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Opened my Prime! - GPS, WIFI Discussion on hardware mods and fixes. Light Bleed Fixed

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Erusman
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(Last edited by Erusman; 23rd February 2012 at 05:28 AM.)
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Default Opened my Prime! - GPS, WIFI Discussion on hardware mods and fixes. Light Bleed Fixed

Last few days I been debating to Exacto off top two inches of my primes aluminum shell.
Right where the Wifi / GPS antenna are kept.
Of course doing so would VOID the warranty.. lol
But, it would test the theory of rather or not the aluminum back interferes
with anything.
The aluminum back is very thin. You could in theory take a ruler and scar
out a straight line. Go over the line many times with an exacto knife just
enough to break the aluminum shell. Then pull off top piece.
Hopefully it is just a shell and nothing is attached to it.
Anyone else brave enough to attempt such a venture?
My luck the wifi / gps / bluetooth results will be the same.
Good idea? Nuts? What do you guys think?

*** UPDATE ***
When I first got my prime its WIFI was very weak, and its GPS didn't work. I was very fustrated that I spent $500 on a tablet that didn't work! And it had Light bleed. I thought that when ASUS released its ICS update the problems would be fixed. They weren't. My return period had expired from where I purchased the prime originally so I tried to find as much info as I could on the prime's problems. Everything from aluminum backplate interference to pogo pin problems. I was fustrated so my original idea was just to Exacto off the top two inches of the prime. Well, after coming to my sense and realizing this idea was nuts. (sorry one too many beers). I just decided to try and open the unopenable! After seeing Anandtech teardown of the prime http://www.anandtech.com/show/5286/a...prime-teardown I made some plastic tools and decided to open it up! To my surprise it was really easy to open!

Pics of opening the prime

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Thanks to XDA member Doktaphex for uploading these Youtube videos of him opening his own prime!




Pic of PCB (printed circuit board) Primary WIFI antenna having a flawed PCB design?
When I opened my prime I found that ASUS included two wifi antenna PCB towards the top of the prime to pickup Wifi / GPS signal.
The secondary wifi pcb was fine. However the primary wifi antenna's pcb had a design flaw. The pcb copper etching on the primary
wifi antenna was not connected! Asus used pogo pins that transfered the wifi / gps signal from one side of the tablet to the other.
These pogo pins would lay flat against the wifi pcb's copper pad. However on the the wifi pcb i pulled out of my tablet the signal
never made its way from these copper pads to the top wifi antenna because the copper etching in the pcb was gapped! I tested
and no conductivity was found!
Is this the reason why ASUS pulled shipments when the prime was launched?
Is this the reason why some peoples WIFI work and others dont?
You be the judge.

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*** UPDATE ***

Ok here are the pics of my final mods. I removed both PCB Left and right Wifi/GPS antenna. I removed the pogo pins and drilled holes in the back of the aluminum backpanel. Holes where placed just below where pogo pins use to be. I then inserted some rubber gourmets around the drilled holes. Soldered on some wires to where pogo pins use to be and feed them through the rubber gourmets.

I have a MoKo Slim-Fit case so this mod works perfect for me. I can just tuck the wires behind the prime. And never even see the mod.

Awesome results. 32kbps/5kbps using speedtest for the wifi. Getting 20-30dBM in Wifi Analyzer. I can walk all around my house and get excellent wifi. I can walk out 50 feet in my yard and still pull all bars!
(Using Asus RT-N66U Dual-band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router)

GPS works perfect. Using GPS Test it gets a signal within 5 seconds and 15+ birds, accuracy great!

Light bleed fixed for me. Just messing around with screws on display.

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***Update***
I finally got my Tyco Antenna the other day and tried them out. Unfortunately they did not work out. I soldered them to where pogo pins use to be and tried placing them all over in the tablet. I couldn't get any good WIFI results. The only area I had OK results was where the original WIFI PCB where at. (50% of wifi I am now getting from just some external wire antenna.) I then positioned the Tyco Antenna to the back of the prime. The aluminum back of the prime is the problem. It just block/interferes with everything. Whenever you have something even close to the back of the prime it interferes with it. I got fustrated, but maybe someone will have better results.

***Update***
Ok, after all the mods in last week+ I found a little method that work best for external wire antenna. Its called the "Caprisun straw method." lol.
Whenever you place anything close enough behind or back of prime. The aluminum backplate interferes with the signal. Even with external wires when I tucked them behind the prime the signal would degrade some. So what is the "Caprisun straw method." Well my kids drink alot of Caprisun's from COSTCO. While my 8yr old left an empty one out I had an idea with the straw. (see pic).

I decided to place my wires in the straw. As I pulled the straw up and down my WIFI Increased considerable! Why? because I was getting signal away from that darn aluminum backplate. You can use whatever straw or color you want. But the whole idea is now it is pretty quick and easy to adjust your WIFI range with the straw. When I am done playing with my tablet I simply tuck the straw back behind the tablet in case. GPS you can have a straw on as well and just push it up out of case. (GPS results are amazing with this little fake wifi antenna).

