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"Aux" connector on airport card?

The airport card for the A1176 has two connecting posts for antenna cables. These are visible in the photos for steps 17 and 18 of the AirPort Extreme guide (especially in the zoomed image).

The one on the left is labelel "main" and is, presumably, where one attaches the cable to the airport antenna.

What is the "aux" post for? One site I stumbled on suggested it was for an auxiliary antenna that would be used when the primary can't find a strong enough signal. But the A1176 doesn't come with an auxiliary airport antenna (does it?).

When I purchased my used A1176 the airport antenna and cable were missing; now that I've bought a replacement I also have a spare bluetooth antenna and cable. Would it hurt or help to use my spare as an auxiliary, perhaps taping it where the latest Minis seem to have yet another antenna?

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well stated question +

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I played around with these connections before sealing my machine back up.

With no antenna cabled onto the tiny bluetooth board, I found I was unable to discover my Mac from my adjacent cell phone. But the bluetooth capability still showed up in the System Profiler, of course, despite the lack of a signal.

So then I popped the connector off of that bluetooth board and connected the antenna to the "Aux" post on the Airport Extreme card. As I'd suspected, the System Profiler then couldn't find any bluetooth subsystem at all.

So, the verdict: the Bluetooth board is the correct place to attach the secondary antenna in the A1176, despite some confusion. (At least one person is confused, since I got my used Mini with the Bluetooth antenna attached to the "Aux" post).

Whether attaching a secondary antenna to the "aux" port might help the Mini get a strong signal is something I didn't look into. The idea Ralph found at maclife.com of threading an aux antenna out of the back is intriguing though, especially since I get abyssal signal strength. Unfortunately, I'd buttoned everything up before coming back here; maybe I'll tinker with that when I upgrade the HDD.

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Hello again Richard, Apparently the other connection is for bluetooth. Looking at my original link to you for the airport antenna it says the bluetooth antenna that comes with it plugs into the airport card to provide bluetooth. They must be installed together or don't install the bluetooth antenna. I am again providing the link so you can read it again. Good luck Ralph


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agreed +

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I saw that, but it doesn't quite make sense.

The bluetooth board guide for this model states clearly that there is a completely separate bluetooth board; it is the very small PCB directly under the airport antenna, visible in step 6 of the bluetooth guide (and zoomed in here).

That means there are three posts for antenna cables to connect to: the "main" and "aux" on the Airport Card, plus the post on the Bluetooth card. So the bluetooth guide states unequivocally that the bluetooth cable attaches to the latter, which contradicts weloveMacs. If they are correct, then there is no apparent purpose for the very small PCB, so I'm wary of their assertion. After all, the Airport card's post are labeled "Main" and "Aux", not "802.11" and "802.15.1".

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I suppose I could put my Mini back together with the post in each of the two positions and see which one then has a functioning Bluetooth. If no one has access to a repair or reference manual that can answer this, maybe I'll do that.

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It looks as though you may be correct. Here is a link to a person who attached another antenna to the aux connection and threaded it out of the case for extended signal strength. Look at the bottom of the page. Sorry for the confusion. Ralph


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