USB Wifi for Powerbook 12"

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by vintagetobes, May 15, 2007.

  1. vintagetobes macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2007
    Hi, i recently bought a 12" Powerbook to go with my iMac for Uni. Basically i love it apart from two things. Firstly the screen isn't really bright enough to use it in proper sunlight, but i knew that when i was buying it. More importantly, wifi is weak, very weak. This also seems to be a known issue, something to do with the metal casing.

    Anyway, i recon an external USB wifi adaptor would be my best option. Can anyone suggest a particular make or even model that is 100% compatiable out of the box (no special drivers that i have been reading about), and is also a small as possible. This last quality is probably more important to me.

    Whilst on the topic, i also read the other day that a passive antenna can be clipped onto the screen with no hard connection at all. Was this nonsense? It certainly sounds so to me.

  2. vintagetobes thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2007
  3. r6girl Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Sep 6, 2003
    i don't have any usb wifi recommendations for you, but i thought i'd at least suggest that you check the connection for your airport card on your powerbook. i had a 12" powerbook (rev. A model) and never found the wifi to be significantly weak as you've described. i had a bit of "overlap" between my current macbook and the 12" pb before i sold it, and while the macbook does get better wifi reception, the difference was usually just 1 bar on the wifi signal indicator in the menu bar. the aluminum does affect signal reception, but they mitigated this somewhat by installing the plastic inserts on the sides of the screen - this is where the antennae are routed and using plastic there instead of aluminum helps with the signal reception.

    the airport card is next to the battery - there are instructions on the apple site on how to get to it. if you haven't already, it's worth a check before getting a usb wifi adapter...
  4. Stampyhead macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2004
    London, UK
    Take a look at the Belkin F5D7050 USB Wireless adapter. It doesn't come with OS X drivers out of the box, but you can download them here, and you can download a users guide for the drivers here. I installed this on a client's Mac Mini so she didn't have to get an Airport card installed, and it seems to be working great. Hope this helps.
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Ditto this... it's definitely worth investigating.
  6. ibookluv111 macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2007
    I WOULD NOT get a Belkin F5D7050, or anything of it's sort. If you're still looking for a USB Wireless stick, go to ebay and look around. The devices by 'Mac Wireless' work out of the box

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