Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet
The Aspire One is a great machine that, for me, was mildly crippled by a finicky Wi-Fi connection. There has been some discussion about this on other parts of the web. For some people, the actual wireless module turns on and off occasionally. For other people, the wireless connects and works just fine, but then won't work for a few minutes - but doesn't disconnect from the router. After a brief wait, the internet works again.
This was a bit frustrating. I had the problem of the module remaining connected but not working. Fooling with various settings helped, but it was still not as good as it should be, so I decided to replace the module with an Intel 4965AGN wireless module. This is the easiest fix for those who have this problem and have been frustrated by a solution. I say "easy," because it was easy to spend $35 for the module on eBay and install it, rather than spend another 3 hours fiddling with the settings.
I followed the disassembly guide here to take the keyboard and top panel off. This guide is great, and the author did a nice job with the descriptions.
It was a really easy operation to crack the case open. I then removed the Atheros and replaced it with the Intel 4965 card. Here's where the easiness comes in.
If you look at that guide above, after installing the card, he has you removing all sorts of other parts just to run the new antenna wires. (The Intel card has three antenna jacks, the Atheros only two.) There is really no reason to do this unless you are really serious about having diversity reception. The Intel card will work just fine with only two antennas.
The antenna leads that you remove from the Atheros have the same connector as the Intel card, so just go with the two leads instead. Then you don't have to take apart your screen and all of the other tricky parts. Now, you won't get true Wireless-n without the third antenna, but reception overall seems better with the Intel card, and the Intel card does not get as hot as the Atheros. (Which is kind of nice, since the card is under your right palm. And actually, the Intel card does not get hot at all.) And you can connect to a Wireless-n device, which is not possible with the Atheros.
Also, the Intel card works properly with the hardware on/off switch. No problems there.
A couple of tips. Before you install the Intel card, remove the Atheros drivers and software from your AAO. You can use Add/Remove if you do this BEFORE you pull the Atheros card. Otherwise, Windows wants you to reinstall the card before you remove the drivers.
Also, when you take the AAO apart, use a credit card or other thin piece of plastic to push in the tabs on the keyboard. This saves you from scratches if you use a metal tool.
I hope these suggestions help anyone who is looking to do this easy mod. I wouldn't have added the new card if I had to go through the complete disassembly to add the third antenna, but this is not a necessary step. The new card completely solves the finicky internet problem. For some reason, the Atheros just does not work well with the Acer hardware.
Posted by electronic... on
Jul 27, 2014 | Acer Computers & Internet
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