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Compatibility of 802.11 wlan mini-pci cards for the T4x ?

T4x series specific matters only
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thinktwice
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Compatibility of 802.11 wlan mini-pci cards for the T4x ?

#1 Post by thinktwice » Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:30 am

Hello,

I'm interested in the criteria to look at when selecting a Wlan mini-pci card, and especially for the ThinkPad T4x series and have many questions.

I observed that the Intel PRO/Wireless LAN 2100 3B Mini PCI from a T40 is not accepted in a T42. From its name, I assume this card is to WLAN what pc-2100s is to RAM; it probably runs at the 266 Mhz frequency.

1) So, my first question concerns frequency : are 802.11 WLAN cards retro-compatible, i.e. capable to work at lower frequencies, exactly like a pc-3200 RAM module at 400 MHz (or a pc-2700 at 333 MHz) accepts to work at the 266 MHz of the pc-2100 RAM ?
Typically, would the wireless mini-pci card from a T42 also work in a T40 ?

2) Secondly, excepted the from factor, are there generations of mini-pci cards; something similar to the incompatibility between the DDR1/DDR2/DDR3 memory modules ?
For instance, would the wireless mini-pci card from a T43 also work in a T40/T41/T42 ?

3) Are there different number of pins available (like between DDR and DDR2/DDR3 RAM modules) ?

4) Are WLAN mini-pci card designed for one processor brand, i.e. are there 802.11 cards designed for Intel processors and others and AMD processors ?

5) Do all WLAN mini-pci cards work at the same voltage ?

6) Excepted the Intel cards, are there other brands of 802.11 cards known for good compatibility with the ThinkPad T4x and providing easily downloadable drivers ?
(I'm especially interested at this when seeing second hand cards.)

7) What about laptop-makers wireless cards ?
For instance, I could see a second hand "Dell Wireless 1370 WLAN", but I fear to not find the driver or that the driver licence not allowing usage on non-DELL laptops.
I especially fear this problem if the OS is Windows.
Any experience here ?

8) Are 802.11 n cards retro-compatible with 802.11 b and 802.11 g or should this be explicitely mentioned on the card, i.e. 802.11 b/g/n ?

Thanks you very much.

dr_st
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Re: Compatibility of 802.11 wlan mini-pci cards for the T4x ?

#2 Post by dr_st » Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:53 am

The name confused you. :) There is absolutely no connection between miniPCI Wifi cards and RAM.

All miniPCI cards are designed to have the same interface - same number of pins same voltage. There are also no compatibility issues related to processors.

There may be some BIOS whitelist issues that will prevent some cards from working in some laptops, based on IBM/non-IBM branding, or specific device IDs / model numbers.

However, I will leave the details to the experts. :wink:
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Re: Compatibility of 802.11 wlan mini-pci cards for the T4x ?

#3 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:48 am

I won't claim to be that expert, but:
1) nothing to do with frequency. Any miniPCI wifi card can work there (exceptions, see below)
2) no/yes
3) no
4) no
5) yes
6) Atheros-based cards are very popular, with good driver availability
7) Cards are 'classed' by their chipset maker, such as: Atheros, Ralink, Philips, Broadcom, Intel
HP, Dell aet all may put their own label on a card, but it's just that: a label.
8 ) as long as they are miniPCI, yes

If you apply the NO-1802 hack to your T42 (or older), you can use any miniPCI card.
If you have T43 (or newer), you need to apply a whitelist-removed BIOS, before you can use any other miniPCI card.
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Re: Compatibility of 802.11 wlan mini-pci cards for the T4x ?

#4 Post by ajkula66 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:21 pm

Annecy wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:55 am

If I were to use an ExpressCard/54 or EC/34 for WiFi instead of the internal PCI card slot,
A bad idea to begin with, since internal antennae will provide better connectivity than anything you could possibly put in the PCMCIA slot, WLAN-wise.
could I use something like the Broadcom HD decoder internally on my (whitelisted) T43 ???
RSVP/merci
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Re: Compatibility of 802.11 wlan mini-pci cards for the T4x ?

#5 Post by kfzhu1229 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:46 pm

Annecy wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:55 am
could I use something like the Broadcom HD decoder internally on my (whitelisted) T43 ???
RSVP/merci[/color]

EDIT
Maybe the above would be "pointless" ...
given the ATI graphics native to my particular T43 ???
If you want such a thing, use the full version of Dock II which accepts a full height single slot PCI card.
I have the Dock I and now it currently contains a USB 2.0 PCI card, and worked fine for the computers that fit into the Dock I (T/A2x/3x)
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Re: Compatibility of 802.11 wlan mini-pci cards for the T4x ?

#6 Post by olex126 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:58 pm

I'll contribute my 2 cents worth...

and suggest the TP-Link TL861N Mini PCI wireless adapter.

Solid 300 MPS "N" connection in most of the older "T" series Thinkpads.

Two caveats: 1) Discontinued, may be harder to find and 2) may/may not play nice with the WIFI indicator light... I have 1 unit in which the indicator light works and 2 units in which it doesn't. No explanation that I can find.

Regards.

Dave
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Re: Compatibility of 802.11 wlan mini-pci cards for the T4x ?

#7 Post by axur-delmeria » Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:58 pm

Annecy wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:55 am
If I were to use an ExpressCard/54 or EC/34 for WiFi instead of the internal PCI card slot,could I use something like the Broadcom HD decoder internally on my (whitelisted) T43 ?
RSVP/merci
You cannot. The Broadcom HD decoder card is a mini-PCI Express card, which is physically and electrical incompatible with the T43's mini PCI slot.

The Expresscard slot is PCI Express. If an adapter from Expresscard to mini PCI Express exists, you may be able to use it.
EDIT
Maybe the above would be "pointless" given the ATI graphics native to my particular T43 ?
I don't think so. The Broadcom HD decoder has been used in some Atom-based netbooks (Dell Minis IIRC), which is less powerful than the T43.
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Re: Compatibility of 802.11 wlan mini-pci cards for the T4x ?

#8 Post by ajkula66 » Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:19 pm

Annecy wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:13 pm

that TP-Link TL861N is combo WiFiBlueToothCard
A really nice WiFiBlueTooth[/color] ComboCard is also on my mind :wink:
There are no internal BT/wi-fi combo cards for T4x generation. I agree with Dave that TP Link is as good as it gets on these machines.

Intel 2200BG was a decent - not a great - card for its time, it's long past its shelf life and should be replaced IMO.

Completely off-topic: How did you like Serbia ?
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

AARP club members:A31p,T43pSF

Abused daily: T61p

Work in progress: X60T

PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

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