Fritzbox 7170 external wifi antenna modification, extending the range!
At home I have a Fritzbox 7170 as ADSL modem, the Fritzbox is great, it has a lot of functions but it has a small WIFI-antenna. In most cases, this antenna is sufficient, but for me not. When I was in my garden, I had no WIFI-signal left. Therefore I decided to add an external antenna to the Fritzbox, hoping it will result in a stronger wifi signal in my garden. If you also want to extend the range, first check the settings of your router that it is transmitting with 100% power, mostly these values are set at less than 100%.
First thing to do is to order an antenna and an internal connection cable, I bought the items from Ebay (China), search for Gold U.FL to RP-SMA SMA WiFi antenna Pigtail cable UFL and Portable Desktop 2.4G WIFI 14DBI Panel Antenna, total amount of cost including shipping was less than €20,-
Step 1 - Open the Fritzbox
Open the case of the Fritzbox, it has no screws, but is hold together with some clips. You can push them away using the holes on the backside using a small screwdriver. Be careful, if you break the clips you have to use tape to hold the cases together.
Step 2 - Remove the original WIFI Antenna
The original wifi antenna can now removed, it is hold to the case using clips. Be careful when disconnectiung the coax-cable with connector from the PCB.
Step 3 - Rework the plastic rear panel
Step 4 - Connect the new cable
Step 5 - Connect the antenna to the Fritzbox
Step 6 - Results
I measured the signal strength before and after using my Samsung Nexus S Phone with the tool Network Info II v0.5.5. Before I had a signal strength of -85dBm, now it's -77dBm, 8dBm gain with 54MBps connection! Now I can surf the internet in the garden, lying in the sun and drinking a beer, cheers!