Additional card and chipset info



On ACX100 chipsets:
acx100 drivers aren't SMP safe.

Beware of the Dlink AG530 cards:
These currently have a new Atheros chipset. The freeware Atheros driver will not work on them. The only driver available is ndisdriver and this does not work well with this card.
Ndisdriver has stack problems and you must use one of the free kernels provided by Linuxant or it will crash. Expect this to be changed soon, but so far it hasn't.
If you get the new open source freeware code for the Atheros chipset do not tinker with either frequency or power. Like the TI it is possible to cause the chip to explode.

The newer Linksys g/b cards are also a problem:
They changed from Broadcom to Ralink chipset and there is NO warning whatsoever as to what is going on. To find out what the chipset is, you'll have to unsolder the shield on the card. There is no marking of any kind on box or card to enable a person to tell the difference.

In spite of what is written elsewhere, the USB card from Linksys will not work with the freeware Ralink driver even though the newer ones seem to have Ralink chipsets. When setup with ndisdriver they work very well. The only problem is that any ndiswrapper does not return a signal strength reading. Thus ndiswrapper returns no signal strength reading and the Linux wireless monitor doesn't show signal strength.

The Netgear WG111 v2 USB card, contains a Realtek chipset. The card works with linux, but you need a 2.6.x kernel! Before you can use this card, you need to disable the IEEE80211 framework that comes wit the kernel. the driver comes with an own IEEE80211 Framework that is not compatible with the one in the kernel.
Take care to load the modules in the correct order, otherwise the card won't work:
ieee80211_crypt_rtl
ieee80211_crypt_wep_rtl
ieee80211_crypt_tkip_rtl
ieee80211_crypt_ccmp_rtl
ieee80211_rtl
r8187

On the Phoebe cards:
A number of the Phoebe wireless cards were made by AirLink and had a TI chipset. These worked very well on both g and b band with the TI driver that is being developed as freeware and the firmware supplied with the card. On Linux it is possible to drive the card to over 5W with the expected fusion of the chip. Do not play with transmitter power.
Specific card numbers probably aren't going to do any good, there were a number of very good cards made with the TI ACX chipsets. These were dumped on the market at very low prices. Some of the Phoebe cards even got shipped in AirLink boxes.

A lot of the Phoebe cards for USB are Sweex cards that use the Zydas chipset. It seems to be impossible to get them to work well, even under Windows. They were tried on Linux with both ndiswrapper and the freeware driver. Nothing worked at all. Avoid them.

Broadcom chipset:
From kernel 2.6.17 onward, the broadcom driver is part of the kernel. There is support for WEP and WPA thru wpa_supplicant.

PrismGT chipset:
The Intersil PrismGT was a hopeful contender, until the card manufacturers discovered that they can save a few cents on each card if they stick the MAC-layer processing into the host driver instead of the card's firmware. (This cheaper type of card is called SoftMAC and will make the prism54 driver complain about "no 'reset complete' IRQ seen - retrying" and "prism54: Your card/socket may be faulty, or IRQ line too busy"). The driver is complete, functional and open, but it doesn't support the SoftMAC cards, and the earlier hardware versions that aren't SoftMAC are nowhere to be found, not even on ebay. There is no sure-fire way to tell the bad cards from the good ones. In some instances, like the Netgear WG511, both types are almost indistinguishable visually. In fact, for the Netgear cards, the label MADE IN CHINA is the only feature that seems to suggest unsupportedness. The ones that are labelled MADE IN TAIWAN do seem to work. For more, see the Prism54 driver section below.

Prism54 driver:
The current Prism54 project drivers do not support USB devices.
There is USB support for FreeBSD, and I expect it to get there again for Linux in a short time,as they are working on it.
There also seems to be hope for the SoftMAC versions of this chipset. A working version of the driver is available in SVN. Let's hope a version gets released soon. I'm not sure with which cards this works, so please report success and failures!

Ralink RT2561 driver:
There is a Linux driver for the Ralink RT2561 chipset. This means that at the moment cards like the Airlink Tech AWLH3026 PCI card, do work in Linux. However: Only with Ralink's driver since January 2006.

Sernet WLB1100
After downloading the http://rtl8180-sa2400.sourceforge.net/ driver, modify the 'module_load' script so that it modprobes for them instead of modprobe'ing the 'crc32' device (that comes with the system):

####
modprobe -v libcrc32c > /dev/null 2>&1
modprobe -v crc32c > /dev/null 2>&1

insmod ieee80211_crypt-r8180.ko
insmod ieee80211_crypt_wep-r8180.ko
insmod ieee80211-r8180.ko
insmod r8180.ko
####

apart from that, modify r8180_core.c and remove 2 DMESG lines that had pdev->slot_name in them ... not sure what it was trying to do, just comment them out ... and it works.

On Zydas drivers:
The project also released a patch for this driver to function on x86_64 (AMD64). This patch seems to work quite well. It's available here: http://sourceforge.net/tracker/index.php?func=detail&aid=1238757&group_id=129083&atid=713756.

The Zydas project has some serious issues with driver version 0.0.0.svnr23-3. These issues are largely fixed in version 0.0.0.svnr51.



If you have more information, or know something that's wrong about the info in this section, please e-mail it to: linux-wless@NOSPAM.passys.nl, don't forget to remove the "NOSPAM".

Thanks to:
A V Le B
gslink
JonathanA
MarkM
Thomas S.
TrondH
VárkonyiL
WilliamP
for the information


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