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Original Airport WPA compatible APs?

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#1 TarableCode

  • 6502
  • LocationToronto, Ontario

Posted 21 March 2017 - 12:53 AM

Is there a list of known working chipsets or somesuch?

I've had no luck getting the Airport card in my clamshell to connect to a home router and a TP-Link travel router, both say the password is incorrect.


That being said it appears the Airport firmware is up to date as well as my OSX 10.4.11 installation.

WEP Works fine but... lol.


Whenever my Raspberry Pi Zero W comes I'll see if it'll connect to that but I'm not getting my hopes up.

#2 Macdrone

  • 68020
  • LocationKelso, Wa

Posted 21 March 2017 - 01:40 AM

my clamshells airport wont work with anything but old apple base stations.  Even with no security my airport extremes wont let it connect.  Its why I keep an old grey saucer airport around to save on the hassle, considering it actually has the card fro that eras macs in it compatibility is a non issue.

Lots O' Macs, but now thinning the lots.

#3 TarableCode

  • 6502
  • LocationToronto, Ontario

Posted 21 March 2017 - 03:32 AM

Yeah, I've heard some people say it works and other people say it doesn't, and some even say it works but only on certain routers.

I'm hoping it'll associate with the Raspberry Pi, the general idea is that I can just attach it to the powerbank I have and leave it in my purse for true wireless goodness whenever and wherever.


Failing that HoRNDIS works on Tiger so there's always that route, it's just a shame to waste that airport card.

#4 Gorgonops

  • Moderators

Posted 21 March 2017 - 04:05 AM

To work with WPA as implemented on the original Airport cards (under OS X, obviously, the classic OS had no WPA support at all) the access point needs to support the transitional TKIP link-layer security mechanism:


TKIP was designed to work with the flawed RC4 encryption hardware in WEP-targeted cards and was always intended to be a stopgap solution, so many/most routers today either don't support it at all or make you intentionally enable it. All I can suggest is digging around in the settings for your router and see if there is a checkbox you can click to enable TKIP/"WPA1" compatability.

#5 johnklos

  • 68000
  • LocationEarth

Posted 21 March 2017 - 03:16 PM

Some USB-wireless devices with Ralink chipsets can be used on OS X 10.4 (Tiger) and support WPA2. In general they're more of a pain because you have to run the software and re-associate after each reboot (most of the time), and there's more overhead, plus you're probably limited to 8 Mbps because it's USB 1, but it's an option I've used with my tray loading iMac.


Interestingly, WPA can be implemented entirely in software so long as the driver for the wireless card allows it, so an intrepid programmer could take WPA support from NetBSD and bring it in to OS X. More information about wpa_supplicant:




I've actually connected to modern networks using WPA2 over an Orinoco WaveLAN Bronze which doesn't even support WEP directly.

#6 TarableCode

  • 6502
  • LocationToronto, Ontario

Posted 21 March 2017 - 06:38 PM

I've been fiddling with this a bit and it appears hostapd or the wlan driver or whatever is not communicating properly.


I get the normal debug output showing a device connecting and such but then hostapd says:

WPA: sending 1/4 msg of 4-Way Handshake

WPA: EAPOL-Key timeout



WPA: PTKSTART: Retry limit 4 reached


And then it stops trying to associate and the iBook will come up with the invalid password message.

I'm still looking into these logs but so far I'm not having much luck.


Interestingly enough I have used a Ralink USB adapter in the past and it did work but it was slower and needing to use it's own

UI was kind of a pain which is why I've been fiddling with Airport.

#7 Gorgonops

  • Moderators

Posted 21 March 2017 - 07:10 PM

Here is a support page for a random TP-Link router on the topic of configuring WPA-PSK:


Does your router have the option to change "Encryption" from AES to TKIP, and have you tried that?

#8 TarableCode

  • 6502
  • LocationToronto, Ontario

Posted 21 March 2017 - 07:14 PM

I've got it working O_O

Set eapol_version to 1 in your hostapd conf.

Edited by TarableCode, 21 March 2017 - 07:14 PM.

#9 Gorgonops

  • Moderators

Posted 21 March 2017 - 07:29 PM

Set eapol_version to 1 in your hostapd conf.

Assuming you're talking about in the Raspberry Pi? Setting that essentially forces WPA1 and the default cipher for WPA1 is TKIP. So, yeah, that should do it for you.

#10 TarableCode

  • 6502
  • LocationToronto, Ontario

Posted 21 March 2017 - 07:32 PM

I actually installed LEDE on my travel router and it seems to be working fine now, at least association wise until I fumble through all the configuration.

