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Mini-PCI wireless for my Inspiron 8000 - Nick [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Mini-PCI wireless for my Inspiron 8000 [May. 17th, 2005|05:56 pm]
My trusty laptop for some time now is a Dell Inspiron 8000. I've always used pcmcia or USB wireless adapters with it, and they've been fine.

I was perusing the Dell support website last week, to check how to remove the keyboard (a few keys are playing up, and I need to replace it). I chanced across a section talking about the mini-pci cards (this one, to be precise). It seems that if you can fit wireless mini pci cards to the laptop, if you remove the modem / modem+ethernet mini-pci card that's already there (I've only got the modem).

So, I picked up a dell tru-mobile mini-pci card off ebay for practically nothing, and it arrived today. Removing the modem card was easy, and having added it, it showed up in the system as an Intel IPW2100. The only snag - the dell support website shows the aerial cable you use to plug the card into the built in aerial in the machine. Alas because my machine came with the modem, not wireless, it doesn't have that cable :(

I had a few attempts at googling, but it took a while to find the right info. Eventually, I hit paydirt, finding this thread and this thread. The dell part number for the connector cable is 37THY, and it's quite a standard thing anyway (U.FL to U.FL cable). Third party ones include this.

Now I just have to find a UK supplier..... currently, the card is able to say hello to the AP (the AP noticed it, and denied it until I allowed the MAC address), but the signal strength isn't enough to send packets. Hopefully that'll be fixed with the cable.

Update: I discovered that the nice people at RS Online sell just the right cable - try part no "481-2368" (you might not need one that long, depending on where the aerial connector is on the card). I got one about 18 hours after ordering, popped it in, and the wireless works just great :)