Yes, the physical slider switch is "ON" and I am not aware of any soft switch or hotkey. This new card replaced a minipc card of an older Prism chipset which worked fine. Other than the FAA Radio switch off under the status tab, the device manager is reporting that the card is working fine.
Sometime in 2003-2004 WiFi manufacturers came to an agreement with authorities in the US to disable the 5 G signal if the card detected characteristic radar pulses. I suspect this is happening here with I think must be a spurious detection.
On the other hand there is a doppler weather radar about 15 miles SW of my location on the Pacific coast.
NOAA Nexrad weather radar operates on 2.7 to 3.0 GHz.
MLS (Microwave Landing System) is 5.0 to 5.25GHz. TDWR (Terminal Doppler Weather Radar) is 5.6 to 5.65GHz. Only the major airports have them.
In the US, the 802.11a operating frequencies are: 5.15 to 5.35GHz and 5.725 to 5.825GHz. Unless you're in the approach pattern to a major airport, you should not trigger the FAA switch. It's the European region 802.11a clients that worry the FAA. They overlap the MLS and TDWR system: Europe: 19ch 5.15 to 5.35GHz and 5.47 to 5.725GHz Japan: 4ch 5.15 to 5.25GHz China : 5ch 5.725 to 5.85GHz US: 12ch 5.15 to 5.35GHz and 5.725 to 5.825GHz.
You should be able to hide the laptop inside a moderately microwave proof environment, such as a metal box or aluminium foil bag, and have the FAA switch turn off. If not, it's probably picking up spurious junk from the laptop itself or the Conexant FAA detector circuit has a problem.
Excellent suggestion. I have a microwave large enough to shield.
Here is Conexant's blurb:
PRISM WorldRadio Two-Chip, Dual Band WLAN Solution for Global Connectivity
Conexant's PRISM WorldRadio. is a two-chip, dual-band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) solution designed to provide true global wireless connectivity. PRISM WorldRadio enables users to establish a WLAN network connection throughout the world with any standards-compliant wireless 802.11 infrastructure they encounter, including existing and proposed standards: 802.11a, b, d, e, g, h, i, j.
Two-chip, dual-band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) solution * Seamless, worldwide tuning capability * 100 percent standards-compliant: 802.11a, b, d, e, g, h, i, j * Incorporates PRISM Nitro. XM with PRISM DirectLink. for throughput up to 140 Mbps * Most comprehensive security solution - Wi-Fi Protected Access., CCX, TLS, TTLS, MD5, LEAP, and AES with hardware acceleration
I am also about 5 miles away from ACV airport, which is a working commercial airport, but hardly a major one.