A Little Soldering and a Voided Warranty Tripled the Range of This Corsair HS80 Wireless Headset

With the headset constantly losing connection, even in the next room, maker rafii6312 decided to take matters into their own hands.

Gareth Halfacree
1 year agoHW101 / Communication

Pseudonymous maker "rafii6312," hereafter simply "Rafii," has resolved what they see as a design flaw in a commercial wireless headset — tripling its range by replacing the chip antenna in the bundled USB dongle.

"I just got the Corsair HS80 headset. It's neat and all but the range is abysmal," Rafii explains. "On top of that, if its out of range, it keeps beeping, EVERY 3 SECONDS. It was driving me nuts. Even one room away from my PC, connection was lost. That's not even eight meters [around 26 feet]. For the sake of my sanity, someone had to go. The headset OR the puny SMD [Surface Mount Device] onboard antenna on the USB receiver."

With the headset proving perfectly acceptable otherwise, the logical thing to do — if you don't mind voiding the warranty — was to perform a little upgrading. The headset comes bundled with a 2.4GHz transceiver dongle with a USB connector which, once cracked from its shell, revealed a compact chip antenna — the source of the connectivity issues.

"I decided to solder an SMA Connector to the board, instead of a new, bigger antenna directly," Rafii explains. "I grabbed an 'IPEX to SMA' cable and chopped of the IPEX part. Next was stripping the cable, pre-tinning it and soldering it to the board. Now I had the issue that the antenna cable somehow had to go out of the case, so I fired up Fusion360 to design a new case. But why the work, if you can just snip off a piece of the old case? So I did that."

The resulting device, once reassembled, offered connectivity for any 2.4GHz antenna of the user's choice — and when paired with a dipole from an old Wi-Fi router boasted at least triple the range of the stock chip antenna. "Even three rooms away from my PC," Rafii notes, "I still had connection."

Rafii's full project write-up is available on their Hackaday.io page.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
Latest articles
Sponsored articles
Related articles
Latest articles
Read more
Related articles