Getting Airport Extreme card to work

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by cnamen, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. cnamen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    #1
    Hi all. I'm running a PowerBook G4 15" FW800 (running 10.4.11) which has only ever connected to the internet via an Orinoco Wi-Fi card, and I'm trying to upgrade it to a better card whose signals aren't stopped by a couple inches of walls. So I bought an AirPort Extreme card on Ebay and hooked it up, but it's not working right. I'm hoping for some advice. Note that I don't have an AirPort base station; I have a Linksys router, which the Orinoco card was able to communicate with fine.

    Anyway, I got the AirPort Extreme card (no software CD included), and hooked it up as demonstrated in this video. My laptop already had some AirPort software on it, which refused to acknowledge the existence of the card. I then I installed the software available here, which seemed to overwrite the previous set of software; I also ran Software Update. No matter what, the laptop refused to acknowledge the existence of the card.

    Applications->AirPort Utility, AirPort Admin Utility, and AirPort Disk Utility all turn up blanks. AirPort Utility, for example, just says it's "unable to find any Apple wireless devices". The software that was there before I installed the software linked to above gave a different message.

    Any advice here? And by the way, if I do get the laptop to recognize the card, will I even be able to connect to the Linksys without an AirPort base station or something?
     
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #2
    Try removing and re-inserting the card. It could be that the connection is loose. Don't forget to attach the antenna cable. If that doesn't work, contact your eBay seller. It could just be that you got a dud.

    Yes. AirPort is just Apple's brand name. It will work with any 802.11b/g network.
     
  3. cnamen thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2010
    #3
    By antenna cable, do you mean the circled thing in this pic? That's the only thing that's connected to the computer, aside from the card itself, which is pushed in deep, so it should be connecting properly.
     
  4. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #4
    Yeah, that's correct.
     
  5. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #5
    The Airport Express card will not show up in Airport Utility, only the base stations do. To enable the card you need to go into the System Preferences and open the Network pane. It'll say something like it found a new network interface and such. Click Apply and then you can tell it connect to your wireless network from either the pref pane or the WiFi menu in the menu bar near the clock. If you did this and it still doesn't work click on the Apple menu and open About This Mac then click More Info. In the Network area and the Airport Card area tell us what is listed there.
     
  6. cnamen thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2010
    #6
    Nothing happens when I go on System Preferences->Network, I just get the usual Network info. Here are a couple screenshots: [1], [2]. "Ethernet Adaptor (en1)" is what I currently use to connect to the internet with the Orinoco card mentioned in the first post. In these screenshots it is disconnected.

    About This Mac->More Info->Network contains an entry for AirPort Card, which says "No information found."
     
  7. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
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    #7
    Could you have the card in upside down? The part the says Airport Extreme should be facing the keyboard. I know I've had trouble with those silly cards before. My last guess is that the card is broken. If you feel up to it you could try reinstalling Tiger and see if that makes the card show up or test it in another Mac.
     
  8. cnamen thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2010
    #8
    No, unfortunately it is in the right way. I might try reinstalling the OS. Unfortunately I don't have another Mac to test it in at present.

    Thanks for the suggestions though guys. If there are any more, please make them. Failing the OS reinstall, I'll just have to assume it's a dud.
     
  9. cnamen thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2010
    #9
    Update: Unfortunately, I think the problem is my laptop. Returned the AirPort Extreme card and bought a replacement, exact same model and everything, different seller. Exact same problem, the OS won't recognize it. I tried reinstalling the OS (and updating to 10.4.11) before returning the old one and it didn't help with either card. So that rules out software problems, pretty much, unless the IOXperts driver that's powering the Orinoco ethernet card (see first post) is somehow messing with it.

    Maybe the under-battery card slot or antenna is broken? Is there an easy way to test this? I got this laptop from someone else and have never used a card in there aside from these AirPort Extremes.
     
  10. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #10
    When you reinstalled the OS did you erase and install or archive and install? If your brave you could take off the bottom cover and see if the Airport connector is connected to the logic board. It might have been disassembled once and the person might have not reconnected it.
     
  11. cnamen thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2010
    #11
    It was Erase and install. I'll see if I can manage to check the logic board. Never opened a Mac before, though I tinker around the insides of my PC so often I actually leave the cover off.
     
  12. cnamen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    #12
    Thanks for continued responses. Getting somewhere here, but not all the way.

    I managed to get the top off but I can't really tell what's going on in the airport slot or how it connects to the logic board. Here's a pic which should help explain things. As stated in the pic, the laptop here is positioned right side up, with the AirPort slot visible since the battery's out too. Is there another layer of stuff to peel off or is it possible to tell from this whether the AirPort card should be working?
     
  13. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #13
    Everything seems to be attatched in that picture. My last two guess are that your PowerBook just doesn't like Airport cards or your not pushing them in all the way. After that I don't know what else to say.
     
  14. cnamen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    #14
    Fair enough -- I guess I'm just going to have to go back to that crappy Orinoco card, or at least get a better ethernet card to replace it.

    Thanks for trying and sticking with this! If anyone else can figure out from this pic whether anything's weird that might cause AirPort card trouble, or if you need a different pic with more taken apart or whatever, feel free to post.
     
  15. cnamen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    #15
    One last thought: maybe it has to do with the AirPort Express card itself? Maybe the model in question (AirPort Extreme A1026) is incompatible with my exact model of laptop (PowerBook G4 15" FW800) for some reason.
     
  16. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Inside
    #16
    I don't think so. If it was the wrong card it wouldn't fit. There is the Airport Extreme card with builtin Bluetooth. But that card only works in the last few models of Powerbooks. Your is not one of those Powerbooks.
     

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