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Xiaomi MI Box (MDZ-16-AB) doesn't have an antenna. You can add one easily.

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dr_vega

Member
Sep 20, 2016
5
18
I have two Mi Boxes. Both have lousy WiFi reception. I finally decided to open one up and see if I could re-position the antenna or replace it. To my surprise, there was no antenna. I opened my other Mi Box and it didn't have an antenna either. There is a little plug for the antenna, but the antenna itself is missing.

The antenna plug is the same one found in most laptops and WiFi cards, variously called an IPX, IPEX, or U.FL plug. You can buy antennas with this plug on ebay or Amazon for about $2. They come as little flags you can stick down or little pcb boards which can have 5dbi or more gain.

I got a couple of 8dbi gain pcb antennas. The can be positioned inside the Mi Box case, but I drilled a small hole and ran them outside where they are clear of the electronics and big steel heatsink and can be aimed at the router. No soldering, just open the Mi Box, take out the four screws that hold the motherboard. Slowly pull off the motherboard which is stuck to the heatsink, and then plug in the antenna. Simple.

My WiFi download speed has almost tripled from less than 10mbs to almost 30mbs. I get 20mbs even through my VPN. I now can stream 1080 HD movies on Netflix without stuttering or buffering.

Spend $2 and 15 minutes work and you won't hate your Mi Box anymore.
 

aperture

Senior Member
Feb 23, 2007
230
61
Sound intressting ... maybe you upload a photo of the antenna ? wich type ?
Thanks in advance Dr Vega

Greetings Phil from Belgium

pOkUn0m.png
 

oOflyeyesOo

Senior Member
May 27, 2010
994
127
St louis
Thanks for opening this up man!! Trying to make this thing last a bit longer, this will help. We will also have Oreo anyday now as more screen shots are being posted.
 

hhai93

Member
Nov 23, 2015
6
0
Could you show me the way to open the case, does it need heating or something else?
 

dr_vega

Member
Sep 20, 2016
5
18
Opening the Mi Box case

Could you show me the way to open the case, does it need heating or something else?

Yeah, it can be tough to open. There're no screws or anything, just the clips all around the edge. I started with a sharp knife to open a crack and then slid in a credit card and ran that around the edge to release the clips. One of those plastic thingies to open cell phones works even better than a credit card.
 

hhai93

Member
Nov 23, 2015
6
0
Yeah, it can be tough to open. There're no screws or anything, just the clips all around the edge. I started with a sharp knife to open a crack and then slid in a credit card and ran that around the edge to release the clips. One of those plastic thingies to open cell phones works even better than a credit card.
Link the the antenna that you've bought please? I searched on ebay but there are many kinds of ipex connector :confused:
 

diruix

New member
May 19, 2018
1
0
I have two Mi Boxes. Both have lousy WiFi reception. I finally decided to open one up and see if I could re-position the antenna or replace it. To my surprise, there was no antenna. I opened my other Mi Box and it didn't have an antenna either. There is a little plug for the antenna, but the antenna itself is missing.

The antenna plug is the same one found in most laptops and WiFi cards, variously called an IPX, IPEX, or U.FL plug. You can buy antennas with this plug on ebay or Amazon for about $2. They come as little flags you can stick down or little pcb boards which can have 5dbi or more gain.

I got a couple of 8dbi gain pcb antennas. The can be positioned inside the Mi Box case, but I drilled a small hole and ran them outside where they are clear of the electronics and big steel heatsink and can be aimed at the router. No soldering, just open the Mi Box, take out the four screws that hold the motherboard. Slowly pull off the motherboard which is stuck to the heatsink, and then plug in the antenna. Simple.

My WiFi download speed has almost tripled from less than 10mbs to almost 30mbs. I get 20mbs even through my VPN. I now can stream 1080 HD movies on Netflix without stuttering or buffering.

Spend $2 and 15 minutes work and you won't hate your Mi Box anymore.

Hi.
I have two MiBox and the connector is not the standard that is used for antennas. It is a Hirose MS-156C, usually used as a test point, so it is not possible to connect antennas with an IPEX connector.
Can you detail how you did it?
Thank you.
 

dr_vega

Member
Sep 20, 2016
5
18
Hi.
I have two MiBox and the connector is not the standard that is used for antennas. It is a Hirose MS-156C, usually used as a test point, so it is not possible to connect antennas with an IPEX connector.
Can you detail how you did it?
Thank you.

That may be true, but IPEX worked for me. I bought a couple of the antennas in the picture. One was hard to press onto the connector and I used a needle nose pliers to apply pressure. The other one snapped on with just fingers.
 
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Toliyn

New member
May 6, 2011
4
0
Moscow
Hi.
I have two MiBox and the connector is not the standard that is used for antennas. It is a Hirose MS-156C, usually used as a test point, so it is not possible to connect antennas with an IPEX connector.
Can you detail how you did it?
Thank you.
I confirm that the Ipex connector is compatible.
I tried to insert the antenna into the connector for 5 minutes pressing it with my fingers, but then I decided to use a screwdriver handle for this, I pushed harder, and I was able to connect the antenna.
 

