Antenna ? What can I use?

I am positive I ordered the chip antenna version Spark because I didn’t care about range and I didn’t want to deal with locating the antenna… BUT I seem to have been sent the u.FL version.

I tried connecting anyway with the phone / spark and wifi router all really close but the spark could not be found. Blue flashing led never changed.

I tried an antenna I pulled from an old cell phone but it made no difference.

I found links to buy one but that will take a week. Is there anything I can do now? Even just to get short range capability?

Place it right beside the router and give it a try.

If you happen to have sort of a syringe around, you can attach it on the u.fl antenna.

Is your order wrong? We can sort that out :slight_smile:

HI @ben_sfg

There is this thread, but I can’t recommend the cannula (needle) antenna–if you scroll down a bit, folks offer other ideas:

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This Core has been sitting on my desk for months now and I just got around to testing it. I’m pretty sure I ordered the chip antenna version but I’m not upset at getting the u.FL version. I think it would be more of a hassle to exchange than to just get an antenna and I’ll probably be better off in the long run.

I do have those syringe parts from dispensing bottles. But I’m thinking if any old metal part should work then why does the antenna I pulled from a cell phone not work?

Here is a picture showing the antenna.

Is there a chance I have another issue? I know I entered the wifi password correctly.

Hi @ben_sfg

That looks like it should work but I have a question:

The u.fl connection should be connected to a coax wire with two conductors, one inside the other with an insulating layer between, and an outer insulator as well typically.

In the photo, there is the upper (silver) part of the wire, is that just the center conductor of the coax (with or without the insulator that separates inner from outer)? Or could that be the braided or wrapped shield (outer) part of the coax?

You need need to have the center conductor and not the outer shield conductor to make an antenna.

Sorry if you already have this but the parts are really small and it is hard to tell from the pictures.

The gray part is shielded and the end piece is clear insulation over silver wire. I pulled this right out of a cell phone contraption as-is. Not cut out or anything.

I also tried setting up several different wifi settings on my router, one even without any security. I could get my iphone to connect but I cannot get past the blue blinking light and the iOS App always times out with “No Core Found”

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I also just tried the syringe tip antenna. That didn’t work either.

I double checked. It’s stranded wire. The shielding is in the gray area. This antenna was pulled out of a cell phone as-is, if it was all shielded it wouldn’t have made a very good antenna.

Are you sure the shielding that is under the gray jacket is not shorting to this stranded wire where the gray jacket ends?

“Are you sure the shielding that is under the gray jacket is not shorting to this stranded wire where the gray jacket ends?”

If it is then the device I pulled it from would have never worked. I didn’t modify this antenna in any way. I also tried the syringe trick and I still cannot connect so I don’t believe this is an antenna issue now.

Oh I see, so you just pulled it from a cell phone as is. Well most cell phones are on lower frequencies if I remember correctly… 1.9GHz or lower? Should work if you are close to your Wireless AP though.

How are you trying to enter your credentials, walk us through the steps you are taking and what results you are getting.

I am just trying the iOS app. It pre-selects the SSID the phone is using and asks for a password. I enter the password and wait… blue light never stops flashing, eventually I get a message No Cores Found and a button to Try Again. I have the right password because I’ve re-connected the phone several times and tried different router settings (like no security)

I’m sure the antenna isn’t optimized for 2.4ghz range… but if a metal syringe should work the length of the antenna should not matter for short range setup.

Hmm, let’s try the direct way. Connect Serial over USB http://docs.spark.io/#/connect/connecting-your-core-connect-over-usb

What kind of router do you have, and what is the security protocol, and length of your password?

I’m going to bring it to work tomorrow and see if I can set it up there.

I have D-Link DIR-615 with dd-wrt firmware, set to BG mixed. Password is 11 lower case letters (no spaces). I tried WPA, WPA2 and no security

It does not like my home network. I got it set up at work in no time. Is there any way to get it to like my home network?

Have you tried the USB setup process? If you have Node.js installed:

npm install -g spark-cli

and then:

spark setup

BTW: I found this antenna at work that we were using for WiFi stuff (so it should be tuned for 2.4GHz). The interesting thing is it’s the same construction as your antenna and it works fine for me.

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Get me one! :DDDDDDDD (had to do this for minimum post count. Hahaba)

I’ll have to figure out where these were purchased :wink: