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Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W External Antenna Mod Expands Wi-Fi Support

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Brian Dorey)

The new Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W is an exciting successor to the original Pi Zero W, but some makers insist it has a few areas of improvement that need to be addressed. Brian Dorey has taken matters into his own hands by upgrading the latest board to use an external antenna for wireless connections.

The modification is possible thanks to a U.FL connector. This module is responsible for bridging the connection between the external antenna and Pi Zero 2 W. According to Dorey, it was able to detect 14 Wi-Fi networks with an external antenna but only four without it.

Dorey explains that the copper line connecting to the PCB antenna must be severed. This can be done using a Dremel tool or sharp blade but either way, caution must be taken to be precise.

The module can then be soldered into place on the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W. As far as the software side goes, Dorey breaks down exactly how to get started on his official website. Performance results will depend on things like location and environmental factors surrounding the antenna.

The best Raspberry Pi projects are the ones you can make at home and Dorey was kind enough to share a full external antenna mod tutorial on his blog for curious parties and a video of the process on his official YouTube channel. Be sure to follow Dorey for more cool creations and future Pi projects.

Ash Hill
Ash Hill

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.