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Which Airport Card for 1.66 Mini

 
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darr3n
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:40 pm    Post subject: Which Airport Card for 1.66 Mini Reply with quote

Which Airport Extreme Card do I need to upgrade a 2006 Mini to wireless N? The BCM94321MC or the AR5BXB72? Both are advertised as compatible with the mini.

If both work, has one shown to have better success than the other?
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arctictundra
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

darr3n,

I have a 1.5ghz core solo which I recently upgraded to a core 2 duo - with regards to the airport card I installed it was the AR5BXB72.

Was quite simple to install (see ifixit.com for a step-by-step guide) and now registers as wireless n on my mac mini which is great.

However, it does depend on your wifi range I think because my mac mini is still intermittent at best with the wifi coverage, even with the new card installed. Perhaps this may be down to the fact that I may need a second ariel to maximise the airport card though - if anyone else could confirm this that would be great.
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darr3n
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, artictundra. If you option click your wifi icon in the menu bar, what is your Transmit Rate?
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arctictundra
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never knew you could do this before, so thanks darr3n.

Its saying:

PHY Mode: 802.11g
Channel 11: 2.4ghz
RSSI: -26
Transmit Rate: 54 (although it fluctuates between 32 - 54)

Hmm. I'm guessing my airport card isn't using the wifi n network then.

Any ideas how to get it to work with WiFi n coverage? I'm still guessing I'll need a second ariel insdie my mac mini? Can anyone help?
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darr3n
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was wondering if a secondary antenna was needed to take advantage of N. I've seen one used in several of these installations. However the OWC AR5BXB72 does not ship with an additional antenna.

Otherwise, have you made sure your router is broadcasting at 300Mbps? My netgear router defaults to 54Mbps whenever a 802.11g devices enters the network. I have to manually go into my router settings and set it back to 300Mbps.
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arctictundra
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

darr3n,

That was another great tip - I've chnaged my router settings to 40mhz, and its now reading:

PHY mode: 802.11n
RSSI: -86
Transmit rate: 12-19 (ranges from)

The transmit rate seems to be much, much lower now so that has obviously helped. I'm guessing that a second ariel would probably reduce this even further, but for now its made a massive impact so many thanks!

Plus - if this didn't convince you already, this shows that the atheros airport extreme card is the one to invest in for your 2006 mini, as its working well for mine.
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billb
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've used two of the BMC94321MC Airport cards.
They worked flawlessly. You don't need more
than one Antenna but you won't be taking
advantage of the N's greater speed. I connected
two External 5dBi Antennas and got great performance.
_________________
2011 Mac mini 2.7 GHz i7 with
16GB RAM, Samsung 512GB SSD
MacBook AIR 11 Inch
Mac mini, Model 1.1, 2.33 GHz C2D Proc
20" iMac G4 PPC
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castaway
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like I should have went with an internal card for my old Mac mini. I had an external 802.11n-based USB stick and it was such a pain in the neck. It had lousy throughput and always needed to have its drivers re-installed after Apple would release updates for Snow Leopard.
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