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Reformist
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2003 4:18 am    Post subject: Successfull PCMCIA wireless (MA401) config Reply with quote

I use the 16 bit Netgear MA401 to get wireless LAN on my laptop running Gentoo. I know people have got it working "with little trouble," but all of the guides I read did not really help my cause. I did MUCH, MUCH research and trial and error, and finally got it working with probably the easiest combination of things. Of course, due to all the posts about disabling linux PCMCIA support, and enabling WLAN... none of that mess was necessary, at least not for my card. So hopefully this will be a fairly helpful post.

This is with "gentoo sources 2.4.19-r10," but these steps should apply to all (2.4 at least) kernels. I will also try and explain why each option is in place, so it's not just a "do this and see if it works, if not then you're screwed because you have no idea why you're doing these steps".

Configuring the Kernel

First, the kernel must be configured for PCMCIA wireless cards. Go to /usr/src/linux. To configure the kernel, type:
Code:
make menuconfig


Besides the normal important options, and whatever options you use (ACPI, USB, etc.), enable the following for PCMCIA and wireless lan support:

Code:
General setup -> ISA bus support [*]
General Setup -> PCMCIA/Cardbus Support -> PCMCIA/CardBus Support [M]

In the sub options of "PCMCIA/CardBus Support", enable "CardBus Support" and "i82365". Note that ISA bus support is needed by cardbus, which should be turned on by default if my memory serves me correctly.

I enabled PCMCIA as a module, so I could unload and load it at will and test things out. Support directly into the kernel should be fine. THe second option, i82365, is the bridge type for the card; for my card (MA401) this chipset works (well, I load the module yenta_socket after I have everything set up). If you have another card and know it supports the i82092 bridge type, then select that option instead, although I think i82365 is what most cards use.

Code:
General Setup-> PCI Hotplug Support -> Support for PCI Hotplug [*]

There are some suboptions in here, but I don't believe any are required for the cardmgr utility to operate on your swapable PCMCIA card, but if you want to be safe and mess with things later, just enabled them as modules. That way they won't affect your kernel size.

Code:
Network Device Support -> Wireless LAN (non-hamradio) -> Wireless Lan (non-Hamradio) [*]


This is needed for your PCMCIA network card to actually be used for LAN connections. There are a few options for varoius chipsets. The option "Hermes Chipset" under the Wireless Lan category and the "Wireless PCMCIA cards support" category, covers my card, the MA401, and most other cards (it supports Orinoco/Prism2/Symbol chipsets). I loaded each chipset option as modules, because cardmgr likes to load modules... it's just more convenient that way, so you can do a "modprobe orinoco" etc., see if it works, and either add that to modules.autoload or have cardmgr do it for you. Anyway, more on that later.

Now, exit the config and compile the kernel (as the intsall guide details):
Code:
make dep && make clean bzImage modules modules_install


That should compile the kernel. The Kernel installation section of the install doc goes in more depth, so refer to that if you're not sure... you then of course copy the bzImage from /usr/linux/arch/i386/boot/bzImage to /boot/bzImage

*if you have Lilo, like I do, it might save you some time to know that your newer kernel isn't used unless you run /sbin/lilo after you've replaced your old kernel with the new one.*

Reboot, and upon reboot, emerge pcmcia-cs if you haven't already. This will install the essential "cardmgr" tool, among other things.

Loading the modules, testing the card

Now, load the "yenta_socket" module, which will allow you to load cardmgr (which loads the ds module, essential for PCMCIA working). So,
Code:
 modprobe yenta_socket


Run a lsmod to confirm that it's running (it should be the only network related module running as of yet). Then start pcmcia:
Code:
/etc/init.d/pcmcia start

to start the cardmgr service. It should beep if you have sound turned on, assuring that it detected your card. If I have alsa installed, then my sound is running through alsa and I don't hear the annoying beeps - so, if you have sound support, especially through ALSA, then you may not hear the beeps, so don't fret over that. the lsmod command can show if you any new modules were loaded. Also, if you use ALSA, and just recompiled, then you won't hear anything because you have to re-emerge alsa-driver for your ALSA sound to work.

Run lsmod to see what modules were loaded; ds should be one of them, and then a specific module for your card. If it was loaded, then it's detected and working.

That is how I got my card up and running, after fooling around with various modules and packages. It's pretty simple, if you enable the right options at first. It would be a good idea to have the yenta_socket module to be loaded all the time, so add "yenta_socket" to /etc/modules.autoload.

