planned iBook Airport mod

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vxo
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Joined: Jun 8 2004
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Hiya. I came across this site recently and am wondering if anyone's done or planned the same thing I'm wanting to do...

I've got a new iBook G4, the 14" 1.2 Ghz version, with Airport Extreme card. The performance of the internal wifi antennae in the screen is definitely better than those built into any PCMCIA card I've used, but I want a connector for an external antenna.

I want to put an RP-SMA jack on the chassis somewhere and run a cable to it from the Airport Extreme card. When I'm not using an external antenna hooked up by a cable, I'll have a rubber ducky antenna screwed onto the connector. (Sadly, nobody seems to make rubber duck 2.4 gig antennae that go on *standard* connectors - only reverse pinned ones, like wireless APs use. I guess that makes sense, though...)

The only question is, where to put the connector? I'm thinking of taking it all apart and drilling out the Kensington lock slot... but I'm not sure if there's anything in there that would either block the space needed by the connector body, or block a cable from being routed from there to the Airport Extreme card. Has anyone taken one of these beauties apart yet?

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 20
i havent personnaly taken apa

i havent personnaly taken apart an ibook but i found this link for yah that might work ...

Take Apart
http://www.bluap.nl/mac/ibookdual.php

External Antenna
http://binaervarianz.de/projekte/hardware/mactail/
http://homepage.mac.com/barrywoods/PhotoAlbum18.html

hope this will help you out...its for a tibook but im sure there isnt much difference its going to be the same card type deal..so just find a spot that works for you to put the wire threw....best of luck

take lots of pics too Smile

Barry's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 177
Adding a new antenna to a 802

Adding a new antenna to a 802.11g card will probably break several fcc rules.

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vxo
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Joined: Jun 8 2004
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Well... being that you can bu

Well... being that you can buy, off the shelf, a Netgear ME103 packaged with a 500 mW power amplifier/booster and 3dBi antennae as a Part 15 listed device, I'm not too worried about raising the effective power output by attaching a higher gain antenna. I wouldn't hook up an amp, though, as I'm not sure just how well spurious emissions are supressed on WLAN hardware...

Besides, there are a lot of people who hook up far stranger things to their wifi cards, such as Pringles cans, etc.

Barry's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
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Yea, I'm one of those people!

Yea, I'm one of those people! It's just the rules for B and G are quite different. That's why you don't see G cards with external antenna ports.

OOPS!!! My bad, it's the 802.11a cards you can't add an antenna to. The fun part will be finding a place to add the bulkhead connector to your book. Mine doesn't have one, it just goes thru the ir window hole to the card. The iBooks are built differently, don't know how you will route the wire.

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alk's picture
alk
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a, b, g

802.11a is on a different RF than b or g.

802.11b and 802.11g should have the same FCC restrictions. They operate on the same RF...

Peace,
Drew

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Joined: May 31 2004
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hey man, ive got the exact sa

hey man, ive got the exact same laptop, and problem. i was thinking maybe make your own pigtail and have it come out at the side of the keyboard... would have to be pretty flat, but it could work. also (assuming your going to use this for the same reasons i am) do you know of any good WEP cracking software for mac? i use macstumbler as my stumbler program, but the Gentoo port im running has a problem with the emerge command for several programs (because of the apple hardware) so i cant run airsnort like i normally would. If and when you do the project, send me a email, (if i do it first ill send you one) with pictures and such. oh, and since you seem to know a bit more about wireless hardware then i do, what type of connector is on the Airport Extreme card? and, is there anyway to hook up both antenna? (Y connector maybe?)

Garrett

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What are you cracking WEP for?

I'm sure you're only doing it to test the security of your own network, right? Wink

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vxo
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Joined: Jun 8 2004
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Yeah, I use kismac, in active

Yeah, I use kismac, in active mode (nobody's cracked the binary-only drivers from Buffalo(?) to get passive yet!).

The connector is the same as that on a Lucent Orinoco card. I think this is MMCX but I'm not really sure.

As for connecting both... I'm not sure just what you'd need. Some of this may depend on whether or not you can add a second antenna jack to the card. The original Airport card had the capability to drive and switch between two, if I remember right, but only had one jack. (Note: This information may be wildly incorrect. I'm not really sure.)

The elegant way to do this would be to use a coax switch that's a) good to 2.4 ghz, b) VERY small. The most practical way to do this, since most coax switches are bulky monsters, would probably be to put together your own board with PIN diode switching, like the board in the Airport Extreme base station. This page has photos of the antenna switching board, and [url=http://blueneon.xidus.net/airport_extreme_antenna_board.html"]here is my description of how it probably works[/url]. All you would need at this point is a source of DC power from somewhere inside the 'book or on the card (easy to get, i'm sure) and the components to build it... possibly from a dead base station?

I may very well build something like this myself to handle the switching when I get some serious time to tinker...

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
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I suggest using a TNC connect

I suggest using a TNC connector instead as it's much smaller. I'd put it by or in the security port.

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Joined: Aug 13 2004
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but airsnort is only usefull

but airsnort is only usefull on 802.11b networks, and who uses those!?