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Using Linksys 802.11N Dual-Band PCMCIA card in OS X
(Used w/PCMCIA to PCI adapter card in G5 Tower)

Posted: June 9th, 2010

(from a reader mail)

Hi, Mike! This is my second Wi-Fi 802.11N Report. Now I have a full dual-band wireless card in a PowerMac G5. The Linksys WPC600N PCMCIA card is based on a Broadcom Dual-Band Intensify chip with support for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. (Apple uses Broadcom-based N wireless cards for many of their OEM "Airport" cards)
Here is the Card:

pcmcia card

It is installed in Startech's PCMCIA to PCI controller. TI1520 Chip on-board is fully supported by Mac OS X (Panther-Leopard).

Adapter Card

On first boot after install it was completely recognized out of the box:

AP card info

Screenshot from Apple System Profiler PCI card info:

ASP info

Additional info from AirPort Menubar (showing connection to 5GHz Airport network):

Airport Menu

From Network Utility:


So, it works fully only in Mac OS X 10.4.7 Server (Universal Binary) and any OS X Leopard.
But it is recognized as a Third Party Card, so there is no additional info (i.e. Broadcom firmware and Country info) and several functions from the AirPort drivers such as creating a 5 GHz Network are not possible with 3rd party mode.
So I rebranded the Linksys card with Prasys's method in Linux via b43-tools and fw-cutter to match this card (subsystem IDs for product and vendor) to the same as a genuine Apple AirPort card.
(Ref: http://prasys.co.cc/2009/12/rebranding-broadcom-802-11abgn-cards-as-airport/)
-Viktor D.

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