Wifi module cable connection guide?

Are there videos etc that folks have found helpful in connecting the fiddly tiny little cables to the Wifi module? I have tried dozens of times without success. It’s not obvious how you align the cables properly or what force you use to get them to click. This part has frustrated me a lot, where all the other DIY edition setup steps have gone very smoothly, and it seems to deserve much more detailed documentation-- apologies if this makes me a noob, but I have not done this particular kind of cable connection before, and I have done lots of other build-your-own-computer projects.


Relatedly, I have now managed to finally get the main cable to click in, but the aux cable just will not stay attached. Anyone else found this to be the case? For now I am forging ahead with only the main cable attached, since I’ve read elsewhere that wifi modules can usually get by with only the main antenna. But I’d love to know how to diagnose whether I’ve managed to break the aux cable somehow or I just need to press down on it differently or something.

They have a detailed video on each of the components. Check out the support section for the main website.

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If you could link to the video, I’d be grateful. Apologies if I’ve overlooked it, but I can find only instruction guides with still images, not videos.

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Sorry about my use of the word video. I was referring to the guides and some of the steps do include short videos.

The connections are very fiddly bits, and you have to get them aligned JUST right, centered on the connection and perfectly parallel. This is a standard connector that is used by the industry.

Just take your time, get lots of light on it and position it so you can see what you are doing. I click on the connectors first and THEN mount these cards. Make sure you route the cables in their guides, as any force on the cable can just pop them back off.


I watched multiple youtube videos while waiting for mine to arrive. Everyone had similar issues. The rest of the parts are very easy to assemble but the wifi is a real pain. For me, it took multiple attempts to get it to snap into place, and it popped off once (or was it twice) while trying to get it seated.


Do note, this industry standard connector does not have unlimited connect / disconnect cycles (about 30) so once you get it on, don’t disconnect it unless absolutely necessary.

Connector: Hirose U.FL

Good video, especially pay attention to 3:45 on



@ImaxinarDM this is really good to know, I wonder if this should be specifically called out by the framework team?

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Hopefully @nrp will catch this thread and decide.

From a communications engineer viewpoint, you should never have a transmitter without it’s antenna. You can possibly blow the unit. Like anything on the internet, take “I don’t think it needs it” advice you might see as coming from someone totally uninformed… And don’t follow it.


Make sure that the shield rings around each terminal on the wifi card are still there. Be aware that it’s possible to break off the shielding ring that is on the card itself.
With that ring broken and inside the socket, you’ll never be able to use the socket with it in there.

Had this issue when upgrading a wireless card. It is pretty much impossible to see the really small broken off shielding ring from the card stuck in the attached wire-socket. Did not figure this out until inspecting carefully the old wifi card and noticing the missing shield ring. If you have this issue, you’ll need to take a very fine needle and gently hook the broken ring out. It’s incredibly small, barely visible even when removed. After that, you’ll need a new card because your old one has a broken shielding ring.

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Thanks for all this perspective. I think I may very well have broken off the shielding ring on the aux (white) cable at this point. FWIW, however, the main antenna alone (black cable) seems to be working fine at this point-- Wifi is fast and responsive. If that should change I now at least know what to do to troubleshoot. :slight_smile:

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Now I am setting up the Framework Laptop. And on the Framework Laptop DIY Edition Quick Start Guide - Framework Guides -Step 7 Prepare the WiFi module. I was wrongly trying to connect the wifi module (white) cable with covering the plastic cover. And it seems I broke the white cable. :sweat_smile: I could connect the black cable to the module. But I can’t connect the white cable to the module. In this case, what is the solution? Do I really need to connect the white cable, or connecting the black cable is still fine? Thanks.

@junaruga I had a similar problem-- I don’t know if my white cable was actually broken but it wouldn’t connect. I ended up only connecting the black cable and got excellent wifi connections when I was using the laptop open, but I found that it would often fail to connect to wifi when closed and connected to a dock. My workaround was just to attach a wifi dongle to the dock, and I don’t know if I would have had the same problem if I had connected both cables.

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@Nicholas_Weininger Thanks for the report. You meant you bought and used a USB WiFi adapter like this?

@junaruga Yes, exactly.

OK. Thanks.

By the way, anyone, when I cannot connect the white cable to the WiFi module, should I keep the white cable with the plastic cover to prevent unintended connection with the other metals? Or should I keep the white cable without the plastic cover? What’s the better way to keep the white cable in my case?

Here is another thread about this topic.: Wifi card screwup!

@Nicholas_Weininger, I was lucky, when I got my Framework laptop I had already connected dozens of cables to wifi modules when swapping motherboards etc for warranty, so I already had the practice. You have to get the angle (straight down) just right and a good amount of pressure. I remember a couple of the first ones I ever did I actually pushed really hard at a bad angle and ended up braking the the connection on the end of the wire so it would have trouble connecting again (gave up and ran new antenna cables on those)… I still always cringe a little when I have to connect those stupid little things but practice has made me good at it.

I should also mention that it is better to connect the wires prior to seeding the card on the board!