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Antenna connectors on logic board durable?

Hi!

Since about one week my MacBook Pro 15" (late 2016) sometimes has a poor Wifi connection.

I run several diagnostic checks, without any result so far.

A friend of mine recently suggested that perhaps one or two of the three antenna connectors on the logic board inside the MacBook might have fallen off. This could have happened when the MacBook was accidentally dropped onto the table (just a few inches, but maybe enough ...). This is what happened to him some years ago.

Of course, wifi problems can have numerous different reasons -- but I don't want to talk about them here. I only want to eliminate a hardware/antenna issue.

So, two questions:

1. How durable are the antenna connectors on this MacBook Pro? Are they stable enough to "survive" the drop of a MacBook (or even more than one drop during it's whole lifespan)?

2. In case one or two of these connectors really fell off, how can I find out without opening the MacBook itself? Is there any diagnostic data suitable to make some kind of deduction (i.e. signal strength, transfer rate, ...) that at least one connector is broken ... or the other way around: all connectors still at their place? -- Or do you have any other ideas?

Thanks so much in advance!

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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First I would recommend you make sure you have the latest OS updates installed as Apple did create some fixes for the newer models.

Next I would get a good app to monitor the WiFi signal strength. I use this one: WiFi Explorer and I use this to monitor my data rate: Network Speed Status

You'll really need a second MacBook Pro system to compare your signal strength & throughput. If you do see you are having a problem I would visit Apple to have them take a look.

OK to your directed question here:

Apple (as well as every other system) use the same coaxial connectors for their WiFi & Bluetooth antenna leads so I don't see this as an issue.

But, Apple has done something new here! Before, Apple used a BroadCom mini PCIe card Vs integrating the WiFi & Bluetooth services on the main logic board. So before you could replace the sub assembly now you can't, you can only replace the complete system logic board.

In addition, Apple is using a different vendors product. So there could be some teething pain with the new hardware. Which is why I would visit Apple if you are sure you have a problem.

Two side notes here:

  • The WiFi AP unit you are trying to connect to may only offer 2.4 GHz connections which offer good distance but not that great a data rate. 5.0 GHz doesn't do well though walls or distance so consider that on where you place your AP's and where you are in your home.
  • I often find dual 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz AP's can get into trouble when the AP is using the same name for each band. I strongly recommend you alter the naming a bit here as an example instead of Alpha I would use Alpha-2.4 for the 2.4 GHz AP and Alpha-5 for the 5 GHz AP. That way I would know which I had hooked into and I could bias the connection to a given one for a given device.

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Hi Dan,

thanks for your answer.

I have the latest Mac OS update installed. WiFi AP is working a 5.0 GHz only. Unfortunately, there isn't any other MacBook Pro I have access to at the moment. :/ So I can't compare any signal data ...

Concerning the antenna connectors, you're writing that you don't see this as an issue. So in your opinion they're most unlikely to fall off by accident due to a drop/shock of the case?

Thanks again. :)

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I haven't seen or heard of any dislodging on their own from a drop or a bang.

Most likely the amount of force needed as Tom stated would be well beyond the ability of the device to survive!

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These connectors are pretty strong actually and there is not much cable weight to pull it, so I would guess the acceleration required to pull it out of its socket is in the several hundred Gs range, which is plane crash or fall from a tall building level

If the connector tend to fall off due to external shock, Apple tend to put a bracket on it, like those on iphones. Not having one means it is not needed.

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Thank you for this information! :)

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Mr. Hamilton will be eternally grateful.
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