This page details peoples notes about setting up a WirelessNetwork. The environments will vary, and some of the notes might be out of date. Don't treat this as a definitive reference!

See Also WirelessNetworkSecurityNotes

Nevada's Experience in Setting Up a WirelessNetwork

PhilMurray went to PBTech and bought two Nokia C110 wireless cards and a Nokia C910 wireless bridge (PCI to PCMCIA bridge) for $500 (A good deal). This is where the problem begins.

The C110 card works fine in Windows, as you'd expect. There's even a binary Linux driver. We have a wireless network connecting two laptops, one of which is kept plugged into a network cable so that the other laptop can have wireless. :)

HOWEVER, the C910 (PCI adapter card) seems to come in two flavours - a Cirrus Logic chipset (which provides an i82365 PCMCIA bridge, which is exactly what the driver wants), and a PLX PCI9052 chipset, which isn't a 'bridge' at all - it maps the PCMCIA registers into the PCI range. You need different drivers for this - the Prism2 chipset (which the C110 is tantalisingly similar to, but not quite the same as) is well supported with Linux-WLAN-NG. But not the C110! It has a BinaryDriver, so we can't even get PerryLorier to hax it.

Be warned, the Belkin F5D6000Z (the only bridge Ascent sell) is a PLX PCI9052 as well.

The moral of this story? Even if you go to buy a piece of hardware that you are told is LinuxCompatible, check the chipset! It might end up not being so.

UPDATE: The Nokia cradle used with an Orinocco Silver card works perfectly in FreeBSD, I never did get it working in Linux.

There are some terms being used here that might be confusing. "Cradle", "Bridge" in the above section refers to a PCI to PCMCIA bridge, or ISA to PCMCIA bridge. That is, it is a PCI or ISA card that fits into your computer, that has a PCMCIA slot on it. So where you see 'Nokia C910 wireless bridge' above, its referring to this.

The other sort of "Wireless Bridge" you might see is just that - a device that takes wireless in one end and puts ethernet out the other. The Linksys WET11 is an example of this, I believe.

Kyles Experience in setting up a wireless network

I have been getting more and more sick of cables being dragged around when i use my laptop .. especially from bed. So i ordered a pcmcia card (also so i can use public access points when im in australia to upload photos to my gallery) from ascent.. i settled on a belkin pcmcia card that seemed nice and cheap and seemed to have many people say was a good value for money card from reviews on the net.

Im still waiting for this card to arrive, however i will only be using this under windows so probably not suitable for the wiki..

i have been looking for a cheap AP with good reviews.. but basically gave up.. there are many out there.. but $220 for a budget version... so i thought why not run in adhoc mode for a while.. i bought a belkin usb wireless adapter that according to the net is linux compatible (and about half the price of an AP) i thought getting a usb device to work under linux was going to be a mission.. it was a lot easier than i thought it could have been. (although i havent yet tested the wireless is actually working) it gives me all the results id expect. The belkin wireless usb adapter i bought was a Belkin F5D6050 (Atmel AT76C503A based wireless usb device).

i installed the drivers from as following instructions on

it all just worked.. it was easy to setup and once i actually get my other wireless card ill be able to test it actually works and finish this off and say it actually definately works.

I am very impressed with the drivers though.. they worked really well, and the configuration program lvnet is really easy to use.

now the question is.. will i be able to simply plug my wireless card into the laptop.. and get assigned a dhcp address (after adding the appropriate entries to dhcpd.conf) and it will all work... lets wait and see.

UPDATE - It really was that simple. ive been using the setup for a few months now.. and it works well. ive had minimal problems.. in fact currently im having more problems on my wired lan than on the wireless.

Trog's Experience in setting up a wireless network or three

Working for a WISP does have it's advantages, in that I get to learn a lot about the different kinds of WirelessEthernetBridge and PCMCIA cards. For my home link, I used to have an Orinoco Silver 802.11b card with an ISA bridge card into my server, and an Orinoco RG1000 with AP500 firmware loaded at the other end, unfortunately this caused me no end of trouble, and I was getting a lot of Error -110 writing packet to BAP errors from the wireless card, causing the link to drop, and the drivers to need to be reloaded. I believe we figured out that it's due to poor link quality and have no solution at this stage. The newest drivers did help, but did not fully alleviate the problem.

I now have a Linksys Wap11 version 2.2 (ha, yeah, they are crap with the linksys firmware) with the latest Dlink dwl900ap+ firmware loaded on them (the units are identical except the dlink is smaller and only has a single antenna connector). It is configured in client mode, so it will talk to the AP500 as if it were a regular wireless card. This seems to hold the connection without fail. It is a 6km link. Talk to me on IRC if you want to know anything more about this kind of setup, there are a few tricks that need to be done for it to work correctly.

I also have a Micronet SP918 for my local wireless network . In being the total geek that I am, this also has a different firmware than it's original. Turns out this thing is basically a stock standard Atmel access point (can't quite remember the model number) so can be configured with the linux ap-utils package quite happily.

Because I already have a DHCP server on my network at home, I configured the Micronet as a WirelessEthernetBridge (this is the same mode that the AP500 is in, and any good Access Point should let you do this) I have a few 802.11b and g PCMCIA cards as well. The most recent being a 3Com 3CRWE154G72 which appears to have linux drivers, but I could not get them to work without crashing my machine. These are fairly new drivers however and I did not really have time to undertake a thorough investigation into the cause of the crashes, and instead threw the card into my windows laptop, and went back to using the Orinoco Silver card. I also have one of the Orinoco clone cards which is just a rebadged Silver card, and can be flashed to the latest 8.10 orinoco firmware easily. I used to have a DWL650 d-link card, but I sold that when I got the 3Com. It was a full Prism II chipset card, so worked perfectly with the wlan-ng drivers. I believe there is also a new Prism II driver somewhere.

see : for 802.11g linux drivers for a number of cards and for the linux Wireless Tools.

It has been my experience that compiling the Wireless Tools and pcmcia-cs separately from the kernel always yeilds a much nicer solution and seems to simplify/remove issues regarding wireless network support. This was a big issue back when I was using a Pentium Pro 150 as a server because it would take forever to compile a new kernel, and significantly less than forever to just recompile the wireless and pcmcia (but still a long time) .

I also have an Airport Extreme card in my iBook G4 which has worked with every network I've tried it with.

Mike's experience of wireless networking with a Compaq Presario (using the Centrino IPW2200) and Ubuntu Hoary

Ubuntu and various other livecds detect the built in wireless in this laptop straight out of the box, but unfortunatly Ubuntu has an older driver and it seems to drop the connnection whenever the signal drops below 80%, or when the machine goes into standby mode.

The real issue is that once the connection is dropped, it doesn't reconnect. You have to rmmod the actual module, modprobe to add it again and then reconnect to your wireless AP. (Which is a real pain)

I found a quick hack on the ubunutu forums that fixed it for me:

(there's some extra stuff in there about WPA if you're that way inclined)

After installing the latest driver and hacking everything together, it works perfectly.


Part of CategoryWireless