View Full Version : Testing An Airport Card

12th May 2005, 10:46 AM

I just bought an Airport card off ebay for my Imac flat panel and wondered if anyone knows if you can test it without a wireless network.

I am currently arranging broadband with a wireless modem through my ISP but havent got it yet and I want to ensure the Airport card is functioning ok.

Any tips?


12th May 2005, 10:50 AM
You can test it with another computer with a wireless card. Other than that, I can't think of a way to test it without a wireless network.

12th May 2005, 10:53 AM
How do I test it with another computer?

My wife has a Windows laptop with a wireless card, what would I need to do to use it to test it? Just turn them both on and see if they link up?

Im really new to this new fangled wireless stuff ;)

12th May 2005, 11:24 AM
not sure if this will help or not...


12th May 2005, 11:55 AM

You can open system profiler and look under Airport and see if it is recognised by the system.

Or open Airport Admin Utility which also should allow you to see if it is working.

12th May 2005, 12:01 PM
once installed in the mac. enable it. and click "create network" on the airport menu bar item.

sorry, I am flat out atm, but I thought I'd get the ball rolling.

I'll respond more later on.


12th May 2005, 06:58 PM
Pip is spot on.

Click the airport icon in the menu bar and click create new connection.
http://members.westnet.com.au/jalmond/airport1thumb.jpg (http://members.westnet.com.au/jalmond/airport1.jpg)
Create the new connection.
http://members.westnet.com.au/jalmond/airport2thumb.jpg (http://members.westnet.com.au/jalmond/airport2.jpg)
The little icon circled indicates your running in adhoc (peer to peer) mode.
http://members.westnet.com.au/jalmond/airport3thumb.jpg (http://members.westnet.com.au/jalmond/airport3.jpg)
Then on your wifes windows machine. Go to network connections in control pannels. Double click on the wireless adapter, go to the wireless networks tab and click "view wireless networks". If it doesn't show up, try clicking the scan button a few times.

Thats the basic jist of it. Hope everything works out.

If it was a ibook or powerbook, I was going to suggets finding the nearest wireless hot spot or depending on where you live, go for a drive with it active. I found over 100 wlans within 1km of my house.
(this is assuming you have the airport software installed. If not, go install it and update it)
woohoo. go webspace :P I wonder how much data transfer they give me?

12th May 2005, 07:01 PM
yeah, spot on

13th May 2005, 11:09 AM
Hey thanks to all..
especially jobe whose screengrabs made it easy for me to follow.

Yes, I got the little icon like you had circled in your screengrab so Im assuming this means it is functioning correctly but when I went to my wifes laptop I couldnt get the laptop to find the network. I try several times but the silly thing wouldnt play the game even though the laptop and iMac were sitting side by side on the same desk. I gave up :(

I'll try again tonight but can i ask...should it just connect automatically or do I have to play around with the security options etc I saw when i clicked the Show Options button? Once Ive connected would my wife be able to print to the printer connected to the iMac and share the dial-up (yes I know! im getting broadband) internet connection?

Thanks again for all your great advice :)

13th May 2005, 02:01 PM
In network connection in control panel, right click the wireless adapter and select "view available wireless networks. What shows up? click "refresh network list". anything?

If not then try setting up the adhoc network on the windows machine and searching for it on the mac.

in network connections in control panels, right click the wireless adapter and select properties and select the Wireless Networks tab.
http://members.westnet.com.au/jalmond/PCWLAN1thumb.jpg (http://members.westnet.com.au/jalmond/PCWLAN1.jpg)
Make sure the circled text box is CHECKED. Then click advanced.
http://members.westnet.com.au/jalmond/PCWLAN2thumb.jpg (http://members.westnet.com.au/jalmond/PCWLAN2.jpg)
Click the "computer to computer (adhoc) netowrks only" radio button then close

Then in the prefer networks section, click the add button.
http://members.westnet.com.au/jalmond/PCWLAN3thumb.jpg (http://members.westnet.com.au/jalmond/PCWLAN3.jpg)
You want an open authentication system, and for testing purposes (and simplicity at the moment) I recomend disabling wep. This is just for testing purposes, if you're going to make this a permanent network you will want wep enabled. That is ofcourse without going into the while "WEP SUXZORS ME LEET HACKZOR" argument that I know someone is itching to.

