistic' at best. Even with good (prosumer/ ham radio) measuring equipment you will have to do back- to back tests and probably order from multiple sources for comparison, before finding antennas and pigtails that actually hold up to the vendor's promises.

2 Likes

¹The goal of freifunk is not getting the fastest WiFi, it is to have wifi everywhere.

If I use three or four antenna with sectional gain I can reach more people an area than with a omnidirectional antenna.
Of course I have to limit the power to legal limit, this is a simple addition and subtraction of gain of antenna and cable and power output...
But what you get is the better receiving signals of every sector.
Ok, mimo is near to death, but in case of freifunk...¹

What's the difference between
three omni antenna in the case behind big wall of stone in a plastic case near to processor and other ugly things,
and three omni outdoor antennas on the roof on a 5 feet boom, a quadratic pipe of aluminum on the roof, on balcony...on the edge of the house beyond the wall... beyond the big isolation of the house...

I heard that antenna position is critical in case of mimo...
But why there are routers with external plugs or movable antenna, and how do the mimo box doing it's job, ... Someone measure the antenna position in front of delivering the router?
I don't really know, but I think, the processor change phase and antenna as long until the signals has it's best position.
If I use a outside antenna, there are also many reflection points in a urban environment, I am not very sure that external antennas has a big big fail until...

Aaaand... In my special case of freifunk, normally the gluon/freifunk firmware uses HT/802.11n modulation/mode.

And hmmm is it not legal to change the antenna, but already legal to change the firmware and open the case to install firmware with serial port...

I noticed that (only) the FCC has decided years ago not allowing importing and selling WiFi products that can change the country limitations in software, it must be a non-user-changeable setting.
In this case, to use a alternative firmware, where I can change the country...
Eeeh, ... This was not the thing to discuss...

So many words...
I think the table of hardware shows the hardware in detail and interesting details in case of using openwrt.
And I think it's good to know how many internal antenna and external antennas of every wireless technology was built in.

Less than you might think. 5 ft (1.5 m) feed lines at 2 4 GHz (even more so at 5- or 6 GHz) would be a major problem, without any signal even reaching the antenna (do check the cable specs for the attenuation at those frequencies). The stock antennas behind your brick wall will probably provide a better signal than your 1.5m feed lines would with the best directional antennas in the world (and feed lines apt to span more than ~1 ft have prices in the three figure range per metre).

There is a reason why Freifunk installations generally prefer either the ubiquiti or tp-link outdoor CPEs or put cheap routers (tl-wr821n/ tl-wdr3600) into makeshift outdoor cases, using ethernet as backhaul and not long feedlines for the rf signal.

2 Likes

I made my experience in practice, I have build CPE 210 parallel to wa801 with Yagi and 7 mm coax cable, and can use my android on a hill, 400 m away and 30 m higher... and nobody can find the antenna...at first sight...
It's just easier to install tp wire with POE with new hardware... business installation...

But I am here to show what is possible with hardware, not showing the easiest way...

Which hardware is the best for users choice, and he has to decide... depending on his wishes...and possibility...

And the best way is to give him the information he could be wants to have...
(Sounds a little bit...uuhh... did I say that English is not my mother language?)

For me, Internal antenna and plugs have the same importance than external antenna information...

Thanks for telling more about what information you are looking for. I think that this argues not to add it to the Device Page:

  1. It's extremely specialized information, useful to a handful of people who are doing the kind of work you are.
  2. It's unlikely that the information will be correct. There's a strong chance that people will say, "I have no idea", and leave it blank, or misunderstand what they are supposed to enter and pick the wrong choice (IPEX? MS-156? SWG? sma? I dunno - I'll just pick one...)
  3. As I noted, there's no incentive to fill in all the old device pages, which aren't being actively maintained.

For a project like yours, I would recommend that you make a request to the forum for current hardware with certain kinds of connectors. The people most familiar with their device will likely respond.