New Replacement for Original Airport cards

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I just bought and received on on eBay from the store below. Its working great in my iBook and only cost $79 including free shipping. Compared to what original airport cards are going for these days....

Anyway i thought some owners of older non-Extreme macs here might find this helpful.
Original Airport Card Replacement

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New Replacement for Original Airport cards

Apparently they are not the most beautiful things, found this link today— http://excesstech.blogspot.com/. I ordered one yesterday. So we'll see. . .

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The back looks a lot like a L

The back looks a lot like a Lucent WaveLAN card. Now if I could only remember if the AirPort was equivilant to a Gold or Silver WaveLAN-- well, that and what the difference between Gold and Silver was!

Edit: It's all coming back to me now. The Airport card in the Base Station is a WaveLAN Silver and the Airport card in Macs is also a WaveLAN silver, but not quite. The pins were switched a little bit so that Apple's cheap card didn't compete with Lucent's $300 cards. There are a few other WiFi cards that work just fine in the Airport slot. For example, I have seen many times that the sony c150s WiFi card works in the Airport slot if you remove the antenna.

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Silvers support 64-bit WEP, G

Silvers support 64-bit WEP, Gold 128-bit. You can flash the ROM in a Silver to get Gold capabilities. Bronze were 2MBit only. All this is IIRC.

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Apple only used 40 bit wep, s

Apple only used 40 bit wep, so with the apple airport you can't actually use 64 bit.

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Dr. Bob
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Is the Airport bay of the iBo

Is the Airport bay of the iBook series just a PCMCIA interface? If yes, Im guessing you can modify alot of wireless cards to fit into this slot.

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re: Is the Airport bay of the iBook

Physically it's a cardbus slot (ie: 32 bit PCcard), but the interface is not recognized by any Mac as an available slot except when an AP card is present. So the answer is no, you cannot use any ol' card in there, only AP cards, or their very close cousins, similarly-Lucent-chipped 802.11b PC cards.

Sorry. Maybe you can be the one to hack out (or perhaps, discover) an OS-level API to allow the use of other cards? Got the dev-chops to give it a go?

dan k

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Re: Apple only used 40 bit wep, s

drbob wrote:

Apple only used 40 bit wep, so with the apple airport you can't actually use 64 bit.

Hmm. Didn't a second generation of the AP (not AP Extreme) cards upgrade the WEP to 128 bit? (Or am I confused or misremembering?)

Matt

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I have a 333 Lombard, and nee

I have a 333 Lombard, and need the absolute cheapest wireless card for it. Any suggestions?

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Jon
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Oh, I got an idea: Is Dr Bob

Oh, I got an idea: Is Dr Bob gonna have to make a "Lombard Stick"? Wink Of course, not every one has read that thread yet...

Anyway, you should be able to use any of the Lucent/OriNOCO/Agere/Proxim cards in the PC Card slot of your G3.

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Re: Oh, I got an idea: Is Dr Bob

Jon wrote:

Oh, I got an idea: Is Dr Bob gonna have to make a "Lombard Stick"? Wink

If he does, you know it'll end up being covered with blue LEDs Wink

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weird

I don't understand why Apple didn't release an extreme card... er, a 54Mbps card for the old Airport slot... its not like that would have been impossible... and they could have made, and would continue to make boo koo $$ off of it...

I bought an off brand 54Mbs card for my ThinkPad... uh, like almost 2 years ago... it was $19.

I'm going to be pissed if they change the interface again (I love miniPCI... just the idea of it) in order to release the 100+Mbps cards and Apple routers that are way overdue...

That Airport Extreme Base stations are still close to $200 is... I'm gonna say it... despicable!!!

Airport Express should be $20-$40, not $129!!

And new Airport Extreme cards should only be $20

I hate dogging apple, but it has to be done. To buy any of these products right now at these prices would either be absurd or borderline retarded.

Netgear "Super G" Wireless Firewall Router for $40 shipped after rebate

Netgear WG511T SuperG 108 Mbps Wireless 802.11g PC Card free ship $25

Linksys Compact Wireless-G Broadband Router WRT54GC for $40

Netgear WGR614 802.11g Wireless Router for $20 after rebate

D-Link DSM-320 Wireless Media Player for $141 shipped, wireless A/V!!

