Intel heeft Wireless Leiden gesponsord met 802.11a apparatuur: Intel PRO/Wireless 5000 LAN Dual Access Points en Intel PRO/Wireless 5000 LAN CardBus Adapter. Deze apparatuur wordt op dit moment ge-evalueerd.
First Look at Intel PRO gear
The AP looks nice, is complete with mounting hardware. It worked just out of the box, the first time I plugged it in. I connected to it with a laptop using a AVAYA built-in mini-pci 802.11b board. The signal strength was comparable of that of the Cisco 340 ap at the same location.
Everything was quite easy configurable. The AP has a number of configuration settings accessible wia the browser. Nothe that you need a newer (ie. > 4.7) version of Netscape to do that. The AP has less configurable parameters than the cisco, but enough for all practical purposes.
Unfortunately there were no drivers available for the 802.11a card under Linux, so I tried Win 2000. There should be drivers in the near future,as people are working on it. (My hope that Intel supplied the driver as they do with the new wired nics quickly vanished) (see http://www.hpl.hp.com/personal/Jean_Tourrilhes/Linux/Linux.Wireless.drivers.html#Atheros)
Easy set-up of the driver was accomplished. After that connectin to the AP using the PCMCIA card worked without problems. However, it was a little dissapointing to see that even with the AP 3 meters from the laptop the link speed was dropping to 48 or 36 Mbit/s.
The card behaved quite good, I am actually typing this using the 802.11a card / AP combination.
I took a quick peek inside the AP box. The antenna is a small patch antenna on the top of the box, where the a and b antenna cables are connected with a U-FL connector. As far as I can see there are 2 cables for the 802.11a signal and just one cable for the 802.11 b signal. Another connector to the antenna PCB carries some logic signals to switch between the omni and half-omni (should be 180 deg) pattern for the 802.11a antenna. (This can be configured through the GUI) For the rest all electronics are in a shielded box. I recognized at least 1 mini-pci card that carried one of the radios I suppose.
FCC id search
The search for the FCC id (J3OWCB5000) resulted in an OEM rebranded card from xircom using Atheros chips
The antennae are connected using U_FL pigtails.
Experimental receive-only driver
An experimental driver for the 802.11a gear from Intel can be found here Currently this experimental driver is only capable of receiving (eg. using Kismet).
The Intel WCB5000 card uses the Atheros AR5000 chipset.
Inseting the card and the driver yields the following log output:
Jan 10 20:21:26 flupke kernel: cs: cb_alloc(bus 7): vendor 0x168c, device 0x0007 Jan 10 20:21:26 flupke kernel: PCI: Enabling device 07:00.0 (0000 -> 0002) Jan 10 20:25:39 flupke kernel: vt_ar5k: PCI/CardBus 802.11a WaveLAN driver for Atheros AR5k chipsets Jan 10 20:25:39 flupke kernel: Reyk Floeter <firstname.lastname@example.org>, (C) 2002 by .vantronix | secure systems and Reyk Floeter Jan 10 20:25:39 flupke kernel: vt_ar5k: regulation domain 'etsi' Jan 10 20:25:39 flupke kernel: PCI: Setting latency timer of device 07:00.0 to 64 Jan 10 20:25:39 flupke kernel: vt_ar5k: found [mem_start:0xe1d4e000, mem_end:0xe1d5e000, len: 65536, irq:11] Jan 10 20:25:39 flupke kernel: vt_ar5k: setting up initial configuration register Jan 10 20:25:39 flupke kernel: vt_ar5k (wlan0): starting card in standard mode Jan 10 20:25:39 flupke kernel: vt_ar5k (wlan0): MAC revision 0x0007 Jan 10 20:25:39 flupke kernel: vt_ar5k (wlan0): PHY revision 0x0003 Jan 10 20:25:39 flupke kernel: vt_ar5k (wlan0): A2 revision 0x0001 Jan 10 20:25:39 flupke kernel: vt_ar5k (wlan0): hardware address 00:05:3C:xx:xx:xx Jan 10 20:25:39 flupke kernel: vt_ar5k (wlan0): status 0x00000100 Jan 10 20:25:39 flupke kernel: vt_ar5k (wlan0): card initialized successfully
AP Power requirements
A quick check on the power requirements of the Accesspoint resulted in the following data:
IntelPRO5000 AP, with supplied power supply (rating 2.5 A @ 5 V) Measured: 1.35 A @ 4.94 V