Wireless Network Adapters
This document covers IBM integrated (MiniPCI), Cardbus and PC Card (PCMCIA) Wi-Fi devices.
Finding out which adapter you have
For MiniPCI or Cardbus adapters run the command:
# lspci -n | grep "Class 0200"
If that produces no output, run this command instead:
# lspci -n | grep "0200"
(Alternatively, grep for "0280" which identifies "Network" controllers, as opposed to "0200" which identifies "Ethernet" controllers.)
And compare the PCI IDS with the ones below.
- IBM Dual-Band 11a/b Wi-Fi Wireless Mini PCI Adapter (PCI-ID: 168c:0012)
- IBM 11b/g Wireless LAN Mini PCI Adapter (PCI-ID: 168c:0013)
- IBM 11a/b/g Wireless LAN Mini PCI Adapter (PCI-ID: 168c:1014)
- IBM 11a/b/g Wireless LAN Mini PCI Adapter II (PCI-ID: 168c:1014)
- ThinkPad 11a/b/g Wireless LAN Mini Express Adapter (PCI-ID: 168c:1014)
- ThinkPad 11a/b/g/n Wireless LAN Mini Express Adapter (AR5BXB72) (PCI-ID: 168c:0024)
- SparkLAN WMIA-166AG Wireless LAN Mini PCI Adapter (AR5006XS) (PCI-ID: 168c:001b)
- Broadcom BCM4312 802.11b/g (PCI-ID: 14e4:4315)
- Cisco Aironet Wireless 802.11b (PCI-ID: 14b9:a504)
- Intel PRO/Wireless LAN 2100 3B Mini PCI Adapter (PCI-ID: 8086:1043)
- Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG Mini-PCI Adapter (PCI-ID: 8086:4220)
- Intel PRO/Wireless 2915ABG Mini-PCI Adapter (PCI-ID: 8086:4224)
- Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Mini-PCI Express Adapter
- Intel PRO/Wireless 4965AGN Mini-PCI Express Adapter
- IBM High Rate Wireless LAN Mini-PCI Adapter with Modem (PCI-ID: 1260:3873)
- IBM High Rate Wireless LAN Mini-PCI Adapter with Modem II (PCI-ID: 1260:3873)
- IBM High Rate Wireless LAN Mini-PCI Adapter III
Attempts to install an unsupported card will result in the following message:
1802: Unauthorized network card is plugged in - Power off and remove the miniPCI network card.
For a resolution, see the Problem with unauthorized MiniPCI network card page.
Hardware Transmitter Switch
Operating a radio transmitter is not permitted in aircraft, and there are times where security requires that your wireless connection be shut down. Some ThinkPads with internal MiniPCI wireless cards have a hardware switch that disables the wireless network. Here it is on the on position:
To be certain that your wireless connection is not transmitting, turn the switch off. Just remember to turn it back on when you once again need wireless access. If the switch is off, you might encounter a message like the following Log-Message on Startup:
ipw3945: Radio Frequency Kill Switch is On: Kill switch must be turned off for wireless networking to work.
Also, when you try to activate (iwconfig) your wireless connection with the switch off you may see the error,
Error for wireless request "Set Mode" (8B06)
The number 8B06 merely represents the wireless mode (auto, ad-hoc, managed, master), none of which will work with the wireless switch off.
Cardbus is a 32bits bus that runs at 33MHz, and is in many ways simular to the PCI bus. In fact under Linux Cardbus adapters are handled by the PCI subsystem.
You can differentiate a PC Card adapter from a Cardbus adapter as the later has a gold coloured grounding strip
IBM 11 a/b/g Wireless Cardbus Adapter
Supported wireless modes: 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g
IBM 802.11a Wireless LAN Cardbus Adapter
Supported wireless modes: 802.11a
PC Card (PCMCIA) adapters
PC Card or PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) as it used to be called, is an 8 or 16bits bus limited to 8MHz, in many ways simular to the old ISA bus and not suitable for highspeed devices.
Cisco Aironet 350 802.11b wireless PC card with 128bit
Supported wireless modes: 802.11b
IBM High Rate Wireless LAN PC Card
Chipset: Hermes I
Supported wireless modes: 802.11b