If you watch the deal sites... wifi stuff will come up thats cheaper than you could ever believe, wireless 802.11g routers for $3, or $12... not bad... wifi usb dongles for next to nothing (question is... is there an Airport Extreme card replacement???)

COME ON APPLE!!! What would be SWEET is if there were a simple firmware update to double the 54Mb/s limit... but I'd settle for some new products to desire...

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Re: re: Is the Airport bay of the iBook

dankephoto wrote:

Physically it's a cardbus slot (ie: 32 bit PCcard), but the interface is not recognized by any Mac as an available slot except when an AP card is present. So the answer is no, you cannot use any ol' card in there, only AP cards, or their very close cousins, similarly-Lucent-chipped 802.11b PC cards.

OK, its obvious Apple does not make the AP cards themselves. They probably did buy them from Lucent. So the only way (at least what I can think of) they can make their driver refuse to attach to the interface, is if the dev ID of the card doesnt match a predefined struct in the sourcecode. I seriously doubt there are hardware meassures involved which prevents you from using other WiFi cards.

Many of these cards do have opensource drivers, and writing a driver for Darwin for these cards should theoretically be pretty straight forward. In fact, such drivers might already exist - however I dont have time to look into this more extensively, appart from thinking out loud that is Smile

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AP slot nonpublished API

The interface to the AirPort slot is an unknown, as far as published APIs (Application Programing Interface) go. Apple has never had any reason to release AirPort APIs as they have always provided the necessary hardware (AP cards) for that slot themselves.

Hey, I welcome the idea that someone might figure a workaround to allow other chipsets in AP slots, but from what I know the job won't be easy. That's why noone has yet done it. As I mentioned above, if you've got the developer chops to tackle this, please dive right in and we'll await your reports of success with bated breath.

dan k

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Re: Apple only used 40 bit wep, s

tmtomh wrote:

Hmm. Didn't a second generation of the AP (not AP Extreme) cards upgrade the WEP to 128 bit? (Or am I confused or misremembering?)

Yes they did, but it still didn't support 64 bit.

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The original airport slot is

The original airport slot is PCMCIA. Not cardbus. Hell, it's practically an ISA bus with some buffers on it. We swapped a couple data pins on the card per our lisence agreement with lucent so it wouldn't work in a PC, but I've heard people have got normal PCMCIA cards to work in the airport slot. I haven't tried it myself, but I can say without the slightest doubt that it *will not* damage the slot or the card to try.

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re: The original airport slot is

"drbob" wrote:

We swapped a couple data pins on the card per our lisence agreement with lucent so it wouldn't work in a PC, but I've heard people have got normal PCMCIA cards to work in the airport slot. I haven't tried it myself, but I can say without the slightest doubt that it *will not* damage the slot or the card to try.

So, inquiring minds want to know, which pins? And does anyone have any docs detailing the original Macintosh AirPort interface? *nudge, nudge, wink, wink *

And yes, the slot does support regular, normal, off-the-shelf, PCcard Lucent-based wifi adapters.

So why is noone making a replacement for the original AP card? Apple doesn't own the IP, and seeing as how there's still quite a market, even at an inflated price, why hasn't any 3rd party outfit commissioned production of a compatible replacement? eg: the Sony 150 adapter is exactly formcompatible and is seen as an AP card. Shame those sell for just as much as do AP cards . . .

dan k

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It's been asked dozens of tim

It's been asked dozens of times before, and no, I don't have a schematic anymore that shows which pins. Even if you did know, there's really nothing you can practically do with this knowledge.

Why is no one making a replacement? Probably because it's such a small market, nobody cares. Most of the wireless card companies don't even care about making B cards, let alone porting one of their B cards to the mac, and making a version without an antenna for it.

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so don't make a b card!

Quote:

Most of the wireless card companies don't even care about making B cards

Make it a Super G 802.11g 108Mbps card!! (No reason it can't be, right?)
Something I don't get either: why Apple would take a perfectly good PCMCIA slot and make it propritary, sort of, but for only one thing. Yeah, I'd probably put a wireless card there if I had the choice, but PCMCIA is neat, swap out the card, throw in your fw800 interface...

