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Old Dec 19, 2004, 08:33 PM   #1
mooncaine
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Using a Linksys WMPG54G PCI card in G4

I've encountered some menttion, here and there on the web, that some folk claim to have installed and set up a Linksys WMP54G wireless network adapter. It's a PCI card [I've got one in a PC already], and the manufacturer provided zero support for Mac users. Since some folks claim to have used it in their Macs, I gave it a try. I took the card from my PC, put it in the Mac, started the Mac, and ... could not find any sign that the Mac even knew the card was in it. Airport Setup Assistant, I thought -- that must be what they're using. Nope; ASE just told me I didn't have an Airport card.

Can anyone suggest how I'm supposed to get this card working in my G&W 733MHz G4? If you know of a place on the web that explains this, I'd be grateful. I've googled all evening and all I've found are mentions that it's been done -- haven't found any step-by-step help yet.

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Old Dec 20, 2004, 06:10 AM   #2
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have a look on xlr8yourmac.com - they have a page of cards that will work
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Old Dec 20, 2004, 07:05 AM   #3
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Linksys change chipsets on their cards without notice and only Broadcom chipsets work without additional drivers on Mac OS X. If your card is revision 4 of the card (it has a very small slim PCB) then it's not a broadcom and it's not going to work. Versions 1-3 were Broadcom and consequently did work.

As the previous guy said - check xlr8yourmac.
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Old Dec 20, 2004, 01:56 PM   #4
mooncaine
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Thanks; yep, mine must be rev 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by caveman_uk
Linksys change chipsets on their cards without notice and only Broadcom chipsets work without additional drivers on Mac OS X. If your card is revision 4 of the card (it has a very small slim PCB) then it's not a broadcom and it's not going to work. Versions 1-3 were Broadcom and consequently did work.

As the previous guy said - check xlr8yourmac.
Thank you!

Whew, lucky I didn't buy the card with my Mac in mind. I guess I'll have to shop for a card that will work with the G4. I saw a Sonnet Aria described online. There's an Apple store in my city; maybe they have a card that will work.
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Old Dec 20, 2004, 01:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilrobinson
have a look on xlr8yourmac.com - they have a page of cards that will work
And thank you, too, Neil.
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Old Dec 20, 2004, 03:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mooncaine
There's an Apple store in my city; maybe they have a card that will work.
I doubt it as it's not in their interest to sell you one FWIW I have a Belkin card in my MDD powermac (it's a f5d7000uk) which works fine thought there have been reports of less than stellar range with it - I haven't noticed - It works for me. They're pretty cheap - even in the UK! On inspection of Amazon US they have them from $20 from their marketplace retailers.
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Old Dec 20, 2004, 04:34 PM   #7
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Not in their interest? I don't understand what you mean.

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Originally Posted by caveman_uk
I doubt it as it's not in their interest to sell you one FWIW I have a Belkin card in my MDD powermac (it's a f5d7000uk) which works fine thought there have been reports of less than stellar range with it - I haven't noticed - It works for me. They're pretty cheap - even in the UK! On inspection of Amazon US they have them from $20 from their marketplace retailers.
Not in their interest? I don't understand -- unless you mean they'd believe it's in their interest not to help an owner of an older Apple because he might instead buy a newer Apple. Hah.

Fat chance! This computer is great -- I'm not buying a new computer just to get a wireless connection. This G4 rocks, and is more than enough for my home needs. It was originally used to edit digital video, and it is sweeeeeeet. Makes my home PC, which has twice the clock speed, feel like a broken down old truck.

Thanks for the Belkin recommendation. I think I'll go with an Wireless Ethernet bridge, though -- at least, that's what I'm thinking at the moment, after reading here and elsewhere, including xlr8yourmac.com [nice site!]. Since *any* computer I use, Mac or PC, will have Ethernet [I always see to that], the bridge will presumably be useful for other computers as well as this fine G4. It'll cost more but I think it will have some long-term payback in the "interoperability" department, plus it should offer fewer probs than a PCI card of any kind -- do you agree? I still haven't decided.
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Old Dec 20, 2004, 05:54 PM   #8
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You need to get the version 2 card, which is the thicker one, compared to the new ultra thin PCI card.

You want the box and card to look exactly like these pictures, but not like the last one its a ver. 4 card:
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Old Dec 21, 2004, 03:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mooncaine
Not in their interest? I don't understand -- unless you mean they'd believe it's in their interest not to help an owner of an older Apple because he might instead buy a newer Apple. Hah.
Well, I guess that's the theory! It's obviously BS though....

I'm quite surprised that Apple haven't released a PCI adapter for the Airport Extreme cards. They did have one for the old Airport cards so that they could be used in macs without the requisite Airport slot. I mean, Apple would still sell an overpriced Extreme card and an adapter so it's not like they'd be losing out. Because who in their right mind is gonna buy a new desktop just to get 802.11g?
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Old Dec 27, 2004, 02:48 AM   #10
mooncaine
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On advice from good folks in several different forums, I have installed the Belkin f5d7000. As it happens, my WMP54G is, indeed, the later version with the tinier card and some chipset other than Broadcom. Luckily, I was testing the card by taking it from a PC, where it's normally used, so at least this didn't cost me any money to discover.

Belkin working great!

Getting OSX's Airport software to accept the WEP key was a bit of a pain, but I found the info I needed at macosxhints.com forums, including a tip about telling the router to permit "shared keys" so that I could use the first key, which seemed the only one Airport would accept.

Oh, and it took a while, searching those forums, to find out how to get OSX to automatically join my network so I wouldn't have to type the long WEP key every time -- but I eventually found a post where someone described how they'd done it.

Thanks loads!

Last edited by mooncaine; Jun 5, 2006 at 07:38 PM. Reason: Changed "fora" to "forums" because, let's face it, that's the word more people are used to.
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Old Jun 5, 2006, 03:56 PM   #11
Mr_Ed
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FYI: Update in case anyone else needs this info . . .

I installed a WMP54G (v4.1) on my Dual 1GHz G4 a couple of days ago, and got it to work by using the Ralink RT61 driver. The RT2500 driver DID NOT work for me.

The card is not recognized as a supported "AirPort" card, so the "WirelessUtilityRT61Cardbus" application that's part of the driver install is required. Once installed, it launches automatically at login and allows you to connect to a network. Once connected to your network, you can safely quit the application. It's a bit of a pain I suppose but I only wanted a "cheapo" way to stream AirTunes to my main stereo system, so I spent $130 on an AirPort Express, and around $50 for the Linksys WMP54G. When I upgrade to a new "Mac Pro" later this year, I'll probably end up also picking up an AirPort base station and hardwiring this machine to that. Once the card is connected to the network, AirTunes works flawlessly. There may be a way to "hack" Mac OS X to see this card as a "supported" card, but I'm not savvy enough to know.

On a related note, my first choice for a card was the Belkin F5D7000, but could only find version 5000 of that card at several local vendors. I did try it thinking it might work with the Ralink RT2500 driver, but discovered it actually has an 'Atheros' chipset. Unlike the Linksys card, the chipset manufacturer is displayed plainly on the F5D7000 v.5000 board. The OrangeWare Wireless driver did not work for that version of the Belkin card either.

One more thing: The Belkin card had the version number displayed on the box, making it easy to know what you are getting. I found NO such indication of version on the Linksys packaging. I just decided to give it a try.
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