Powerbook G4 12" WiFi Issues

coppyhop

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 1, 2014
14
0
Well, I have an old Powerbook G4 12" 1.2GHZ and and 1.5GB RAM, it was given to me by a Friend who had no use for it, and I thought, Hey! Why not? and took it. Finally got the battery to start charging, and well, there seems to be a problem with the WiFi antennae, the AirPort Extreme card works perfectly, but when plugged into the powerbook, only RARELY sees networks. And when it connects, it works for about 5 mins before shutting out again, any way to fix this? all I know is that to get an external antennae on this thing, you need to void the warranty. So is that my only option? Or is there some other fix?
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,897
407
Inside
Are you fully inserting the antenna into the Airport Extreme card? No worry about the warranty, all PowerPC Macs are outside of the warranty and are no longer serviced by Apple.
 

Hrududu

macrumors 68020
Jul 25, 2008
2,214
489
Central US
Have you tested that card in another Mac? They can fail, and what you're describing sounds like a bad card.
 

coppyhop

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 1, 2014
14
0
Tested it in another powerbook, and it works fine, it's just seem to be the antennae, will the antennae top working if there is damage to the cord?(The coating seems to be falling off) Also, the second powerbook ins't with me anymore (got rid of it a few weeks ago).
EDIT: Whoops forgot to mention that I have dropped a few times, and the battery no longer stays in.(Could dropping it do damage to the Airport card? And would an Airport express work? or should I buy a new Extreme?)
 
Last edited:

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,897
407
Inside
The damaged antenna cable could cause those problems. Dropping it is unlikely to damage the Airport card as it is a rather static part. You don't need to buy a new Airport base station.
 

PowerMac G4 MDD

macrumors 68000
Tested it in another powerbook, and it works fine, it's just seem to be the antennae, will the antennae top working if there is damage to the cord?(The coating seems to be falling off) Also, the second powerbook ins't with me anymore (got rid of it a few weeks ago).
EDIT: Whoops forgot to mention that I have dropped a few times, and the battery no longer stays in.(Could dropping it do damage to the Airport card? And would an Airport express work? or should I buy a new Extreme?)
A frayed/messed up antenna cable can cause this, and it's likely that. I have seen a case where an iBook G4's cable was either frayed or just really beaten up (somehow) and the machine was having similar issues to the ones you have described. See if you can mend that cable...
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,171
479
Elkton, Maryland
Tested it in another powerbook, and it works fine, it's just seem to be the antennae, will the antennae top working if there is damage to the cord?(The coating seems to be falling off) Also, the second powerbook ins't with me anymore (got rid of it a few weeks ago).
EDIT: Whoops forgot to mention that I have dropped a few times, and the battery no longer stays in.(Could dropping it do damage to the Airport card? And would an Airport express work? or should I buy a new Extreme?)
Have you tried a PRAM and PMU reset? Sometimes that will fix some issues. What happened to the other PowerBook a few weeks ago?
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
May 3, 2014
7,147
4,169
Kentucky
I've had my iMac G4 apart several times over the past few weeks, and somewhere in all of the working on it I inadvertently managed to pinch and fray the antenna cable. As I didn't have an Airport card in it at the time, I didn't pick up on the problem.

When I finally got around to installing the card(I keep spare Airport cards on hand, but not Airport Extremes, so had to order one), the computer would not pick up ANY networks, even when just a few feet away from the router. Taking it apart again(not a small job) revealed my damaged antenna.

I just installed a replacement earlier this evening, and the computer now sees every network on the block.

So, just based on my recent experience I'd say a bad antenna is likely.

With that said, if you have any doubts about the WiFi card, it might be worth changing. Both Airports and Airport Extremes are cheap these days(I think I paid $5 or $6 for the last Extreme I bought last week), and if you're going to play with PPC Macs very much you'll probably use the spare card eventually if it turns out to not be the problem. Plus, the card is a LOT easier to change than the antenna.
 

coppyhop

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 1, 2014
14
0
That powerbook a few weeks ago, let's just say I tried to forcefully pry it apart as I got mad at a hard drive failure..., but i'll see if I can mend the cable, and then try the resets, reply back later.
 

coppyhop

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 1, 2014
14
0
I think I have found the problem, the WiFi card, that AirPort Extreme card is dead, The reason why It worked in the other powerbook is that it seems that when transferred to a new computer, it works for a day and then stops working after that, so I need a new AirPort card, time to search eBay, thanks for our time and help!
 

California

macrumors 68040
Aug 21, 2004
3,766
42
I think I have found the problem, the WiFi card, that AirPort Extreme card is dead, The reason why It worked in the other powerbook is that it seems that when transferred to a new computer, it works for a day and then stops working after that, so I need a new AirPort card, time to search eBay, thanks for our time and help!
I have one, PM Me
 
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