Solution for Intel NUC spotty WiFi problem

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We have this WiFi connection problem with one of our NUCs. Because the device is in aluminum body enclosure (think Faraday cage; NUCs actually are kind of Faraday cages themselves), apparently the internal WiFi adapter simply would not work (it sort of dose, but the the signal is so weak it is useless). To solve that problem we connected an external USB WiFi adapter and wired it the way the antenna is sticking out from that enclosure. It works 95% of the time, but occasionally something goes wrong at the bootup and the external antenna fails. It is software related problem. If you have similar problems with NUCs, check out this article: https://blogs.serioustek.net/post/2016/01/15/intel-nuc-external-antenna

I am going to try this.
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Darius - PRODO.us, Champion

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Posted 2 years ago

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Interesting....let us know how you make out Darius!
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So, I finally had a chance to make this modification. I must say it worked out very well. We used Intel NUC5PPYH model, similar to this https://www.amazon.com/Intel-NUC5CPYH-Graphics-2-5-Inch-BOXNUC5CPYH/dp/B00XPVRR5M/ref=pd_sim_147_3?_... with VGA port (turned out to be very important).

The on-board WiFi/Bluetooth adapter (https://www.amazon.com/Intel-3165NGW-Wireless-Bluetooth4-0-802-11AC/dp/B0194GE5YC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8...) is using MHF-4 connectors - very tiny, fragile, and hard to disconnect. I ended up ruining on of them (replaced with an adapter from another NUC that is not gonna need WiFi). I also damaged one of the on-board antenna cables, but I was gonna get rid of them anyway. I bought this set of external antennas https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N9LTFKO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 and a set of these WiFi extension cables.

Unlike in the tutorial I did not need to drill anything to get RP-SMA antenna connectors installed. I simply removed VGA post and the bracket holding it. By removing them I got a nice big empty hole where VGA port was sitting with two little notches on the sides. Those turned out to be just the right size to mount the RP-SMA antenna connectors. Well, to be quite honest, I ended up blocking it with a thin piece of laser cut plastic, but that is because I wanted it to be perfect for no reason.
(Edited)