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Cards for x86 version

 
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darrenp
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:31 pm    Post subject: Cards for x86 version Reply with quote

Hi people,

I've been messing around with various meshing technologies for quite a while now, and now I've come across this one! Smile

Shipping to the UK is rather high for the mesh nodes, so I thought I'd start with the x86 version (loads of spare hardware). The only thing I've got missing is wifi cards. Can anyone recommend a good wifi pci or usb card to try with the atheros chipset? Most manufacturers don't list the actual chipset used, and most of the linux ones tend to be the RT chips.

I've got the latest x86 version installed and it seems to be working (minus wifi) and reboots every few minutes. I'm assuming this is a watchdog that isn't detecting a wifi card.

Very nice installation process btw. Nice and easy!

Cheers,

Darren.

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ian
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:40 pm    Post subject: x-86 cards Reply with quote

Hi Darren. In most of our trial boxes we are using the Wistron cm9's and they are working well. Look out for further posts imminent and keep in touch..... Very Happy

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phil.lxnet
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:18 pm    Post subject: Cards others have tried Reply with quote

@ darrenp

We have had a couple of other posters here in an adjacent thread " My dodgy attempt at x86robin build"

Larryinmi had success with a D-Link DWL-G520

and

denvergeek had success with a PCMCIA TRENDnet TEW-441PC

Thanks again Larryinmi, and denvergeek.

But that was a while ago and the latest build r1319 (see adjacent thread "Latest robix") uses a much newer atheros driver and hal 20081002.

Do remember though that this is very much an unfinished work in progress, not just because it is based on the in development robin but also because there are very few people working on it and testing it.

Hope it is of use to you and do let us know how it goes for you.
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darrenp
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trouble with the D-Link and most manufacturers for that matter is, it depends on the version of the model. They sell totally different hardware under the same model number.

I have managed to find a source of wifi cards, pci, mini pci, and usb, in the uk.


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Got a few on order, so I'll be able to have a proper mess soon! Smile

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bdelacey
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 3:36 am    Post subject: WiFi cards that work / don't work Reply with quote

I'm searching for WiFi PCI cards/adapters with chipsets that will work with the latest ROBIX. What PCI card / USB adapters are people using?

So far, the following are reported to work fine:

* D-Link DWL-G520
* TRENDnet PCMCIA TEW-441PC
* Wistron CM9 MiniPCI Card

From my experience, NONE of the following work:

* Netgear Wireless-G USB 2.0 Adapter
* Hawking Wireless 108G USB Adapter
* Netgear Wireless-G PCI Adapter

Is there some OpenWRT way to tell if the right chipset exists?

I've installed ROBIX on an old Compaq, but I would like to run this on the new Intel Atom platform since it is inexpensive, small and energy efficient. One problem is the live CD doesn't recognize the Intel Atom mobo DHCP connection. (The 10.8 version of Ubuntu has updated drivers, correcting problems that existed in earlier versions. Perhaps these problems also exist in ubuntutrinux?)

It's great to have this on X86. Thanks for any pointers ...
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darrenp
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's some sites that I found during my search:


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Hope these help. As mentioned above, take care on what revision of the cards you buy.

Darren.

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bdelacey
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 11:11 pm    Post subject: products using Atheros Chipsets Reply with quote

Thanks, Darren, those links were helpful. I also referred to
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I'm trying a couple of cards now and hope to find which works best.

Phil, any chance a future release might offer ROBIX as an installabe package for the Ubuntu distro?
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bdelacey
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:24 am    Post subject: ROBIX runs on ATOM Reply with quote

I have the latest ROBIX installed and running on the Intel Atom mobo D945GCLF. This is really cool stuff ... (thanks to StephenR for some good guidance in the right direction.)

I have it (partially) working with both the TRENDnet Wireless TEW-441PC and the Level One WPC-0300 108 Mbps CardBus Adapter. I'll write up the details ...

I see the two default access points - open-mesh and my-open-mesh. However, I have two problems:

1) I get disconnected from the open-mesh when I attempt to access it.
2) What is the correct way to enter the default password / encryption for the secured portion of the mesh.

Any comments appreciated!
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bdelacey
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I now have ROBIX running on a couple machines. I'm really impressed by how responsive / fast it is in serving up connections and web pages.

I have, however, had some connection problems when using an Acer Aspire running Ubuntu. The Acer Aspire sees the open-mesh AP fine, but will not connect with it's internal radio. It connects fine when using an external USB WiFi radio (e.g. Hawking 108 USB Adapter.)

Other Ubuntu and Windows configurations access working ROBIX fine.

