After the Bluetooth retro speakers After using it for a few days, I noticed relatively quickly that the integrated antenna had a somewhat modest radio range.
Most of the time it was over after about 2m as the crow flies. A connection through one or even two walls was out of the question. So simply disappearing into the toilet with your cell phone while the music is playing wasn't possible either.
After a few more days, I decided to get to the bottom of the problem. Ultimately I blamed the poor reception quality on the tiny PCB antenna on the CSR8635 Bluetooth module. So the only solution was to connect a new antenna with better amplification.
How you can do this is described in this article.
I know the following notes are always kind of annoying and seem unnecessary. Unfortunately, many people who knew "better" have lost eyes, fingers or other things due to carelessness or injured themselves. Data loss is almost negligible in comparison, but even these can be really annoying. Therefore, please take five minutes to read the safety instructions. Because even the coolest project is not worth injury or other trouble. https://www.nerdiy.de/sicherheitshinweise/
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Helpful articles: Before you start with this article, you should have dealt with the basics of soldering. You can find information about this in the following article. Electronics - My friend the soldering iron
In the following list you will find all the parts you need to implement this article.
In the following list you will find all the tools you need to implement this article.
Overview – What’s where?
The following photos explain the problem and the solution somewhat.
Disconnecting the old PCB antenna from the Bluetooth module
Before you can connect the new antenna, the old antenna must of course first be removed. To do this, the connection between the Bluetooth module and the PCB antenna must be separated at the appropriate point.
ATTENTION: In this state - i.e. without an antenna connected - you must under no circumstances switch on the Bluetooth module. This can damage the module.
Soldering the antenna cable to the Bluetooth module
Now it's time to solder the new antenna cable to the Bluetooth module.
Installation of the antenna connection in the rear wall of the housing
So that the external antenna can later be connected outside the housing, the screw connection must now be attached.
Once you have completed these steps, the rear panel of the housing can be closed again. Be careful not to pinch the very sensitive antenna cable.
And then enjoy the increased radio range of your self-made Bluetooth box. 🙂
Have fun with the project
I hope everything worked as described for you. If not or you have questions or suggestions please let me know in the comments. I will then add this to the article if necessary. Ideas for new projects are always welcome. 🙂
PS Many of these projects - especially the hardware projects - cost a lot of time and money. Of course I do this because I enjoy it, but if you think it's cool that I share the information with you, I would be happy about a small donation to the coffee fund. 🙂