[Nottingham] wireless cards

Lee nottingham at mailman.lug.org.uk
Mon Feb 3 18:27:01 2003

I've had limited success with the DWL-520+ cards in linux (mandrake),
trouble is, it's unstable, and will panic the kernel after some time.
It's only a binary driver too, which is horrble, so I can't even attempt
to fix it myself...:-( . I think TI and the big chip makers are in
leauge with microsoft, they wont ublish there chipset specs so we can
see the peeks and pokes of a chip set, i.e. what regeisters set the
channel, speed of card etc etc. It's very annoying indeed...if there is
on thing that's going to stop linux getting main stream driver support,
is.....mainstream drivers support. 

Saying that, I am getting really good transfer rates with the dlink
cards.... there PBCC encoding really does work well, I also hear that
dlink have a firmware upgrade to take the chip set to 44 megs PBCC, not
bad at all for a 40 quid card....I'm still looking for this
firmware..could be vapour ware....who knows...

You may say 'don't buy dlink', but when the actual base chip
manufacturer won't release specs, what are you to do? I feel we will see
more of this driverless problem in the future...

I've tried looking for a Prism2 based PCI card with detachable atenna
and good receive senstivity, and working wireless statistics collection
(snr etc etc)...so far I've not had much look, the new belkin cards are
prism2, but I've having trouble tracking them down, as for price, who
knows...probably silly money.

So..if you want a cheap pci 802.11b card, in linux...you can't :-(,well
not relyably anyway... please correct me if I'm wrong.. (I wish I was)

As for 802.11g and 802.11a, I guess were going to have to wait a year or
two before we get drivers for it, I see dlink are doing a small wireless
bridge that you just connect to by ethernet, it's more expensive, but it
now worries with sub standard linux drivers. If you need the best card,
then it's got to be the cisco pci card..it's a very sexy card indeed,
and that's reflected (sadly) in the price. 

Long live the amiga.....:-)....those were the days...


On Mon, 2003-02-03 at 16:57, .waffle wrote:
> Hi there! Whatever you do, do not buy a card with a chipset by Texas
> Instruments. I bought my cards back in October, and the Linux drivers "soon"
> became Linux drivers not available. How to tell what chipset? Any card that
> goes faster than 11Mbps (ie, the 22Mbps or 54Mbps cards). Mine is a D-Link
> DWL-520+ but if you see the DWL-520 (no plus) then grab it! It has
> manufacturer supported drivers. Also, any card with Prism 2/Orinoco support,
> although chances are you WON'T find this information on the web site of the
> vendors... well, easily at least. Finally, if at all possible, stick to PCI
> only, as they are:
> a) Cheaper.
> b) Apparently have a better transfer rate due to less connections.
> c) Normally have better antennae.
> Any more info can typically be found in the forum FAQ's of the OpenForum at
> ArsTechnica.com
> .waffle
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Martin Garton" <martin@wrasse.demon.co.uk>
> To: <nottingham@mailman.lug.org.uk>
> Sent: Monday, February 03, 2003 4:33 PM
> Subject: [Nottingham] wireless cards
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> > Can anyone recommend a pci 802.11-b card to use with linux?  I currently
> > have a pcmcia card in a isa-pcmcia bridge card, but I want to put an epia
> > based machine on the wireless network and it's pci only.  I have heard
> > about pci-pcmcia cards also.  Does anyone have any experience of these?
> >
> > --
> > Martin.
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Nottingham mailing list
> > Nottingham@mailman.lug.org.uk
> > http://mailman.lug.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/nottingham
> >
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