Take a look at our
ThinkPads.com HOME PAGE
For those who might want to contribute to the blog, start here: Editors Alley Topic
Then contact Bill with a Private Message

WiFi Options for ThinkPad A31

R, A, G and Z series specific matters only. NOT for AMD-Ryzen.
Post Reply
Message
Author
bse5150
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:49 pm
Location: Sarnia, Canada

WiFi Options for ThinkPad A31

#1 Post by bse5150 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:32 pm

I recently picked up an A31 in surprisingly good condition.

I've already ordered two 1GiB SODIMMs to max out the RAM. Next step is WiFi!

What are my WiFi options for this machine? I'd prefer to have at least 802.11n, but 11g would suffice if that's the best this machine can do. Preferably something that is FreeBSD or OpenBSD compatible (currently running OpenBSD 6.3).

Also, although not a priority at this time, I will be looking for a new battery, or, at least, one that holds somewhat of a charge. The current battery is dead, dead, dead. So if anyone knows of a source for batteries, please chime in.

A hard drive upgrade might be nice too, it depends on what I end up using this machine for. I think I currently have either a 60 or 80 GB drive in it. That might be fine for a while yet.

Looking forward to having some fun with my A31. Thanks!
You can wonder why...

ajkula66
SuperUserGeorge
SuperUserGeorge
Posts: 16346
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:28 am
Location: Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania, USA

Re: WiFi Options for ThinkPad A31

#2 Post by ajkula66 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:54 pm

Does the machine have integrated wi-fi to begin with ? Not too many A3x series came with factory wi-fi...

What's the 7-character model number printed on the same sticker that holds the serial # and the production date ?
...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.

bse5150
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:49 pm
Location: Sarnia, Canada

Re: WiFi Options for ThinkPad A31

#3 Post by bse5150 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:37 pm

No, it doesn't have integrated WiFi. I tried a USB WiFi adapter but it's way too slow at USB 1 speeds. (12 Mbit/s?)

The model number is: 2652-K3U.

Thanks!
You can wonder why...

ajkula66
SuperUserGeorge
SuperUserGeorge
Posts: 16346
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:28 am
Location: Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania, USA

Re: WiFi Options for ThinkPad A31

#4 Post by ajkula66 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:08 pm

Your machine as it left the factory:
P4-M 1.6GHz (512KB), 128MB RAM, 20.0GB HDD, 15.0 XGA(1024x768) TFT LCD, 24x-10x CD-ROM, Modem(CDC), Ethernet(CDC), TV out, Li-Ion battery, WinXP Pro
USB on these is only 1.1 so the wi-fi is going to be problematic at best. Try locating a PCMCIA wireless card and you should be good to go.

Two things;

a) If the battery is completely dead, remove it so the charging circuit doesn't get damaged AND

b) The machine will run at lower speeds until a functional battery is installed. I suggest grabbing a genuine used one even if it holds 3 minutes of charge, rather than buying a knock-off.

Good luck.
...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.

Thinkpad4by3
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1975
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:25 am
Location: N. Bellmore, ny

Re: WiFi Options for ThinkPad A31

#5 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:36 pm

1) I've had a few issues with the A31 and overheating batteries/smelling like they will blow up.

2) My personal favorite PCMCIA wireless card if the Cisco Aironet 340. For WinXP, it is plug and play. Works a treat, or atleast the last time I did maybe 5-8 years ago,

3) That might explain why my A31 was a slow pile of crap after the battery problem.
Thinkpad4by3's Law of the Universe.

The efficiency of two screens equally sized with equal numbers if pixels are equal. The time spent by a 4:3 user complaining about 16:9 is proportional to the inefficiency working with a 16:9 display, therefore the amount of useful work extracted is equal.

ajkula66
SuperUserGeorge
SuperUserGeorge
Posts: 16346
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:28 am
Location: Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania, USA

Re: WiFi Options for ThinkPad A31

#6 Post by ajkula66 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:35 pm

My favourite PCMCIA cards back in the days were the Ralink ones, some of them even had "N" compatibility, albeit at 2.4 Ghz only. I'm certain that some of them must be still floating around, and for not too much money.
...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.

Thinkpad4by3
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1975
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:25 am
Location: N. Bellmore, ny

Re: WiFi Options for ThinkPad A31

#7 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:10 pm

What I do now for my older machines is set up a T420 or something like that and use a cross over cable and Windows ethernet pass-through and use the T420 as a "Wireless card". Got me to google on my Pentium 1 desktop with a 3Com etherlink and IE4. Surfing the internet without HTTPS and most URL support has never been so fun :lol: !
Thinkpad4by3's Law of the Universe.

The efficiency of two screens equally sized with equal numbers if pixels are equal. The time spent by a 4:3 user complaining about 16:9 is proportional to the inefficiency working with a 16:9 display, therefore the amount of useful work extracted is equal.

olex126
Sophomore Member
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: St.Thomas, Ontario, CANADA

Re: WiFi Options for ThinkPad A31

#8 Post by olex126 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:12 pm

I cleared out my storage unit this past weekend and finally -after months of searching high and low-found a half-dozen NOS A30/31 series batteries still in their sealed boxes. Send a PM and we can probably work something out.

Still have a couple of PCMCIA WiFi Cards here as well, will have to look and see what I can spare if you don't come up with anything in the meantime.

Regards.

Dave
Previous Thinkpads: 701C A22m A30/A31p T23p x2 T30 T41 X31 various 750's 760's & 390's.

Current Daily Drivers: Various X60T & X61T's, various T42p-T43p's, x200 x201 x220 x230 W520 T601F LED (T9500/8Gb/250SSD/W7 Ultimate)


"Life Is A Journey...Enjoy The Ride!"

