MacBook Pro WiFi external antenna & chipset thread

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by snak-pak, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. snak-pak macrumors newbie

    snak-pak

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    #1
    I've been looking at the WiFi card in the MacBook Pro... looks like dual connectors for the antenna that goes into the hinge of the monitor. I don't thing it's entirely uncommon to find cards that have two connectors for the antenna anymore. What would be interesting to know is how well the antenna would work if only one side was connected... and the other went to an external antenna jack. Relevant disassembly pic here:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/Reviews/hardwareandnews/mbp1520/mbp1520-Pages/Image15.html

    I am a WiFi nut, and would like to add a connector jack to the MacBook Pro to enable an external antenna to be plugged in. From what I can see in the pictures, it should be possible and not too difficult. Has anyone undertaken a project like this yet? We should document our efforts. This could be a really cool addition to the MacBook Pro, if the connector is drilled into the aluminum case in a safe and tasteful manner.

    Second, I am trying to nail down the WiFi chipset used, and whether it will support Monitor Mode. This is a different issue from using an external antenna, but they are related for those people who do network auditing or penetration testing for a living. A quick search revealed:

    http://wifinetnews.com/archives/cat_chips.html

    Sound like that mysterious little silver Airport card might have either Atheros or Broadcom chips. If anyone knows if monitor mode is possible with either of these chipsets, please let us know. I have not looked into these chipsets at all yet, hoping that others might already know the answer. Not sure where to find other people with similar interests to mine, but I guess here is as good a place as any.

    A third option would be to use a WiFi ExpressCard/34 with an external antenna jack, but I cannot find any WiFi ExpressCards on the market yet, never mind ones with external antenna connectors. If you know of a new product release that fits the bill, please add it to this thread.

    Thanks,

    snak-pak
     
  2. NeuronBasher macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    #2
    Firstly, you're insane if you drill into a brand new MBP while it's still under warranty.

    Second, let us know how it goes, I'm curious as heck. I don't mind one bit living vicariously through those who are crazy enough to do things like this to their $2k+ machines. :)
     
  3. snak-pak thread starter macrumors newbie

    snak-pak

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    #3
    waiting for the warranty to expire

    You're right, I should wait until the warranty expires (at least!) before I crack the machine open. The puny 90-day warranty on such an expensive machine is not a very long time to wait. Apple's warranty is brutal.

    I don't mind drilling a small hole in the side of the machine after the warranty is up, provided I can do it properly - ideally, one should use a drill press, and catch the filings carefully. Plus, the WiFi jack must be securely connected to the aluminum case when finished.
     
  4. NeuronBasher macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    #4
    The warranty is 1 year. The 90 days is just the free Applecare phone support. After the 90 days, if you call and the issue is not a hardware issue, they can bill you for the support call, but you hardware is still completely covered for 1 year.
     

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