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How To: Build your own "Real" Airport Card

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After weeks of sharing my macbooks ethernet connection to my P55M-UD4 while waiting for parts, I have finally made my own airport card using relatively cheap parts from ebay. It's a no-compromise solution and I hope it helps anyone looking for affordable (<$50) and zero-configuration setup.



I would encourage anyone who employs this method to comment on my blog post (or here!) with your hardware config and compatibility results.

How To: Build your own "Real" Airport Card for your hackintosh
 
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Looking good! :D
I was going to do this until I saw a DWA-556 on craigslist for $20.
 

tonymacx86

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This is a great project- cheers! If I had use for wifi on my desktop I'd do it in a second. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
 
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This is cool. The Swede suggested something similar...

thelostswede said:
If you want 100% support, then you get this http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/AirCardMP/
and this http://www.hwtools.net/Adapter/MP2W.html with a couple of antennas.
Not cheap, but guaranteed to work.
I ordered a USB cheap to get things working now...

http://www.getnetusa.com/store/product_ ... cts_id/149

No kexts, but it uses it own ethernet utility (Ralink I think), rather than Bonjour

When I find a deal, I would like to use your method. One thing I would really like is a antenna that goes on one of these cards that sits on your desk as opposed to behind the CPU, as reception seems to be greatly improved.

Adapters

Winking Version (Dislike that have to take off one antennae port, probably not a big deal though)

http://cgi.ebay.com/New-Mini-PCI-E-to-P ... 1181wt_962

Others on Ebay

http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?LH_BIN=1&_n ... 86.c0.m489

Perhaps highest quality option ($40)

http://www.hwtools.net/Adapter/MP2W.html

It sounds like if you want to put in a wireless N card you want multiple antennae output version to make MIMO happy...

http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/networking/?p=505

Cards on Ebay

BCM94321MC

http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=BCM943 ... t=0&bkBtn=

BCM94322MC

http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?LH_BIN=1&_n ... 86.c0.m489

Antennae above Desk

Looks like some options for above desk antennae as well off a 3 port adapter...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833998052

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833996013

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833998060

I looked up the specs for the two cards your mentioned , not clear to me if can take 3 antennae outputs anyway (anyone else have insight on this)? can you hook up two antennae wires to one port physically?

http://www.datasheetdir.com/BCM94321MC+download

http://www.datasheetdir.com/BCM94322MC+download

If there is firm evidence the BCM94322MC works, it appears to be the newer card with more features.
 
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cakemonster said:
One thing I am not sure of is whether these "wifeless g" adapters will take a wireless N m-PCI card. Any thoughts on this?
ROFL. Wouldn't want my wife on my wireless either :twisted:
 
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Yeah, the MP2W is one that I looked at, but rather pricey. It's probably got better build quality but I am doing great with this card. I can also report that it works perfectly in windows 7. No lag issues with some starcraft 2 beta playing today.

Of course, YMMV, but I'm getting 5/5 bars in windows 7 right now and only got 4/5 with my dlink 552. Mac OS X side showing full bars.

@D.Clark those cards on eBay don't look like mini pci-e.

@Cakemonster the card at http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/AirCardMP/ is wireless G and probably the Atheros one, which I think only works in 32bit. That being said, if you can find it cheap, go for it.

Good call on the datasheets. It lists a few other variants of the chipset that might be compatible-- like the mini pci (not express) BCM94321MP.

Here is the guy and card I bought from. 15 bucks

http://cgi.ebay.com/Mini-PCI-E-to-PCI-E ... 3a5962c4f1

In a few days I should have some time and try some benchmarking of my hackintosh VS my macbook unibody (Which has the BCM94322MC variant) and compare real world performance.

Also might try buying a BCM94322MC and rebranding it.
 
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With the HW tools it seems clear you can attach all three antennae (unlike adapter in blog)

http://www.hwtools.net/Adapter/MP2W_5300.html

Not sure how much two versus 3 antennae matter for most people.

@matix

Does your card:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Mini-PCI-E-to-PCI-E ... 3228wt_966

Allow you to hook up all three antennae ports, or do you have to remove one to get the card in like in the blog?

Anyone, does apple do anything to these cards to make them "incompatible" that would cause an unbranded or HP card to not work (a la graphics card flashing the ROM), or will any one work? Anyone tried one? I googled it and seem to have found some folks using the BCM94322MC in the signature, but no other details.

It looks like for some cards you have to do this...

http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/lofive ... 21293.html

Thank You
 
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