Click OK and OK. Then go to the mac, open the airport menu bar and hopefully you will see and connection listed under computer to computer. If you don't, give it a few seconds.
http://members.westnet.com.au/jalmond/PCWLAN4thumb.jpg (http://members.westnet.com.au/jalmond/PCWLAN4.jpg)

I gota get back to work :(

13th May 2005, 06:25 PM

You are a legend!
I will try it tonight.

Thanking you :) :)

PS No I dont get anything when I "refresh network list"

17th May 2005, 11:32 AM
:( :( :(

I must be doing something wrong.
I did exactly what everyone said but I cant seem to get either computer to 'see' the others network.
Help Im desperate :(

17th May 2005, 12:00 PM

17th May 2005, 03:51 PM
hrm... you should at least be able to see the other network. Check the antenna is plugged all the way in. Is your wife's wireless card built in or a PCMCIA (removable) one? If it's a removable one, can you check if it's 2.4ghz or 5ghz (generally built in ones are 2.4ghz). It should be written on it somewhere.

Or else, you can try setting up the network on either computer and download a scanning program like macstumber or istumbler for mac or netstumbler for PC and run it for a while to see if it picks anything up.

17th May 2005, 04:14 PM

I know it sounds obvious, but (assuming the imac is similar to the powermac G5 setup) did you plug the coax cable into the top of the airport extreme card when installing?

This actually had me stuffed for a little while last week when i set up a system...which says a bit about my technical skills. But thats why I bought a mac, so i wouldnt have to worry about these things ;)

i did manage to get the network part running like a dream in a matter of minutes though, despite being terrified of the prospect of setting up.

Sorry if im insulting your own technical prowess by even suggesting!

17th May 2005, 05:00 PM
Hi all and many thanks for all your help.

To clarify things I think I should run through what I have and haven't done as best as I can remember.

I purchased the Airport card through eBay from the states. When it arrived I unscrewed the bottom of my G4 iMac 700hz (loaded with Tiger and all current software updates) and slipped it into the slot. It seemed to slide in easily after i got it the right way around then i slipped the little black cord into the top of the card until it wouldnt go any further.

When I started the iMac up the Airport symbol appeared up near the clock. I set up a new network using the automatic option. The symbol then showed up with the square in it as per Jobes first lot of instructions. I then placed my wifes new Acer laptop with built-in (I think) next to it and clicked on the wireless icon next to the clock and refreshed the wireless network list. Nothing came up. I tried Jobe's second lot of instructions, setting up a computer to computer network on the PC and the iMac didnt find it. Aaarrrgghh!

I had a look at the Airport cards properties and I noticed it said something about the locations/zone? was States. Is this a concern? Do I need to download any firmware? I thought about trying reinstalling it but if it wasnt working properly then it would show up on the screen would it?

Thanks again for all your help. This is frustrating me as Im dying to 'go wireless'.


17th May 2005, 09:23 PM
Oh dear :(

After searching the net for information about the Acer laptop I realised that the problem wasn't with the iMac or the Airport card but with the laptop!

The laptop has a silly little button on the front disguised as a light which must be pushed to turn on the wireless card. I pressed it and hey preto the laptop immediately picked up the iMac network.

I feel like such a dill. I bought a Mac to try an escape the problems with PCs and they are still haunting me.

Thank you to all who helped me.

Now if I could just work out how to share files/printer/internet connection .... ;)

17th May 2005, 10:31 PM
haha yes. PC laptops annoy the shit out of my with their connectors and plugs and buttons and slots on every side of the case and sticking out everywhere. Glad you got everything sorted out, it was becoming quite a mystery.

Now if I could just work out how to share files/printer/internet connection .... ;)
easily done. On the mac, all the options are in sharing in system preferences. It has the options for windows file sharing, internet connection sharing and printer sharing.