Mac mini Model A1283 Antennas Replacement

Replace your antennas to restore wireless connectivity.


Edit Step 1 Top Housing  ¶ 

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Edit Step 1 Top Housing  ¶ 

  • You'll need a putty knife in order to open the case. A 1.5 inch thin putty knife will work well, but you'll want to grind the edge down. Rub the putty knife's short edge back and forth on a sheet of all purpose rough grit sandpaper (100 grit will work fine) until it attains a beveled edge.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Carefully insert a putty knife into the crevice in between the top cover and bottom housing. Start on the left side first. Push the blade down until you meet firm resistance (roughly 3/8 of an inch).

  • Gently enlarge the existing crevice by rotating the putty knife downward and away from the mini.

  • This is easier if you use two putty knives. Insert the first putty knife at the point on the left side where the gap is largest, press the handle of the knife downward and away from the mini.

  • Then insert the second knife next to it and push that knife down and out.

  • Take the first knife out of the mini and put it back in on the other side of the second knife, push down and out.

  • Repeat this process all the way around the mini.

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Repeat the prying motion until a portion of the bottom housing has been nudged upward.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Repeat the same prying procedure on the right side.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • The top cover should now be marginally separated from the bottom housing. Use your fingers to completely separate the two, starting with the I/O side of the mini.

Edit Step 6 Internal Frame  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6 Internal Frame  ¶ 

  • In the next few steps you will be removing the AirPort and Bluetooth antennas (shown in red) from the internal frame. Be very careful, as breaking the brackets will require replacing the internal frame.

  • We will first remove the AirPort antenna, located in the lower left corner of this picture.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Slightly squeeze the two retaining arms toward each other and lift the AirPort antenna off its post.

  • Squeezing the two posts excessively will surely break them off the internal frame. Work delicately.

  • During reinstallation, you will have to slightly squeeze the two posts together so they fit into the openings on the AirPort antenna board.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • The two Bluetooth antenna boards simply lift off the internal frame.

  • Grab the Bluetooth antenna nearest the port side of the computer by the edges of the board and pull it straight up off the internal frame.

    • Pull carefully, as it may offer significant resistance and release suddenly.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Remove the antenna board near the front of the mini by pulling it straight up off the internal frame.

  • If necessary, remove the piece of tape securing the antenna leads to the internal frame.

  • Be sure to keep track of the springs under each of the three antenna boards.

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the audio ribbon cable connector up off the audio board.

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Remove the following four screws securing the internal frame to the bottom housing:

    • Three 6.7 mm Phillips #00 screws

    • One 9.5 mm Phillips #00 screw

  • The screw in the lower right corner of this image is recessed deep in the internal frame and longer than the other three screws. A flashlight and a thin screwdriver aid in removal.

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Lift the internal frame off the bottom housing, starting at the rear edge, until you feel the concealed edge connector on the motherboard disconnect. Then lift straight off, minding the bluetooth and 802.11 antenna cables.

  • When reassembling, the wifi antenna wire routes to the inside of the vent and then over the top of the vent.

Edit Step 13 Antennas  ¶ 

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Edit Step 13 Antennas  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry all three antenna connectors up off the combo card.

  • The black antenna cable attaches to the AirPort card near the corner of the mini, and the white antenna cable attaches nearest the center of the mini.

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

For more information, check out the Mac Mini Model A1283 device page.

Required Tools


$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

1.5" Thin Putty Knife

$6.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

Would you please post photo of the resulting mac mini case (both metal and plastic part) after these steps? I would like to know if there is any scratches by applying these technique. Thanks.

jonesuki, · Reply

Quote from jonesuki:

Would you please post photo of the resulting mac mini case (both metal and plastic part) after these steps? I would like to know if there is any scratches by applying these technique. Thanks.

Use businesscards between case & putty knife if you don't want any scratches. Worked for me.

info5825, · Reply

I tried using business cards with the putty knife, but in the initial stages there just isn't enough room in the slit to get them in there with the putty knife. I was also really worried about scratching the case, but just went really slowly with the putty knife and mine came out scratch free. :)

jeffkao, · Reply

To avoid scratches from wayward putty knife behaviour, masking tape along the thin perimeter edge of the aluminum case can be your friend. :-)

Alternatively, Good/High quality, *Clear* packing tape (parcel tape) is friendly, too. In my experience, the better quality tapes don't leave a residue when you peel it off of the aluminum case. For easier application to the thin lip of the case, cut a length of tape, then split it down the middle.

My anecdotal tips:

1. Working with old or dried-out masking tape is a maddening exercise. If the tape tears or breaks as you peel it off the roll, it's time for a new roll.

2. If, when you hear the word "tape", your knee-jerk reaction is to grab "duct tape", then Stop! Put down the duct tape. Take a deep breath and walk away from the roll. Using Jack Bauer measures to leverage your Mac Mini with duct tape a putty knife is sure to leave a sticky mess after you've negotiated, or in Jack's case, "softened-up" the housing.

