Original Airport PN 630-2899/C

tony359

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 23, 2018
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Hi all,

I've scooped an old PCMCIA Airport which I wanted to install in my G4 QuickSilver. It seems to work but it refuses to connect to my WiFi, even when I remove the encryption.
I'm reading online some info about original AirPort not working with WAP2 and firmware to be updated. I cannot really find more about the part number I've got in the title. All I know is that it's running firmware 9.52.

Any help appreciated and thanks!

Tony
 

barbu

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2013
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wpg.mb.ca
Airport cards are incredibly outdated these days and are not likely to work with much modern gear. The only configuration that will work is an access point with no encryption (or perhaps WEP but why bother) and a compatible 802.11b mode. Is your AP configured to offer an 802.11b option?
 

tony359

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 23, 2018
70
21
thanks. It looks like I should have searched a bit more before purchasing it. My router has an "unencrypted" mode but the Airport doesn't like that either. It transmits 802.11 n+g. I do not seem to have a setting that the Airport can like...
 

barbu

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2013
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595
wpg.mb.ca
That's correct, you need something that supports the older 802.11b/g mode (really all you need is pure "b"). You should be able to find a _very_ inexpensive used unit that would work. Maybe check in thrift shops or local classified. An old Linksys WRT-54g would be a good choice for example. You shouldn't have to spend more than five bucks.

A much better option would be an older Airport Express. You can use that to join a modern, secure network, and then wire it to your Mac. That will work much better for you. That's exactly what I use mine for since Gen. 1 Airport is so practically useless.
 

tony359

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 23, 2018
70
21
Thanks. To be honest I just wanted to complete the machine with the Airport. I have plenty of older wifi routers and I have no problems going wired. I just thought I could "pimp up" the unit with its original hardware. Too bad. Feeling sad now :)
 

barbu

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2013
537
595
wpg.mb.ca
Thanks. To be honest I just wanted to complete the machine with the Airport. I have plenty of older wifi routers and I have no problems going wired. I just thought I could "pimp up" the unit with its original hardware. Too bad. Feeling sad now :)
I actually totally get that, I like to get every possible upgrade into my vintage Macs too. Original Airport cards used to go for huuuuuge bucks a while back. But they are truly useless and mostly decoration at this point. Certainly not worth running an open network that leaves you vulnerable to local attackers.

One secure option that I did get to work with Airport clients and a modern FortiAP was 802.1x with Radius. The network is "open" but you need to authenticate with user/password. I know I got this working with my iMac G4 1GHz but I think that machine has AirPort Extreme and not the original card so YMMV.
 

barbu

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2013
537
595
wpg.mb.ca
You can use WPA, just not WPA2.

The key with WPA is a router that uses TKIP. You cannot use AES encryption on WPA or you cannot connect.
That’s true but encryption is not the only factor. His router does not offer a compatible radio mode so that puts a hard stop on further functionality. He is physically unable to connect.
 

tony359

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 23, 2018
70
21
I'm puzzled that I cannot connect even with NO encryption...
 

barbu

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2013
537
595
wpg.mb.ca
You already found the answer. Your router is set to operate in n + g mode. Original Airport only works with b mode. Encryption doesn’t enter into the equation. Your card is lacking the ability to physically connect (via the radio medium) to the access point.
 

tony359

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 23, 2018
70
21
Right, you told me that! Goldfish memory, sorry!

I'll fish (!) out an older router and create a wifi just to make sure the Airport works. I would have liked to have the PM on wireless but as it stands it looks like it'll just be a decorative addendum! :)
 
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AphoticD

macrumors 68000
Feb 17, 2017
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@tony359 I find it easiest to use any one of my other Macs to run Internet Sharing from Ethernet to WiFi with no password.

This way the whole network is not exposed, just the one Mac (which is typically my iMac running High Sierra and using a unique admin password). I can easily switch the service on/off as needed.

The network created by this machine will work for any original Airport cards, even under OS9.

Edit: Also, the signal strength from my 2009 iMac is really great. It seems stronger than my modem/router.
 

eyoungren

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Aug 31, 2011
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That’s true but encryption is not the only factor. His router does not offer a compatible radio mode so that puts a hard stop on further functionality. He is physically unable to connect.
I get that. You can't connect when that that mode is disabled or unsupported. However, OP originally asked about encryption (and you mentioned possibly using WEP earlier). I just wanted to point out that WPA is supported (assuming the router supports the old A/B modes) if you use TKIP.
 
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