pcmcia wifi for Dell C840 laptop - Solaris

This is a discussion on pcmcia wifi for Dell C840 laptop - Solaris ; Hi, I am looking for a wireless networking card for my Dell C840 laptop. It has a couple of pcmcia card slots, so I'm hoping to find something which will plug into those. Does anyone have any experience of this, ...

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Thread: pcmcia wifi for Dell C840 laptop

  1. pcmcia wifi for Dell C840 laptop

    Hi,

    I am looking for a wireless networking card for my Dell C840 laptop. It
    has a couple of pcmcia card slots, so I'm hoping to find something which
    will plug into those.

    Does anyone have any experience of this, or something similar?

    The HCL identifies a few Wifi cards, but I don't see any specifically
    stating they are pcmcia. (Unless of course, miniPCI is pcmcia, but I
    thought that was something different.)

    If this is not going to be trivial then I presume the next best thing would
    be to use an ethernet to wifi adaptor. Any recommendations for those?

    --
    Dr Tristram J. Scott
    Energy Consultant

  2. Re: pcmcia wifi for Dell C840 laptop

    Tristram Scott wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > I am looking for a wireless networking card for my Dell C840 laptop. It
    > has a couple of pcmcia card slots, so I'm hoping to find something which
    > will plug into those.
    >
    > Does anyone have any experience of this, or something similar?


    Various atheros chipset Cardbus cards work for wifi. The atheros
    chipset has (at least as far as I know) the best support for encryption.
    Specifically, the atheros driver for Solaris (at least Express) has
    WPA (personal) support where the other drivers only have WEP.

    >
    > The HCL identifies a few Wifi cards, but I don't see any specifically
    > stating they are pcmcia. (Unless of course, miniPCI is pcmcia, but I
    > thought that was something different.)


    MiniPCI is different - your Dell may actually have a miniPCI slot and
    probably has wifi antennas. On many notebooks, the miniPCI slot is
    available for an end user to put a card in (or take one out). You
    may have an ethernet miniPCI card or a modem or something else. On an
    older IBM T43p notebook, the wifi card is a miniPCI card and for the
    model I have you can get either an Intel 2915abg or an IBM abg (atheros
    chipset) miniPCI card.

    I also have an IBM branded Cardbus abg wifi card based on an atheros
    chipset. That card is probably not available any longer but it "just
    works" with the ath driver supplied in the latest versions of Solaris
    Express (I've used it with various versions including snv_69 which I
    recently updated to). If you look on the opensolaris wireless page for
    ath, you can find some supported devices that are Cardbus. If you use
    a recent version of Express, a usable Cardbus driver is also included.


    >
    > If this is not going to be trivial then I presume the next best thing would
    > be to use an ethernet to wifi adaptor. Any recommendations for those?
    >


    I don't have any recommendations for such a device. I would check to
    see if your Dell has a miniPCI slot. If it does and you don't need
    whatever is there and there are antenna cables and antennas, get an
    atheros chipset miniPCI card, attach the antennas, install Solaris
    Express, and you should be able to use wifi with encryption including
    WPA personal. I don't know if/when WPA2 and enterprise encryption are
    coming but I hope so. Things are improving :-)

    Stuart

  3. Re: pcmcia wifi for Dell C840 laptop


    "Stuart Biggar" wrote in message
    news:yHQsi.66833$6K3.3792@newsfe10.phx...

    > Various atheros chipset Cardbus cards work for wifi. The atheros
    > chipset has (at least as far as I know) the best support for encryption.
    > Specifically, the atheros driver for Solaris (at least Express) has
    > WPA (personal) support where the other drivers only have WEP.


    So kewl, going to have to try that. I didn't know Solaris anything
    supported wireless at all. Need that WPA though, WEP is a hackers dream
    Woot Perfectly Assured, WEP.



  4. Re: pcmcia wifi for Dell C840 laptop

    Stuart Biggar wrote:


    > recently updated to). If you look on the opensolaris wireless page for
    > ath, you can find some supported devices that are Cardbus. If you use
    > a recent version of Express, a usable Cardbus driver is also included.


    I should have included the URL - must be getting old and/or tired:

    http://www.opensolaris.org/os/commun.../wireless/ath/

    One level up there is some info on what driver is included
    with various builds of OpenSolaris. Looks like you want
    snv_64 or later for WPA with the ath driver.

    Stuart

  5. Re: pcmcia wifi for Dell C840 laptop

    Stuart Biggar wrote:
    > Stuart Biggar wrote:
    >
    >
    >> recently updated to). If you look on the opensolaris wireless page for
    >> ath, you can find some supported devices that are Cardbus. If you use
    >> a recent version of Express, a usable Cardbus driver is also included.

