Anyone know about installing an external antenna to an ESP32 board?
(Not the ESP32 cam.)
What would you like to know?
In my case I just used my soldering iron (With extremely fine tip) to remove the zero ohm resistor that connects to the on-board antenna. Then I just put a solder blob on the two pads for the external antenna. The antenna itself is from Amazon.
Be forewarned. The solder pads are TINY. I used a head mounted magnifier with built-in LED and still found it difficult to see. When trying the solder blob do it fast and check your work (Either with a multimeter or a WiFi sketch – With no antenna you get about 3 feet of range). Wait for everything to cool down before trying again. It is super easy to lift a track and render the WiFi part of your board useless.
My simple $6 boards don’t have external antenna connections exposed. I’ve read that some specific models do have the ipex connection, like my esp32 cam boards. This is probably the best way forward for me.
I’m asking about this because I’m interested in the ESP-Now functionality. No messing with WiFi is a bonus.
And yes, switching the resistor is very delicate work! I tried solder paste recently, that didn’t work. I might farm that task out…
As you’ve mentioned, I think the best safe option is to get a model with the ipex connection.
My ESP32 cam antenna tests —- on one board closer to zero better?
resistor internal internal antenna -36
resistor internal External antenna -56
resistor external internal antenna -71
resistor external external antenna -61
using code from:
You must have the resistor set for the antenna you have. If you have both antennas connected at the same time you will get lower results. So the measurements with internal resistor/ external antenna and external resistor/internal antenna is meaningless. Internal resistor/internal antenna is how it came from the factory (Probably without the external antenna attached). Your external resistor/external antenna reading shows that you didn’t change the resistor properly. Check that the connection is made correctly and it’s not still connected to internal as well.