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PlxCarriers

PLX Based PCI carriers for WLAN cards

PLX chipset (PLX PCI 9052) based PCI carriers available from a number of manufacturers, for instance Netgear make the External linkMA301 and Belkin make another slightly cheaper adapter available from External linkHarris Technology and likely elsewhere as well. The fundamental thing about these carriers are that they map the PC-card registers into PCI address space, they do not put your PC-cards on the end of a PCMCIA bridge and make them accessible with normal laptop drivers. This means that you need to be careful about using combinations that are known good if you want Windows support, and still need to apply due diligence if using Linux or something other open source O/S.

RogerVenning has successfully made the Enterasys cards work in a Netgear MA301, within an old Pentium 133 box (that still had ISA slots, so I doubt PCI 2.2 support) that was running Linux.

This boxwas based on RH7.2, so the following was required:
#define min(x,y) (\
       const typeof(x) _x = (x);       \
       const typeof(y) _y = (y);       \
       (void) (&_x == &_y);            \
       _x < _y ? _x : _y; )


#define max(x,y) (\
       const typeof(x) _x = (x);       \
       const typeof(y) _y = (y);       \
       (void) (&_x == &_y);            \
       _x > _y ? _x : _y; )


/*
 * ..and if you can't take the strict
 * types, you can specify one yourself.
 *
 * Or not use min/max at all, of course.
 */
#define min_t(type,x,y) \
       (type <u>x = (x); type </u>y = (y); <u>x < </u>y ? <u>x: </u>y; )
#define max_t(type,x,y) \
       (type <u>x = (x); type </u>y = (y); <u>x > </u>y ? <u>x: </u>y; )


At this point you should be able to type 'modprobe orinoco_plx' and voila! you have an ethernet interface available for configuration. Alternatively, change /etc/modules.conf to include the line
alias ethX orinoco_plx

and you'll be able to use the normal /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-ethX style configuration.



Currently in Linux the PLX adapters work with Orinoco compatible cards. You will need the latest release of the Orinoco drivers from http://ozlabs.org/people/dgibson/dldwd (0.11 as of writing).

Also, Intersil Prism2.x based cards have PLX support too. Get the latest drivers from http://www.linux-wlan.com The latest stable version is 0.1.13.

Coming soon to a PCI slot near you, PLX support for Cisco cards that use the airo.c driver in the kernel.


I compiled a 2.4.18 kernel (latest stable release as of 19/04/02) and there's support for PLX and HERMES built into the wireless bit there. It works a treat with the enterasys PCMCIA card and a surecom PLX carrier. Looks like it also supports some cisco stuff as well.
< >   STRIP (Metricom starmode radio IP)
< >   AT&T WaveLAN & DEC Roam_About DS support
< >   Aironet Arlan 655 & IC2200 DS support
< >   Aironet 4500/4800 series adapters
< >   Cisco/Aironet 34X/35X/4500/4800 ISA and PCI cards
<M>   Hermes chipset 802.11b support (Orinoco/Prism2/Symbol)
<M>   Hermes in PLX9052 based PCI adaptor support (Netgear MA301 etc.


Version 1 (current) modified Tue, 03 Jul 2007 23:12:18 +1000
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