Adding an External Antenna to a Clear Motorola CPEi25150

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Clearwire does not currently offer any modems that have an external antenna port. Coupled with an outdoor directional WiMax antenna, you can greatly improve your connection quality and speed with this modification.


Parts list:
Murata Probe - MXHS83QE3000
- Hot glue
- Outdoor rated SMA cable
- WiMax outdoor antenna

To see high res versions of the images used in this tutorial, go to  http://www.flickr.com/photos/harrisonsand/sets/72157624986954231/

Teacher Notes

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Step 1: Take the Modem Apart.

Use a dull flat object to pry the base of the modem off. I used a butter knife and carefully popped loose the tabs holding it together. Be careful not to destroy your modem's case in the process. After the bottom is off, the board should slide right out.

Image below courtesy of http://www.brooskie.com/.

Step 2: Drill a Hole in the Case.

When you take your board out of the case you should notice two tiny micro-coaxial ports on both the top right and left of the board. The plug on the left receives data, and the plug on the right both receives and transmits data back to the tower. We are going to use the plug on the right to attach our pigtail.

Find where the case lines up with with the port on the right and drill a hole big enough for the pigtail adapter to fit through.

Step 3: Put the Case Back Together and Attach the Pigtail.

Slide the board back into the case, make sure everything is lined up, and snap the bottom back on.

Now you are going to want to find a way to secure the pigtail onto the modem to prevent stressing the connection from the adapter to the board. I cut the corner out of an electrical box, drilled a hole big enough to slide the SMA connecter through and hot glued everything together.

Step 4: Connect Your Antenna

Mount your antenna and point it towards a Clear tower. Run the cable from your antenna to the modem.

Step 5: Results

Before the antenna -
Around 3-4 bars.
WiMAX RSSI: -71 dBm
WiMAX CINR: 21 dB

After the antenna -
Solid 5 bars.
WiMAX RSSI: -49 dBm
WiMAX CINR: 35db

Leave any questions or comments, I plan to update this soon with more information regarding the antenna installation!

1 Person Made This Project!

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7 Discussions

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MaxxSteele

8 years ago on Step 5

Looking to add an external antenna to my new Clear Ispot.
It has 2 of the same connector / test point connectors on the board.
Did you find a pigtail with the MXHS83QE3000 probe to sma or make it up.
Where did you find the MXHS83QE3000 probe.
Thanks.

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hsosumi

8 years ago on Step 5

what external antenna did you use?thanx mike

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harrysandjlongjr27

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

Yes, you can see an improvement in ping speeds. Not anything substantial though. What you are probably going to notice more is the increase in connection quality by removing external interference.

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Phil B

8 years ago on Introduction

This is intriguing. Our CLEAR reception deteriorated in recent weeks. This might be an option I want to consider. But, we have also had a modem need replacement. CLEAR would probably hesitate to replace a modem I had open and drilled, should we run into that problem again. Maybe I could just use the modem outside of its case without drilling.