MacBook Pro Core Duo 802.11n and HD upgrade

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Faye, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. Faye macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    #1
    Well, my Frankenbook is even more Shelleyesque now.

    It has a Dell Wireless 1500 card in place of the original Airport Extreme card.
    It has a Toshiba 200Gb HD too.

    That goes along with its Toshiba 1920x1200 15.4" display...

    I think it'll be a while before Apple's specs catch up.


    Faye
     
  2. whateverandever macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Location:
    Baltimore
    #2
    Awesome, Faye :]
    Was it a simple plug-and-play for the Dell wireless card?
     
  3. Faye thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    #3
    It would have been, I think, if I hadn't done a reinstall using a 10.4.5 install disc. I did that because it was the easiest copy I could get hold of to modify to include the Display Override for my panel.

    It needs OSX 10.4.8 at least to work... Once I'd used the ethernet to upgrade it, life became simpler. Installing the Extreme update 2007-002 and the 802.11n enabler (which came with my accesspoint) gives me a line in ioreg which says a/b/g/n support on the card.

    The Dell Wireless 1500 card is a BCM94321MC revision A00.
    The firmware after 2007-02 is 4.80.79.1

    The Mac says "AirPort Card Information" 0x14E4, 0x9
    Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0

    It is USA locale, which does mean you only have channels 1-11 available.

    Anyone know how to change the locale?


    Faye
     
  4. brsboarder macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    #4
    can we see pictures of the display? how much did that cost? Or have you already posted it. rpm's on the drive?
     
  5. Faye thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    #5
    The display cost me £145 inc shipping from an ebay seller. I wouldn't have attempted it, but when I damaged my screen, I looked for a solution that didn't cost the earth - to be honest the upgrade to HD came as a nice bonus.Forums link to 1920x1200 upgrade thread

    The hard drive is 4200RPM but I needed space more than speed and I believe 200Gb is the largest disk you can get currently. The Toshiba drive is the only one at 9.5mm high and therefore a drop in replacement for the existing drive.
     
  6. Faye thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    #6
    Got home, and logged straight into my Airport Extreme .11n network (thank goodness I'd already put the MAC into the access list)... I guess I got the antennas the right way around after all (black arrow, grey antenna, clear arrow, white antenna) about 3.5x faster than my .11g on the same network.

    I live in very crowded airspace - there are about ten networks around me and speeds are more consistent in .11n.

    50% power seems to give me the best latency and speeds.
    Overall, a worthwhile upgrade, I think.


    Faye
     
  7. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #7
    Where did you pickup the Wireless card? I saw press releases announcing it, and they say it only cost $59, but I can't seem to find it on the parts and accessories site.

    Thanks.
     
  8. whateverandever macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 8, 2006
    Location:
    Baltimore
    #8
    Check eBay :]
     
  9. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #9
    I was hoping for a retailer. You just don't get the same return policies on eBay ;)
     
  10. Faye thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    #10
    I'm afraid I bought on eBay. You can get one by taking apart an apple TV, but that will also void your warranty and make it hard sending it back.

    Try Dell. You're after a Dell Wireless 1500.


    Faye
     
  11. JDN macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Lund Sweden {London England}
    #11
    Any chance of some kind of tutorial to replacing a MBP wireless card? Im slowly getting more comfortable taking my MBP apart, and eventually will upgrade both wireless card and screen. Any chance of some pics and explanation like in the High Def upgrade thread?
     
  12. Faye thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    #12
    I knew I should have taken some when I had it in pieces. I didn't though, but there really is *nothing* to it. Use the www.ifixit.com guides to get to the stage of being able to remove the hard drive and you'll see the mini PCIe airport card there with two antennas plugged in.

    http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Mac/MacBook-Pro/Hard-Drive-Page-7-Hard-Drive

    The Airport card is the one above and to the left of the hard drive with tape down its right hand side (holding some cables in place)

    pull the antenna leads off (they're a pop-fit) and remove any sticky tape holding the card down.

    There's a single screw holding the card in place, unscrewing it causes the card to pop up to about a 20-30 degree angle. Simply remove the card, plug in the replacement and screw it down before reattaching the antennae.

    It's somewhere between installing memory and installing a PCI card in difficulty.

    If you're already running 10.4.9 the card will be detected immediately. Apply the 2007-002 firmware upgrade and you'll be running the latest code. Install the Wireless N enabler from the Airport Extreme base station disc and it'll be an 802.11n card.

    Does that help you enough?


    Faye
     
  13. JDN macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Lund Sweden {London England}
    #13
    Thats great thanks. Doesn't look all to difficult. Although, i think i may wait as long as i can. Maybe till my apple care is out of date. Then i won't kick myself if i mess it up.

    Edit: The Wireless N enabler ... does it only come on the airport extreme disc? Or will there be a version on Discs that come with other hubs like Linkseys?
     
  14. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #14
    It's a £1.25 download from the Apple Store
     
  15. Faye thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    #15
    I think that will officially only install if you have "valid" hardware.. ie something which should have the card in it. Pacifist gets over that however.

    If you have the airport base station (a very nice and reasonably priced offering in my opinion) then it installs all the software regardless.


    Faye
     
  16. thestaton macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    #16
    just wanted to say thanks. picking one up on eBay as we speak :)
     

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