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Re: [K12OSN] Wireless LAN - PCI adapter replacement

Here is some hardware lessons learned on 802.11 - the K12LTSP wireless connectivity is next week's [spare time] project. The outcome of that effort (or others that have already gone down that path) will probably impact the hardware decision. (like availability of LINUX drivers for wireless on PCI/PCMCIA vs. USB). Your "How to get it to boot" question is key here.

The USB 802.11 adaptors provide 30% or greater signal strength relative to the PCI/PCMCIA versions - and they cost a bunch less. $40-50 on eBay vs. $100+ ($70 PCMCIA + $35 PCI adaptor).

If distance is an issue, note there are 2 "classes" of 802.11b (Wi-Fi) wireless adaptors; most are 30 mw transmitters (Cisco 340 series, among others) or 100 mw (Cisco 350 series). Some (most) have their antennas built in, however, in the 100 mw particularly, some can optionally use an external antenna, which can boost the range to almost 15 miles, directional and line of sight, albeit at reduced throughput.

802.11a and 802.11g are both available now, with 54 mbit speeds. Have not tested any of this unfamiliar stuff as yet.....

This is all adaptor level stuff - the right wireless bridges, configured correctly, can get distances of 45 miles and more, with NO decrease of bandwidth ($$$$$$$$$$). Other microwave technologies can go to gigabit speeds over wireless links.


Wireless LAN

On my diskless desktop station, I think I need following item or similar product

PCI adapter


Will any PCI adapter accept all PCMCIA Card ???

Or alternatively can I use Wireless USB Network Adapter in the diskless desktop station such as


or similar product to replace the Wireless 11Mbps LAN PCMCIA Card. But how to boot the diskless desktop station at start ???

Thanks in advance

Stephen Liu

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