Modify WE1326 to use Cisco TNC antennas

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TonyShepherd
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Modify WE1326 to use Cisco TNC antennas

Post by TonyShepherd » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:35 am

I recently received the WE1326V5/MC7455 router/modem and wanted to upgrade it to use the 698-2690MHz Cisco 4G LTE Antennas And Extension Base. Since the WE1326 has internal LTE antennas the case must be modified to install the TNC pigtail connectors. In stock condition, it has 2) RP-SMA and 2) SMA bulkhead connectors installed on the sides of the case; 2 for 2.4Ghz, 2 for 5.0Ghz WIFI. Since the TNC connectors are much bigger than the SMA it is not possible to fit the TNC bulkhead connectors in any unused space, but it is possible to drill out the holes for the SMAs closest to the front and fit the TNCs in there and then drill new holes for the relocated SMAs. I choose to position the SMAs on the front corners. This places the 2.4Ghz antennas on the front, the LTE antennas are in the middle and the 5Ghz antennas towards the back. I have not used the LTE antenna bases, just the LTE antennas installed on the case connectors, but get good result so far. I have not taken RSSI measurements to compare the internal antennas to the external, but if I do I'll post results.
A few items to consider:
1) Elsewhere on the forum it is recommended to use a 15/32" drill for the TNC connectors. I used 1/2" and it was still tight to get the threaded portion thru but it makes a tight connection.
2) When locating the 1/4" holes for the SMAs pay particular attention to the clearance needed for the internal hex nut of the connector which is larger that the external nut that is screwed on to secure. I actually had to trim away some of the case rib to accommodate the nut because I drill too close to the rib.
3) I did not have any issues with the TNC or SMA placement interfering with the PCB, but check carefully before drilling.
4) I would suggest insulating the unused U.FL connectors of the internal LTE antennas with tape prior to buttoning the case back up to prevent shorting to components on the PCB.
5) The stock SMA holes have a flat to trap the SMA connector and keep it from spinning. The new holes will not, be careful when tightening the external nut that the connector doesn't spin and twist the cable. Hold the connector by the internal nut while tightening the external nut.
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Thanks,
Tony
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JimHelms (Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:04 am)

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