Subject: Re: Wireless Card Recommendations
To: Harry Waddell <>
From: Bryan Vyhmeister <>
List: current-users
Date: 07/07/2003 15:27:46
On Mon, Jul 07, 2003 at 02:53:27PM -0700, Harry Waddell wrote:
> On Mon, 7 Jul 2003 01:24:13 -0700
> Bryan Vyhmeister <> wrote:
> > On Mon, Jul 07, 2003 at 02:59:43AM -0500, David Young wrote:
> > > On Sun, Jul 06, 2003 at 08:42:19PM -0700, Bryan Vyhmeister wrote:
> > > > I would highly recommend the EnGenius/Senao cards available from:
> > > > 
> > > >
> > > > 
> > > > They are 200 mW where most cards are 30 mW or maybe up to 100 mW. They
> > > 
> > > This is SO off topic, but this begs for a response: 200mW is OVERKILL
> > > for most applications. 50mW or LESS is sufficient for the majority of
> > > applications.  Be a responsible user of the spectrum (and save money!)
> > > by choosing the right power level for your application. Home and office
> > > networking does NOT usually require 200mW.
> > 
> > You do have a good point. The reason I use 200 mW cards is that the
> > environment I usually work in is very spread out and 200 mW has allowed
> > me greater range. I have also used 200 mW cards for outdoor,
> > long-distance links. As far as low power cards go, the Orinoco cards
> > have an excellent reputation. Their sensitivity is excellent and they
> > are 30 mW. ...
> I wouldn't stake my life on it, but I am fairly certain that the orinocco
> gold cards are more like 130mW, which is why so many people use them with
> their homemade "pringles can" antennas, and why they are used in a number of
> APs. Any random prism2 card for less than $50 US should be a nice low
> wattage. Depending on where you live, 130mW is probably not a big issue and
> the driver support for the orinocco cards seems pretty good. But, last I
> checked, the gold cards aren't cheap.

I just looked up the specs and the Orinoco cards put out 15 dBm of power
which translates to about 32 mW. The reason they are used for homemade
antennas is (1) they have an external antenna jack and (2) they have
excellent receiver sensitivity. The Orinico sensitivity is probably
about the best in the industry. This sensitivity makes up for their lack
of power for the most part. I have not checked recently either but you
can often find good cards on eBay for a great price.

When it comes to the world of radio frequencies, the sensitivity and
antenna do make more of a difference than power output. I know that when
talking on amateur radio bands, if I use a lousy antenna, 50 W will not
be as good as 10 W with a good antenna.