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Wrtsl54gs Antenna

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Wireless Routers' started by Darryl Licht, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. Darryl Licht

    Darryl Licht LI Guru Member

    Hi fellow tweakers!

    I am about to embark on a mission to upgrade the performance and functionality of my WRTSL54GS router... I plan to first upgrade the stock "fixed" antenna to the same connector type as most WRT's; the female RP TNC.

    Here is a pic of what I think Im going to order:[​IMG]

    I searched the forums but only found "talk" of doing the mod... no actual reports. The side of the unit where the fixed antenna is located looks like an ez mod with my trusty dremel. Here are pics from the autopsy done by Toxic:
    and a close up:

    Has anyone done this mod? If so can you give details and results. If not, why hasnt someone tried this? Pros/Cons?

    Also, I am good with soldering... just havnt done anything with RG174U coax b4... any words of advice? Should I cut the current antenna wire, b4 I solder on the bulkhead? If so what is the optimum length?

    After I have modded the antenna connection, I am going to get a decent 7-10 db ant... any suggestions here?

    Finally I will upgrade my firmware and OS to one of the Linux based OS's... I believe it's DDWRT? or what do you all use and why? Do any of these alternate OS's provide for the USB storage function now? Last time I had checked the SL54GS was too new and the function had not been added.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Darryl Licht

    Darryl Licht LI Guru Member


    I cannot believe nobody has anything to say... cmon guys!

    Over 34 views and not a single comment!!!

    You gotta have some input for me!!!:eek:
  3. stangri

    stangri LI Guru Member

    I used to run X-wrt on my SL, but now that the new version of OpenWRT (Kamikaze) is released and X-wrt for it is not, I don't know what would I have run.
    As far as the antenna goes -- never actually *needed* to replace it, although it does sound like a cool mod.
  4. Darryl Licht

    Darryl Licht LI Guru Member

    Keep them coming...

    OK... 1 outta 53 aint bad. Thx stangri!

    Cmon you all must have tried this! None of you are happy with a stock router or you wouldnt be here!
  5. vincentfox

    vincentfox Network Guru Member

    I did those autopsy photos by the way, not Toxic.

    Anyhow, I am asking around trying to find friends with a DEAD WRT unit. So I can desolder one antenna post and use it for the same mod you are about to do. I think having a better antenna is very worthwhile. If you are successful please post a couple of photos.

    I am using OpenWRT. By far the best mod I have done to my SL units was adding a serial console as 99% of the time when you get into a problem you can use that to get out quickly.

    I have a flash-drive on one of my SL units USB port, I just use it for adding some swap space and a little local storage though. The ext3 partition on it is just where I keep some copies of packages and some backup files. I figured out a while ago that as a NAS device it was kinda slow no matter how you tweaked it so I lost interest in using for that.

    Good luck!
  6. Toxic

    Toxic Administrator Staff Member

    I too have no need needed to do this mod. 3rd party firmware has worked well for me also.
  7. Darryl Licht

    Darryl Licht LI Guru Member

    First vincent im sorry for crediting those photos to toxic... it was his name all over the autopsy article!

    I had a dead 54GS unit and I tossed it... never thought of cannibalizing it till I started playing around with my SL54GS... Why in the world didnt Linksys put a RP-TNC connector instead of this fixed P.O.S. antenna???

    My buddy in Phoenix just upgraded his old rtr and is hanging onto it for me... i hope it is a 54GS... dont remember!

    I flashed with Thibor this AM and am quite impressed... boosted my TX signal and my PC in garage (wireless) get excellant RX... never been better that Good before! Im sold!

    What is the reasoning behind clearing NVRAM??? I didnt and it kept all my original settings from Linksys firmware... Username, PW, WAP/WEP keys... nice!

    I am going to autopsy antenna later this week... cant find parts locally so far and dont want to order online if I can avoid it!
  8. Darryl Licht

    Darryl Licht LI Guru Member

    After some thought, a dead WRT will not will not yield you the part you need. They use a RP-TNC connector soldered to the circuit board... dont think you can use the stock WRT54GS mount. We need a bulkhead as I pictured above. We need to cut the silver coax (believe its RG174U) and splice a bulkhead there.

    Dont worry I will post pics as soon as I find all the parts locally!
  9. vincentfox

    vincentfox Network Guru Member

    Every WRT I have seen, have one of the posts connected using a pigtail. Just desolder that one and move it would be my plan. If I don't find one soon I'll order one online. I understand the pigtail needs to be right to avoid impedance issues, you shouldn't just use old speaker wire or something.
  10. Darryl Licht

    Darryl Licht LI Guru Member

    Maybe, maybe not...

    Here is an autopsy photo of the WRT54GS v2.2:


    As you can see the antenna on the left in this photo has the pigtail, the one on the right has none and is soldered directly on the circuit board.

    In this photo you can see the insides of the WRTSL54GS... note the pigtail here...


    What if you were to simply desolder the WRT54GS pigtail and antenna RP-TNC connector and then replace the same in the SL54GS?
    :thumbup: Now that looks like a viable option!:thumbup:
  11. sutil

    sutil LI Guru Member

    thats cool acctually ive done that b4

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