Proper miniPCIe Card for AP mode? (v2.0.1 32bit)



  • Hello, I've been using PFsense for about two years, and recently switched from VMware to a dedicated industrial ITX board for PFSense

    the board has a mini-PCIe slot, and im having trouble finding a card that will work for AP mode, every time i find a post about atheros, i find one by someone else saying that their atheros doesn't work,

    currently im looking at a Marvel 88W8363 http://www.ebay.com/itm/Marvell-88W8363-Mini-pci-Wireless-Card-300Mbps-802-11N-/230404651421?pt=US_Internal_Network_Cards&hash=item35a52ff99d
    i understand that this card works rather well with pfsense, however, it is miniPCI not miniPCIe

    i was considering a miniPCI to miniPCIe adapter http://www.amfeltec.com/products/flexible-minipci-to-minipcie-adapter.php
    but im wondering if that would cause too many issues

    any ideas? or is there a miniPCIe card that i can order with confidence that it will work



  • I suggest you read http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,56167.0.html and send a personal message to the original poster to see how he got on with his card.

    Would you consider a USB dongle? There seem to be reasonable supplies on eBay of dongles based on the Ralink RT3070 chipset on which AP mode is supported.



  • Save yourself the trouble and get an external AP (ideally supported by openwrt). Even if you do find an adapter which "works" it wont mean you will get the speed, stability or range you expect.



  • Save yourself the trouble and get an external AP (ideally supported by openwrt). Even if you do find an adapter which "works" it wont mean you will get the speed, stability or range you expect.

    I wasted days trying to find a  pci-e or mini pci-e card out there somewhere that would work reliably as a AP under Pfsense. They just don't currently exist due to the lack of driver support. If you find a thread on the web of a working pci-e or mini pci-e its most likely a hack and would be unstable. Most likely the reason no one has contributed time to update drivers to support newer cards is its simply easier just to buy a mobile/versatile dedicated AP and plug it into a ethernet port.

    I ended up settling on a external enterprise class Cisco AIR-LAP1242AG-A-K9 …. I converted it to a autonomous stand alone unit by flashing it with firmware (c1240-k9w7-tar.124-25d.JA1.tar) works quite well.

    Keep in mind it's only a 2.4GHz 802.11G AP I'm using it as a internet access point only ..... its more than adequate for a connection speed up to 50Mbps. If you need 100Mpbs + LAN or Internet access, you would want to consider a 802.11N class AP option.



  • thank you for the replies,

    a friend found an old atheros 5000 series card, and is gonna send it to me, so i'll try fiddling around with that, im already running a dedicated AP so if that doesn't work its not a big deal


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    I don't know the exact model of this card as I simply pulled it out of my Acer Aspire One netbook, but it's an Atheros Mini-PCI-e and works in hostap mode on my Soekris net6501.

    ath0: <atheros 2424="" 5424=""> mem 0xa3000000-0xa300ffff irq 17 at device 0.0 on pci7
    ath0: [ITHREAD]
    ath0: AR2425 mac 14.2 RF5424 phy 7.0</atheros>
    
    ath0@pci0:7:0:0:        class=0x020000 card=0xe008105b chip=0x001c168c rev=0x01 hdr=0x00
        class      = network
        subclass   = ethernet
        bar   [10] = type Memory, range 64, base 0xa3000000, size 65536, enabled
    

    http://www.pcidatabase.com/vendor_details.php?id=174



  • as an update, the atheros card i received is an AR5BXB63 (AR5007EG chipset)

    setup as wireless AP and load tested, and it works flawlessly using 802.11g mode

    it actually runs better than my 802.11n network AP

    hopefully in the future we'll be able to use the newer N-5ghz cards



  • I wasn't aware there were such adapters for these cards.  However, of the adapters on that site in your link, that one is opposite of what you would want.  To use a miniPCI card, you would want one like this instead: http://www.amfeltec.com/products/flexible-minipcie-to-minipci-adapter.php


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