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Hi,This is a tip for the brave...Having been totally frustrated by the terrible Wifi reception of my M003, I decided to take the plunge and open the beast. You can tell it is made in China by morons because you have to peel the lower half of the horrible silver foil to get at the two critical screws to get the thing undone.Fortune favours the brave however. Tip, once you have removed those suckers, throw them away, the machine holds together by clips just fine.So now for the insight. Being familiar with electronic and mechanical engineering I looked at the problem from a 'quick fix' perspective. The wifi board is basically a hard wired USB board. It is stuck in one corner of the machine, and surrounded by thick plastic.There is a lot of space inside this thing! So after trial, error and a 'wow' moment I discovered something about the plastic case. In the middle, near the battery, the case has been thinned to make an almost transparent part. Amazingly this is about the size of the usb wifi board. So, brains decided that this might be the solution. You need to shift the battery by about 1-2 cm (no problem), get handy with Duck tape (put this on the bare metal of the screen to provide insulation. Masking tape is fine too, but Duck tape will last longer. Route the power cable from the battery and the cables to the wifi board to be as far apart as possible. Then make the wifi cable take an L shape path, avoiding any major electrical components. Tape both cables to the PCB (masking tape preferable). Try the wifi board in both planes (mine worked best with the ROHS label face up). You can test the machine with the back off, don't plug it into the mains when doing this please!So the results: signal improved at least 1 bar everywhere. Most importantly the lurchy stalling when opening pages improves a lot. Even better, as you hold the thing on the edges (actually where the wifi board was before) you can tilt and move it slightly and see the signal improve. Big test for me - sat next to my router I went from a very bad 2 bar to full signal (as it SHOULD be).If you have the courage (come on this thing is very cheap) you can improve the M003 with this simple and safe mod. Be careful taking the silver foil off (sharp knife needed), and be prepared for some very minor cosmetic damage if you are heavy handed.DISCLAIMER: Don't touch what you don't understand. Only tackle the wifi board. Take it out carefully (it is mounted on 2 small plastic pins), move the battery carefully. Check your machine has the thin plastic area (hold in front of a light to see where it is). You MUST use the insulation Duck tape as described or you'll short circuit the wifi board. If you break it, it is not my fault. I'm just sharing experience and some expertise, not the answer to everything ;0)Good luck, and if you succeed let me know!pepsimaxmjsUPDATE: Been running for 2 days with the 'mod' - definitely works. Reception and web performance improved all round. A step closer to usability! :0)Want - multi-touch, faster processor, a working market, but really can't afford an iPad!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Guys & Gals,Been away on my hols! I didn't take any pictures, and opening the M003 is a little tricky (as explained).I am still getting improved reception, and this is not software dependent. As stated before this is a physical shielding issue. The slim part of the case is really designed for the Wifi PCB in my view. I'm sure there were some other issues that meant it was moved to the top corner.The difference is very significant, so if you're prepared to open the machine and follow my instructions you should gain the benefits.Good luck!Mike
 

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Before doing this MOD, figure out range for your wifi. In my house I know my dead spot. I can move about 2 feet closer and wifi works. This spot is actually similar to where my PSP and Nokia tablets drop connection, about 40 feet from my wifi router. Since the end of my house is my daughters room and her laptop wifi work, I won't need to run this mod. I am interested in pictures, I'd like to add USB BT internally, a USB HUB, replace the speakers, internal extended storage, FM transmitter and any other hacks that we come up with. Thanks pepsimaxmjs, great to know there's room for modding!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Tron,I live in a modern house with thin walls. Every laptop I have, and my iPhone work throughout the house on near maximum strength. I have an advanced router with N class MiMo capabilities. The M003 hardly got much reception next to my router, and upstairs would not work at all. However, that all changed after my modification. Simply put the actual wifi card in the device is poor quality, and it needs the best chance to work. The casing is quite thick (much thicker than a normal USB wifi stick would have. This thinned out section must have been done for a reason. This is part of the original mould, and is uncannily the same size as the USB pcb used for wifi in the M003. If there's smoke, there must be a fire?Seems to work, and the mod requires nothing more than moving the board and some work with tape. Again sorry, no pics, and I really don't want to open it up again as it risks damage to the mirror surround.
 

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hello pepsimaxmjsI tried now to effetture your mod, but unfortunately still can not find improvements ..Continuous testing ..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Surfer,When I made my mods there were a couple of things I found:1. You needed to have the wifi PCB facing 'the right way'. Basically one side gave better reception than the other. 2. You need to be careful how you route the wires to the wifi PCB over the mainboard. Avoid all major components, and make sure you avoid the power wires to the battery.Finally, you need to ensure you have aligned the wifi PCB to the thin plastic wall. This does mean you need to move the main battery slightly. I used Duck tape to insulate the wifi board from the metal back of the screen (essential to prevent short circuits) and used thin masking tape to hold the wifi board in place (maximising reception potential). This is the same tape as used in the construction of the machine and is used to hold other wires etc down in the machine.I did have to adjust the placement and wires after my first attempt as, like you, there was initially not much improvement. My second attempt had much better results. Sorry this is an imperfect art, and I have an Eken clone (i.e. unbranded) rather than the Eken machine. To all intents and purposes it looks the same inside, but it might not be!Good luck,pepsimaxmjs
 

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For allI made several more tests, and I came to some conclusions, improvements are obtained with wifi routers recent and possibly N standard, optimizing the location of the router and the connection parameters.I installed the 1.91 rom and made a mod pepsimaxmjs, there was some small improvement, but I repeat, position and power the router is essential.The following photos:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi Surfer,Thanks for posting your pictures. I do have some comments:1. You have not used a strong insulating material - like Duck Tape behind the Wifi PCB. This is actually important. Also I used more tape than you have, so I have created a wider area around the Wifi PCB to ensure there is no chance of a short circuit or more importantly an earthing leak. This would reduce Wifi reception. I strongly recommend you change this if you can.2. Your back cover is different from mine (slightly). So the Wifi PCB is in a different place.3. I routed my cables over the main PCB following a path that looked like a crooked ? (question mark shape). This traces the main etched power lines on the PCB, but sits above them. This goes through the centre of the machine, and is trying to leverage ariel effect of the connection to the wifi PCB.4. You are totally right about the position and antenna quality of the router. However, if every other device works OK, and the M003 does not - then don't blame the router, blame the poor quality of the M003! Thanks for taking the time to do this and sharing your photos and experience. I think you'll find a better backing material behind the PCB will lift the signal. The thin masking tape can be easily penetrated by soldered joints, especially as the quality of these joints inside the M003 is poor.Also try re-routing the connecting wire. The edge of the case is the thickest part, and you may gain some further improvement.With my M003 I gained an extra bar everywhere, and saw data throughput increase dramatically. The thing is just about usable now. I tried 1.9 ROM, did not see any benefit over Ectotex or Caffeine ROMs.pepsimaxmjs
 

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Hi pepsimaxmjsFor images, I'm sending it best.Your mod is a work in progress, so I will try to improve by following your advice.I do not blame the router for the poor quality of WiFi signal, but it is also true with devices such as PDA phone wifi psp etc.. the connection quality is not comparable to that of a PC.The material to isolate the PCB is often double-sided tape, even if it relies on the poor quality of the photos, replace the tape with insulating tape, and try a different cable routing, follow your advice.Sorry for my bad englishsurfer
 
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