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How to Repair a Broken Antenna on a Wireless Adapter

Updated February 21, 2017

The purpose of a wireless adaptor is to receive a Wi-Fi signal and transmit it to the device it is attached to. A broken wire inside of the antenna renders a wireless adaptor useless and must be repaired. Fortunately, you can not only repair the broken antenna but increase its ability to receive the Wi-Fi signal. You will need a few hardware supplies and some tools commonly found around the house. Be aware, however, that the repair will void any warranty on the device.

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  1. Unplug the wireless adaptor from the device it was supplying a Wi-Fi signal to. Insert the tip of the Phillips jeweller’s screwdriver into the seam of the rubber tip attached at the end of the wireless adaptor. Lift up on the tip of the Phillips jeweller’s screwdriver to loosen the rubber tip from the wireless adaptor.

  2. Clamp the jaws of the needle-nosed pliers around the end of the rubber tip. Pull the rubber tip off the wireless adaptor.

  3. Measure an inch up from the base of the wireless adaptor. Cut the wire sticking out of the base at the 1-inch mark with the wire cutters. Discard the cut wire in the trash.

  4. Strip off 1/8 inch of insulation from the end of the wire sticking out of the base with the wire strippers.

  5. Stand the coffee can on a table. Measure 3 inches up from the bottom of the can. Hammer a nail halfway through the side of the can at the 3-inch mark.

  6. Cut off a foot of solid-core copper wire from the copper wire spool with the wire cutters. Wind one end of the cut copper wire around the head of the nail. Hammer the nail all the way into the side of the can. Place a strip of electrical tape over the head of the nail.

  7. Heat up the soldering iron for five minutes. Solder the other end of the copper wire to the wire sticking up from the base of the wireless adaptor. Let the solder cool for two minutes. Wrap a strip of electrical tape around the two wires where they meet.

  8. Plug the wireless adaptor back into the device it was removed from earlier. Aim the open end of the can in the direction of the Wi-Fi router of the wireless home network.

  9. Tip

    You can wear work gloves to protect your hands while using the hammer.


    Cell phones and other devices that emit EMF (electromagnetic field) interference can affect the performance of the Wi-Fi adaptor..

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Things You'll Need

  • Phillips jeweller’s screwdriver
  • Needle-nosed pliers
  • Ruler
  • Empty coffee can
  • Hammer
  • Nail, 2 inches long
  • Wire cutters
  • 12-gauge solid-core copper wire spool
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • Electrical tape
  • Wireless home network

About the Author

Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology maven with more than 15 years of editorial experience. A graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography with a Bachelor of Arts in photographic arts, his editorial work has appeared both domestically as well as internationally in publications such as "Home Theater," "Electronic House," "eGear," "Computer and Video Games" and "Digitrends."

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