You’ll inevitably want to swap out the antenna on your lunchbox radio kit for something with a little more pizzazz (who doesn’t want a yagi…) though it’s tempting (and definitely easy) to rip the wire out like a band – help is recommended I strongly advise you not to do this. remember the dragonfly wings? yes, those external connectors could bend enough to make a loose connection or the center pin of the male connector could bend to the side making it difficult to connect next time. or worse yet, the connector rips the pcb out!
in fact, there is a ‘specialized’ tool to disconnect them! using the tool, slide the end with the two prongs labeled “u.fl” around the u.fl connector. pull the u.fl connector up and away from the board. you’ll want to avoid pulling the u.fl connector at an angle like a lever, as this can bend the connector.
Reading: U fl connector how to connect
Don’t have a specialized tool to remove the U.FL? There are alternatives alternatives which include:
- a pair of pliers
- right angle cutters (oops, not too hard!)
- a flat spudger tool
- your imagination (well, not directly…)
here is a before and after image of the tweezers technique:
Just like when you connected the two halves the name of the game is “torque is lava,” meaning of course that you don’t want to twist the connector as it is coming off. Get a firm (but not crushing) grip on the female connector just below the thick top part (there will be a nice little lip to hold on to as you pull up). Then all you need to do is pull away from the board. When the female part is separate it no longer has the male part to keep the outside contacts from bending inward so be gentle.
really any tool that can catch the lip under the female connector will do the trick. when she used these right angle cutters, she just made sure the thick part of my palm held them open so i didn’t crush the connector. I then used my thumb as a fulcrum (the farther from the connector the better for a straighter pull) and pulled the two halves apart.
In case you don’t have a two-sided tool, you can also try the “spudger” technique. it’s a bit harder to get right, but it’s also possible to minimize the torque on the connector this way. To do this place something thin and stiff under the cable and place the tip against the barrel of the connector. now hold the cable on the flat part as close as possible to the connector. if you can, pull the wire up a bit to get it away from the connector (this helps counteract the torque you generate by pulling up on only one side). finally use your flat stiff piece to lift the connector up and remove it.
now you know the basics of how to connect, protect and disconnect a u.fl connector. Go rule the airwaves!