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I’ve had an idea for a while to add Wi-Fi to my Classic Mac. I finally got around to putting it together and I think it turned out really well! I thought I’d post my experiences here for anybody interested. There was no hope of me building a PDS Wi-Fi card from scratch - but I already had a DaynaPort E/SI30 Ethernet card so I thought that I might be able to attach a Wi-Fi Bridge to the existing card via the RJ45 port. My first thought was an Arduino Yun board, which has both an Ethernet port and Wi-Fi built in – but they’re expensive, and to me it seemed overkill to use an entire Arduino/Linux solution for this. Instead, I found this Vonets VM300 Wi-Fi Module on eBay for $25 from China! At that price, I thought it was worth trying: Avocado for scale as I was out of bananas – it’s tiny! It might look daunting, but it’s very easy to set up – you plug in the Ethernet cable and connect to your Wi-Fi network via it’s inbuilt web interface: I did the initial setup on my Laptop and I was connected to my Wi-Fi network in no time. But when I tried connecting the module to my Mac, it just wouldn’t connect - all I got was a blinking link light: After a bit of web searching it became apparent that this is a common problem: modern Ethernet devices use auto-negotiate to detect the speed & duplex of the connection. The old Mac network cards pre-date this standard, so the router doesn’t detect the connection. The only way to correct the issue is to disable auto-negotiate on the router and explicitly set the connection to 10mbs / half-duplex. The issue is that virtually all modern routers don’t allow you to do this, and a first glance the Vonets VM300 was no exception - I couldn’t find any options to manually set the connection type. I thought all was lost and I’d just wasted $25… until I found the “Upgrade Firmware” button – and BOOM a new drop-down menu appeared! The instant I changed to 10mbs / half-duplex, the link light on the Mac went solid! A huge thanks to Vonets for adding this feature as obviously it’s a very niche requirement. My Mac was on the Wi-Fi! Now I just need to mount the Wi-Fi card inside my Mac to make things nice and clean. I bought a small sheet of aluminium from my local hobby shop, and I designed a basic template to cut it to size – I’ve attached the PDF template to this post. Cutting the aluminium was easy, just glue on the template and score the edges with a utility knife: Then clamp the aluminium to keep it flat, then bend the other side back and forth a few times until it snaps off cleanly. Next, I drilled some holes and bent the aluminium into a 90-degree bracket: I bought some 5mm spacers, 15mm M3 screws, bolts & washers from my local Jaycar Electronics (for the Aussies out there), and started assembling everything: Looks good and very sturdy! I then mounted the completed assembly into the Mac: I noticed that the Ethernet cable was precariously close to the CRT board, so I ended up angling up the bracket a few more degrees which worked a treat. The final problem to solve was power to the Wi-Fi card. The card comes with a USB power cable, which conveniently connects via an InLine DC connector (5V) – so I decided to build a replacement cable that would work in the Mac. I already have a SCSI2SD V6 card in my mac, which uses a 4-pin Mini-Molex connector for power - so I found this cable on eBay: Now I can power both the SCSI2SD and the Wi-Fi card. Funny story: I ordered this part on eBay and literally 15 minutes later my doorbell rang and a guy handed the part to me – weird! Molex connectors have both a 5v and 12v line in them, so I was very careful to only wire up the 5v line as otherwise my board would be fried. This was my finished cable: A soldering iron was required, and I insulated the 4-pin connector with a bit of hot glue. If you’re in Australia, the Jaycar part numbers are HM3414 for the 4-pin Mini-Molex, and PS0526 for the DC connector (it took me forever to find these!) I plugged everything in and powered up the Mac – the Link Light came on solid on the DaynaPort card, and the blue lights came on the Wi-Fi card – a quick check in the Open Transport control panel showed that I was on the network – success! I put the case back on, and I now have a Wi-Fi Mac. It works incredibly well – as soon as the machine boots up, it connects via DHCP to our home router and it’s on the network straight away Next Steps I’m a Software Dev, so I’m keen to write a System Extension to display a Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar to manage the connections – just like you would on a modern Mac. I believe that you can communicate with the Vonets module via Telnet to manage the Wi-Fi networks. I’m new to Classic Mac programming though (not a lot of demand haha) – so it will take me a while to brush up on my C skills!
Greetings, (this is my first post on 68kmla) I newly installed Mac Os 8 on my Mac IIci's 72gb external drive using resources patches and Wish i was(and not Born Again). Now it boots just fine and i find it significantly more stable than my old system 7.1 which was also somewhat stable. But what satisfies me the most is the fact that now i can access HFS+ file system. So i partitioned this large drive to get a large 69gb HFS+ storage drive and a 1gb HFS drive to boot Mac Os 8.1. What i am wondering now is about enhancing the responsiveness of the computer and the UI's speed: Will replacing the RAM SIMMs (two 4mb and six 2mb - 20mb) by eight 16mb SIMMs to have 128mb of RAM will do so, and is it worth it? I'm asking here for opinions because in the other hand -- if i don't get more ram, i would later (by the end of january) have the occasion to have a woking SE/30 or a Powerbook 150. I really am wondering what is the most worth it. I also put my IIci's configuration below: -Cache card on; -9gb Quantum internal drive w/ system 7.1 and 6.0.7 on it; -72gb HP external drive in an Optimac box; -20mb ram -8°24 GC -Asante ethernet card Thanks for replies