T60 wireless card upgrade from ABG to ABGN

T60/T61 series specific matters only
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35712
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T60 wireless card upgrade from ABG to ABGN

#1 Post by 35712 » Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:10 pm

Hi!


I would like to make my T60 laptop 802.11n able. Can I just exchange the Intel Pro Wireless PCIe mini card for one that supports the n standard as well?

When I had a look at Everest, I was told to have 2 free PCIe mini slots in my T60. Does is really have 4 of them? Can I use them all?

And a last question: If I install 3 GB of RAM into my T60, am I able to use Dual Channel?


Thanks for your help!

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#2 Post by SHoTTa35 » Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:01 am

you can replace the intel 3945 with either a Intel 4965AGN* or a Atheros (Thinkpad branded) AGN.

(The IBM/Lenovo version of the Intel 4965AGN card requires BIOS hacks to get it working - all other non Lenovo branded cards also require BIOS hacks)

Your T60 has 2 PCIe slots. One for Wireless LAN (WLAN) and one for Wide Area Networks (WAN) - HSDPA cards from AT&T/Vodaphone/T-Mobile or EVDO Rev A cards from Verizon/Sprint for the US.

If you install a total of 3GB of RAM the system will still run in Dual Channel mode. DC mode doesn't provide much boost anyways (not just an opinion) so you wouldn't be missing anything even if it did. Fear NOT though, 2 + 1 would still be in DC mode.
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35712
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#3 Post by 35712 » Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:33 am

Are there more versions of the intel wireless AGN card? Do I need a specific one? Did I get it righ. that I need to hack the bios in every case?

What about antennas? I am pretty sure that my 15.1" T60 has got no more than 2 antennas. DO I need to install a tird one when replacing the wireless card?

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#4 Post by Superego » Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:52 am

35712 wrote: What about antennas? I am pretty sure that my 15.1" T60 has got no more than 2 antennas. DO I need to install a tird one when replacing the wireless card?
I think the Intel 4965AGN card has three ports for antennae (not sure about the Atheros) and the Intel 3945ABG has two so just swapping them won't work (well, maybe it will but you just won't have N functionality). Do you have built-in WWAN (e.g. Sierra Wireless WAN minipci express card)? I think some people have upgraded by using the two antennae from the wireless card and the antenna from the WWAN to get the required three antennae. Haven't done it myself so I can't give you any details.
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35712
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#5 Post by 35712 » Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:43 am

What do you mean by WWAN? My other PCIe mini card installed is a Intel Pro 1GB cable network card - nothing that has to do with wireless at all.

Is it not possible to install a third antenna?

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#6 Post by Superego » Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:41 am

WWAN = Wireless Wide Area Network - wireless access via a cellular network.

Some TPs have it built-in (as opposed to purchasing a USB or PCMIA mobile broadband card) and people have used that as the third antenna.

I'm guessing you don't have it on your T60 and I'm not sure how easily you can install one yourself. I'm guessing it's not a small task (your system board may not even support it) and you'll probably have to mess around with the BIOS...assuming you get past the issues associated with physically wiring a third antenna into your T60.
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35712
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#7 Post by 35712 » Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:07 pm

Ok, that sounds pretty complicated. Not impossible though. I will have to do some research I think. Especially as I do not even know what a WWAN really is and does.... :roll:

Edit: Ok. No, my thinkpad does not have a WWAN card. Accordingly, it might be a far better idea to get a 802.11n Express Card, or even USB Stick (if high speed)...


Thanks for your help :)

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#8 Post by SHoTTa35 » Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:21 pm

ok so since you are in France, i'm sure you've seen O2 or Vodaphone or advertise those wireless cards that give you access to internet in more than just "hotspots." WWAN cards as i mentioned (i wrote WAN which but it should have been WWAN) you buy from your mobile phone provider to plug into your laptop (or in this case, it's built in, no extra card necessary).

Some Thinkpads come with 3 antenna's already installed so you don't need to do anything other than replacing the current card and using it (provided you upgrade your BIOS to the hacked one. To do that you do it just like you normally do with a normal Lenovo BIOS). What some people have done is just used the antennas from the WWAN port as another antenna for the WLAN. The WWAN has 2 antennas and normally the WLAN has 2 also. IF you aren't using the WWAN you can just take one of those and use it with the WLAN.

If you don't have the antennas then you will still get N speeds but ofcourse it wont be as good as if you had the antennas. You can buy and install the antenna (someone post the part number, i can't look it up now) and install it yourself. After that's all done you just boot into windows and you install the drivers for the card just like normal.

It's easier to get a express card because they simply plug in vs opening the laptop and replacing the current card. The fact that it sticks out (antenna's need that) is bothersome to some people and would like the neat appearance of using the built in ones. Even if you don't buy/use a 3rd antenna you can still use the card with just 2 antennas. It will work just fine at 802.11G speeds
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#9 Post by 35712 » Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:46 pm

Allright! That changes everything! I will try to find the post that explains how to build in the antenna. Thank you very much!

