Low Cost 3rd Party G5 AirPort Extreme Antenna

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Hack5190, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. Hack5190, Jan 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016

    Hack5190 macrumors 6502a

    Hack5190

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Stuck on Earth in the USA
    #1
    Included in my recent craigslist purchase were 2 AirPort Extreme cards, but no antennas (of course :(). Rather than try using a safety pin or similar Mickey Mouse © solution I searched the web for an antenna. After laughing at the amazing high price of Apple's "T" antenna I purchased 2 - 3" 90° omni Wireless antenna with a MCX male plug for only $7.00 US.

    [​IMG]

    The antenna is coming via ePacket delivery from ShenZhen, GD, China - estimated delivery is between Jan. 16 and Jan. 30. Watch for an update on quality & performance after I receive and test the antenna.
     
  2. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000

    MultiFinder17

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    #2
    I'm very curious how well this works - my paper clips for Wifi and Bluetooth have been working well enough, but something a little less janky would be wonderful.
     
  3. tdbmoss macrumors regular

    tdbmoss

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    I found that one of those ties that you sometimes get a load of when you buy small plastic bags for freezing food in etc works quite well - they are a thin strip of metal encased in plastic, I just stripped a bit of the plastic off one end and as the metal part is so thin it fitted perfectly in the inner part of the G5's AirPort antenna port (I was too afraid of damaging it with something thicker like a paperclip or a pin). These antennas look great if they fit the G5's port though - the price of the official ones is ridiculous, they seem to cost more than entire G5s cost these days!
     
  4. Hack5190, Jan 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016

    Hack5190 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Hack5190

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Stuck on Earth in the USA
    #4
    Confident enough it will fit to invest $7 :D. The antenna from my RTL-SDR dongle has an MCX male connector and it fits the G5. MCX is an industry standard so unless the ad is wrong about the type of connector used, the question is performance.
     
  5. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816

    gavinstubbs09

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Location:
    NorCal boonies ~~~by Reno sorta
    #5
    Let us know! I actually use a sewing needle in mine and it's loose. Would like a true antenna!!
     
  6. Hack5190, Jan 19, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016

    Hack5190 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Hack5190

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Stuck on Earth in the USA
    #6
    The antenna arrived and I'm happy to report it works good. Not having an Apple 'T' antenna for comparison I used the antenna from my RTL-SDR dongle. The signal strength dropped from 59% to 55% (and the noise increased from 13% to 15%) with the new antenna, not as good but not significant enough to make a noticeable impact on performance. Considering how close the antenna is to the metal case the drop in signal is to be expected.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The below photo shows a comparison of the two antennas (shape and height).

    [​IMG]

    Finally a photo of the new unit installed on my G5.

    [​IMG]

    In summary, for $7.00 US you can't go wrong with these antennas!
     
  7. swamprock macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2015
    Location:
    Michigan
    #7
    I bought a Madcatz gaming adapter (on eBay, for $12) that connects to the ethernet port on my G5. I found that, besides the no 802.11n support of the Airport Extreme card, that even with the T handle antenna, there was just too much noise interference and low signal strength. Now I get n speeds, a great connection to my router, and very little noise. The only con is needing a free outlet to plug the adapter into, but I'll take it :)
     
  8. Hack5190 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Hack5190

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Stuck on Earth in the USA
    #8
    There are several USB wireless adapters available that work. For me the use of a genuine Apple airport card in my G5 without spending more than a beer was the goal.

    Still hoping for a (reasonably priced) Bluetooth adapter to replace the USB dongle - some day. Speaking of, a 4 port USB port card helps solve the issue of available ports ;)
     
  9. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    #9
    Maybe get an early MacBook airport card and use it with this:
    http://www.startech.com/Cards-Adapters/Slot-Extension/PCI-to-MiniPCI-Adapter-with-Bracket~PCI2MPCIB

    I think the pre 2008s are mPCIE
     
  10. Hack5190 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Hack5190

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Stuck on Earth in the USA
    #10
  11. Eriamjh1138@DAN macrumors 6502

    Eriamjh1138@DAN

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    BFE, MI
    #11
    I bought one on eBay for my G5 7,2 and it worked great. $4 for one, shipped.
     
  12. Eriamjh1138@DAN macrumors 6502

    Eriamjh1138@DAN

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    BFE, MI
    #13
    Like... maybe. I was never able to confirm other antennas from Amazon, etc. had the same style/name/size on the G5 (MCX male according to the lead post) so I just went with the match on eBay. It's cheaper and as long as you don't mind waiting, its all but guaranteed to work.

    I didn't want to risk wasting my money on something else.
     
  13. RhianB macrumors 6502

    RhianB

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2016
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM USA
    #14
    I bought this antenna as well and it works great. The Ops linked auction is for two, so I have an extra in my junk drawer for the instance if/when I get another powermacG5.
     

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