Also, to have the cardmgr on at bootup and scanning for your pcmcia cards, run
Code:
rc-update add pcmcia default


If you have more than one card (like a PCMCIA wireless card, and also a built in ethernet jack) then you have to do a little extra configuration. Gentoo user Jay explains the process well:

Quote:

If the wireless card is your second card beside a built-in NIC it should be labelled eth1. You have to copy etc/init.d/net.eth0 to etc/init.d/net.eth1 Do not add this to the default runlevel ( # rc-update add net.eth1 default)! Modify /etc/conf.d/net configuration file instead and add another iface entry for the second card. After plugging in the card the net.eth1 script should be executed automatically.


One final thing: if you have the card setup, and would like to test the wireless connection (eg, to check link quality, which is cool) emerge the package "wireless-tools," which makes available the command "iwconfig" (run as root), and will print information about all of your wireless connections, in a similar fashion as ifconfig.

Well, any questions, feel free to post.
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Last edited by Reformist on Sat Mar 29, 2003 7:38 am; edited 3 times in total
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hertog
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2003 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We really need a 'printer friendly' option for the fora. Posts like this go straight into my 'Big Book Of Useful Stuff'.

Thanks Reformist!
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BoredSpy
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 7:35 pm    Post subject: Uggh. Reply with quote

Alright, I also have the MA401 card. Followed your directions to a T. One things different however. I needed to setup a WEP key for my AP.

Here's what happens, followed by the relevant section of my pcmcia/wireless.opts. If anybody has any ideas I'd appreciate it.

Code:

hermes.c: 5 Apr 2002 David Gibson <hermes@gibson.dropbear.id.au>
orinoco.c 0.11b (David Gibson <hermes@gibson.dropbear.id.au> and others)
orinoco_cs.c 0.11b (David Gibson <hermes@gibson.dropbear.id.au> and others)
eth1: Station identity 001f:0006:0001:0003
eth1: Looks like an Intersil firmware version 1.03
eth1: Ad-hoc demo mode supported
eth1: IEEE standard IBSS ad-hoc mode supported
eth1: WEP supported, 104-bit key
eth1: MAC address 00:09:5B:30:35:F0
eth1: Station name "Prism  I"
eth1: ready
eth1: index 0x01: Vcc 5.0, irq 11, io 0x0100-0x013f
NETDEV WATCHDOG: eth1: transmit timed out
eth1: Tx timeout! Resetting card. ALLOCFID=0128, TXCOMPLFID=0127, EVSTAT=808c
NETDEV WATCHDOG: eth1: transmit timed out
eth1: Tx timeout! Resetting card. ALLOCFID=0128, TXCOMPLFID=0127, EVSTAT=808c


Code:

*,*,*,*)
    INFO="Any ESSID"
    ESSID="xfiles"
    INFO="Fill with your own settings..."
    # Operation mode : Ad-Hoc, Managed, Master, Repeater, Secondary, auto
    MODE="Managed"
    # Encryption key : 4567-89AB-CD, s:password
    KEY="2D21FD2D83427579C064BCDB3A"
    ;;
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Reformist
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2003 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, mine is set up without WEP enabled. So, if that's a feature you're looking for, I hope someone here can help you out with it; would make a good addition to the tutorial.
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Valorin
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2003 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a bundle for this. I finally got mine working after a week of hair pulling. This is a great help!
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soroko
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2003 9:20 pm    Post subject: A small refinment Reply with quote

The kernel must have ISA support compiled in. This
is required by CardBus.

In menuconfig notation:

Code:

General setup --->
   [*] ISA bus support
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Reformist
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, indeed it must. Which is why it is included in my first post.
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viperlin
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2004 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i am going to buy this card soon, it is kind of old so i have only found one retailer selling it at a decent price, sadly i have not heard of them, nor trust them, i will probably pay by cheque but they dont ship till it's cashed (at least they can't get my debit card #)

anybody know of somewhere in the UK these cards are sold? (the one i found was a site called amkells.co.uk

http://www.amkells.co.uk/enfinity/amkells.storefront/EN/Product/597754

:?
i tryed kelkoo and it came up with that, froogle is crap because it cannot search for anything other than dollars and no specific location searches ;-)
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drdebian
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 4:04 am    Post subject: Re: Successfull PCMCIA wireless (MA401) config Reply with quote

Reformist wrote:

If you have more than one card (like a PCMCIA wireless card, and also a built in ethernet jack) then you have to do a little extra configuration. Gentoo user Jay explains the process well:

Quote:

If the wireless card is your second card beside a built-in NIC it should be labelled eth1. You have to copy etc/init.d/net.eth0 to etc/init.d/net.eth1 Do not add this to the default runlevel ( # rc-update add net.eth1 default)! Modify /etc/conf.d/net configuration file instead and add another iface entry for the second card. After plugging in the card the net.eth1 script should be executed automatically.


