TP-Link TL-WR703n External Antenna Mod

TP-Link TL-WR703n 3G Router External Antenna Mod

Here are some helpful links:

Step 1. Drill A Hole



Step 2. Cut the two Internal Antenna PCB Traces as shown here:

I decided to keep the J1 resistor and C114 capacitor as they orignally were after reading some comments suggesting the signal strength would be better leaving them alone.

Step 3. Solder on Antenna Pigtail Cable.  My cable was scavenged from a broken cheapie $5 USB Wifi adapter.  The soldering was hard.  It is just really small down there.  Here is a trick: put a blob of solder on the tip of your hot iron.  Now smear that melted blob OFF onto a dry sponge.  Now you should be able to PICK UP a SMALLER BLOB of solder and place it where you want.

I used tape to hold down the wire.  As you bend the cable, it puts a lot of tension on the two little solder points.  If you do not hold down the wire somehow, your precious little solders will eventually break off.  Since the tape will eventually fail, it would be far better to hold the wire down with a blob of hot glue gun stuff.20130816-161545.jpg


Step 4. Insulate, Assemble and Test.  Make sure you insulate the two little R82 resistors under the antenna fitting metal.  You do not want to short out the circuit board with the metal from the antenna screw fitting inside the case.  A small piece of sturdy electrical tape under the brass nut should cover and protect R82.20130816-161559.jpg


9 Replies to “TP-Link TL-WR703n External Antenna Mod”

  1. Thanks for posting, the additional detail compared to similar mods was helpful. Especially the bit about insulting the antenna nut. Did you do any before/after signal tests? Curious how much of a difference the external antenna makes?

  2. I didn’t do any before tests but I have another stock unit, and will see if I can. I did however do some ‘after’ testing with the antenna shown, and a 20DBI gain Yaggi, and you can clearly see the signal strength difference in the the OpenWRT config page (Mine are all flashed).

    I’m pretty sure its working because I got two different readings by screwing in the different antennas (iphone connected, %87 4″ shown, %100 20dbi yaggi)

    Since I will be using this in my Solar Powered Paid Hotspot Router project, It will be hooked up to an external antenna outside of its ‘box and case’.

  3. Very cool. Assuming it still works as a repeater, a solar powered project would be just the ticket for the use I had in mind – extending my home network to the far corner of our property.

    1. im linking back home with the TP-Link set to WDS or as wifi client, and it feeds the public pay wrt54g router thru the ethernet port.

        1. I think you have to use WDS, because the router stuff does not like going thru a second router or subnet. It needs to be on the first hop within your network (their Radius setup or coovachili doesn’t like additional routing). If you aren’t using the hotspot software, then this should not apply and you probably don’t need the 2nd router/connection back to ISP. In this case you could just use DD-WRT and WDS on a single router, however your thoughput will ‘cut in half’ since you are relaying thru WDS. Hope that made sense.

  4. Hi,

    Great follow-up to the 703n external antenna mod. 🙂

    Like Ben I’d really like to understand that the antenna mod is working 100% and is getting full power.

    Like yourself I have a solar 3/ 4G transponder on the drawing board. The 703n is ideal as it a modern design and draws a minimum of power. I run an Openwrt variant called ‘ROOter’ on my usb routers. It provides lots of useful modem and router info.

    A test WIFI test is very simple.

    Sit the modified 703n beside another router (or 703n) on separate 2.4Ghz channels, using 20Mhz, both at full power (if that is an option).

    Measure the received signal at various distances with a laptop or Android or iFruit device running ‘inssider’ or similar, to determine the comparative signal levels of the routers.

    Remove the external antenna from the 703n and check that the signal dies.


    John k

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *