Your Feather Radio does not have a built-in antenna. Instead, you have two options for attaching an antenna. For most low cost radio nodes, a short length of wire works great. If you need to put the Feather into an enclosure, soldering on a uFL connector (on Feathers that don’t already include this) and using a uFL to SMA adapter will let you attach an external antenna.

Wire Antenna

A wire antenna, aka "quarter wave whip antenna" is low cost and works very well! You just have to cut the wire down to the right length.

Cut a stranded or solid core wire to the proper length for the module/frequency:

  • 433 MHz - 6.5 inches, or 16.5 cm
  • 868 MHz - 3.25 inches or 8.2 cm
  • 915 MHz - 3 inches or 7.8 cm

Strip a mm or two off the end of the wire, tin and solder into the ANT pad on the very right hand edge of the Feather.

That's pretty much it, you're done!

uFL Antenna

If you want an external antenna, you need to do a tiny bit more work but its not too difficult.

For Feather Radio boards that don’t already have a surface-mount uFL connector installed, you’ll need to get one. Feather RP2040 RFM boards already have this installed. Feather M0 and 32u4 require soldering.

You'll also need a uFL to SMA adapter (or whatever adapter you need for the antenna you'll be using, SMA is the most common).

Of course, you will also need an antenna of some sort, one that matches your radio frequency.

uFL connectors are rated for 30 connection cycles, but be careful when connecting/disconnecting to not rip the pads off the PCB. Once a uFL/SMA adapter is connected, use strain relief!

For Feather M0 and 32u4:

(this step can be skipped for Feather RP2040 RFM, which already has a uFL connector installed)

Check the bottom of the uFL connector, note that there's two large side pads (ground) and a little inlet pad. The other small pad is not used!

Solder all three pads to the bottom of the Feather

For all radio-capable Feather boards:

Once done attach your uFL adapter and antenna!

This guide was first published on Jun 29, 2016. It was last updated on Jul 13, 2024.

This page (Antenna Options) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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