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Hack it! Add an external WiFi antenna to the Stylistic ST5022D tablet PC.

If you were wondering why the internal WiFi antennas (primary and secondary) just suck, then you did not yet see that their ultra-thin cable just ends on an 1"×1" flexiplastic square which works as... er... antenna (d'oh!).

I bought a so-called "pig-tail RP-SMA to U.FL cable" for less than 5 bucks (ouch!) and drilled the Stylistic case in the only point where it seems to fit. Actually I had some hard time drilling it using a 6mm wood type and a variable speed Skil drill bought in late 70's; I even had to unmount the small PCB hosting modem and ethernet connectors; a lot of care is needed not only when unmounting the Stylistic - because of its large bunch of flat cables - but also when calculating RP-SMA connector sizes (my first attempt was too optimistic and the RP-SMA connector "touched" the display, thus creating a weird brighter display area near the connector).

I now have the "primary" U.FL plug of the MiniPCI card connected to the old ultra-thin cable antenna, and the "secondary" U.FL plug connected to the RP-SMA adapter (which could or couldn't host the external antenna).

No, I don't have a Stylistic Dock, and I don't plan to buy one. And the RPSMA/UFL cable length was too small to place the antenna in the upper part of the tablet (that is, in the rightmost border in the photos below).

I hope to not to ever have serviced my Stylistic... what will I answer to a technician asking: "whattheheck did you drill here?!" :-)

When no external antenna is connected, the MiniPCI card only sees the internal low-gain antenna (good at home); when the external antenna is connected, its signal is far more good than the internal one.

When external antenna is not needed, the RP-SMA connector may be protected using a stylish red rubber cap.

After drilling

Mounting complete

Finally working!

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