Wireless hardware support

Sam Leffler sam at errno.com
Wed Apr 27 08:58:55 PDT 2005

Will Saxon wrote:
> 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 
> driver:
> 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 
> ndiscvt):
> 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? 

5.3 has noticeably older ath support than -current.  I've been unable to 
update 5.x with all the 6.x code because it breaks API's that are frozen 
for the life of 5.x.  I'm considering backporting some of the 
driver-specific 6.x support to 5.x so the same cards are supported but 
that's a lot of work and won't happen until this summer.


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