This mod for Raspberry Pi Zero 2W increases the range of WiFi

This mod for Raspberry Pi Zero 2W increases the range of WiFi

The new Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W is a worthy successor to the original Pi Zero W, but some makers think there is still some room for improvement that, of course, should be explored. Precisely for this reason, Brian Dorey took matters into his own hands by updating the board to use an external antenna and improve the range of the wireless connection.

Photo Credit: Brian Dorey Recall that Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W uses the same Broadcom BCM2710A1 SoC that was in the first version of Raspberry Pi 3, but with the operating frequency reduced to 1GHz, accompanied by 512MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM. As for multi-threaded workloads, according to sysbench, the new Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W provides five times more performance than the Raspberry Pi Zero W. At the same time as the launch of the Zero 2 W, Raspberry Pi has also made available a new official USB power supply that resembles that of Raspberry PI 4, but has a USB micro-B connector, instead of the USB-C one, and delivers a maximum current of 2.5A.

Modification is possible thanks to a U.FL connector. This module is responsible for the connection between the external antenna and the Pi Zero 2 W. According to Dorey's words, the man was able to detect 14 Wi-Fi networks with an external antenna, while only four without it in the same position. Dorey explains that the copper line that connects to the PCB antenna must be interrupted. This can be done using a Dremel or a sharp blade, but, either way, care must be taken to be accurate. The module can then be soldered into place on the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W.

As for the software side, Dorey explains exactly how to get started on her official website. Performance results will depend on factors such as location and environmental situation. In case you are interested in replicating the work, Dorey was kind enough to share a complete tutorial on her blog and a video of the process on her YouTube channel.

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