aBUGSworstnightmare
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Paspberry Pi Zero W - adding uFL connector for ext antenna

Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:15 am

Hi there,

first of all: thanks for the latest addition to the Raspberry Pi family: the Pi Zero W is exactly what I was hoping for!

Son't own one yet 'cause they are sold out already, but when looking at the pictures I instantly have two question:

1.) there is a uFL footprint available on the Pi Zero W. Is is allowed to add a connector and use an external antenna with the Pi Zero W?

2.) When will the schematic be released (so I can check if additional modifications where needed for disabling the on-board antenna)?

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jamesh
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Re: Paspberry Pi Zero W - adding uFL connector for ext anten

Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:54 am

I believe that adding an external antennae will invalidate the FCC conformance. On your own head be it!
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Bruny
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Re: Paspberry Pi Zero W - adding uFL connector for ext antenna

Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:11 am

I know it's older topic, but I just wonder what about something like this:
The board supports the selection of on-board chip antenna, or external antenna via u.Fl connector. :o

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HawaiianPi
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Re: Paspberry Pi Zero W - adding uFL connector for ext antenna

Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:21 am

Bruny wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:11 am
I know it's older topic, but I just wonder what about something like this:
Not sure what you are asking. That product has nothing to do with the Pi Zero W.
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Re: Paspberry Pi Zero W - adding uFL connector for ext antenna

Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:57 am

One would think that similar approach can be used to improve next products:
The following two different antenna options are available in the ODIN-W2 series:
  • ODIN-W260 equipped with dual U.FL. coaxial connectors for external antennas. Different types of external antennas are available and can be used.
  • ODIN-W262 equipped with an integrated dual-band antenna
This chapter gives an overview of the different external antennas that can be fitted to the module. This radio transmitter IC: 5325A-0965 has been approved by Industry Canada to operate with the antenna types listed below with the maximum permissible gain and required antenna impedance for each antenna type indicated. Antenna types not included in this list, having a gain greater than the maximum gain indicated for that type, are strictly prohibited for use with this device.

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HawaiianPi
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Re: Paspberry Pi Zero W - adding uFL connector for ext antenna

Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:20 am

Bruny wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:57 am
One would think that similar approach can be used to improve next products:
That's assuming there's a great demand for such "improvements" that justifies the additional expense and certifications.

If I was a betting man, my money would be on, not gonna happen (especially on the $10 Pi0W)!

People need to realise that these things are designed to be as inexpensive as possible and appeal to the needs of most users, not niche groups or individuals. If you want one that does exactly what you need, get the Compute Module and design your own carrier board with everything you want. Or start your own company and make the next "Raspberry Pi killer" that's doomed to fail.

Sorry, but people who ask the Raspberry Pi group to redesign their products to suit the individual's needs kind of make me crazy. At least you were nice about it. The ones that demand it and call the engineers stupid for not doing it make my eyes roll so hard it hurts.

I'm sure if you poke around on google you'll find instructions for adding an external antenna to your Pi0W, but don't hold your breath waiting for RPF/RPT to make a new Pi0 with that feature (there is literally no reason for them to do that).
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thagrol
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Re: Paspberry Pi Zero W - adding uFL connector for ext antenna

Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:19 am

HawaiianPi wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:20 am
Sorry, but people who ask the Raspberry Pi group to redesign their products to suit the individual's needs kind of make me crazy. At least you were nice about it. The ones that demand it and call the engineers stupid for not doing it make my eyes roll so hard it hurts.
I'll second that and add that the ones tha really get my goat are those who go straight into demand/complain mode without trying to fina a work around for themselves. Pin headers for USB 2 to name one (and how long before someone asks for those for USB 3, if they haven't already?).

Frankly, if you want everything handed to you on a plate, the Pi is the wrong platform for you.
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Re: Paspberry Pi Zero W - adding uFL connector for ext antenna

Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:12 am

HawaiianPi wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:20 am
I'm sure if you poke around on google you'll find instructions for adding an external antenna to your Pi0W,
but remamber this mod will invalidate the EMC certifications (FCC, EU and others).
If it then causes interference, expect a visit from the Men in Black.
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Re: Paspberry Pi Zero W - adding uFL connector for ext antenna

Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:41 am

HawaiianPi wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:20 am
Sorry, but people who ask the Raspberry Pi group to redesign their products to suit the individual's needs kind of make me crazy. At least you were nice about it. The ones that demand it and call the engineers stupid for not doing it make my eyes roll so hard it hurts.
People demanding something, calling RPT/RPF and their engineers stupid for not having it, claiming the Pi won't ever be a success without it, are one thing, but people merely saying they believe it would be nice to have this or that are something else.

I don't see why it is so bad to express any desire. I don't see why that drives anyone crazy. Especially when Eben says the RPT/RPF would love to hear what people want in a Pi.

On the Pi 4B Eben explicitly said "I'm going to be fascinated to hear what's wrong with this board".

I am fascinated to know how he'll ever find out when those offering an opinion, making a suggestion, bringing up a criticism, or expressing a desire, are treated as haters, trolls, and worse. The 'if you can't do it yourself you have no right to express any desire or make any criticism' responses are the worst of that.

In this case no one is asking RPF to redesign the board. The pads for a uFL connector are (partly) there, the circuit switching is there. All that's being asked is can those be used ?

