Linux-friendly wireless NICs

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Richard Hector, Feb 13, 2004.

  1. Hi all,

    I'm trying to find 802.11b/g cards that are suitable for use with Linux.
    This, for me, means at least that drivers are GPL, and preferably in the
    standard kernel.

    Do such beasts exist?

    I gather there may be some chipsets that fit the description, but
    for one thing it's hard to find out what chipset a particular card uses,
    and for another most of the ones I've found on the net are older models
    that don't seem to be available. Another possibility is that they're
    just not available in NZ.

    Other things I'd like to see:

    Prefer PCI, but PCMCIA would be OK. CardBus would be a pain.
    An external antenna connection is very desirable; the distance I'm aiming
    at is unlikely to be achievable with the standard one.
    I'd like to buy from a reputable company in NZ.

    The next one might not be available in a NIC (I might need an AP): I
    gather some devices have 2 antenna connections, and can be configured such
    that one is used to transmit and the other to receive. That would mean I
    could use a high gain antenna on the receive side, while staying within
    the legal transmit limits (and do the same at the other end).

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Richard
    Richard Hector, Feb 13, 2004
    #1
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  2. Richard Hector wrote:

    > Other things I'd like to see:
    >
    > Prefer PCI, but PCMCIA would be OK. CardBus would be a pain.
    > An external antenna connection is very desirable; the distance I'm aiming
    > at is unlikely to be achievable with the standard one.
    > I'd like to buy from a reputable company in NZ.


    > The next one might not be available in a NIC (I might need an AP): I
    > gather some devices have 2 antenna connections, and can be configured such
    > that one is used to transmit and the other to receive. That would mean I
    > could use a high gain antenna on the receive side, while staying within
    > the legal transmit limits (and do the same at the other end).


    How far are you aiming at? A standard card is about 30 milliwatts, even into a
    25dBi antenna, its still below the 4 watt eirp limit (just) - If you need
    something with more gain then that on the recieve side then you must be
    seriously pushing the envelope for distance.

    FWIW, you can get senao branded cards at shop.borg.co.nz which have good receive
    sensitivity, and 200mW output power on them, but even a small 15dBi antenna
    would put you over 4 watts.
    Richard Malcolm-Smith, Feb 13, 2004
    #2
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  3. Richard Hector

    harry Guest

    Richard Malcolm-Smith wrote:
    > Richard Hector wrote:
    >
    >> Other things I'd like to see:
    >>
    >> Prefer PCI, but PCMCIA would be OK. CardBus would be a pain.
    >> An external antenna connection is very desirable; the distance I'm
    >> aiming at is unlikely to be achievable with the standard one.
    >> I'd like to buy from a reputable company in NZ.

    >
    >> The next one might not be available in a NIC (I might need an AP): I
    >> gather some devices have 2 antenna connections, and can be
    >> configured such that one is used to transmit and the other to
    >> receive. That would mean I could use a high gain antenna on the
    >> receive side, while staying within the legal transmit limits (and do
    >> the same at the other end).

    >
    > How far are you aiming at? A standard card is about 30 milliwatts,
    > even into a 25dBi antenna, its still below the 4 watt eirp limit
    > (just) - If you need something with more gain then that on the
    > recieve side then you must be seriously pushing the envelope for
    > distance.
    >
    > FWIW, you can get senao branded cards at shop.borg.co.nz which have
    > good receive sensitivity, and 200mW output power on them, but even a
    > small 15dBi antenna would put you over 4 watts.


    Thats a great site
    The Orinoco chipset based cards have the best support in Linux
    harry, Feb 13, 2004
    #3
  4. Richard Hector

    harry Guest

    Richard Hector wrote:
    > Hi all,
    >
    > I'm trying to find 802.11b/g cards that are suitable for use with
    > Linux. This, for me, means at least that drivers are GPL, and
    > preferably in the standard kernel.
    >
    > Do such beasts exist?
    >


    The Linux lucent wavelan orinoco driver has been included in the kernel
    since 2.4.3
    It also supports the Intersil PrismII chipset
    There is a linux wireless lan howto sponsored by HP at
    http://www.hpl.hp.com/personal/Jean_Tourrilhes/Linux/
    harry, Feb 13, 2004
    #4
  5. On Sat, 14 Feb 2004 09:26:55 +1300, Richard Malcolm-Smith wrote:

    > Richard Hector wrote:
    >
    >> Other things I'd like to see:
    >>
    >> Prefer PCI, but PCMCIA would be OK. CardBus would be a pain. An
    >> external antenna connection is very desirable; the distance I'm aiming
    >> at is unlikely to be achievable with the standard one. I'd like to buy
    >> from a reputable company in NZ.

    >
    >> The next one might not be available in a NIC (I might need an AP): I
    >> gather some devices have 2 antenna connections, and can be configured
    >> such that one is used to transmit and the other to receive. That would
    >> mean I could use a high gain antenna on the receive side, while staying
    >> within the legal transmit limits (and do the same at the other end).

    >
    > How far are you aiming at? A standard card is about 30 milliwatts, even
    > into a 25dBi antenna, its still below the 4 watt eirp limit (just) - If
    > you need something with more gain then that on the recieve side then you
    > must be seriously pushing the envelope for distance.


    From a quick measurement off my topo map: near enough to 1 km.

    I'm a bit new to this stuff; what does that translate to in terms of power
    output and gain of antenna with a particular card? The card specs on the
    borg site (or any other) aren't particularly detailed when it comes to
    that stuff.

    > FWIW, you can get senao branded cards at shop.borg.co.nz which have good
    > receive sensitivity, and 200mW output power on them, but even a small
    > 15dBi antenna would put you over 4 watts.


    Finally found it (not labeled as such on the borg site). It says I can get
    1200m at 1Mbit, but doesn't specify what antenna gain. There's also no
    mention of chipset. Good site, thanks.

    Richard
    Richard Hector, Feb 14, 2004
    #5
  6. Richard Malcolm-Smith wrote:
    > How far are you aiming at? A standard card is about 30 milliwatts, even
    > into a 25dBi antenna, its still below the 4 watt eirp limit (just) - If
    > you need something with more gain then that on the recieve side then you
    > must be seriously pushing the envelope for distance.


    This will give you a huge distance... Im using a Dlink 520+ with a 19db
    antenna and getting ~1.5km with a link speed of ~3Mbit to the AP I'm
    pointing at(Linksys something). It is pointed to an AP ~2km line of site
    and has a link speed of 3MBit with a 25db antenna.

    How far are you wanting to push this gear?

    --
    Http://www.Dave.net.nz
    Play Hangman
    Register, and play Space Invaders or Pacman.
    T.N.O. - Dave.net.nz, Feb 14, 2004
    #6
  7. Richard Hector wrote:

    > From a quick measurement off my topo map: near enough to 1 km.


    Piece of cake, get a couple of 15dBi dishes and a couple of cheap orinoco or
    similar cards, the critical part is the line of sight, you can most likely cover
    that with a 19dBi antenna to the stock one and get 11 meg. 1 km is nothing.

    > I'm a bit new to this stuff; what does that translate to in terms of power
    > output and gain of antenna with a particular card? The card specs on the
    > borg site (or any other) aren't particularly detailed when it comes to
    > that stuff.


    > Finally found it (not labeled as such on the borg site). It says I can get
    > 1200m at 1Mbit, but doesn't specify what antenna gain. There's also no
    > mention of chipset. Good site, thanks.


    Thats with the built in antenna. Its I think a prisim 2.5 chipset, also well
    supported.
    Richard Malcolm-Smith, Feb 14, 2004
    #7
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