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***Update***
Ok I finished my final mod. I made myself some mini wifi antenna and placed them in my case. The mini wifi antenna are composed of a thin straw surrounded by heat shrink tubing. Capped with a plastic hole plug. Wires that come out of my tablet are inserted in the straw. Heated with lighter and sealed.

The mini wifi antenna I can pull up or down out of my case to extend the WIFI range. I am pulling three bars at more than 50 feet away. Amazing!!
(Charter Ultra 100mbs connection, ASUS RT-N66U Router : 32kbps / 5.5kbps Speedtest @ 50 feet)

I had to laugh a little because my prime kinda looks like a little android with the antenna stickin out.

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**Added 2-19-12 thanks to XDA member pileot and other Modders whom have found out that:**
IF YOU HAVE ANY ANTENNA / WIRE AFFIXED DIRECTLY NEXT TO / ALONG THE BACK CASE THE INTERFERENCE WILL BLOCK NEARLY ALL SIGNAL.
If you have any sort of wire / pigtail / antenna AWAY from the back of the case, you will get amazing reception.

***UPDATE***
lol I finally figured out what this switch was for. Located up above headphone
jack. Its the ON/OFF switch for mobo. So be sure to turn off your mobo power before you solder on any mods.

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***UPDATE***
Ok, I just finished up another mod to my prime. My goal was to be able to mount the prime in a vehicle and use it on the road. So i needed the best WIFI and GPS I could get. And I did it!

Meet Optimus Prime!



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I replaced the old mod with external SMA male connectors and was able to mount on some external WIFI antenna. Large ones atm. But I have some small 2.4ghz stubby antenna on order.



I still need to mod my leather case to be able to insert the SMA connectors in it. However, I noticed with just the SMA connectors sticking out and NO WIFI antenna attached I still get good WIFI
(Both Factory WIFI PCB removed with soldered connection to SMA's)

The WIFI range on this thing is AMAZING! Full bars every place in my house and even out in my yard! 50+ feet away from my router. I think its limited to the range of my router more than anything now.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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aypanthony
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(Last edited by aypanthony; 7th February 2012 at 05:54 PM.)
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demandarin
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I'd say go for it bit first study those tear down pics very hard. Even better blow them up n print them out. I don't think there's a need to do the whole top. Just the area where antennas would be located. Even better find the FCC tear down of it for exact measurements so to lessen your chances of mistake or cutting too much. Good luck n keep up posted. You will be very popular in this section if you do this..lol

IPAD- 32GB WiFi ver. 4.2.1

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Prime/Tegra3 Gamers Thread
http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1409077

 
aznmode
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(Last edited by aznmode; 31st January 2012 at 10:11 PM.)
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I think a more cleaner way is drill tiny holes the size of the speaker holes or slightly larger (just check the speaker holes and are too tiny). Just make sure you dont go too deep that you drill out the antennas. Maybe start of with 2 rows of 4 holes (depending how big the holes you want) on each side and center. I should patent this idea and sue anyone who copies!
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mrokeefe
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I think, no. It doesn't need it. The window is already on the glass panel and just needs a solid connection.

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Evo_Pimpin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrokeefe View Post
I think, no. It doesn't need it. The window is already on the glass panel and just needs a solid connection.

Modded by MBOK
I agree. If anything, take the back off and solder some wires on there and remove the pins they are using to make the connection.
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Erusman
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(Last edited by Erusman; 31st January 2012 at 10:30 PM.) Reason: erus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrokeefe View Post
I think, no. It doesn't need it. The window is already on the glass panel and just needs a solid connection.

Modded by MBOK
Yes, I been looking at AnandTech teardown. The pogo pins connect to the
front glass. Now my question is on the front glass there is that where the
antenna for WPS / GPS are at? If so then the aluminum back would have
nothing to interfere with. Antenna is on front glass piece.

Soooo.. pressure point theory of pogo pins not making contact against
copper connectors on front make sense on why some wifi / gps not working
as well. And some have fixed by pressing harder on that region.
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mrokeefe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evo_Pimpin View Post
I agree. If anything, take the back off and solder some wires on there and remove the pins they are using to make the connection.
I'd fully do it if I knew how to open it properly. The fix is so simple its stupid.

Ifixit.com should do a step by step

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PrimeTimeBro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erusman View Post
Last few days I been debating to Exacto off top two inches of my primes aluminum shell.
Right where the Wifi / GPS antenna are kept.
Of course doing so would VOID the warranty.. lol
But, it would test the theory of rather or not the aluminum back interferes
with anything.
The aluminum back is very thin. You could in theory take a ruler and scar
out a straight line. Go over the line many times with an exacto knife just
enough to break the aluminum shell. Then pull off top piece.
Hopefully it is just a shell and nothing is attached to it.
Anyone else brave enough to attempt such a venture?
My luck the wifi / gps / bluetooth results will be the same.
Good idea? Nuts? What do you guys think?
I really like this idea and think it just might work the key will be to make sure you located the exact right spot. If you do this let us know ASAP how turn by turn GPS navigation works and also if the range of your Wi-Fi increases
 
Ride525
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How about just taking the back off?

Do a before and after test of signal strength and speed.
(especially at some distance away where the signal seems to fade.)

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