I've attempted to install and run ROBIX on a number of PCs. My top goal is the Intel Atom, since it's small and energy efficient. A recap:

ROBIX works okay
==============
eMachines T4010, 512MB, Intel Celeron CPU 2.93GHz, Vintage: April-05
Via Technologies, Vintage: TBD

ROBIX installs but doesn’t allow client to connect
====================================

Dell Dimension 8300, 2.5 GB, Pentium 4 CPU 2.80 GHz, Vingate: July-03
Compaq Presario SR1620NX, 512MB, AMD Sempron 3400+, Vintage: Oct-05
Intel Atom D945GCLF mobo, 1 GB, Vintage: June 2008

In all cases, I have been using a PCMCIA LevelOne WPC-0300 card for the ROBIX radio. This PCMCIA card is plugged into PCI slots using a PCMCIA-to-PCI adapter.
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phil.lxnet
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:51 am    Post subject: reply to darrenp, ian, bdelacey re card testing and ubuntu Reply with quote

@ darrenp - Thanks for the comment on the install process, just did it as simple as I could. And yes robix will reboot every few minutes due to Antonios scripts checking stuff that just won't be working if you have no atheros wifi card. Same as in robin. Very irritating that manufacturers change chipsets even under the same or very similar model number, in my linux client wifi experience this has been a pain. Thanks for sharing the links re hardware.

@ ian - Cheers for your continued testing of and posting on robix, invaluable.

@ bdelacey As indicated in the txt docs inside my tar.gz download I have used openwrt r12864 for version r1319 robix. From this and my .config in the tar.gz you can reference openwrt / madwifi docs. But this will become easier once openwrt has stabilized and I have found a combination that works for nds as I may well use a different version for the next release.

Re live cd problem, I'm afraid due to my limited knowledge I was very dependant on the now old ubuntutrinux. I may well try and cut down a standard xubuntu 8.10 to make another install cd but I am very short on time and it would be difficult for me to get as small a disto as the talented Matthew Franz managed. Again due to my limited knowledge. I wanted small as robix needs only very little cpu / memory so to then impose a much greater hw requirement just for install would seem out of place.

Re - usb adapters, I have paid no attention to usb yet and suspect I have not put in the required subsystems, may risk putting them in next time. Early days you see, trying to keep it simple. Will get a proper web page going soon hopefully (time again !)

Re robix as a package - this is a concept mismatch I'm afraid as robin / robix is a whole distro (based on openwrt) and takes over the network subsystem and rebooting process in a way that is incompatible with a distro used for other things that can't tolerate this. See my post in the adjacent thread "My dodgy attempt at x86robin build" dated Aug 04. Although we now have to include olsrd along with batman to that post.

Re - looking forward to your write up re experiments with Intel Atom mobo.

Re - Acer Aspire problems with internal card but OK with another I suggest you look to driver issues with the internal card. Mesh stuff can sometimes show up problems that don't appear using normal access points, again I am limited knowledge wise here. Thanks for all you posts, it is generous of you to share. I will continue to use as newer openwrt as is practical but hope to settle on the stable 8.09 release as then we all know where we are. Will just have to see how things pan out. I am only using old hardware here I'm afraid, my desktop is less powerful than what you are running robix on. I deploy at present to an old IBM P3 (model 300PL).

Re - Failiure of the same pci - pcmcia - wifi card combination in some hardware rather than others, I don't know. but suggest that the pcmcia interface is an additional level of complexity / driver that might be best avoided. Sorry can't be of more help here. You could try the same hardware out with a Wistron CM9 card with pci to mini pci adapter. That way we might be able to narrow down the problem area.
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bdelacey
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:01 pm    Post subject: AcerAspire works with ROBIX Reply with quote

I was able to install a new daily build of Ubuntu Intrepid and rebuilt the Acer Aspire's wireless driver ... it nows works like a charm accessing the ROBIX AP!

By the way, a handy little device for testing access is Apple's Touch - it boots quickly, allows easy selection of networks, and has the handy feature of letting you rapidly forget a network node for easier testing.

For the Intel Atom mobo, I'm guessing I'm tripping up over the ethernet driver. Some of the earlier releases of Ubuntu didn't have the driver for their NIC, so I had to use an older ethernet PCI card rather than the built in connector during installs. . I'm hoping to get this working, since these small form factor, low wattage systems could be great nodes.

I'll order up a Wistron CM9 card with pci to mini pci adapter and retry with that. Thanks for all the helpful comments. Great documentation in the tar.gz - lots of painstaking steps went into making this release.... thanks.
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bdelacey
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 4:54 am    Post subject: Atom update Reply with quote

I've tried several different approaches with the Intel Atom D945GCLF2 board. I installed a CM9 Wistron, via miniPCI to PCI - and that is working fine. Laptops nearby can see both the open-mesh and closed mesh APs. However, I cannot connect; I get disconnected before any connection is made.

It seems like ROBIX / OpenWRT does not recognize the Intel mobo's RealTek RTL8101E/8111B Ethernet LAN Controller? Thus, ROBIX is not getting any ethernet access from this board.

I've tried using a D-Link USB DUB-E100 Ethernet Adapter - which reportedly works with Linux. No luck getting ROBIX any ethernet access with that either.

I have one old ethernet PCI card that works out of the box with OpenWRT (e.g. for doing OPKG UPDATE.) But the Atom mobo only has one PCI slot (which is taken up more importantly by the CM9 Wistron.

I have ROBIX running fine on another machine - it's really great how the drive partition can be resized, and it was easy to download Python and Ruby. With great tools like this, there are bound to be innovative applications that spring from this platform.

Any ideas? Any packages I might be missing and need to install? Thanks ...
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