Rebadged Senoa pcmcia cards with prism 3 chipset

Ged Haywood ged
Thu Sep 23 04:55:11 PDT 2004

Hi Dermot,

On Thu, 23 Sep 2004, Dermot McGahon wrote:

> What StarOS offers above your own linux distro is basically
> an invoice :)
> That might be a little unfair ... support

You just wrote the message that I thought better of, and didn't send.
Made the hair stand up on the back of my neck.  :)

> By writing their own drivers though they seem to be falling behind
> the curve. It's hard to keep up with good open source projects.

That's right.  Obvious when you think about it.

> Was really just probing for user experiences with different
> versions of the PRISM chipset.

Glad to share my own, which are basically that I've forgotten all
about them.  The cards we use just sit there and do the work.  One of
them has a 16dB yagi on a rooftop in Derbyshire.  It has a lightning
arrestor in the aerial cable and has been working through all the
lightning storms you could wish for, with no trouble.  I don't expect
it would take a direct hit of course, but it's been all I could have
hoped for short of that.  The only trouble we get is when snow builds
up on the Yagi.  Here's a plot of signal strength (as reported by the
MA311 card) for a snowy day last year:

I considered going up there to knock the snow off, but thought better
of it when I looked at the way the mast was bending... :)  When the
signal drops below about -95dB we lose the link of course.  If it was
life-or-death I'd install some means of deicing.

One thing I have noticed is that when we hit the link with a lot of
data, the data rate reported by the card seems to drop.  I sometimes
wonder if it's just measuring actual throughput rather than the link
capability, in which case that would make sense since most of the time
we're using up the full 512kbps bandwidth of our Internet connection.
But sometimes the same thing seems to happen even if we just send data
between the machines at the ends of the link - we run VPN over the
link and there's a firewall at each end, so we don't have to worry
about wireless encryption.  It's not an issue for us, so I haven't
investigated further but if anyone else reading and has any insights
to offer I'd be pleased to hear.

> We are going to investigate using a free linux distro instead:

I'm sure any of the distros has the basics needed do what you want.
Ping the list if you need any more general info., mail me privately if
you want to know more about what we have done here - happy to send you
our kernel configurations etc..


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