An archive of community.esquilo.io as of Saturday January 26, 2019.

Is there a WIFI connector for external antenna?

bluerondo7

The photo seems to show a small connector. Is that for optional WIFI external connector?

Thanks

Scott_Shumate

Yes, there is a RF connector there but I'm not sure what it is for. It is much smaller than the standard U.FL connector used for external antennas. There is a separate version of the WiFi module that has the U.FL connector populated instead of the chip antenna. If someone is skilled at soldering, they could solder on the U.FL connector and do a 90 degree turn on the small SMT part that connects it and have an external antenna Esquilo. We have talked about doing an external antenna version of Esquilo as well as 10/100 Ethernet version.

robins

Hi Scott,

Did you ever make some boards with the U.FL WiFi module?
What kind of range do you get with the current on-board chip antenna?
I was thinking of putting an Esquilo in an enclosure so the chip antenna might not be enough.

Thanks
Robin

Scott_Shumate

We don't have any immediate plans to make any with the U.FL connector. We haven't seen a lot of demand for it and we have to order them in fairly sizable quantities to keep the price down.

Range is dependent on a number of variables. We use a Murata WiFi module base on the Broadcom BCM43362 chipset so it will perform similarly to most of the other WiFi modules out there.

I use an Esquilo in a 3D-printed enclosure to monitor my propane usage. It's in the far corner of my house and I've not had any connection issues. The Digi WiFi module it replaced used to have frequent connection issues and it had an external rubber duck antenna. The difference is probably due more to a newer technology WiFi chipset in the Esquilo than to the antenna.

If you use an enclosure, just be careful not to put anything metallic within about a 1/2" from the corner of Esquilo with the WiFi module.