[Soekris] 3.3V PCI/miniPCI cards

Stuart Henderson stu at spacehopper.org
Sun Jan 4 15:30:27 UTC 2004

> I am looking for a wlan card for my 4501. Can someone give me a hint?
> IIRC the DWL-520 was mentioned to work with 3.3V, but it's hard to
> get - goggle and ebay show up with hits for the 520+ only. What about
> the 520+? Is is operating with 3.3V as well?

Not sure about voltage of 520+. Another problem is driver support. It 
seems to be based on TI ACX100. Experimental drivers at 
http://wlan.kewl.org/ for FreeBSD and http://acx100.sf.net/ for Linux. 
No HostAP support though, and seems there are some problems (especially 
with nearby 'centrino' wireless). They seem to like changing chipset 
without making clear on the box. If you have no choice but D-Link, make 
very sure you can return it if necessary.

> I am also considering a miniPCI card, such as the Dell TrueMobile 1300
> Mini PCI (802.11g, plenty of them available at ebay).

The Dell 1300 card is Broadcom BCM4306-based with no drivers for 
open-source OS (see http://tinyurl.com/2lsdg and /. for some 
explanation). I think the reason they're readily available on Ebay is 
because people have swapped them with a working card.

Atheros cards have a driver for FreeBSD, NetBSD and Linux (the 
frequency setup code is closed-source but that's not a problem). See 
e.g. http://tinyurl.com/23s4b and http://tinyurl.com/2gkcu for lists of 
Atheros cards. They are available in various form-factors (cardbus, 
PCI, Mini PCI).

Mini PCI will need U.FL pigtails which may also be hard to come by 
unless ordering from someone used to DIY wireless projects (netgate 
etc) which would probably save a lot of trouble (US shipping costs are 
quite variable, netgate are fairly reasonable, though small orders can 
work out expensive due to the carrier's charge for collecting VAT).

PCI cards usually come with a connector and antenna in a retail pack. 
Netgear's cards are available in Europe - google.XX/search?q=WG311. The 
dual-band cards, e.g. WAG311, are rarer (and more expensive) but are 
sometimes available too. Check several suppliers, prices seem to be 
quite variable. Looks like they are often Mini PCI cards in an adapter 
(e.g. picture on http://www.microtik.com/Documentation/mini_pci.pdf).

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