Wireless hardware support

Will Saxon WillS at housing.ufl.edu
Tue Apr 26 16:00:09 PDT 2005

I recently purchased a Netgear WG311 card based on the fact that the 
manpage for ath(4) says it is a supported card. As it turns out, at 
least version 2 (the version I had) of this card is not supported - it 
appears to be based on a Texas Instruments chipset that it not 
supported by anything other than Windows. I was able to use the card
with the ndis wrapper, however it didn't work very well; console  
messages stated that the driver was buggy and in fact my system would 
panic randomly with the driver loaded.

I returned the card this afternoon and swapped it out for another 
card, a D-Link DWL-G520. While this particular model number is not 
listed on the ath(4) manpage, it is listed as a supported ath(4) 
device on the 5.3-RELEASE hardware notes for i386. Also, it is listed 
at the atheros webpage linked from that same document. However, at 
least revision B3 of this card ALSO is not supported by the ath 
driver. I get the following error message when I try to load the 

ath0: <Atheros 5212> mem 0xd0000000-0xd000ffff irq 16 at device 6.0 on pci5
ath0: unable to attach hardware; HAL status 13
device_attach: ath0 attach returned 6

I am able to use this card via the ndis wrapper, however I get 
numerous console messages like these (I renamed the device ath with 

ath0: set filter failed: 45
ath0: couldn't change DS config to 2417000kHz: 19
NDIS: open file /compat/ndis/regAdd.txt failed: 2

I fixed the latter by touching the file. I have no idea what it is
supposed to do - there is no file by that name on the CD that came 
with the card and I am not sure what it is for.

Interestingly, the DWL-G520 is supposed to be an 802.11b/g part only
however the NDIS driver 'detects' 802.11a modes. Also the NDIS driver
does not detect the 108Mbps 'Super' mode that the card advertises on 
the box.

Thankfully, no panics yet with the D-Link card and the NDIS driver.

Does anyone have a suggestion for a PCI wireless card that is 
natively supported by FreeBSD? 


Will Saxon
Systems Programmer, Network Services
University of Florida Department of Housing
Phone: (352) 392-2171 x10148
Email: wills at housing.ufl.edu

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