The answer is "no", and I don't have a problem with it being "no". But that seems mostly because the Pi is not FCC or CE certified to use it, the boards were not intended for such use. From accounts I have seen it does seem to work if one is prepared to add the connector and link and are willing to act illegally. And I'm pretty sure the ability to attach an external antenna would be there if the RPT wanted to have that.

Being able to attach an external antenna seems a reasonable desire to me. I don't see why asking if one can, or even suggesting it would be nice if one could, is anything but legitimate.

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Re: Paspberry Pi Zero W - adding uFL connector for ext antenna

Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:51 am

I'm with hippy on this, asking in my eyes is good, it shows enthusiasm.

A compact platform with usb headers for connectors seems a fine idea, they're there if people want them, make them solder the headers on, less space but still available. How much cheaper then the actual connector, only RPi would work that out and with the maker community to make hats/add-ons to go with it you gain an extended ecosystem. Great for projects
You see headers all them all the time on PCs, it saves them putting them in the board and they can charge you more than a Pi for a back plate to use them ;-)

Small WiFi antenna connector great idea, cost... to use... to space, no idea.

Again great for makers and you see them on ESP based devices, often used by Makers/home hobby IoT...

I'm not grumpy if they don't, it's their product and the Zero was a challenge and my original came on the good old magazine cover. Made me happy and excited about it.

Why knock propel down for enthusiasm, just because you've heard it all before.
Keep people excited, wanting etc

Leave Eben and his team of skilled engineers to decide what they want to know about and the next challenge.
Or it the Media team want the buzz to continue and kids and adults to try things out so they can show things off, so be it :-)
If bruny thinks she/he has found a novel idea, let them point it out.
Though I've still no real idea what the device does for the PiZero

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Re: Paspberry Pi Zero W - adding uFL connector for ext antenna

Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:10 pm

IMHO adding a connector so that just any antenna could be used would make the RPI ineligible for sales worldwide, as not all countries regulatory institutions would agree the RPI's would pass compliance (radiation) tests with such a connector (and yes I understand some devices have them, but they are only compliant with the antenna that comes with the device, and adding the then needed external antenna(s) increases the price of the PI beyond the $35 barrier).

this discussion has been held several times before and has passed expiration date.

anybody who thinks he can ask for such a thing is kidding himself with wishful thinking.

adding your own antenna connector, (if that is possible) breaks compliance of your device, and you can be held responsible when bad things happen.

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thagrol
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Re: Paspberry Pi Zero W - adding uFL connector for ext antenna

Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:10 pm

bensimmo wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:51 am
A compact platform with usb headers for connectors seems a fine idea, they're there if people want them, make them solder the headers on, less space but still available.
Sadly it isn't that simple.

Would those be in place of the existing USB sockets or in addition to them? If in addition would they be attached to the same USB traces as the existing sockets or would addition USB hardware be needed?

If you don't have addiditonal hardware to support these as seperate USB pots how many people would try to use both the headers and the USB sockets? Quite a few would be my guess given the target market for the Pi. Edit No 2: This has already happened with the USB hubs for the zero(W) that connect via the test points.
How much cheaper then the actual connector, only RPi would work that out and with the maker community to make hats/add-ons to go with it you gain an extended ecosystem. Great for projects
Not needed. There are already HATs that use a USB connection to the Pi. They just use a cable to one of the existing USB sockets. Having headers pins is clearly not a rerquirement for USB connected HATS.
You see headers all them all the time on PCs, it saves them putting them in the board and they can charge you more than a Pi for a back plate to use them ;-)
Not sure that's the reason. It's far more likely to be because some cases have front panel USB ports] and USB connected drive bay devices so the mianboard manufacturer can sell boards to a wider range of PC assemblers than they otherwise could.

Using pin headers as opposed to USB A (or C) female connectors is likely to be cheaper and having these internal to the case is a tidier and safer approach than routing cables out the back of the case to the USB ports on the IO back plate.

Oh, and those header are seperate USB ports to those on the back panel so additional hardware is present to drive them. Plus PC motherboards have way more space than Pi boards for the extra hardware and trqaces.

Lastly, and this is speculation as I have little hard evidence to support it, I doubt that the majority of PC user know or care that these headers exist. Or have ever seen inside the case of a PC.

Edit:
Last time I needed a header connection for USB from a Pi this is how I did it:
IMG_20190706_161857.jpg
IMG_20190706_161857.jpg (187.41 KiB) Viewed 433 times
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Re: Paspberry Pi Zero W - adding uFL connector for ext antenna

Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:49 am

I agree, it was 'in stead of' in my little head.

A shrink to the A form factor sort of thing, but still give USB access.
You can solder to PP on the B series of you want now.
A HAT and a cable don't make it quite as compact.
With the Zero (less so the A iirc, but mainly due to number of users?) many people mentioned ways to tap in to the USB. (Pogo, soldering etc.
I know many of the PC reasons, of course the front ports, but have you seen the price of some of the add-on port boards/cable/risers. (And the little smile at the end).

Some of these compact m-itx boards don't seem to have much room to play with.
Probably more than on the Pi4 though.

Cost saving, dimension saving, no of users like I say no idea.
Quality of USB connection, especially if you tried USB3 (usb2 seems fine with the PP points)

Just pi in the sky thoughts by enthusiastic people though.

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