Thinkpad4by3
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1975
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:25 am
Location: N. Bellmore, ny

Re: WiFi Options for ThinkPad A31

#9 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:15 pm

olex126 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:12 pm
I cleared out my storage unit this past weekend and finally -after months of searching high and low-found a half-dozen NOS A30/31 series batteries still in their sealed boxes. Send a PM and we can probably work something out.

Still have a couple of PCMCIA WiFi Cards here as well, will have to look and see what I can spare if you don't come up with anything in the meantime.

Regards.

Dave
Quick, while you still can, take an A31p and do a New York to London flight while trying to get some AutoCAD done on the crappy P4M and ATI card and then get off the plane getting almost nothing done and contemplate what you have done with the last 12 hours of your life and why you overpowered the A/C unit on the plane raising the temperature to 85 degrees and having an angry mob with pitchforks come out to get you and ......

C'mon...it will be fun. :D


Oh wait, they have AC plugs on planes now, don't they. Well...time to live out my dreams of creating an angry mob of United Airlines passengers. Hey, atleast I'll be dragged of the flight because of my own computer, not theirs :lol: .
Thinkpad4by3's Law of the Universe.

The efficiency of two screens equally sized with equal numbers if pixels are equal. The time spent by a 4:3 user complaining about 16:9 is proportional to the inefficiency working with a 16:9 display, therefore the amount of useful work extracted is equal.

bse5150
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:49 pm
Location: Sarnia, Canada

Re: WiFi Options for ThinkPad A31

#10 Post by bse5150 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:14 am

Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:10 pm
What I do now for my older machines is set up a T420 or something like that and use a cross over cable and Windows ethernet pass-through and use the T420 as a "Wireless card".
That's what I've been doing with my A31! Except the T420 is a MacBook Pro and I use a standard CAT-5E cable versus a cross-over cable. Works pretty well, but it's a PITA having to power up two computers just to access the Internet.
You can wonder why...

bse5150
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:49 pm
Location: Sarnia, Canada

Re: WiFi Options for ThinkPad A31

#11 Post by bse5150 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:17 am

olex126 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:12 pm
I cleared out my storage unit this past weekend and finally -after months of searching high and low-found a half-dozen NOS A30/31 series batteries still in their sealed boxes. Send a PM and we can probably work something out.

Still have a couple of PCMCIA WiFi Cards here as well, will have to look and see what I can spare if you don't come up with anything in the meantime.
Sending a PM right now! Thanks!
You can wonder why...

dr_st
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 7540
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 6:20 am

Re: WiFi Options for ThinkPad A31

#12 Post by dr_st » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:39 am

ajkula66 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:35 pm
My favourite PCMCIA cards back in the days were the Ralink ones, some of them even had "N" compatibility, albeit at 2.4 Ghz only. I'm certain that some of them must be still floating around, and for not too much money.
The nice think about Ralink cards is that they allow WPA2 over Windows 9x. Since I decided to install WinME on the A31p, this was a useful feature to me; at some point I actually found a miniPCI adapter with the same Ralink chipset, but that is not likely to help the OP, if there are no internal antennas.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG, X61 7673-V2V
T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

tdot
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:48 am
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: WiFi Options for ThinkPad A31

#13 Post by tdot » Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:49 pm

dr_st wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:39 am
ajkula66 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:35 pm
My favourite PCMCIA cards back in the days were the Ralink ones, some of them even had "N" compatibility, albeit at 2.4 Ghz only. I'm certain that some of them must be still floating around, and for not too much money.
The nice think about Ralink cards is that they allow WPA2 over Windows 9x. Since I decided to install WinME on the A31p, this was a useful feature to me; at some point I actually found a miniPCI adapter with the same Ralink chipset, but that is not likely to help the OP, if there are no internal antennas.
Speaking of Ralink PCMCIA cards, I just recently purchased one of these for my A22m

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/NEW-300Mbps-Wir ... 1952980274 (300Mbps Wireless-N MIMO CardBus PCMCIA Adapter - GWAH08N)

They are apparently brand new cards for $20 CAD.

According to the device ID, they are actually a Ralink RT2860.

I previously had another WiFi G card (I got a set of 4 PCMCIA cards, including USB2 and LAN, for $10), but it wasn't able to operate with WPA2 - which means it's basically useless for connecting to any modern router without disabling security - watch out for that.

This one works flawlessly at N speeds + WPA2 in WinXP, but doesn't have included Win9x drivers. According to Google, there ARE Win9x drivers for this chipset, they're just harder to find ... I will attempt to find them soon and report back.

Hierax_ca
Freshman Member
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:06 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Re: WiFi Options for ThinkPad A31

#14 Post by Hierax_ca » Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:45 pm

I've been using an "EZ Connect N Pro" 802.11n 300Mbps PCMCIA WiFi Adapter for Thinkpads 600x, A31p, and T43p. It's cheap (under $10) and is a Ralink RT2800 802.11n card. At home it's getting up to about 20-30 Mbit/s down and 13-19 up of actual speeds in Linux (I don't use Windows online anymore so no idea how it works there). Not the best ever, but it's dirt cheap and it works better and more reliably than the included Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG.
Toshiba (93-98): t3400(ct), 3600ct, 610ct, 620ct, 660cdt, 490xcdt, 780cdm/dvd

IBM (95-06): 701c*(s) Butterfly, 600(e,x*), A31p*, T43(S*, p,+pS*)

Lenovo (07-12): t60h, T601pF*, x60t+, x61t+*,
W500, W700(ds), W701, x301*, x200t, x220t, x220*, W520*

Mac (04+11): iMac G4 20", MacBook Pro 17"

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “ThinkPad R, A, G and Z Series”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest