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How I fixed WiFi on my Z1 Android Watch Phone (Read 19830 times)
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How I fixed WiFi on my Z1 Android Watch Phone
Jul 22nd, 2012, 8:23pm
WiFi "fix", or at least improvement for the Z1 Android 2.2 Watch Phone
WARNING:  This is a HARDWARE fix - Requires Disassembly of your Watch Phone.
                 This will VOID any warranty.
                 This requires surface mount technology rework/soldering equipment and skill.
                 There is very high probability of damage even with that skill.  
                 Without it, destroying the device is a certainty.
My Z1 had very poor - to the point of unusable - WiFi.  Several other sites also mention poor Wifi performance.
Here's how I improved mine -- It's still not great, but it is now usable.
I am not telling you what to do.  I am outlining what I did to help you if you make the decision to do this to your device.  If you destroy/damage your device it is your responsibility.
Read all instructions first.
1.  Disassemble the watch - 8 screws - be careful of the USB wires - there is no connector. You may desolder them if you wish.  Desolder the GSM antenna. Do not rip the GSM antenna.
2.  Carefully lift to disconnect the touchscreen connector - the smaller of the 2 metal shields opposite the SIM slot.
3.  Remove 2 screws that hold the PC board.
4.  Carefully lift the end of the board opposite the SIM slot, and disconnect the LCD connector.  It's OK if you lift the screen out - the touch screen and the LCD are not bonded.
5.  Flip the main board over, and locate the 2 ceramic chip antennas on opposite ends.  They are marked.  BT_Ant and WiFi-Ant.  The WiFi Antenna is slightly larger.  NOTE the Dot towards one end of the WiFi Chip antenna.  (Should be towards the corner of the board.)
6.  Carefully desolder the WiFi chip antenna using proper SMT techniques.  Do not damage it.
7.  Obtain some fine insulated wire, flexible, but preferably single-strand.  Cut it to 15.25mm.
OK, now the math is highly suspect here, but I keep seeing 20mm as a dimension for WiFi antennas. The Chip antenna is 5.25mm long.  I assume .25mm soldering overlap on each end.  5.25+15-(2x0.25)=20mm.
I have no idea if that is correct or not, but those are the numbers I used.
8.  Solder the wire to the active pad of the WiFi chip antenna (the end with the dot).  Solder to the pad area of the chip, and exiting in-line with the chip, not sideways. Nothing is connected to the other end.
9.  Solder the other end of the wire to the pad were the WiFi antenna was (dot side, closest to the corner of the board). Leave the other pad empty. NOTE: solder it inline with the pad so the wire exits toward the closest metal shield - i.e. along the long edge of the board.
10.  Re-assemble the device.  The WiFi chip antenna should be placed away from other metal, near (under, with the unit screen down on the bench). the GPS antenna.  Route the wire as far away from other metal as you can. Use a dot of glue or wax to hold WiFi chip antenna in place.
11.  Don't forget to re-solder the GSM antenna.  Take care not to rip it.  Examine it for rips. If it is ripped, scrape some of the green off and carefully apply solder. Keep all soldering around antennas thin and smooth.
As soon as I inserted the battery, my Z1 saw my AP that is at the far corner of the house, and attempted to connect.  It never saw the AP from my electronics bench before.
In most locations where other Android devices can connect to my AP,  The Z1 now assimilates as quickly or quicker than they do. Previously, it would only work within about 5 feet of the router.
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Re: How I fixed WiFi on my Z1 Android Watch Phone
Reply #1 - Aug 28th, 2012, 8:34pm
Great method to improve the wifi signal,the reason why wifi signal is low is due to the following:
at the 8 layout motherborad of the z1 android watch phone,there is no enough space for the built-in wifi antena,the gps antena is there,it's the design bug itself...
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