Chloe O'Brian: Jack, um, I know it's not your style -- please don't use the duct tape.

Peter, · Reply

On mine, at least, a considerable amount of force was required to get the bluetooth antennas up off the posts. In fact, I ended up pulling so hard one one of them that when it suddenly came up, I broke the antenna cable. Be careful!

talarohk, · Reply

They do need a fair bit of force. Best way for me was first finger and thumb underneath, either side of the post; and first finger of the other hand on top to prevent it "jumping". Then just move up in one smooth motion.


Note on re-assembly - there is a "pin" formed from the top of the internal frame which needs to go through the corresponding hole in the antenna assembly. Although the antenna will clip down without it being exactly in place, the antenna will not be "sprung" and will probably foul the cover when it is replaced, probably causing damage.

As you almost certainly wouldn't notice this as you replace the cover, do check that this "pin" is aligned and that the antenna is floating on the spring, before replacing the cover.

Brian, · Reply

I realized, that it made it easier when I grab and squeeze just a little on the spiral thing under the antenna while lifting it up.

Sebastian A Dyhr, · Reply

A more controlled way of remove the bluetooth antennae: lever them gently off. The closer you are to the centre pin, the more force you will exert there, instead of wasting it bending up the board. You already have the tools - the putty knife & the spudger.

Put the putty knife gently under the board on the side of your non-dominant hand, and then the spudger under the board on the side of your dominant hand. Gently lift the handle of the putty knife and apply constant pressure. Then gently push and wriggle the spudger under the other side with your dominant hand and push constantly forward. The further you push forward, the more upward force you will apply.The antenna will pop up before you get the spudger all the way under, and it will only rise a few mm when it does.

Tim, · Reply

Be aware of cable and Bluetooth antenna board upon reinstall. I attempted to reinstall the board as it faced the incorrect direction, and the cable was improperly positioned. The result? Upon snapping the board in, the cable got caught and portion of it was shorn off near the solder. So, be aware of the board and cable positioning on reinstall.

Tomas, · Reply

From what I've read elsewhere- the "spiral thing" under the antenna is a plastic clip that

needs to be pinched together with fingertips,to release the antenna from its post.

This should also be done when replacing it, to ensure the antenna will clear the case.

Seems like this detail was skipped in other instructions here.

myretoucher1, · Reply

On my late 2009 2.53GHz C2D, there's no tape holding the antenna wire to the frame but it *does* sit in a "clip" formed off part of the internal frame. There's very little slack in the wire for this BT antenna and so it pays to drop the wire back into the "clip" and re-insert the antenna in one motion.

Brian, · Reply

Be careful. There are 2 LONG screws and 2 short ones. Mark which got out where as the short ones do not fit in the long wholes.

Patrick Mast, · Reply

Quote from Patrick Mast:

Be careful. There are 2 LONG screws and 2 short ones. Mark which got out where as the short ones do not fit in the long wholes.

I found one long screw. It goes in the corner right next to the fan.

Also, I would recommend taking the audio cable off nearest to the cd drive and not on the audio board. It's easier to see if it is lined up when reconnecting it.

Desmo, · Reply

The screw in the lower right is longer than the other 3

bay computers, · Reply

6.7mm and 9.5mm screws are equivalent to what size? PH00....PH0 what? 6.7mm is this PH screwdriver and 9.5mm is this PH screwdriver. Please answer.

P.S. I have your 54 Bit Driver Set and least your Phillips bits are labled as PH0 or PH000 not in a mm lable.


vikingsgy, · Reply

Hey Vikingsgy! Looks like we forgot to say #00 in that step, but the tool required for this guide is a Phillips #00! The millimeter measurements are just for the screw lengths, to make sure they go back in the right spots!

Sam Lionheart,

Be VERY careful when reassembling that your wifi/bluetooth cables don't get caught between the internal frame header and its connector on the motherboard. They're so thin that you will hardly feel this (considering this connector requires a lot of pressure). If you then tighten the screws the connector and the stuck wifi cable will be severely damaged.

This damaged my mini's wifi cable and the connector that the internal frame plugs into. I was able to repair the connector by squeezing the plastic sides back together but it's never been quite right and my wifi cable was completely cut. I removed the wireless daughterboard completely now, as I didn't need it anyway and the mini is working again.

I know I should have checked but I didn't think of it. So this is just a word of warning to others trying the same :)

GekkePrutser, · Reply

If you accidentally disconnect the antennas, see to reconnect them.

eric, · Reply

I second the comment about trapping wires on reassembly, particularly the WiFi one. The cable's natural tendency is to trap itself between the black plastic airduct section of the internal frame and the corresponding moulding on the base / port side.

In the absence of a third hand, I found that resting the WiFi antenna on top of the optical drive as you lower the internal frame back into position helps position the cable in the right place, rather than leaving the antenna outside the port area.

Brian, · Reply

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