Check out the SMC cards.. The cards not only have external antenna connectors, but are also "High Power" IE 300 mw instead of 50. Much greater range (about 1155 FT) without the external antenna, but can use one if needed. (the end of the card is actually the antenna, it pulls off and the cable plugs onto the connectors (that can be used for an external antenna, or replace the end of the card one when mobile)
EZ ConnectT g Wireless Cardbus Adapter
2.4GHz 54 Mbps Wireless Cardbus Adapter
Overview The EZ ConnectT g 54Mbps Wireless CardBus Adapter (SMC2835W) supports the latest and fastest standards for wireless connectivity to your notebook. Based on the IEEE 802.11g standard, the new EZ Connect g Wireless CardBus Adapter offers data rates up to 54 Mbps, 5 times faster than the widely used
802.11b devices, while maintaining 100% compatibility with existing 802.11b wireless networks. This adapter supports the highest level of security, supporting both 64/128-bit WEP encryption and the new Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA). With the SMC EZ Installation Wizard, users can be up and running within minutes. The SMC proprietary profile management software provides intelligence to manage multiple locations with ease, saving the various wireless settings for each location. Operating up to 1,155 feet, the EZ ConnectT g 54 Mbps Wireless CardBus Adapter provides the best of both worlds, maximum mobility with high performance, while still maintaining compatibility with existing networks.
They have little adapter cables (about 6" long).. One end plugs into the end of the card where the card antenna attaches, and has a mini uhf connector on the other end and screws onto all their antennas etc. The specs/details are at that same website, but look under antennas (they sell several dozen different kinds). Real handy for me in the RV.. I have an antenna on the roof, and when in the RV, I take off the card antenna and plug in the external with the jack on the cable already, when going out, I just reverse that.
the Whole site has a bunch of neat stuff on it
but I pasted a link directly to the card you asked about, rather than a generic web site address.
For a detail picture of the adapter cables... see the website (with a picture at)
Out of curiosity, where do you live? (generally, not specifically) If in the US, I can point to a few websites that not only sell it, but ship to your door (actually I use
it's Fry's electronics website, and they do sales and shipping, but only within the US).. If you are outside of the US, there is a distributor finder (on the smc website) to find worldwide distributors.
Want to see a more detailed pic/description of an antenna I rcommend? (Included with 2 universal antenna connector cables)
for a little more (about $5 more) they also make a high power card that does both a and b/g (you only asked about G)
Please ignore this advice. It is both obsolete and wrong. I bought that card without fact checking (shame on me) the last time Peter recommended it. The card no longer has a removable antenna and now uses conventional dual diversity patch antennae. Here is a photo of the guts of the card:
No removable antenna and no external antenna jack.
I wrote to SMC to ask about this. They replied that they do not now make a CardBus card with an external jack.
The other problem with this card is that the driver is very poor. Even with the laptop sitting 6" from my AP I could only achieve about 2mB/sec and the CPU load on this 2 gig laptop was around 10%. The Orinoco in the same slot does better than 12 and the Netgear 108mb card does almost 40. Unfortunately, no external antenna jack.
Over the last month I've bought, tested and either kept or returned about
13 cards now. I still like the Netgear the best where an external antenna isn't necessary and the Orinoco Gold where one is. The little LinkSys USB client is also a good unit, though it won't accept an external antenna either. The built-in whip does a decent job.
I also bought that antenna Peter recommends. It's pretty decent - but I have to use it with my Orinoco Gold card with a pigtail adapter.
thanks for SMC g card info,,, I had that feeling - no antenna , standard power. as nowhere mentions an antenna jack and spec is standard 15db & recently compex came out with a new card to replace their card with external jack. Good thing I stocked up on one. SMC and CPX appear to be the same basic 15db prismGT and probably exact except for network connection UI yea that driver package is sneaky if you're not familiar with PrismGT
Perhaps it would be helpful of both you and John disclose the FCC ID numbers, so that the actual devices and original manufactories can be found? If there's any difference between SMC2835W card mutations, the FCC ID will also be different.
All the wireless vendors recycle their product names as they switch suppliers. The basic idea is to not obsolete a dealers inventory as the vendor changes suppliers. The worst case is Orinoco, which has gone through 5 owners, 4 company names, 4 chipsets, and I dunno how many FCCID's.
don't sweat it man. Thanks though - I was looking at a straight b/g and not BGA card. ... cpx G card here if you read the literature ... " nitro based wireless network, increases the data throughput performance by up to 50% in a pure 802.11g network; while in a 802.11b + 802.11g mixed network environment, the throughput performance increases to an outstanding
300%!! Provides a wider coverage of up to 400m."
BUT it also says... "Indoor : 20m (54 Mbps) Outdoor: 80 m (54 Mbps)" that 400m max range is probably in B mode at lower speed 1&2 mbps probably,
I've an abundance of antenna types here and none .11A nor do I want A right now. Apparently I'm on a usaf training flight path and if I were to run A with an external antenna it shows up on these little war plane-jets radar and fcc or usaf comes knocking if a rookie pilot doesnt do his attack practice on my home first.
