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I would like to connect an external 2.4GHz antenna to an Intel Edison.

According to Mouser, there are different Edison part numbers for different antenna configurations (internal or external). However, the unit I have has both an on-board antenna and an external U.FL. connector:

Intel Edison

I can't find any relevant documentation, so I thought I'd ask here: what are the practicalities of hooking up an external antenna to Intel Edison? Would I need to remove the onboard antenna first? If I don't, what are the downsides of having both antennas connected?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Have you tried their support page? \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Oct 26 '14 at 15:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ Not tried Intel directly (don't have a support relationship with them). Support forums have not been of much use. Documentation is very scarce at the moment (to the point where Intel's description of the part doesn't match the actual part). I am hoping that this is a basic enough question that can be answered without intimate knowledge of the part itself. \$\endgroup\$ – NPE Oct 26 '14 at 17:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ You can just unsolder the black component near the UFL connector to disconnect the onboard antenna. It's most likely a 0R resistor. \$\endgroup\$ – pjc50 Oct 30 '14 at 16:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @pjc50: I've checked, and it is indeed a 0R resistor (thanks!). I am going to experiment with this, but are there any reasons to think that having both antennas connected at the same time would result in worse RX sensitivity than just having an external antenna? \$\endgroup\$ – NPE Nov 1 '14 at 23:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ but be carefull - NEVER - power the WiFI Sender WITHOUT an Antenna at all. \$\endgroup\$ – user65218 Jan 26 '15 at 15:40
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The intel hardware guide says:

The internal antenna versions also have a u.FL connector on the board, but it is only used as a manufacturing test point. Do not connect an external antenna to a board with an internal antenna.

So basically, do not use!

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Although the documentation refers to two different versions, the boards being supplied have both a chip antenna and a U.FL connector. I just used a U.FL to SMA adaptor from ebay and attached an external antenna. It worked just fine, extending the range.

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If you want to use external antenna, you can remove the series resistor on the RF path so it disconnects from the on-board antenna.

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