Edit: Are there thinkpads with 3 anteannas, though they do not have a WWAN card? Should if I got you right. How can I find out if my notebook has three antennas or not, without opening it?

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Re: T60 wireless card upgrade from ABG to ABGN

#10 Post by whizkid » Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:24 am

35712 wrote:If I install 3 GB of RAM into my T60, am I able to use Dual Channel?
No. To use dual-channel, the two sockets must have memory modules of the same capacity installed.

If you really want the 8% to 10% boost that's expected from dual-channel, and use 3GB of RAM, you'll need to install 4GB.
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#11 Post by Marin85 » Tue Jul 08, 2008 11:28 am

Correct me if I´m wrong, but the only difference here would be between symmetrical and asymmetrical dual channel. With 3 GB of the same memory type the memory would run in asymmetrical mode, right?

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#12 Post by ZPrime » Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:11 pm

Edit: Are there thinkpads with 3 anteannas, though they do not have a WWAN card? Should if I got you right. How can I find out if my notebook has three antennas or not, without opening it?
If you have WWAN, you'll have a big "growth" coming out of the right side of a T60's screen, about 1 - 1.5 inches up from the hinge. (At least on a 14" T60). The growth is about 0.5" out from the laptop, it's very noticable.

The NON-WWAN 3rd antenna for N-diversity applications is in the same location, but it doesn't bulge as far. This is why you can't get N and WWAN on a T60. You can retrofit the 3rd WLAN antenna but it requires opening the screen casing. I added the 3rd antenna to my T60p. See this picture and this picture.
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#13 Post by SHoTTa35 » Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:59 pm

Marin85 wrote:Correct me if I´m wrong, but the only difference here would be between symmetrical and asymmetrical dual channel. With 3 GB of the same memory type the memory would run in asymmetrical mode, right?

Marin
quoted cuz this is the way it works. With different size RAM the system will run it i asymetrical mode instead of symetrical. You will get the benefits of dual-channel without having to buy 2 identical sticks of RAM. If your system came with 1GB (1 DIMM) you can go buy a 2GB DIMM and still run in dual-channel mode.

Didn't explain that before because people just get confused when they have too much data to process :). Simple answer to the question is just "Yes! it will run in dc mode" :)
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#14 Post by steveg47 » Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:27 pm

If you don't mind the 1 inch protrusion a pcmcia "N" network card will work just fine and it's a lot easier then installing a 3rd internal antenna. I'm using an "N" linksys card (Draft 1.0) I recently bought from Circuit city on sale for an amazing $20 and it works just fine in my T60P (Vista) with G and N on my Trendnet "N" router(draft 2). If it was still on sale I'd buy another one.
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#15 Post by grizzly » Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:10 am

ZPrime wrote:You can retrofit the 3rd WLAN antenna but it requires opening the screen casing. I added the 3rd antenna to my T60p.
Hey, I have a T60 without WWAN. I'm planning on installing a WWAN module on the second pcie-slot and an antenna (if it's necessary in my case).

What extra hardware did you need?
Where did you get it and
how much did it cost?

I already had a look at some Lenovo PDFs that showed all the inside parts and part numbers, but I wasn't quite sure which parts I need exactly.

I think I have two antennas for WLAN/Bluetooth. One right at the top of the display and one at the top right side. They are about the same length. There is a cover at the right bottom side of the screen. I assume that this is for the WWAN antenna?
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#16 Post by Peak2Peak » Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:02 pm

grizzly wrote:What extra hardware did you need?
Where did you get it and
how much did it cost?
Lenovo/IBM sourced parts - UK - (14.1" LCD - 2007-6RG)
1 x Sierra Wireless MC8755 WWAN module - FRU 42T0835 - £256.00 (HSDPA 1.8Mbps) (Unsure if this item is SIM-Unlocked)
OR
1 x Sierra Wireless MC8775 WWAN module - FRU 42T0931 - £208.00 (HSDPA 3.6Mbps) (BIOS will need to be modified for this card to work within the T60/p) (Some forum members have reported this item as SIM-Unlocked)
1 x SIM card slot - FRU 41W1353 - £3.70
1 x Wireless WAN antenna kit (14.1-in., Vodafone) - FRU 42W2671 - £3.70
2 x M2 × 3 mm, small-head, nylon-coated (for WWAN module) & 2 x M2 × 2.8 mm, flat-head, nylon-coated for (WWAN antenna kit) - Both Supplied as part of the Screw Kit pack - FRU 41W4504 - £3.70

If you are willing to modify your BIOS, UK ebay vendor: 3g-fever has both, a Lenovo sourced MC8775 & a Fujitsu sourced MC8780 (HSDPA 7.2Mbps/HSUPA 2.0 Mbps) at £169.00 each! (plus P&P) (and both items are un-locked too!) :)
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R60F: (Integrated Intel GPU) - [ThinkPad R60 15.0" FrankenPad]

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