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How To: Build your own "Real" Airport Card

Joined
Sep 9, 2010
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Has anyone got a brcm94321mp working properly in 10.9.2? I have one in my CustoMac Mini 2011 that worked flawlessly in 10.6/10.7, then I took the leap to Mavericks and it does not work properly.

I noticed that when I first install the 10.9 it works, I can connect to my home server, but it quickly fails and has a tough time ever connecting again.

I tried a lot of kext tricks, I put Snow Leopard io80211family.kext in, no avail. I tried numerous hacked kexts that are supposed to enable the 4xxx series... Nothing works. I followed the advice of this very thread years ago when I put together my "airport" card. Wish I could use it now that I am in Mavericks. Any ideas?
 
Joined
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I built my own real airport card using a half mini pcie to mini pcie adapter since my only pcie slot was used for a sata pcie controller. I used a broadcom mini pcie card you can get from amazon or from ebay. It is the same vendor (jhe technology). I was convinced by the positive comments from buyers from amazon.com.
It works OOB, airport extreme, airdrop, location services, everything works, and it is very fast (I have a real macbook pro i can compare with).
 
Joined
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I was wondering if anyone could help me with a nightmare is chasing me since I made a real airport card a year ago.

The problem is that every time I move the antennas the speed changes and also it does not go any faster than 15MB sometimes it goes down to 0.2 or so when I get 85MB in my real iMac.

I am desperate guys would you have any idea why this is happening. It happens in Mountain Lion and Windows 7 too.
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
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For those who are trying to use PCI-E Wi-Fi/Bluetooth adapter card in x2, x4, x8, x16 slot:

Some motherboards refuse to work with PCI-E adapters that have both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth powered from PCI-E port other then x1 port. If installed in x2, x4, x8, x16 ports you will have either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth working but not both at the same time.
There are two different solutions for this problem:

1. PCI-E x1 slot extension cable (when PCI-E x1 slot is blocked or covered by Video Card): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GWM6C8Y/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
or
2. Adapter designed to work in any slot:
http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.0.0.M8souu&id=38195333521
http://www.potatao.com/index.php?p=item&id=38195333521&vendorId=wdxxfu

This adapter has Apple branded BCM94360CD card found in iMac 2013.

Both Wi-Fi (a/b/g/n/ac) and Bluetooth 4.0/LE work like a charm.

They managed the card to work properly in any slot by providing four wire connection to USB port for Bluetooth Data and Power.
To get correct 3.3V Bluetooth voltage from 5V USB port they have integrated AMS1117 step down voltage converter: http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=ru&tl=en&u=http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-AMS1117-3-3-DC-DC-Step-Down-Voltage-Regulator-Adapter-Convertor-/370693836015?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item564f130cef&usg=ALkJrhhqO-vXXSIBT88p-GiatCp_1O22Xw

If you don't speak Chinese and want to buy it, search for TAOBAO purchasing agent or use Potatao: http://www.potatao.com/index.php?p=item&id=38195333521&vendorId=wdxxfu

If you intend to use Mini or Half Mini PCI-E port for Wi-Fi/Bluetooth:
http://www.tonymacx86.com/network/104850-guide-airport-pcie-half-mini-v2.html
http://www.tonymacx86.com/network/147734-continuity-handoff-capable-apple-mini-cards-pcie-mini-pcie-adapters.html
http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/289922-anyone-got-any-pci-e-bcm4360-wifi-ac-card-going-new-macbook-air-owner-wanted/page-4#entry2095983
 
Joined
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Here is TAOBAO link for those who want native Wi-Fi (a/b/g/n/ac) and Bluetooth 4.0/LE: http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.0.0.M8souu&id=38195333521
This PCI-E adapter is using Broadcom BCM94360CD card found in iMac 2013.
Wi-fi and Bluetooth work like a charm.
You can purchase it for $50 using BHINER (TAOBAO agent): http://www.bhiner.com/index.php?mode=Search&skey=http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.0.0.M8souu&id=38195333521&search_eng.x=0&search_eng.y=0

They managed Bluetooth part of the card to work by connecting it to internal USB header with separate cable. USB connection on this adapter is for Bluetooth Data and Power. They are using voltage converter to change USB 5V to Bluetooth 3V.

Price just went up to $70, anybody have experience with one of these?
 
Joined
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The price has been raised by BHINER which is English language purchasing agent.
Original seller is popular Chinese only website TAOBAO which is still selling it for 299 Yuan which is $49.
Search for different TAOBAO purchasing agent. There are dozens of them.

I use two of those cards succesfully in two different computers running OSX 10.9.
One on old GA-EX58-UD5 mobo and other on new GA-Z87MX-D3H mobo.
 
Joined
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i7 7700K
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The price has been raised by BHINER which is English language purchasing agent.
Original seller is popular Chinese only website TAOBAO which is still selling it for 299 Yuan which is $49.
Search for different TAOBAO purchasing agent. There are dozens of them.

I use two of those cards succesfully in two different computers running OSX 10.9.
One on old GA-EX58-UD5 mobo and other on new GA-Z87MX-D3H mobo.
Thanks for the info mareko2, I will consider this card for Yosemite's handoff...
 

lexone

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The price has been raised by BHINER which is English language purchasing agent.
Original seller is popular Chinese only website TAOBAO which is still selling it for 299 Yuan which is $49.
Search for different TAOBAO purchasing agent. There are dozens of them.

I use two of those cards succesfully in two different computers running OSX 10.9.
One on old GA-EX58-UD5 mobo and other on new GA-Z87MX-D3H mobo.
Does this also support dual-band wifi (2.4GHz & 5GHz) or is this single-band only (2.4GHz)?
 
Joined
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Yes it does. This PCI-E adapter is using Broadcom BCM94360CD card found in iMac 2013.
What's the approximate range of the Bluetooth on those cards?
 
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