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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an Asus notebook model Z84J. It has the Asus provided wireless LAN card and the prescribed driver installed.

At two different homes of friends the wireless connection is not possible to make at a distance greater than a few feet from the signal source. Other laptops connect well far away in other rooms and even outside the house in one case. [I will not be using wireless at my own home. I am on dial-up and plan to do big downloads at the public library or these friends' places.]

The spec on my card says it will receive up to 30 meters, (approx. 100').

What are the possible causes of this poor performance? How should I proceed to make improvement?

Thanks, {redoak} :mad:
 

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My top suspect would be one or both of the antenna leads are damaged or just disconnected at the NIC. First step would be to remove the battery and open the door on the bottom that covers the wireless card, see if the antenna leads are properly connected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
"JW": Thanks for the reply and advice. I will check into that. I know how to access the "card," although I don't know what the antennas may look like. Can you give me a clue? Where on the "card" would they be located?

{redoak}

{redoak}
 

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Asus may have a picture in their user or maintenance manual (try their web site).

You won't see the antenna (it's along the sides of the screen) but you will recognize the lead(s), as there will be no other wires connected to the adapter. Or, in this case, maybe almost connected. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
TerryNet: Thanks for the info.

I must tell you and "JW" that I bought the adapter from the Asus on-line store just a few weeks ago. The laptop did not come with it installed. Before installing the adapter, I saw no trace of any wires! Could it be that Asus employs an adapter/"card" that has no antenna?

The item number is 04G033052000. The manufacturer is "Anatel," and there is the number 73XR04E67 printed prominently on a label. In the Device Manager there now is the new entry under "Network Adapters"- Intel PRO/Wireless 3945 ABG Network Connection. I also came across some where the words "Mini Card" where "Network Connection" appears in the Device Manager. It would appear that the Anatel device is seen as from Intel.

Other ID info: mfg. date = 10/20/06
TA: D26839-008
Made in China
MAC: 0018DEA1990C

I have done some "googling" for info but can't find anything using any of the printed info on the adapter. I will go to the Asus site as soon as I finish a few more daily site visits.

Your continued interest in my problem will be greatly appreciated.

{redoak}
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is a continuation of my earlier post this morning- see below.

I found this page at Asus Support:
http://support.asus.com/troubleshooting/troubleshooting.aspx?SLanguage=en-us

Would you explain in layman's terms steps #4 and #8. I believe all other steps are in order here, and these two may be, too. I just don't understand the tech jargon. I am especially concerned about #4, since I do not remember making such a change when going through the set-up procedure.

{redoak}
 

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When I go to that page I do not see any steps. Just the main trouble shooting page with "Choose a category to begin troubleshooting" and a bunch of pictures at the top.

Anyhow, either that laptop wasn't manufactured with the antenna (along the screen) to be used with the kind of card you bought, or else you did not find the antenna lead(s) (some have one connection, some two).
 

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That link tells me nothing, since it just points to a forum index.

I believe you have answered the question we were asking with your post in message #5. If you didn't connect any antenna leads to the mini-PCI wireless adapter, that's the problem! You're lucky it does anything at all, but the range will REALLY suck with no antennas! If this laptop had provisions for a wireless card to be installed, there will be one or more probably two very small coax connectors on short cables somewhere in the area of the card connector that must be connected.
 

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I have trouble finding anything useful on the Asus web site. Take a look at the Dell Inspiron 8600 Service Manual section for Mini PCI Card. It's not your computer and not your card, but it shows the antenna leads.
 

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Good picture Terry, that should convey the information. I'm sure that's the problem, the real question is if that laptop has the internal antenna to connect to the card!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Dear friends: I so much appreciate your attention, time and effort!

I am going to open the bottom of my laptop later today to be sure that there are no antenna leads. I'll be back tomorrow.

If there are no leads, I believe it is possible to construct/buy an "internal antenna." I have 'bookmarked' a Google page with many references:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...isions_inline&resnum=0&ct=broad-revision&cd=1

Will it be worth constructing/buying one of these "as a last resort?"

{redoak}
 

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Well, you could do that, or you could just buy a PCMCIA wireless card that will solve the problem. :) You could also buy a wireless bridge and connect it using the Ethernet connection, which would have much better range than most anything you'll do inside the laptop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yesterday I asked a friend to double check for "wires." He spotted very obscure, tiny, only 2.5" long wires that were taped down at the ends. It turns out these had miniature slip on terminals at the ends. Close looking with a magnifying glass at the end of the adapter/card revealed the mating terminals. I am not experienced in working with miniature equipment, so none of this caught my attention. At least I was wise enough to ask for a second person to look for the antenna wires.

Now I have a second problem! There appears to be a special procedure for making the "settings" for the Asus adapter/card. I have tried to find these instructions without success. I am going to contact the people from whom I bought the laptop thru an on-line purchase. Perhaps these very accommodating folks will be able to head me to the instructions. If you can help in this regard, I will be greatly appreciative.

The reason I say there has to be a special procedure is because in the "check list" for solving a connection problem at:
(http://support.asus.com/troubleshooting/troubleshooting.aspx?SLanguage=en-us), it says, “Make sure utilize ASUS powerful utility and disable Win XP Zero Configuration function.”

{redoak}
 

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Well, personally, I'd try WZC first and just install the drivers for that card but not their "ASUS powerful utility". Since WZC is standard, it's much easier for us to help you get that running. :)
 

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And if WZC doesn't work for you I'd suggest trying the Intel Proset utility next. Save the "ASUS powerful utility" for your third try.

Actually, you were already connecting as long as you were close enough to the router, so the first thing to do is just keep using whatever utility you have been using if you have no trouble with it.
 

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You're right Terry, I forgot my own words!

Don't fix stuff that ain't broke!©
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Again, I appreciate your advice and I will follow it.

I found this page using Google. Is this what I should do next?
http://www.occa.org/how-to-install-wireless-zero-configuration-in-windows-xp-4.html

Yes, I was able to connect to my friend's wireless system. The Asus driver is installed. Perhaps I should simply go back and see what improvement, if any, shows now that the antenna is connected to the adapter. I think that is what "TN" meant when you said, "so the first thing to do is just keep using whatever utility you have been using if you have no trouble with it." All we did is follow the "XP" standard procedure for setting up a laptop for wireless use and making the connection to a system.

"Utility" needs explaining, please.

Thanks, {redoak}
 

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"Utility" is the wireless management utility. If you followed the standard XP procedure for configuring a wireless connection, you're obviously using the Windows WZC wireless manager.

Now that you have the antennas connected, I'd just see if the range is better. My guess is you'll be happy with the result, since the card was obviously functional before with no antennas. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
When I tried to connect to my friend's wireless system, it came thru immediately. I was in his yard, some 150 feet from the location of his router which is in a second story room on the far side of the house!

I went indoors and made one test connection, which worked like a charm.

Thank you very much for your patience with this elder, and for the advice provided. As my 'sig' says, "Grateful for TSG!" :up:

{redoak} :)
 
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