While making WiFi LED work with Actiontec 802MBN WiFi cards in my T42 and T43 I decided to try a variation on the method described here on this forum a long time ago (where pin 13 on the card is detached from the rest of its circuitry and grounded to one of the metal card holders): I obtained ground from pin 27 GROUND on the card as pictured here:
My WiFi LED now flashes perfectly well in both laptops, however I suspect that it adversely affects downstream rates: I'm getting no more than 35Mbps down at speedtest.net (used to be ~60Mpbs a year ago when I first installed those cards although I haven't made any fresh measurements before the mod) vs 75Mbps on my X1 Carbon; meanwhile upstream rate is unchanged at ~5Mbps. How do I view WiFi link stats such as corrupt frames? The registry change that is supposed to display error count right beneath Bytes up/down in the Status view does not display that extra line for my WiFi interface. How likely is it that it's exactly my particular mod and nothing else affecting downstream rates anyway? I wouldn't like to cut that jumper wire just to see that it makes no difference. I did my best cleaning up all the gaps between the pins after all the soldering to rule out any unwanted shorting.
Update: Windows Task Manager on both laptops displays CPU jumping from ~40% to 100% and staying there during entire measurement while Networking only briefly reaching 12.5%, so perhaps the bottleneck has now shifted to the CPU. Two questions still remain though: (a) is it OK to use ground from pin 27 GROUND and (b) what's the best way to assess WiFi link quality?
Thanks in advance!
Not really: I only modded both cards a week ago as permanently disabled WiFi LED was hurting my perfectionist's eye all this time since Jan last year when I just installed them )
I can see brand-new TP-Link ones currently selling at $9 on Ebay US (shipping them across to the UK would likely double that amount though, if not worse). The Actiontec 802MBN cards I got at AliExpress back then were something like GBP3 apiece and tbh I never had any reason to blame them before modding them recently, at least they keep steady 300Mbps connection with the router. It's only my variant of their mod that could've done anything bad to them if at all. Meanwhile it seems like speedtest.net has been redesigned and if they made it CPU heavier that'd explain why I'm getting lower downstream rates on those ancient single core CPU laptops... sadly the old style speedtest.net doesn't work even though I have Adobe Flash installed.
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