Broke Off u.FL Connector

I broke off the u.FL connector on a Photon board fairly easily when trying to remove the antenna. I’m not entirely sure if it was my fault or a faulty board. I am generally very careful when removing the antenna but this time it seemed like the u.FL connector snapped off very easily. It also ruined the antenna. Good thing I always buy things in twos!

Is there a proper way to remove the antenna to avoid this?

Looks like the you Photon’s u.FL connector may have had a weak connection. I could be wrong but I think that is right.

Particle was kind enough to send out a new Photon. Thanks Particle!


I broke off the whole USB connector on a ‘Core’.
The connectors are surface mounted, and they are not stress relieved in any way. Basically it is two flat surfaces glued together with a very thin layer of solder. Things like that have a good adherence, but very little shear strength, which would be common when twisting a connector off. A more mechanically sound choice would have been a soldered thru-hole mount.

I would just like to add that the u.fl connector is pretty much designed to be a one-time connector. You can get it apart, but not easily and the forces for disconnecting it are high relative to its size.

@bko thanks. That’s sort of what I was asking initially. Seems like it’s not designed to be taken on and off. I’ll be much more careful next time.

I think the best strategy is to put a u.fl to RP-SMA pigtail on there and then just change the RP-SMA end as needed.

Hirose, the Japanese connector company that invented the u.fl standard, sells a removal tool:

For $24, I will take my chances! But perhaps the L-shaped fork of that tool could be approximated with a pair of small diagonal cutters held open a fixed amount and used as a lever.


If you pull up on the u.FL cable and apply a torque relative to the horizontal plane of the PCB, this is much more likely to break the u.FL connector. The way I remove the u.FL cables is to pinch the cable and connector together like you are holding a very tiny pot of soup, then twist it back and fourth as you lift it straight up off the u.FL connector. The twisting helps overcome static friction much more easily.