Linksys (Cisco) e2500 or n600 external antenna mod

THE PROBLEM

linksys e2500Recently, I acquired a new linksys (Cisco)  e2500 (a.k.a n600) wireless router.  I wanted to use it to replace or mesh to an older D-link that I had in the basement of our four-level split.  I was having some issues with a weak signal from the dlink and wanted to fix that.  Also, I knew the E2500 was fully supported by DD-WRT, the open source, very flexible wireless software.

The first thing I tried was flashing ddwrt to the new wireless router, and setting it up as a bridged repeater.  That mode will associate to the current wireless ssid from the dlink, and broadcast its own ssid;  essentially extending the current network.   It was pretty easy to set up using instructions on the ddwrt site. Now I had two ssids I could use in my house,  one in the basement and one in the upstairs rooms.   Although it worked, I wasn’t happy with the performance.  The link between the two routers was pretty sketchy, and I would get occasional drops.

Linksys e2500

The Linksys e2500- great router for the money, but it has a fairly weak signal

So on to Plan B: Use the Linksys n600 (Cisco) E2500 in the basement and get better coverage around the house.

This plan also proved a total failure.  I needed something a little more powerful–even through with DD-WRT I could turn up the transmit power, the Linksys still did not give good enough coverage throughout the house.

THE SOLUTION:

Add four external antennas to the Linksys e2500!  There are kits available on ebay that will get you everything you need to crank the wireless coverage and satisfy your need for nerdification!

I bought a kit on ebay for about $24 that includes two 6db, two 7db and four pigtail connectors for this project.  It requires some soldering, and will allow you to extend your 2.4 and 5 Ghz bands.  If you are not nerdy enough to solder, order the two-antenna version (but it only will increase the 5GHz signal (A-band), not the 2.4 (b/g band).  So older wireless cards and older laptops may not benefit at all.

Opening the Linksys E2500

linksys e2500 warning

Yes, that’s right–I void warrantees. If you want to keep your warranty, don’t do this, or stop here and buy a $300 wireless router with better coverage.

 

 

1.) There are three screws on the bottom of the unit, flip it over.   The screws are located under the three rubber feet.  Remove all three screws and set them aside.

 

 

 

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2.  Use a plastic wedge to pry the cover off.  I used a guitar pick, which really worked well.  I also had a small plastic ipod tool that came in handy as well.  Be careful not to damage anything, this is where patience and nerdyness meet.

inside of Linksys e2500

Ahh, finally, a look inside the linksys e2500.  Notice the fine tablecloth I am careful not to damage.

(CLICK PAGE 2 BELOW TO READ ON!)

10 comments for “Linksys (Cisco) e2500 or n600 external antenna mod

  1. August 20, 2013 at 1:26 am

    Thanks for the instructions!

    • nerdosaur
      August 24, 2013 at 3:35 am

      You’re welcome, glad you could use them!

  2. Seiro
    February 28, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    You could just cut the original antenna wire, and the new one and splice them together to save yourself a soldering job, and to make sure it’s soldered perfectly.

    • Devo
      November 13, 2015 at 6:19 am

      Not a good idea actually a bad idea because you will ruin any chance of the outer shield braiding to do its job and so introduce much noise and signal drop to poorer than poor. Try it, and you can see. Whirling very important. Cutting corners not good.

      • Devo
        November 13, 2015 at 6:21 am

        Oops not “Whirling”.

        SHIELDING very important.

        I shoulda proof read doh

    • Ian
      March 21, 2016 at 8:09 pm

      you can do that but it will most likely to reduce the tx power by 1dbm.

  3. Maurice
    July 2, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    THANKS!

  4. Shawn
    November 27, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    How hard is it to solder for a first timer or splice wires ? I’m considering doing this instead of buying an asus rt ac68u with wifi extenders, etc the works (expensive lol) but just upgraded to 150mbps ‘blast!’ Upgrade from Comcast but 8t hasn’t helped much…. also, what do you guys think about a yagi wifi 15dbi atenna? Is it even possible to use one.with the.linksys n60p? (Off topic but – can you believe 505mbps is their fastest wifi package but it costs 499.99 use a MONTH, and yes its a home service not business lol. Who has that much money man… it sucks 150mbps or 505 nothing inbetween. Most routers can transmit far more yet the ips don’t provide those speeds at all; let alone for a reasonable price.)

  5. Levi Nelson
    June 30, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    I am doing this same mod but for the 2.4GHz portion I am using the empty pads to solder in two U.fl coax connectors to match the 5GHz connectors. That way I don’t have to worry about botched solder jobs like what commonly happens soldering the coax directly to the PCB.

  6. January 12, 2017 at 4:48 am

    Hey this quide is great any chance we could see any higher resolution images, Im curious about the 4 wires and where they got soldered to….Thanks

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