    >
    > I should have included the URL - must be getting old and/or tired:
    >
    > http://www.opensolaris.org/os/commun.../wireless/ath/
    >
    > One level up there is some info on what driver is included
    > with various builds of OpenSolaris. Looks like you want
    > snv_64 or later for WPA with the ath driver.
    >
    > Stuart


    Thanks for the link and the comments. I bought a NetGear WG511T and have
    had some (but not total) success. I have it working correctly under
    Windows, so I guess my router is talking correctly.

    I am using solaris 10 11/06. I grabbed wificonfig v0.2, ath-0.5 and
    cardbus-0.3 and these all installed without complaint.

    I run wificonfig once, and it works. The second time it hangs, and locks
    the system.

    rhubarb 1# wificonfig -i ath0 scan
    essid bssid type encryption signallevel
    43MRA 00:0f:66:a3:3c:b5 access point wep 3
    BTHomeHub-FE48 00:14:7f:d4:6e:60 access point wep 1
    wtilleuls 00:30:65:14:f3:6d access point wep 3
    r5cwdc 00:18:4d:56:b3:8e access point none 2
    BTHomeHub-A5B0 00:14:7f:a4:40:8e access point wep 2
    r5cwdc 00:1a:4d:28:a2:30 access point none 2
    farmyard 00:1b:2f:05:69:0c access point wep 4
    VOYAGER2091-1F 00:16:e3:7c:a2:1f access point wep 5
    robert 00:17:3f:9f:22:62 access point wep 4
    Prezzo 00:1b:2f:48:4f:06 access point wep 3
    Bosmonium 00:0f:66:c7:d3:f6 access point wep 2
    rhubarb 2# wificonfig -i ath0 scan

    At that point I have no keyboard or mouse response, and can't talk to the
    machine on the wired ethernet port either. I waited half an hour, and then
    rebooted. This same thing will happen every time.

    Is this perhaps an issue with me using Solaris 10 11/06 rather than the
    latest development build?

    Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

    --
    Dr Tristram J. Scott
    Energy Consultant

  6. Re: pcmcia wifi for Dell C840 laptop

    Tristram Scott wrote:
    [snip]
    >
    > Thanks for the link and the comments. I bought a NetGear WG511T and have
    > had some (but not total) success. I have it working correctly under
    > Windows, so I guess my router is talking correctly.
    >
    > I am using solaris 10 11/06. I grabbed wificonfig v0.2, ath-0.5 and
    > cardbus-0.3 and these all installed without complaint.
    >

    [snip]

    Okay. Some more success, so I think I should provide an update.

    I removed the ath-0.5 driver and went back to ath-0.2. This doesn't cause
    the hangs with wificonfig, so I think it is probably the right move.

    In order to get the connection to work I have done the following:

    # ifconfig ath0 plumb
    # wificonfig createprofile mywifiXXX essid=mywifiXXX encryption=wep
    # wificonfig setprofilewepkey mywifiXXX 1
    (enter and verify key)

    # wificonfig -i ath0 connect mywifiXXX
    # ifconfig ath0 192.168.1.5 up

    The man page for wificonfig doesn't seem to mention the need to have
    already plumbed the interface before issuing the connect card, but maybe I
    have missed that in the details somewhere.


    Also, the examples I saw indicated a syntax of:

    # wificonfig -i ath0 createprofile mywifiXXX essid=mywifiXXX encryption=wep

    That is, with the -i ath0. This did not work for me, but the above form is
    okay.

    I hope this is of some help to others in the future. Many thanks to those
    who pointed me in the right direction, and of course to those who have put
    together the various drivers etc. This is all very good stuff.

    I shall have a look at upgrading to the latest Nevada build and see what
    works with that.

    --
    Dr Tristram J. Scott
    Energy Consultant

  7. Re: pcmcia wifi for Dell C840 laptop

    Tristram Scott wrote:
    > Tristram Scott wrote:
    > [snip]
    >>
    >> Thanks for the link and the comments. I bought a NetGear WG511T and have
    >> had some (but not total) success. I have it working correctly under
    >> Windows, so I guess my router is talking correctly.
    >>
    >> I am using solaris 10 11/06. I grabbed wificonfig v0.2, ath-0.5 and
    >> cardbus-0.3 and these all installed without complaint.
    >>

    > [snip]
    >

    [snip]

    Okay, final update. I grabbed the latest Nevada build (b69) and put that
    on my Dell C840 laptop, with the NetGear WG511T wireless ethernet adapter.

    It all seems to just work, out of the box, with no need for any extra
    drivers, so that is most excellent.

    The other thing which works is my Logitech usb wireless mouse, which wasn't
    recognised as a mouse with the 11/06 build, so all in all there seems to
    have been fine progress.

    --
    Dr Tristram J. Scott
    Energy Consultant

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