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  • 1 Post By npharper
  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Lightbulb Modifying aluminum case to improve signal

    I bought a Zomgo-brand aluminum case from eBay (in "Sapphire" color), and found that it interfered with my cell signal. I decided to modify it by drilling holes through the case, and after getting the following image from these forums, I knew where to drill them. The mod actually worked, although the end result is not too pretty.

    Here's the diagram of the antenna locations:
    Modifying aluminum case to improve signal-uploadfromtaptalk1380116352159.jpg

    Here's what the back of the case looked like before the mods (quite good looking, I think):
    Modifying aluminum case to improve signal-img_0992.jpg

    ...but here's the signal with the case on:
    Modifying aluminum case to improve signal-2013-09-25-15-52-16.jpg

    ...versus with no case at all:
    Modifying aluminum case to improve signal-2013-09-25-15-50-33.jpg

    Here's what it looks like with holes drilled and filed down (very ugly):
    Modifying aluminum case to improve signal-img_0997.jpg
    Modifying aluminum case to improve signal-img_0998.jpg
    Modifying aluminum case to improve signal-img_0999.jpg

    ...and the signal strength after the mod:
    Modifying aluminum case to improve signal-2013-09-25-17-35-27.jpg

    In reality, the signal now fluctuates between 40 and 50%, which is a good improvement over the best percentage I could get before the mod. It looks pretty bad, but I figure I can just find some cool stickers to go over the blemishes, and the case will look pretty good again. I really like the feel of the case and its slim profile, plus I spent $25 on it that I didn't want to waste. So I'm pleased overall. Also, you might have noticed from the diagram that I did not cut out around the second CDMA antenna, and that's because I figured I would be on 4G anyway, and the extra holes might not be necessary.
    jlost likes this.
  2. #2  
    Golfdriver97's Avatar

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    Default Re: Modifying aluminum case to improve signal

    Quote Originally Posted by npharper View Post
    I bought a Zomgo-brand aluminum case from eBay (in "Sapphire" color), and found that it interfered with my cell signal. I decided to modify it by drilling holes through the case, and after getting the following image from these forums, I knew where to drill them. The mod actually worked, although the end result is not too pretty.

    Here's the diagram of the antenna locations:


    Here's what the back of the case looked like before the mods (quite good looking, I think):


    ...but here's the signal with the case on:


    ...versus with no case at all:


    Here's what it looks like with holes drilled and filed down (very ugly):




    ...and the signal strength after the mod:


    In reality, the signal now fluctuates between 40 and 50%, which is a good improvement over the best percentage I could get before the mod. It looks pretty bad, but I figure I can just find some cool stickers to go over the blemishes, and the case will look pretty good again. I really like the feel of the case and its slim profile, plus I spent $25 on it that I didn't want to waste. So I'm pleased overall. Also, you might have noticed from the diagram that I did not cut out around the second CDMA antenna, and that's because I figured I would be on 4G anyway, and the extra holes might not be necessary.
    Welcome to the forums!
    If the case is black, you can try using a Sharpie to cover the blemished paint. Or, just repaint the whole device.

    Phone Timeline
    What could not be changed, must be endured - New Spring, by Robert Jordan
    Community Guidelines and also here, Developer Rules, and Marketplace
    Mobile Nations Sister Forums: iMore/Connectedly/Windows Central/Crackberry
  3. #3  

    Default Re: Modifying aluminum case to improve signal

    I was going to say repaint it also. Also could've drilled the holes the same diameter and similar design as the area for the speaker.

    Posted via Android Central App
  4. #4  
    Golfdriver97's Avatar

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    Default Re: Modifying aluminum case to improve signal

    Quote Originally Posted by Tysonsaurus View Post
    I was going to say repaint it also. Also could've drilled the holes the same diameter and similar design as the area for the speaker.

    Posted via Android Central App
    Good idea. Too late for that now.

    Phone Timeline
    What could not be changed, must be endured - New Spring, by Robert Jordan
    Community Guidelines and also here, Developer Rules, and Marketplace
    Mobile Nations Sister Forums: iMore/Connectedly/Windows Central/Crackberry
  5. #5  

    Default Re: Modifying aluminum case to improve signal

    I probably would have just gone with a mesh aluminum case, if you were worried about signal strength.

    Sent from my Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note II via Tapatalk 4
  6. #6  

    Default Re: Modifying aluminum case to improve signal

    Quote Originally Posted by npharper View Post
    I bought a Zomgo-brand aluminum case from eBay (in "Sapphire" color), and found that it interfered with my cell signal. I decided to modify it by drilling holes through the case, and after getting the following image from these forums, I knew where to drill them. The mod actually worked, although the end result is not too pretty.

