DIY Wi-Fi antenna adds range to Android mini PCs

Posted by Shane McGlaun

There are a huge variety of affordable Android-powered mini-PCs on the computer market today.

Most of the PCs-on-a-stick boast integrated Wi-Fi and are designed to facilitate the easy streaming of content on your big screen TV along with running apps and playing games. The problem for some users? The Wi-Fi performance of the uber-mini PCs leave a lot to be desired for a number of devices.

As you can imagine, a tiny computer mostly intended for watching streaming video such as Netflix does little good if you can't get a decent Wi-Fi signal.

As such, ArmTvTech forum members MaVE_64 and Dero were prompted to come up with a plan to improve the Wi-Fi range for the MK808 mini PC, which basically entails adding a small external Wi-Fi antenna.

Modding the antenna does require the user to open up the case, remove the existing antenna, and attach a 12 cm length of wire to act as an external antenna. Attaching that piece a wire also requires some soldering skills. As you can see in the image, you have to notch the case to allow the wire to stick out the top of the little PC stick. Liliputing notes the mod is likely to work on other Android minicomputers as well.

Clearly, you need to know your way around the insides of an electronic device well enough to identify the Wi-Fi antenna headers. It would be very easy to destroy the minicomputer by placing solder on the wrong connections or connecting wire incorrectly.