I'm hoping this works for other people as well since I've read numerous posts where they eventually gave up.

#11 bibilit

  • 68000
  • LocationParis area -FRANCE-

Posted 23 March 2017 - 10:45 AM





 To achieve this result, you should upgrade to Airport 4.2 under Panther (10.3 and above) I will advise which cards are working that way. 

Edited by bibilit, 23 March 2017 - 10:46 AM.

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#12 FacnyFreddy

  • 6502

Posted 31 March 2017 - 03:34 AM

You need to have AES+TKIP for WPA (or WPA/WPA2 mixed) enabled on our access point.


It is also required to have BG or BGN (mixed) on 2.4GHz, as this is how I got mine work on my Linksys and Netgear routers.


DD-WRT has these setting as well, so a cheapie TP-Link or other router should work fine. (disable NAT and firewalls if you have another router providing DHCP and filtering).


I keep my 802.11b AP "hidden" and use standard 64bit WEP for local toys.

#13 TarableCode

  • 6502
  • LocationToronto, Ontario

Posted 31 March 2017 - 02:37 PM

I'd be weary of having a WEP access point even if hidden, but maybe that's just me being paranoid :)

AFAIK Airport should connect to any AP you can force eapol_version to 1 in hostapd, or, at least that's how it works with my travel router.


That being said I'm looking into using a Raspberry Pi Zero W as a wifi adapter by using it's OTG ethernet gadget interface and the results are promising.

The downside being that HoRNDIS needs Tiger, but I'm wondering if the serial gadget has drivers for MacOS 9 so I could run pppd on the Pi and get internet access that way.


Neat stuff to eff around with imho.

#14 CC_333

  • 68LC040

Posted 27 April 2017 - 03:21 PM

I'm out in the "Country" (10 miles from the closest town), and I don't bother securing my network.


I did for awhile when we had lousy neighbors who would stop at nothing to make us miserable (tapping into our open network and hogging all the bandwidth, for example; after I secured it, it suddenly got faster).


But they're gone now, and nobody else around here cares (petty crimes like people parking on the road and hacking into stuff are virtually nonexistent here), so I opened it back up so I can connect anything and everything to it without any difficulty.



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#15 Unknown_K

  • 68LC040
  • LocationOhio/USA

Posted 28 April 2017 - 03:58 AM

I use an old Linksys wireless B router as an access point once in a while when I have an old laptop that can do anything better. I wish some hobbyist would come up with a WPA hack for mac OS 9.x using a USB dongle.
Favorites: big box Mac IIs, 950, 800's
Wanted: Anything Nubus, Video capture and editing hardware and software for 68k mac. Original software including A/UX.
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#16 FacnyFreddy

  • 6502

Posted 28 April 2017 - 01:20 PM

TP-Link dual band (N600) routers are horrible for mixed band performance. DD-WRT is NOT good at providing stable 5GHz connections with factory or aftermarket antenna on these things.


They are great for the mixed BGN and enabling older WPA, but, I do not look to these for a performance router.


I yanked my pair out of the house network last year and now just run a pair of ASUS units and they perform flawlessly. 



I still keep my legacy AEBS in my basement hidden in the false ceiling space and "hidden". Yeah, it only uses 40bit WEP but older toys sometimes like that better.

What is also nice is that I have an extra long antenna for it so that 802.11b/802.11g in the house works perfectly.

#17 Strimkind

  • 6502
  • LocationKelowna, BC

Posted 25 May 2017 - 05:31 AM

I found this as a nice flashback back when I had previous experiences with this issue involving AP cards, and newerish routers.  What I remember doing is for any router where it cannot auto detect, you need to set to 'long preamble' in your router settings.  Keep in mind I did not use much in the way of encryption back when I employed this connection method.


Reference: https://community.ne...ort/td-p/481159



Long Preamble:

  • Compatible with legacy IEEE* 802.11 systems operating at 1 and 2 Mbps (Megabits per second)
  • PLCP with long preamble is transmitted at 1 Mbps regardless of transmit rate of data frames
  • Total Long Preamble transfer time is a constant at 192 usec (microseconds)
Short Preamble:
  • Not compatible with legacy IEEE 802.11 systems operating at 1 and 2 Mbps
  • PLCP with short preamble: Preamble is transmitted at 1 Mbps and header at 2 Mbps
  • Total Short Preamble transfer time is a constant at 96 usec (microseconds)

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