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 From:  Jim Gifford <jim at giffords dot net>
 To:  m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch
 Subject:  Re: [m0n0wall] DWL-520 V.E1 not supported
 Date:  Thu, 11 Mar 2004 12:05:01 -0500
On Thu, Mar 11, 2004 at 08:22:31AM +0100, Manuel Kasper wrote:
> On 11.03.2004 08:32 +1000, Hilton Travis wrote:
> > That aside, I agree that there needs to be more hardware support in
> > m0n0wall on the Wireless side.  There are no 802.11g chipsets
> And how are we supposed to do that? m0n0wall is based on FreeBSD (if
> I had a dime for everytime I had to mention that...), so basically we

Hear that everyone?  Go contribute a dime via paypal every time Manuel
has to point this out.  ;)

(for the humor impaired, that's a joke!)

> can't use anything that FreeBSD doesn't support. Atheros 802.11g
> cards are supported in FreeBSD 5.2, but after another very unpleasant
> recent experience on a standard Intel-based PC, I don't think I'm
> going to use it anytime soon. I believe it's just not good and fast
> enough for something like m0n0wall yet.

I'll agree with you on this, 5.2 isn't nearly as stable as 4.9 on any
of my hardware.  This is how I back up my claim:  The only times I've
rebooted 4.9 was when I screwed up the box.  I've had to reboot an
unresponsive 5.2 box several times.  That box now runs 4.9 and hasn't
rebooted since I got it all configured.

> > I have a net4521 here waiting for 802.11g WIC support - I'm not
> > going to be running out any buying any 802.11b PC Cards nor cPCI
> > cards for this box.  Especially considering all of my clients are
> > looking at 802.11g implementations.
> I wouldn't waste money on an 802.11g card for a net4521 anyway. The
> little 486/133 in it will not be able to take the card anywhere near
> its effective maximum throughput (in fact the net45xxs can almost be
> maxed out with 802.11b cards). Buy a real, dedicated 802.11g access
> point and hook it up to an optional (Ethernet) interface, and you'll
> also get features like disabling SSID broadcasting, WPA, probably
> better stability than with hostap, and so on.

I've been looking at the 802.11[whatever] cards, and the drivers,
and how much of the protocol has to be done in the driver.  Really,
it reminds me of a winmodem in a lot of ways.  It seems that only the
most basic of the low level framing is done in the card, and most of
the rest seems to be in the driver.  Even on my pentium 4 2.0G laptop,
an 802.11b card doing sustained data transfers across the wireless will
cause a lot of CPU usage.  The laptop gets hot, the fan kicks in, and
it is a miserable experience.  I dread to see what will happen when I
start using the g or a modes of this atheros card.

I can't imagine trying to use a soekris (and I'm a big fan of that
hardware) as a high throughput wireless device.  To my mind, having a
separate device dealing with all the wireless overhead and handing a
soekris plain old ethernet makes a lot more sense.  Some friends and
I are looking to set up a small wireless cloud, and we're looking at
using a soekris board and a disassembled AP/bridge in a weatherproof
container connected via a crossover cable, rather than trying to force
the wireless to be done by the soekris.

Anyway, that's my two cents worth.