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Model A1224 / Mid 2007 and Early 2008 / 2, 2.4, or 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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Bent Bluetooth Antenna Connector

Is there a way to replace a bent bluetooth antenna connector for the 20" early 2008 iMac? When I replaced the video card on my early 2008 20 inch iMac the bluetooth antenna was bent/damaged when I removed it from the bluetooth card. I've tried to bend it back into shape, but the connector was too damaged to fit back onto the bluetooth board.

I didn't see an Ifixit instruction to fix or replace the u.fl connector that snaps on the bluetooth board - just a method for replacing the board.

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I often find replacing the cable is just easier! You can buy pre-made cables MHF4 to U.FL Cable: 2” 4” 6” 8" 10" lengths cutting off the end and mounting (soldering) it onto the antenna.

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I’ve done this too, but to a mid 2017 21.5” iMac. The curious thing is I’ve bent the little gold tip on 1 of each pair of connectors, but WiFi still works fine, and my BT “magic” keyboard still works, and my watch will still unlock the Mac, but BT connections that require a more complex data stream (sound, mouse movements) do not. I THINK I should be able to solder new connectors to the antenna tips, but I cannot find part numbers.

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Dan, I’m not clear which size to order; there’s a 2 mm and a 0.8 mm-tipped MHF4 version. I’ve only done soldering in one Mac my entire life. That worked out (enabling the “entire” 4 MB of RAM to be addressed in a Mac Plus). If I go this route, my guess is that I should measure the cable length's needed to reach the rectangular flat boxes that lie at the opposite ends of the cables from their attachments to the WiFi-BT board. Is that correct?

I’ll ask one other question. On one of the Apple email listservs I read, a totally different approach has been suggested, namely buying a little EXTERNAL Bluetooth controller that fits into a USB slot. My concerns about this center on how increasingly jealously Apple “guards” the operating system with each annual release. Could something like that work reliably in macOS? How would the OS know that the embedded controller was no longer “in charge” of Bluetooth?

Thanks so much. It does look as though all is not lost for my 4 year old box!

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@jsrnephdoc - The cable I pointed to is really an adapter to allow the larger external connection possible (MHF4 connection) to the internal U.FL connection on the Bluetooth or WiFi board connection

All I do is cut off the MHF4 connector, peel back the braid as needed and trim the inner core insulator so I can solder it down as needed on the antenna. Apple never offered replacement cables (even as an assembly) the only way for this series was to replace the full case!

Replacing the connector its self can be done but its very tricky! And the available slack is very short.

As far as using an external USB adapter, at one point that was possible! Sorry I haven't seen anything that supports the newer macOS releases, so I think that's a dead-end!

But you do have an external WiFi option! Using a Ethernet to WiFi bridge for WiFi access. Sorry I don't have anything up my sleeve for Bluetooth other than mounting an external antenna feeding the connection from the BT port on the AirPort board through a hole in the case for the external antenna.

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I'm (at best) a "paint by number" tech, not sure what you're suggesting. If it's soldering a clipped cable to the pins on the Wi-Fi/BT communications board, I don't know why I'd need to purchase new cables. If the idea is to attach NEW cables to the pins on the board and solder the other end of the new cable to the boxes at the other end, I'd need to take a very careful approach to that. I'll be back inside the case later today to take photos of my mangled connectors. I CERTAINLY wouldn't buy a new iMac case! I'll also investigate the USB BT "dongle" idea a bit more, since it was suggested by someone who is pretty Mac-knowledgeable.

I would be grateful if you could expand a bit more about what you're recommending about the replacement cables, however.

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