    Here's the diagram of the antenna locations:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	uploadfromtaptalk1380116352159.jpg 
Views:	309 
Size:	60.1 KB 
ID:	83090

    Here's what the back of the case looked like before the mods (quite good looking, I think):
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0992.jpg 
Views:	135 
Size:	566.2 KB 
ID:	83091

    ...but here's the signal with the case on:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2013-09-25-15-52-16.jpg 
Views:	136 
Size:	325.5 KB 
ID:	83092

    ...versus with no case at all:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2013-09-25-15-50-33.jpg 
Views:	135 
Size:	324.7 KB 
ID:	83093

    Here's what it looks like with holes drilled and filed down (very ugly):
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0997.jpg 
Views:	133 
Size:	612.9 KB 
ID:	83094
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0998.jpg 
Views:	131 
Size:	592.2 KB 
ID:	83095
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0999.JPG 
Views:	133 
Size:	952.8 KB 
ID:	83096

    ...and the signal strength after the mod:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2013-09-25-17-35-27.jpg 
Views:	131 
Size:	329.1 KB 
ID:	83097

    In reality, the signal now fluctuates between 40 and 50%, which is a good improvement over the best percentage I could get before the mod. It looks pretty bad, but I figure I can just find some cool stickers to go over the blemishes, and the case will look pretty good again. I really like the feel of the case and its slim profile, plus I spent $25 on it that I didn't want to waste. So I'm pleased overall. Also, you might have noticed from the diagram that I did not cut out around the second CDMA antenna, and that's because I figured I would be on 4G anyway, and the extra holes might not be necessary.
    I think that's pretty neat. Yeah I would go for a spray paint on the case. I've done that with my other phones removable backing and it came out great. And the paint last a long time too.
  7. #7  

    Default Re: Modifying aluminum case to improve signal

    What app is that?

    Sent from my SCH-I605 using AC Forums mobile app
  8. #8  

    Default Re: Modifying aluminum case to improve signal

    has anyone done this to an aluminum case for the S3?
    if so, could someone tell me where exactly I should be drilling?

    thanks.
  9. #9  

    Default Re: Modifying aluminum case to improve signal

    Hey kae86...I did buy an aluminium case for my s3 (the brand is love mei case from japan) and it did bring my reception down to zero. Now i have better reception after modifications. I opened the phone up (removed the back of phone and then removed the ten screws that were exposed. After that i removed the plastic plate that the screws were holding down and voila...the antenna!) and spliced a small wire to the antenna. With a needle heated with a torch, i made a small hole on the side of phone and passed the wire through. I reassembled the phone and then put it in the case with lots of wire touching the case (metal not paint). Worked for me.
    Thanked by:
  10. #10  

    Default Re: Modifying aluminum case to improve signal

    the OP could have take the case to a shooting range and shoot at it with a 10-gauge shotgun. at least he or she could have a nice story to go with the funny-looking phone case.

    however, I'm a function-over-form person, so I say anything that works is a thing of beauty.

    back in the early 1990s when cell phones were still analog, I got fed up with poor reception in my rural area.... took a drill and installed a 4-foot antenna on the roof of my pick-up truck, then added a 5-watt analog cell signal booster.... no longer had access to indoor parking, but that big ugly antenna gave me perfect reception almost anywhere. It was so strong that the local TV station did a story on my truck.
  11. #11  

    Default Re: Modifying aluminum case to improve signal

    Quote Originally Posted by Mbode1 View Post
    What app is that?

    Sent from my SCH-I605 using AC Forums mobile app
    Network Signal info

    sent from my N4 with half of the screen working
  12. #12  

    Default Re: Modifying aluminum case to improve signal

    Quote Originally Posted by fishfearme View Post
    Hey kae86...I did buy an aluminium case for my s3 (the brand is love mei case from japan) and it did bring my reception down to zero. Now i have better reception after modifications. I opened the phone up (removed the back of phone and then removed the ten screws that were exposed. After that i removed the plastic plate that the screws were holding down and voila...the antenna!) and spliced a small wire to the antenna. With a needle heated with a torch, i made a small hole on the side of phone and passed the wire through. I reassembled the phone and then put it in the case with lots of wire touching the case (metal not paint). Worked for me.
    Thanks for this! I have an S3 and am interested in this case but was turned off by the reception complaints. So with the S3 mod that you did, is the aluminum actually acting as an antenna now or is it just the extra wire stuffed in the case? Are you at the same reception level as without the case on before the mod? Also how is your wifi reception and gps - are those affected at all or improved by this mod. I think the antenna is just the cell antenna but I'm not sure. I am tempted to do this mod. I replaced the screen so I am familiar with the insides and know where the antenna connects. I set up an account here just to ask you these questions so I'd appreciate any further insight you may have.
  13. #13  

    Default Re: Modifying aluminum case to improve signal

    Hi,
    I'm experiencing the same issue, but only with GPS signal.
    A quick question, is the diagram of antenna locations the same both for n7100 and n7105?

    If it is not the case, could anyone be so kind to indicate me the location of the gps antenna on n7100?

    Thanks!

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