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The AP-2000 is not all that new but for the price we are getting them at the moment they represent great value.

So, whats inside?

open up the case ( 4 screws and you have the solder side of the board with 2 pcmcia sockets.
AP-2000 solder side

Remove the 4 3mm hex bolts and flip the board out and you see 4 IC's, (l->r)looks like an ethernet controller, the northbridge ( BGA ) and the processor. At the other end of the board is what looks like a PCI bus glue logic chip ( for interfacing the 2 x pcmcia sockets). 2 X SDRAM chips and 2 X Flash towards the top of the board.
Sorry blurry photo - will retake soon.

AP-2000 component side
125 x245 cm circuit board.

Processor: Intel 21281 strongarm SA - 110 @ 233 Mhz (144-pin TQFP)
Northbridge: Intel 21285
pcmcia control: Texas Inst PCI1225 - don't know if this is pcmcia or cardbus

Processor documentation: External linksa_110doc
The SA-110 is an old core. In this implemetation it uses the 21285 companion chip. Later incarnations (SA-1100, SA-1110 ) moved more and more of the peripheral logic into the processor die. The latest incarnation is the Intel X-Scale processors.

External link21285 FAQ

JTag pinout

Haven't traced these yet but the JTag pins on the processor are as follows:
48 - TDO
49 - TDI
50 - nTRST
51 - TMS
52 - TCK

That's about it.


I think it runs windriver VXWorks RTOS.

There is a number of Linux ports for the Arm processor, time to get the toolchain installed...

Serial port

It's an 8 pin Din connector similar to the serial port on older MAC's. You can use a standard Macintosh serial cable ie 8 pin Mini-DIN to DB25 followed by a DB25 to DB9 adapter and a standard PC DB9F to DB9F serial to access the serial console - or make up your own.

How to use it?

The AP-2000 was used to establish campus wide type networks and as such was probably deployed as a simple AP. Because it can control 2 wireless cards it is especially suitable for setting up MW nodes, one card configured as an AP and the other as a link to the backbone.

The software does not give you complete control of the device, for instance it does not look like you can configure one of the cards in client mode.


WDS "Wireless Distribution System" is a protocol that is found on a lot of AP's nowdays. It essentially allows you to run an AP as both access point and link. This is not such a good thing with only one wireless interface due to multiple handling of data packets but with two interfaces one can be dedicated to the link function. Up to 6 WDS "peers" can be configured in this unit.

WDS is configured by entering the MAC address of the peer nodes at each end. The AP's then form part of the same ESS and would share a ESSID ??

from External linkTomsNetworking
''WDS stands for Wireless Distribution System. It is a special Access Point mode that enables single-radio APs to be wirelessly connected vs. relying on connection to an Ethernet network. WDS encompasses both wireless bridging in which WDS APs communicate only with each other and don't allow wireless clients or Stations to access them, and wireless repeating in which APs communicate with each other and with wireless Stations.
The downside of the repeating mode is that wireless throughput is cut in half for each AP that data flows through before hitting the wired network.
These External linkProxim and External linkIntersil application notes (PDF) will give you further details on WDS.''

And a technical thread from the External linkpersoneltelco list server

Cx Node

I have set one of these up as a Cx Node ( AP and one link to backbone). The limitation of no supporting client mode made this seem impossible unless you had a dedicated interface at the remote end but it is not to difficult.
The WDS software creates an additional virtual interface for each configured remote interface. The AP-2000 does not support routing but will bridge between the three interfaces ( Card A, B and wired ).

3 easy steps to configure the link

  1. Update the AP-2000 software to the latest good version 2.5.3 (optional - only needed if you want to explicitly turn of repeating later)
  2. Configure card A for WDS - enter the MAC address fo the remote end, assign the DHCP address range and allocate one address to the remote end of the link. Set to the same channel as the remote end. Point the default gateway and DNS to that address. Configure card B to the channel you want for the node. Reboot.
  3. At the remote end ( I used a WRT54G ) add the MAC of the AP-2000, create a vlan for the address allocated from the AP-2000 space ( add this step to your init scripts somewhere), Reboot.

Then if you want, go into the bridging menu on the AP-2000 and turn off the AP repeater port so your new node is using card A only for the link and will not accepting clients on that interface.


14/05/05 - Steve: Is there a way to put one of these cards into Client Mode? I'm looking at using one of these to uplink to GHO, but I can't find the option :/

dna- I also can't find any way to configure client mode. It must be possible on the card but the OS/Application doesn't expose it. It looks like you need to use WDS at both ends if you want to use these for a link.

Version 9 (current) modified Tue, 03 Jul 2007 23:11:50 +1000 by dna0xff
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