How To: Build your own "Real" Airport Card

Discussion in 'Network' started by matix, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. matix

    matix

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    Apr 4, 2010 at 2:42 AM #1
    matix

    matix

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    [​IMG]
    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.

    [​IMG]

    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
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2016
  2. Jocelyn84

    Jocelyn84

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    Apr 4, 2010 at 3:20 AM #2
    Jocelyn84

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    Looking good! :D
    I was going to do this until I saw a DWA-556 on craigslist for $20.
     
  3. tonymacx86

    tonymacx86 Administrator Staff Member

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    Apr 4, 2010 at 1:48 PM #3
    tonymacx86

    tonymacx86 Administrator Staff Member

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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:
     
  4. cakemonster

    cakemonster

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    Apr 4, 2010 at 7:12 PM #4
    cakemonster

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    This is cool. The Swede suggested something similar...

    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.
     
  5. klaasje

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    Apr 4, 2010 at 8:32 PM #5
    klaasje

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    ROFL. Wouldn't want my wife on my wireless either :twisted:
     
  6. D.Clark

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    Apr 4, 2010 at 8:53 PM #6
    D.Clark

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  7. cakemonster

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    Apr 4, 2010 at 9:02 PM #7
    cakemonster

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  8. D.Clark

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    Apr 4, 2010 at 9:19 PM #8
    D.Clark

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  9. matix

    matix

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    Apr 4, 2010 at 9:56 PM #9
    matix

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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.
     
  10. cakemonster

    cakemonster

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    Apr 4, 2010 at 10:03 PM #10
    cakemonster

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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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