Introduction: Don't Cut That SDR Antenna Cable
So I decided to check out those cheap SDR dongles......
But after a few hours of YouTube and several downloads later I learned that the antennas supplied with the dongles really are not that great, especially if you don't live in a city. Myself, I live many miles from any town and even more from the nearest radio station. So I got to Radio Shack, and as expected they do not carry the adapter for these devices and I didn't buy one when I bought the dongle. Maybe you won't have to either if you haven't already. So there I was ready to cut the wire, which I really didn't want to do. But I saw that the screw in the antenna base wasn't extended as far as it originally was. <light bulb> (Despicable me)
You'll need a small jewelers or watch repair screwdriver.
Step 1: Exporatory Surgry
Picture 1. Antenna Base, this just needs to be dismantled...
Picture 2 and 3. You can see in picture 2 how the bottom has a cover to it, about 4 o'clock you can see where I started to pull it off, I tried to show the edge in picture 3, but my camera is not good.
The bottom cover is just a thin piece of plastic with a sticky side to it., kinda like tape.
Step 2: Remove the Metal Cover
Picture 1 shows what you will see after you remove the sticky bottom cover. That thing that looks like a battery is actually a magnet.
Picture 2 I am about to use that jewelers screwdriver you see there to carefully pry out the metal cover.
Picture 3 shows what you might see after you remove that metal cover. I say might cause this is the second time I have taken this apart. The first time was to see if the antenna screw was actually connected to the cable. I did notice that the ground wires really did not make very good contact with the metal cover. So I reworked it, I did get a very very very slight improvement.
Picture 4 just shows the inside with the cover out of the way.
Step 3: Remove the Antenna Screw
Picture 1 shows my finger on the antenna screw before giving it a slight push.
Picture 2 shows the screw after the finger push.
Picture 3 is after I pushed the cable into the base. You want to do this to give some slack to the cable inside the base before trying to pull out the antenna screw.
Picture 4 All done, At this point just unsolder the lead connection from the antenna screw, pull the cable out of the base and attach that cable to whatever else you got in mind.
Step 4: Credits
Thanks to my wife for proofreading/editing, sorry about the so so pictures.
We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.