Model number on mine is SMC2835W. I bought this card using the link Peter provided a couple of months ago when he reported it to have a removable antenna. The FCC number is: M4Y-XG-300. I purchased this card 12/01/04 from outpost.com, the cheapest seller at that instant.
Here is a photo I just took of the card:
One can notice that it bears little resemblance to the card with the same model number in the link Peter provided:
Since I've seen Peter put out faulty info as fact more than once, I should have fact-checked but I didn't and I got burned. For instance, plug that model number in at CNET Shopper and you get this:
It shows the correct photo and, of course, does not mention any removable antenna or external antenna connector. Neither does the product description at buy.com, the first etailer listed at the above URL.
One last item. Peter, your calling me a liar in response to your making a mistake and being called on it does not reflect very well on your character. Let's see if you're enough of a man to admit your mistake and apologize. I'd be shocked into a heart attack....
The FCC Site is down right now. The M4Y indicates that this card is also made by ZCom.com.tw in Taiwan. I see an XG-302 on the site. Can't say if it's the same card. I can't open the earlier link that Peter provided. The FCC ID that Peter provided is for a card as he described, but 802.11b, not g.
Back to the original question about which is the best g card to buy? It doesn't take an external antenna, but I think my Netgear WG511 is a better card than my Orinoco Silver for range. ZDNet likes it
I bought it because it was only $19.99 after rebates from Amazon.com. It didn't work at all on WinXP-SP2 with the supplied WinXP drivers, but the downloaded drivers work just fine, with or without Wireless Zero on WinXP.
Netgear WGB511 802.11g Wireless Networking Kit $74.99 - $25 = 49.99 WGR614v4 Router and WG511 PCMCIA card that I have.
I have that Netgear kit. I'm quite satisfied with it. The AP/router works well and has a nice suite of features. It covers most of my 6800 sq ft concrete block partitioned building with at least B speed. I use it to provide free WiFi in my restaurant. It handle the load of several simultaneous users well.
The card is very good. The driver is very fast and uses almost no CPU resources. It would be great if it had an external antenna jack. Here is a photo of the card opened up:
If you're up to a little hacking, that little diagnostic connector could be removed and an SMC connector installed. That's what I'm going to do with mine. I'm going to dig up an SMC connector attached to some rigid coax. I'll solder it to the ground plane and bring it out the side of the card.
The built in diversity antennae do a pretty decent job. As you can see in the photo, they're oriented at right angles, something that probably contributes to their performance. The major problem is, of course, when the laptop is located poorly. That's when an external antenna is needed.
I have two units that I use when mobile. An Orinoco gold G card and a Linksys WUSB54GS USB2 client. Both have their pluses and minuses.
The major plus for the Orinoco is the external antenna jack. I've used it with a cellphone-type mag-mount whip and the SMC mini-billboard antenna that Peter mentioned earlier. Both work well. The laptop can stay on the seat while the antenna is outside the vehicle.
The downside of the Orinoco is that the driver isn't all that hot. Thruput is moderate and it uses a lot of CPU time.
The Linksys USB client is nice but with a few problems. It is fairly fast, puts low overhead on the computer and has a very sensitive receiver. It can make a solid connection at a reported -90dbm signal. The transmitter is powerful enough that I can talk to most anything I can hear. It has a flip-up plastic antenna that does a good job. Unfortunately the antenna leadwire is soldered to the board so some hacking would be involved for an external antenna.
A very nice feature of the USB client is that it can be located anywhere within the limitations of USB cable length and still not suffer any feedline loss. I can put it on top of my motorhome or in a skylight.
Now the major problem. It is very heat-sensitive. An ambient over about
75 degrees causes it to shut down. I could not let it sit in still air in my motorhome. It required active cooling, such as having an AC duct blowing on it. This pretty much killed my original plan of more or less permanently mounting it in a skylight. This isn't specific to my particular unit, as I returned mine for a warranty replacement and the replacement does the same thing.
The big WiFi chip (Broadcom as I recall) is the one that gets hot. I'm thinking about cutting a hole in the case and attaching a heat sink to protrude though the case. If I can solve the heat problem, this will become the almost perfect mobile client.
As it is, I end up carrying both the Orinoco card and the Linksys when I'm traveling. I use the Linksys when an omni antenna is good enough and when I can keep the unit cool. Otherwise I use the Orinoco card.
The FCC ID shows that it was a ZCOM A&G card XG-300, on 2/4/03. That changed to a G-only ZCOM XG-301 on 4/4/03. It changed to a ZCOM XG-302 on 3/02/04, so that's probably the one that you have. Odd that they could change the manufacturer model number and keep the FCC ID by just submitting a change request. There was an additional change on 6/20/03 frome one antenna style to another, but none of them were ever removable antennas.
They call it "g-only", but I presume it still plays b okay.