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Lucent USB WLAN card

A short description, with photographs, of Lucent's excellant USB Wireless Lan card.

Written by: G4RFR ( FRARS ) Tuesday, 2 April 2002

Click for full size imageLucent technology do some good wireless lan products, in particular the USB-W which is basically a USB to PCMCIA bridge with an Orinoco Silver card. The useful thing about this is that it can be mounted at the antenna to minimise loss caused by long runs of coax cable. USB can be extended well over the 20m recommended value by using powered hubs. Carl - G6NLC did some tests with USB to see what the maximum length of a USB extension could be. 5m seemed to be about the limit, as after that, round edges start to appear on the digital data.

The USB adapter from Lucent uses two chips from Cypress Semiconductor: the EZ-USB FX controller CY7C64613 and a 32 KBytes memory chip. The master chip combines a USB bus controller, a processor, I/O lines. It is compatible with USB 1.1 and 2.0 standards, but you shouldn't expect a high speed from the 24 or 48 MHz processor 8051. The USB to PCMCIA bridge works like any normal pcmcia socket, and in fact other devices can be plugged in.

The pictures below show the contents of the plastic housing. The plastic case can be removed by simply peeling away the rubber feet, then prising 4 small plastic clips until the top housing comes loose. As can be seen from the top edge of the PCMCIA card, the usual micro-RF connector is visible and any standard lucent plug will fit.

The PCMCIA card is a standard card, part number PC24E-H-FC. They are 5 volt, 16bit cards.

The specification of the device almost coincide with the characteristics of the PCMCIA brothers:

IEEE 802.11b standard, Wi-Fi
FR: 2400-2500 MHz
Frequency channels: 11
Speeds: 11, 5.5, 2, 1Mbit/sec
64 and 128 bit (in "Gold" version) WEP coding support
Output power: 15 dBm
External interface: USB 1.1
dimensions: 63X89X145mm
weight: 170g
power consumption: Doze mode 10 mA, Receiver mode 245 mA, Transmit mode 360 mA

Distance of operation:
11 Mbit/s5.5 Mbit/s 2 Mbit/s 1 Mbit/s 
Open Office 160m270m 400m 550m
Semi Open Office50m70m90m115m
Closed Office25 m35m40m50m

Links:

  • More FRARS Wireless LAN articles [Click here]

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