One final thing: if you have the card setup, and would like to test the wireless connection (eg, to check link quality, which is cool) emerge the package "wireless-tools," which makes available the command "iwconfig" (run as root), and will print information about all of your wireless connections, in a similar fashion as ifconfig.

Well, any questions, feel free to post.


Great stuff, really got me going after being stuck for ages with a nonfunctional MA401. Thanks!

I still have a little trouble with the automatically assigned name (eth1) for the wireless NIC, because every once in a while I connect to the network through a docking station (with yet another NIC), so they constantly battle of eth1. I'd get something like "eth2", but then I'd have no idea with eth is which NIC actually.

So I think I'm looking for a way to always have the wireless NIC named "wlan0" or "eth2" or something, as long as it is not dynamic. Would be grateful for any pointers!
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t0rtois3
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the i82092 support and the isa support are not nessesary if you have a yenta-compatable pcmcia bridge, at least on my hardware anyway.

The PCI hotplug support seems to be about yanking PCI cards off a desktop mainboard.
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Darktyco
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great thread, got me going. Here is what I had to enable to get this working with 2.6.8:

Code:
Bus Options -> ISA support [*]
Bus Options -> PCMCIA/Cardbus support -> PCMCIA/Cardbus support [*]
Bus Options -> PCMCIA/Cardbus support -> Cardbus yenta-compatible bridge support [*]
Bus Options -> PCMCIA/Cardbus support -> i82365 compatible bridge support [*]
Bus Options -> PCI Hotplug Support -> Support for PCI Hotplug [*]

Device Drivers -> Networking Support -> Wireless LAN (non-hamradio) -> Wireless LAN drivers (non-hamradio) & Wireless Extentions [*]
Device Drivers -> Networking Support -> Wireless LAN (non-hamradio) -> Hermes chipset 802.11b support (Orinoco/Prism2/Symbol) [M]
Device Drivers -> Networking Support -> Wireless LAN (non-hamradio) -> Hermes PCMCIA card support [M]


Then, just like Reformist says:

Code:
/etc/init.d/pcmcia start
rc-update add pcmcia default


Finially, I used UberLord's wireless config ebuild at this thread:

http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic.php?t=122435&highlight=ma401

Just follow the instructions and you should be up and running :)
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annalaura
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 1:31 pm    Post subject: Desperate girl with an MA401 ... not working!!! Reply with quote

Hello,
I am a newbie italian girl and ... probably this is the problem :D

In this post all seem so easy but I have problems! Please help me! Be patient!

I have an Netgear MA401 and I have installed Gentoo 2004.2.
During installation the MA401 worked and I made a network installation.
This is the output of lsmod, during installation with Universal Live CD 2004.2, with MA401 working:

prism2_cs
p80211 [prism2_cs]
orinoco_cs (unused)
orinoco [orinoco_cs]
hermes [orinoco_cs orinoco]
ds [prism2_cs orinoco_cs]
i82365
pmcia_core [prism2_cs orinoco_cs ds i82365]

... (other not concernig the wireless card)

In the kernel configuration (2.6.8-gentoo-r1) I followed the suggestions of this thread and so:
Bus Options -> ISA support [*]
Bus Options -> PCMCIA/Cardbus support -> PCMCIA/Cardbus support [M]
Bus Options -> PCMCIA/Cardbus support -> Cardbus yenta-compatible bridge support [M]
Bus Options -> PCMCIA/Cardbus support -> i82365 compatible bridge support [M]
Bus Options -> PCI Hotplug Support -> Support for PCI Hotplug [*]

Device Drivers -> Networking Support -> Wireless LAN (non-hamradio) -> Wireless LAN drivers (non-hamradio) & Wireless Extentions [*]
Device Drivers -> Networking Support -> Wireless LAN (non-hamradio) -> Hermes chipset 802.11b support (Orinoco/Prism2/Symbol) [M]
Device Drivers -> Networking Support -> Wireless LAN (non-hamradio) -> Hermes PCMCIA card support [M]

I finished installation, reboot, emerge pcmcia_cs and then I did (as written in the thread):

- modprobe yenta_socket

Output of lsmod:
yenta_socket
pcmcia_core

- /etc/init.d/pcmcia start
and this was the output:

modprobe i82365 failed
trying alternative PCIC driver: yenta_socket
starting PCMCIA
cardmgr[52333]: watching 1 socket

This is the output of lsmod:
orinoco_cs
orinoco
hermes
ds
yenta_socket
pcmcia_core

Comparing with live cd boot (where the card worked) some modules missing:

prism2_cs, p80211 (? What is this?) , i82365.

At the contrary yenta_socket was not present in live cd loaded modules.

The green light of MA401 blinked and I have no connection.

I tried giving you the more information I can.
Hoping in your help...

Anna Laura
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