The studio has several USB and PCIe WiFi adapters. Recent PCIe adapters now include Bluetooth.

The Lenovo T400, T500 and X220 machines were retrofitted with the RTL8821AE 802.11ac 1T1R radios. The original Intel WiFi was not compatible with 802.11n seriously limiting its effectiveness. The Lenovo X230 has a compliant 2T2R 802.11n adapter which works effectively.

The Realtek RTL8811CU is a low cost USB 802.11ac 1T1R radio. The unit has a single antenna to improve on the signal strength.

Fenvi makes a PCIe x1 card with a M.2 slot on it for a WiFi card. The card uses a USB 2.0 connection to support the Bluetooth. Laptop machines do not use USB like that so the design of the Fenvio card needs to be changed. Logic for multiple uses of one PCIe lane are widely available.


The USB can be brought in off the PCIe slot along with a connection for the WiFI. This is how the laptop machines handle the WiFi cards.

Low cost logic can be added to provide any USB requirements. Given the shortage of USB 2.0 headers I would design the card to have some extra USB 2.0 headers for users a value added feature. This way the card can do more with the slot at neglible added cost

The FV-AX200 card is typical. The Intel AX200 is mounted on a M.2 slot and there is a passive heatsink attached to allow the card to be used heavily. The problem is that the USB Bluetooth quits working. Windows problems have been problematic which has forced me to reset Windows many times.

The FV-AX200 has a regulator on it to provide the appropriate voltages. There is no other logic on the board. Adding a USB controller is low cost. Adding some USB 2.0 headers would add 1/2 inch to the card length. Then the card would be substantially more helpful for those who want wireless networking.


Eventually a large external antenna was procured to improve on the signal propagation. Once it was installed the signal was so much better that internet speeds were 100x better and Bluetooth worked properly. Clearly the ability of the antenna to be placed on top of the machine makes a really big difference. The steel in a desktop PC definitely is a barrier to signal propagation.

Laptop machines have the WiFi antenna in the lid. The desktop LCD does not have WiFi antennas so the only solution is the antenna assembly. The external antenna has long cables to place it even high on a wall for better signal strength.