WIFI reception issues with metal case

Hi all,
after putting my Rock Pi into the official metal case (from the ecoStarter kit), even though the Pi sees Wifi signal at ~50% (Android; significant reduction from when it was without a case), it doesn’t manage to connect to the network.

I assume this is because of the case being metal - is there a way to connect external antenna, or perhaps another solution? My board’s revision is 1.4.

The case I received has a ~5mm hole that’s not in the picture - is this prepared for a coax connector for the wifi?

Yes, because with a metal box, you have created a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage

In fact, the main reason why metal boxes are used for electronics is specifically BECAUSE they are good as EM shielding.

You will either need to switch to a case of plastic/glass or other non-conductive material, or use an external antenna.

Yeah, I’m aware of EM shielding principles :slight_smile: I just thought if the impact of the case was so great, radxa/seller would point this out and offer an “upgrade” for the kit that would include the antenna, patch cable and the u.FL connector already soldered on the board. I didn’t even notice the SKU when I was shopping for the Rock Pi last year… Getting someone local to do the soldering job won’t be easy around here.

The hole in the case seemed too small for SMA at first glance, but I just took out a patch cable from an old router, and it actually fits perfectly. :slight_smile:

For now I’ll try sticking with cable - GbE on Rock Pi seems to work without issues for me so far (something I can’t say about the Raspberry Pi :frowning: )

You should buy the T variant with external antenna if you want to use ROCK Pi inside the metal case.