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Super20
Sep 16, 2007, 09:41 AM
My wife has an iBook G3 500mhz with 320mb of ram. She is having trouble with the airport card that is installed in it. I have a 2.4ghz wireless access point in the upstairs of my house (next to my main machine) which is sending the signal to a 2.4ghz bridge in the downstairs. House is wood frame. She is having problems connecting to the wireless network. When she can actually connect, she has to be right next to a wireless router and even then it doesn't work sometimes to connect. Is the airport card going bad in this? Is it possible that the antenna has gone bad or has a kink in it or something?



MikeTheC
Sep 16, 2007, 05:27 PM
Yes to both of your "is it possible" questions.

In laptops, the wireless card is generally mounted within the main keyboard section, and the antenna wire is run through the hinge assembly and around the LCD panel. It is entirely conceivable that the hinge area could become a pinch point and eventually distress, amongst other things, the antenna wiring.

It's also possible for the Airport card to fail, though short of electrical or mechanical abuse, it's not all *that* likely.

For troubleshooting, you need another Mac which also uses an Airport -- and not an Airport Extreme -- card. Two basic steps:

1. Without doing ANYTHING else, does this "new" Mac laptop work correctly?

2. Once you've swapped parts, has the situation changed?

If it's #2, then wherever the situation changed, that tells you where the fault lies.

If it's the iBook, your best (financial) option is to write off the on-board wireless functionality and go to your local Wal-Mart and plunk down approx. $50 for their Belkin G+ MIMO USB adapter/stand, since it actually ships with Mac drivers (however, please note that their N and N1 adapters DO NOT ship with Mac drivers).

Airport cards cost an absolute FORTUNE, so unless you have to have one, they're not worth it.

MikeTheC
Sep 16, 2007, 05:38 PM
Sorry, just had another thought about your situation.

Have you done any firmware updates lately to your router? Also, what kind of wireless router do you have? It's not unknown for some brands and models to start having gradual radio failures on them.

If it's a relatively recent model Linksys, for instance, this is a somewhat common issue. If you do a search for it, there's actually instructions up on the 'Net about a wire you can clip on the motherboard of the router to disable the "diversity chip" and go down to using only one of the antennas, and this also is supposed to yield a 2db signal gain on that antenna, which kind of "cures" the issue.

So, before you do anything else, you may, in fact, want to try her iBook elsewhere to see if it still has reception problems with other routers. It is entirely possible it may be your router, and not her computer.