[Android Phone Teardown] Antenna in Camouflage [Part 2]

Oct 28, 2008
Nikkei Electronics Teardown Squad
Before prying open the chassis, a Li-ion secondary battery with a capacity of 1,150mAh was covering the right half of the chassis. The battery was printed with the words "hTC INNOVATION."  A vibration motor embedded on the board was seem above the SIM card.
Before prying open the chassis, a Li-ion secondary battery with a capacity of 1,150mAh was covering the right half of the chassis. The battery was printed with the words "hTC INNOVATION." A vibration motor embedded on the board was seem above the SIM card.
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]
After the chassis was removed, a GPS board with a cable (left) was taken out. A long cable connecting a group of mobile phone ICs and an antenna is seen to the right of the main board.
After the chassis was removed, a GPS board with a cable (left) was taken out. A long cable connecting a group of mobile phone ICs and an antenna is seen to the right of the main board.
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]
A mobile phone antenna, which was attached to the chassis. A GPS antenna is still attached to the right side of the chassis.
A mobile phone antenna, which was attached to the chassis. A GPS antenna is still attached to the right side of the chassis.
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]

Continued from [Android Phone Teardown] Chassis Pried Open [Part 1].

After prying open the chassis, our disassembly went smoothly.

Before breaking down the T-Mobile G1, we noticed that a vibration motor, probably for vibrating alert, was seen from outside the chassis.

"Is this removable from outside?" said an engineer who participated in the teardown.

However, after the chassis was removed, we found that this motor was firmly fixed on the main board and cannot easily be taken out.

The next thing the engineer realized was that both the connecting terminal for an mobile phone antenna and that for a GPS antenna were separated from a group of RF chips by using long and thin cables. Particularly, the cable connecting to the mobile phone antenna was as long as 75mm. The cable was tipped with a small buttonhook and was detachable.

"This cable deals with high frequency waves," said the engineer. "Why is this connected in such a careless way?"

In contrast to the eye-catching cable, we had a hard time finding an antenna.

Suddenly, the engineer pointed to the chassis that we had just removed and said, "Maybe, this is an antenna." But, we still could not find any metal antenna such as a dipole antenna or ceramic antenna.

"No, it's here," the engineer said.

He inserted a thin screwdriver into the chassis and began to remove something like a black seal.

"What? Is it the antenna for the mobile phone?" we said.

The antenna the engineer took out was a spirally-cut and black-painted aluminum foil. When measured with an precision slide gauge, the antenna was about 0.2mm thick.