Upgrade AirPort Base Station to 802.11g?

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dankephoto's picture
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OK, since APBSs use a standard WaveLAN card, what about replacing it with a G card for (up-to) G bandwidth? I reckon it wouldn't work right out of the box, appropriate firmware would need to be installed. And that means someone'd have to write that firmware . . .

'Course I haven't a APBS so can't even try it meself, but I figgered it'd be worth tossing the idea out here anyhow.

dan k

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dankephoto's picture
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Ah ha! eg: Proxim AP-2000 ->G

I lost the damn page, but finally found it again:
http://www.proxim.com/products/wifi/ap/ap200011g/index.html

Proxim upgrade for an AP-2000 from b to g with a new card.

Thinking about it though, it seems hardly worth it since a new cheapo g access point costs so little. Perhaps an AP-2000 is still valuable enough to make it worthwhile? Now if only they had an upgrade for the RG-1000, one could use that firmware in an APBS?

Ahh, whatever . . .

dan k

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Not too sure

I'm sure it's possible, but begs the question of why. There's a MicroCenter in my area, and they frequently have access points on sale for around $40-50 (G speed), make it $20 for B.

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The PCMCIA interface in the o

The PCMCIA interface in the old ABS has just barely enough bandwidth for 802.11b. G far exceeds it's capability, which is why all the decent G cards are Mini-PCI or CardBus cards.

While you might fine one that works, you won't get to enjoy much speed boost out of it.

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Airport Linux

Maybe with Airport Linux from Seattle wireless - a Linux kernel that runs on the ABS and the Lucent RG-1000. You'll probably have to get g drivers from elsewhere and compile the binary yourself from source, but it should be doable. Or if you hunt around, maybe someone's already done it. If not, don't forget to contribute your results back into the memepool Smile

Hey often people try these things because they don't have $40 or $50 to spare, not everyone does. I don't for example.

Course, some of us are just ornery...

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No matter what operating syst

No matter what operating system you run, it doesn't change the fact that PCMCIA is way too slow for 802.11g

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[url]http://www.pcmcia.org/fa

http://www.pcmcia.org/faq.htm

Quote:

Please note that actual throughput may be substantially less than the theoretical maximums of the interface.

As Dr. Bob points out, even if some how one had got a 32-bit card working in a 16-bit slot, it'd be so pokey you might as well have stayed with b.

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Re: No matter what operating syst

drbob wrote:

No matter what operating system you run, it doesn't change the fact that PCMCIA is way too slow for 802.11g

Pointless argument, but... just to play devil's advocate, keep in mind that the actual data rate of 802.11g is nowhere near 54Mbps. At best it's more like 20Mbps.

http://www.macworld.com/news/2003/05/23/80211g/
http://www.computerworld.com/mobiletopics/mobile/story/0,10801,81450,00.html?nas=PM-81450

etc, etc, etc. 54Mb/s is the *radio* speed, so you don't necessarily need to transfer data that quickly over the bus. (A lot of what's spewing out the radio is protocol overhead, which the network driver doesn't care about.)

So... If we assume a 16 bit PCMCIA slot, running at the lowest (8 bit) I/0 transfer rate, we get a theoretical transfer speed of about 4MB/s. (Note the big "B".) Multiply by eight, and you get 32Mb/s. So... in theory, at least, even the slowest PCMCIA transfer mode is fast enough for 802.11g. If the card does 16 bit word mode I/0 the throughput is (again, theoretically) more like 60Mb/s, which faster then even the raw radio speed.

(Just as a side note, I own a couple 10/100Mb 16 bit PCMCIA Ethernet adapters, so... there's precident for making adapters "faster" then the bus. They're faster then 10Mb adapters, but definately slower then 100Mb Cardbus, primarily because doing the 16 bit I/O bogs the CPU. But there *is* an improvement over the slower link speed nonetheless.)

Anyway. So again, in theory, if one really insisted on doing so it might be possible to *slightly* up an original Airport's speed by installing a 16 bit 802.11g card, assuming one could find one. (Googling does turn up a few leads. They do seem to exist for use in embedded devices.), and write a firmware to support it. Of course, after wasting all that effort you'd just find out that the 10Mb Ethernet port on the other side would be your the bottleneck. No point in having 20Mb/s transfers on wireless if the data can't go anywhere.

--Peace

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You forgot one key element, b

You forgot one key element, being ISA, it uses programmed i/o. With that particular CPU, you'd be pretty lucky to see much over 1MB per second in usable bandwidth.

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Re: You forgot one key element, b

drbob wrote:

You forgot one key element, being ISA, it uses programmed i/o. With that particular CPU, you'd be pretty lucky to see much over 1MB per second in usable bandwidth.

The Airport uses a 486 varient as it's CPU, and any 486, no matter *how* slow, is going to have no problem keeping up with anything ISA can throw at it. (I've seen 16 bit ISA IDE cards in a 486 manage better then 3MB/s transfers using programmed I/O. Unless there's some horrible bottleneck in the Airport's architecture I see no reason why it shouldn't be able to do the same with it's PCMCIA interface.)

How well it's going to be able to do that *and* handle the network stack is open to question, certainly.

--Peace

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Go ahead, try it. Nobody lis

Go ahead, try it. Nobody listens to me anyway. I guarantee you'll never see more than 14 megabits in total bandwidth.

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