How to Repair a Broken Antenna on a Wireless Adapter

By Marshal M. Rosenthal

The purpose of a wireless adapter is to receive a Wi-Fi signal and transmit it to the device it is attached to. A broken wire inside of the antenna renders a wireless adapter useless and must be repaired. Fortunately, you can not only repair the broken antenna but increase its ability to receive the Wi-Fi signal. You will need a few hardware supplies and some tools commonly found around the house. Be aware, however, that the repair will void any warranty on the device.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips jeweler’s screwdriver
  • Needle-nosed pliers
  • Ruler
  • Empty coffee can
  • Hammer
  • Nail, 2 inches long
  • Wire cutters
  • 12-gauge solid-core copper wire spool
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • Electrical tape
  • Wireless home network

Step 1

Unplug the wireless adapter from the device it was supplying a Wi-Fi signal to. Insert the tip of the Phillips jeweler’s screwdriver into the seam of the rubber tip attached at the end of the wireless adapter. Lift up on the tip of the Phillips jeweler’s screwdriver to loosen the rubber tip from the wireless adapter.

Step 2

Clamp the jaws of the needle-nosed pliers around the end of the rubber tip. Pull the rubber tip off the wireless adapter.

Step 3

Measure an inch up from the base of the wireless adapter. Cut the wire sticking out of the base at the 1-inch mark with the wire cutters. Discard the cut wire in the trash.

Step 4

Strip off 1/8 inch of insulation from the end of the wire sticking out of the base with the wire strippers.

Step 5

Stand the coffee can on a table. Measure 3 inches up from the bottom of the can. Hammer a nail halfway through the side of the can at the 3-inch mark.

Step 6

Cut off a foot of solid-core copper wire from the copper wire spool with the wire cutters. Wind one end of the cut copper wire around the head of the nail. Hammer the nail all the way into the side of the can. Place a strip of electrical tape over the head of the nail.

Step 7

Heat up the soldering iron for five minutes. Solder the other end of the copper wire to the wire sticking up from the base of the wireless adapter. Let the solder cool for two minutes. Wrap a strip of electrical tape around the two wires where they meet.

Step 8

Plug the wireless adapter back into the device it was removed from earlier. Aim the open end of the can in the direction of the Wi-Fi router of the wireless home network.