Quote:

let alone porting one of their B cards to the mac, and making a version without an antenna for it

This 'porting' seems like a trivial alteration... just make cards en-mass that are normal but slightly shorter, then make an adapter en-mass that fits into the space left by the slightly shorter card.

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By porting I was referring to

By porting I was referring to the software drivers. The G cards are all cardbus cards and the B slot is PCMCIA. The apple driver only works with broadcom based G cards. So unless someone made a cheap G card in PCMCIA (which means you won't get full performance), then someone needs to port a driver for the B card to Mac OSX.

For what has got to be the third time, Apple made the slot special because it was part of the license agreement with Lucent who didn't want the $99 airport card to compete with their $350 PCMCIA laptop card.

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uh... are you sure?

Quote:

The G cards are all cardbus cards

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "cardbus," but if you are referring to mini-PCI, I think you are mistaken... I have a $19, 802.11g 54Mbps card for my ThinkPad... and its sticking out of the PCMCIA slot. What is cardbus... how is it different from PCMCIA?

Quote:

For what has got to be the third time, Apple made the slot special because it was part of the license agreement with Lucent who didn't want the $99 airport card to compete with their $350 PCMCIA laptop card.

sorry to tax your patience Shock

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I know you're not a fan of the 'pedia...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardbus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MiniPCI

MiniPCI was designed to have no external access, it seems. CardBus is a 32-bit extension to the original PC-Card 16-bit specs.

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Cardbus cards look just like

Cardbus cards look just like PCMCIA except it has a large gold ribbon above the conenctor on the card. It's clocked at 33MHz and uses the PCI bus protocol. PCMCIA cards are 16 bit ISA. The card bus interface is still 16 bits wide so it uses one bus cycle to transmit the first 16 bits, and the second bus cycle to transmit the second 16 bits.

For this reason MiniPCI is a superior interface without double the throughput.

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MiniPCI

whoa... well, then... I don't know whether the card, and slot, I have for the Thinkpad are Cardbus, or PCMCIA. I always thought it was PCMCIA (A22m).

Quote:

For this reason MiniPCI is a superior interface without double the throughput.

MiniPCI is such a great concept... I wish there where other cards available for it. I think in the PowerBook its accessable enough that it could be swapped rather easily, whenever you needed to use a particular card. The space is the limiting factor... but I could imagine a card dedicated to digital signal processing for audio applications (well... hmm, I guess firewire takes care of that), or how about a ton of video memory, or a fast 12GB flash drive, or... hell... how about a little computer... that'd be a neat card, a speed/power eqivelant to a much older machine (hmm... a tiny 486-586 (hardware emulated) DOS/Windows NT 4.0/OpenStep/OS2 machine... or a little 68k or PPC(G2) (hardware emulated) Mac that runs Sys 6 - Sys 8.1, A/UX, Windows NT 3.51, NetBSD or Darwin natively). How cool would that be?

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My mac already runs OSX nativ

My mac already runs OSX natively. The rest I couldn't care less about.

But yea other miniPCI cards could be neat. I think one problem is there isn't a well defined hardware standard for it. I've seen several cards and the connectors didn't look identical.

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For the DIYers

I found what I believe to be the page of one of the people in that company.. Looks like your guesses about Lucent cards are right.

Can anyone here read Japanese? Looks abit involved.
http://f4.aaa.livedoor.jp/~krypton/airmac/airmac.html

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Lucent should have ruled

These are the people that invented UNIX.

I discovered this one night while reading about the breakup of ma bell...

Lucent used to be Bell Labs...

IIRC, they lost much ground when one some their suits were caught doing bad financial things just after the millennium... too bad. Greater things were expected.

I wish I could go back in time and hang out with Bell Labs...

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A lot of the people from the

A lot of the people from the Systems Group (I seem to think that was the name) are still around, jsut not at Bell. Heck, they've even shutdown and bulldozed the local Bell Labs/Lucent lab over on the Kansas side here in KC. Now it's a Land Rover dealership... Anyway, the professor who wrote Minix worked around the UNIX group for a while, and is friends with many of the big names. See some of the info at http://www.minix3.org.

The Lucent cards seem to be some of the most well supported wireless cards available. If nothing else works, just throw in an ORiNoCo and it'll run.

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