Mr.BungIe

Senior Member
Apr 5, 2012
161
40
Montclair
I confirm that the Ipex connector is compatible.
I tried to insert the antenna into the connector for 5 minutes pressing it with my fingers, but then I decided to use a screwdriver handle for this, I pushed harder, and I was able to connect the antenna.
The most important question is "After you forced the connection, did you see a performance increase?" Hopefully, something more than placebo...

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 

Toliyn

New member
May 6, 2011
4
0
Moscow
The most important question is "After you forced the connection, did you see a performance increase?" Hopefully, something more than placebo...

To begin with, I was unpleasantly surprised with the reception quality of the mi box.
I have a noname Chinese tv box with which there are enough problems, but none of them related with receiving a wi-fi signal.
When I turned on mi box for the first time without an external antenna connected, the device was able to connect to wi-fi and start downloading updates, but the online video playback and TV playback over ott playlist did not work. I even rebooted the mi box several times to make sure that the problem is not related with the updates.
Then I put the antenna all worked as expected.
So I think so. There is a noticeable difference when using an external antenna.
 

alain57

Senior Member
Jul 15, 2010
636
176
38
isn't there any android tool that mesure the wifi strength signal ?
If yes it would be nice to have some results before/after

but of course your feedback is very nice.
I had too issues, i fixed them by moving my wifi extender (my wifi router is at 1st floor and on the roof i have an extender to make sure that I have enought signal at both floor. but as the mibox whas having difficulties I moved the extender from one room to very close to the mibox) and since them streaming 1080p video is no more any issue.

But of course installing an antenna would be nice ... or maybe an ethernet usb hub ....
Indeed I may start looking at 4k movies end of the year, and plan to use the mibox (hoping that it will have enougth power)
 

Lemonato

Senior Member
Aug 19, 2009
60
27
I just tested this out myself using the same aerial linked earlier, and I found it made no difference to signal strength or throughput. This was determined using the IP tools app and some file transfers.

In fact even though the connector seemed to be a good fit, I found that the middle pin wasn't actually making any contact. I verified this using one of the solder pads next to the connector which has a direct connection to the middle pin socket on the PCB.

I figured this may be why I saw no difference in signal so I cut the plug off the aerial and soldered the wires directly to the mibox and made sure the connections were good, and guess what - still no difference.

As I don't have anything to probe that connector with to see exactly what if anything is coming out I can't verify what it is supposed to do. But I wouldn't waste your time trying to connect an aerial to it.
 

mrbimrbi

New member
Jul 24, 2018
2
0
I just tested this out myself using the same aerial linked earlier, and I found it made no difference to signal strength or throughput. This was determined using the IP tools app and some file transfers.

In fact even though the connector seemed to be a good fit, I found that the middle pin wasn't actually making any contact. I verified this using one of the solder pads next to the connector which has a direct connection to the middle pin socket on the PCB.

I figured this may be why I saw no difference in signal so I cut the plug off the aerial and soldered the wires directly to the mibox and made sure the connections were good, and guess what - still no difference.

As I don't have anything to probe that connector with to see exactly what if anything is coming out I can't verify what it is supposed to do. But I wouldn't waste your time trying to connect an aerial to it.

I did it too and "Lemonato" is right, there is no change on the wifi reception.

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** sorry... don't know why the pics is not showing :(
 
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  • 10
    I have two Mi Boxes. Both have lousy WiFi reception. I finally decided to open one up and see if I could re-position the antenna or replace it. To my surprise, there was no antenna. I opened my other Mi Box and it didn't have an antenna either. There is a little plug for the antenna, but the antenna itself is missing.

    The antenna plug is the same one found in most laptops and WiFi cards, variously called an IPX, IPEX, or U.FL plug. You can buy antennas with this plug on ebay or Amazon for about $2. They come as little flags you can stick down or little pcb boards which can have 5dbi or more gain.

    I got a couple of 8dbi gain pcb antennas. The can be positioned inside the Mi Box case, but I drilled a small hole and ran them outside where they are clear of the electronics and big steel heatsink and can be aimed at the router. No soldering, just open the Mi Box, take out the four screws that hold the motherboard. Slowly pull off the motherboard which is stuck to the heatsink, and then plug in the antenna. Simple.

    My WiFi download speed has almost tripled from less than 10mbs to almost 30mbs. I get 20mbs even through my VPN. I now can stream 1080 HD movies on Netflix without stuttering or buffering.

    Spend $2 and 15 minutes work and you won't hate your Mi Box anymore.
    5
    Sound intressting ... maybe you upload a photo of the antenna ? wich type ?
    Thanks in advance Dr Vega

    Greetings Phil from Belgium

    pOkUn0m.png
    4
    Link the the antenna that you've bought please? I searched on ebay but there are many kinds of ipex connector :confused:

    Something like this should work.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-4G-5G-5-...862018?hash=item3d60e89bc2:g:Zc8AAOSwAXZa2AJD
    3
    Make sure the antenna will do 5ghz

    I almost forgot, make sure you get an antenna that will work for both 2.4ghz and 5ghz.
    1
    Hi.
    I have two MiBox and the connector is not the standard that is used for antennas. It is a Hirose MS-156C, usually used as a test point, so it is not possible to connect antennas with an IPEX connector.
    Can you detail how you did it?
    Thank you.

    That may be true, but IPEX worked for me. I bought a couple of the antennas in the picture. One was hard to press onto the connector and I used a needle nose pliers to apply pressure. The other one snapped on with just fingers.