AirDrop requirements - Retrofitting possible...

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by nicklad, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. nicklad, Aug 30, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2011

    nicklad macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    As this does not seem to have been mentioned here anywhere that I can see, I thought that I would post the hardware requirements to use AirDrop.

    Simply upgrading the wireless card in a device, if possible, makes the feature available. (If you're minded to do this, try to ensure that you choose a replacement that has the same number of antenna connectors as the card that you are replacing.)

    In order to use AirDrop, the wireless chip must have the ability to connect to an infrastructure network and be part of a personal area ad-hoc network at the same time.

    This is known to be supported out of the box via:

    • Atheros AR5BHB92
    • Atheros AR5BXB92
    • Atheros AR5B93
    • Atheros AR5BXB112

    • Broadcom BCM94322HM8L
    • Broadcom BCM94322MC

    With a modified kext, it is possible via:

    • Atheros AR5B95
    • Atheros AR5BXB72

    Cards that are known to not support AirDrop:

    • Broadcom BCM94321MC
    • Broadcom BCM94312MCG
    • Broadcom BCM94312MCAG
    • Broadcom BCM94311MCG

    For example, by replacing the commonly used BCM94321MC card in an existing Mac with an BCM94322MC, you get AirDrop. That's pretty cool and relatively easy to do!

    Furthermore, if you purchase a generic BCM94322MC based card, it is not difficult to make it appear as a real AirPort device to Mac OS X.

  2. Dhelsdon macrumors 65816


    Feb 5, 2010
    Canadian Eh!
  3. nicklad, Aug 30, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2011

    nicklad thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    They do, yes. This is of use for those older machines that do not support AirDrop and could with a change of the wireless adapter.
  4. mrapplegate macrumors 68030

    Feb 26, 2011
    Cincinnati, OH
  5. AlteMac macrumors regular


    Jul 21, 2011
    New York suburb
    It seems tbat an ethernet-only connected computer (like my 2008 MacPro) cannot be part of an Airdrop system. You mat be on the same network, but w/o wireless, no AirDrop.
  6. MaxHeap macrumors member


    Mar 28, 2012

    Thanks for posting this. Helped me buy a new wireless card. :)
  7. dsquared.2 macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2012
    Is it possible to install a ATHEROS AR5BXB92 taken from a HP laptop?

    I have an Mac Pro 4,1 2 x 2,26GHz Quad-Core.

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