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[gNewSense-users] Failure to find working wireless card

From: Guy Johnston
Subject: [gNewSense-users] Failure to find working wireless card
Date: Sun, 04 Feb 2007 22:30:33 +0000
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20070103)

Oh well, my attempts to have a working wireless card without using
proprietary software have failed again. I ordered the Asus WL-167g,
which according to the list on the FSF site (and the list where that
came from) uses the RT2500 chipset (the one I need), and
doesn't have other versions with different chipsets. Unfortunately,
that's wrong; in fact it has four versions, two using that chipset, and
the other two seemingly using the RT2571W chipset, which only works with
the RT73 driver, which needs binary-only firmware to work.
Unsurprisingly, mine is one of the latter two. That means that I now own
three wireless cards that I can't use (though I got one free with a
router). I might sell the new one on eBay at some point.

I can't blame whoever put that list together, because Asus don't make it
at all clear that there's different versions with different chipsets.
The only way to tell is if you see a tiny 'V2' on a sticker on the box
(which I didn't before I opened it, despite making a quick check), or
you open the box, put the CD in your computer and read the readme which
tells you which driver to use depending on the hardware ID of the card.
There's no version number on the actual card. I'm sure the hardware
manufacturers have no idea how much frustration it causes a small number
of people when they make it so difficult to find out which chipset they
use for a particular product.

My plan now is probably to try to find one of the cards using the RT2500
in an actual shop rather than online, so I can be sure it's the right
version. I've looked in a few, and haven't found any. There have been a
couple that've been the right product number and version, but with 'UK'
on the end of the product number, but I'm not going to trust them to
contain the same chipset.


P.S. If anyone has that card, or is thinking of getting one, if it has
the product ID '1706' or '1707' it uses the RT2500 chipset and should
work out of the box with gNewSense, and if it has '1723' or '1724', it
doesn't. I don't know the version numbers of the two that work.

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