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Can Dell E520 take a Wireless PCI Adapter?

 
 
beezer000@gmail.com
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      01-16-2007
I am hoping the assembled multitudes can help sort out conflicting
information about how to best outfit a new Dell E520 desktop for
wireless. This machine will be in my son's room, about 60 feet (direct
line) from our Linksys WRT54G wireless router.

The Dell so-called-Help desk said that it is impossible to put a
wireless PCI card into an E520. It kept suggesting a wireless USB
adapter. The boys and girls at Best Buy Big Box said that if I had an
available PCI slot, I could install a wireless PCI card. My impression
is that both of these answers cannot be correct.

On some of my previous computers, I have never had an issue swapping in
and out PCI cards with firewire, ethernet, usb, phone modem and other
connections. That said, I realize technology rolls on. (I am still
puzzling through PCIe, PCIe 1x and PCIe 16x. Every time some starts
down that path, my eyes roll back in my head and I make a gurgling
sound!)

Any discussion on what I should be looking for in deciding how to strap
on a wireless link? Besides being less convenient, my impression is
that USB adapters aren't as powerful as PCI adapters -- if only because
the built-ins have an antenna.

All thoughts welcome. I apologize in advance if I have cross-posted
too widely, or have touched a topic previously resolved by the group.

Regards,
Brian
beezer000atgmaildotcom

 
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Lem
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      01-16-2007
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
> I am hoping the assembled multitudes can help sort out conflicting
> information about how to best outfit a new Dell E520 desktop for
> wireless. This machine will be in my son's room, about 60 feet (direct
> line) from our Linksys WRT54G wireless router.
>
> The Dell so-called-Help desk said that it is impossible to put a
> wireless PCI card into an E520. It kept suggesting a wireless USB
> adapter. The boys and girls at Best Buy Big Box said that if I had an
> available PCI slot, I could install a wireless PCI card. My impression
> is that both of these answers cannot be correct.
>
> On some of my previous computers, I have never had an issue swapping in
> and out PCI cards with firewire, ethernet, usb, phone modem and other
> connections. That said, I realize technology rolls on. (I am still
> puzzling through PCIe, PCIe 1x and PCIe 16x. Every time some starts
> down that path, my eyes roll back in my head and I make a gurgling
> sound!)
>
> Any discussion on what I should be looking for in deciding how to strap
> on a wireless link? Besides being less convenient, my impression is
> that USB adapters aren't as powerful as PCI adapters -- if only because
> the built-ins have an antenna.
>
> All thoughts welcome. I apologize in advance if I have cross-posted
> too widely, or have touched a topic previously resolved by the group.
>
> Regards,
> Brian
> beezer000atgmaildotcom
>

I have no idea what's on the inside of your Dell E520. According to
http://www.dell.com/content/products...en&s=dhs&cs=19
there are 2 available PCI slots. Open the case and take a look.

That said, many here suggest a USB wireless adapter (NOT the ones that
look like a thumb drive) because the adapter -- and hence the adapter's
antenna -- can be positioned more advantageously than an antenna stuck
on the back of your tower case. If you do get a PCI card adapter, try
to get one from which you can detach the antenna and connect a short
length of coax to be able to reposition the antenna.

--
Lem MS MVP -- Networking

To the moon and back with 64 Kbits of RAM and 512 Kbits of ROM.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_Guidance_Computer
 
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Jeff Liebermann
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      01-16-2007
(E-Mail Removed) hath wroth:

>I am hoping the assembled multitudes can help sort out conflicting
>information about how to best outfit a new Dell E520 desktop for
>wireless. This machine will be in my son's room, about 60 feet (direct
>line) from our Linksys WRT54G wireless router.
>
>The Dell so-called-Help desk said that it is impossible to put a
>wireless PCI card into an E520.


Open the box and look inside. Is there a PCI slot?
According to the online Dell docs (you did read the docs?),
<http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dime520/en/index.htm>
<http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dime520/en/SM_EN/specs.htm#wp1052310>
there are two PCI connectors and one PCI Express connector.
These may be populated with cards that came for your
multimedia experience, so it's best to open the box
and check.

Also, there are wireless products advertised for the E520.
For example:
<http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150046009306>

>It kept suggesting a wireless USB
>adapter. The boys and girls at Best Buy Big Box said that if I had an
>available PCI slot, I could install a wireless PCI card. My impression
>is that both of these answers cannot be correct.


USB will also work.

--
Jeff Liebermann http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)-cruz.ca.us
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558
 
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Froggie the Gremlin
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-16-2007
On 16 Jan 2007 11:45:18 -0800, (E-Mail Removed) wrotd:

>I am hoping the assembled multitudes can help sort out conflicting
>information about how to best outfit a new Dell E520 desktop for
>wireless. This machine will be in my son's room, about 60 feet (direct
>line) from our Linksys WRT54G wireless router.
>
>The Dell so-called-Help desk said that it is impossible to put a
>wireless PCI card into an E520. It kept suggesting a wireless USB
>adapter. The boys and girls at Best Buy Big Box said that if I had an
>available PCI slot, I could install a wireless PCI card. My impression
>is that both of these answers cannot be correct.
>
>On some of my previous computers, I have never had an issue swapping in
>and out PCI cards with firewire, ethernet, usb, phone modem and other
>connections. That said, I realize technology rolls on. (I am still
>puzzling through PCIe, PCIe 1x and PCIe 16x. Every time some starts
>down that path, my eyes roll back in my head and I make a gurgling
>sound!)
>
>Any discussion on what I should be looking for in deciding how to strap
>on a wireless link? Besides being less convenient, my impression is
>that USB adapters aren't as powerful as PCI adapters -- if only because
>the built-ins have an antenna.
>
>All thoughts welcome. I apologize in advance if I have cross-posted
>too widely, or have touched a topic previously resolved by the group.
>
>Regards,
>Brian
>beezer000atgmaildotcom


I'm not sure why DELL says you can't... the E520 comes with two (2) standard
PCI slots, one (1) PCI Express X1 and a PCI Express x16, and if the
configuration you purchased isn't using both of the PCI slots, there's no
reason I can see why you can't.

That said, it has been mentioned that a USB-based wireless interface may
have a bit of an advantage. Sometimes those antennaes on the PCI cards get
pretty blocked by cases, etc. and have very little flexibility in their
positioning. A USB-based adapter can be placed at the end of any USB
extension cable which pretty much allows it placement and direction to be
almost anywhere, especially out from behind the machine.

---<ribbit>

 
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