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Six wi-fi cards in one machine? Isn't it too much?

Posted: Wed May 25, 2005 5:21 pm
by kapusta_kiszona
I want to setup a PC Access Point (no routing) with Intel 865GBL board and Celeron 2.0, 256 RAM. The 2 cards will be Planet 8310 with Atheros working in b/g mode, 2 or thre wil be miniPCI Atheros 5213 working as a 5ghz bridge or multibridge. One or two will be Senao with Prism 2,5.

I have six PCI slots and I plan to put there six wifi cards.
Isn't it too much?
Should I turn off a COM, sound and ewerything unused to free IRQ?
Is it needed to set manually one IRQ for one PCI port?

Maybe it's better idea to use three integrated boards instead of one PC?

Posted: Wed May 25, 2005 7:26 pm
by wildbill442
scratch this... I replied to wrong post :)

Posted: Wed May 25, 2005 8:01 pm
by djape
Well, 5 PCI atheros for more than 6 months without problems :)
One ap-bridge, and 4 stations for dedicated links ;) PIII 600Mhz and 256mb ram.
So, give it a try.
Leave everything default, don't mess with BIOS.
And for god sake, forget wraps, they only bring trouble....

Posted: Thu May 26, 2005 12:00 am
by mip
well, I say you'd better turn of all thing you dont need. Com, parallel, sonud, usb, and assign irq to vga options. I have 5 wireless pci cards and one isa wired ethernet in a box. It works well, and have no problem with irqs.
Try and report.

Posted: Sat Jun 04, 2005 12:47 am
by stephenpatrick
... or nice passively cooled outdoor grade high speed computers ...

Posted: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:18 pm
by rickard
Stephen: Do you have a god solution about the cooling ?? im trying to use Heatpipes and passive coolers , i have even tryed Solide state cooler
but it still works best with Fans :-) and a metall box.

se my pictures :


Posted: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:36 pm
by stephenpatrick
Well, I wouldn't claim to have a "god solution", but I do have some good ones ... :wink:

There is a big challenge here for ~1GHz CPU systems. Sticking a regular MB in a case generates many heat problems - if you vent the case, sure you can get the heat out, but lets moisture in - only a few climates are favourable for that.

We spent a lot of time and effort on this problem, and came up with a "mini range" of solutions which aspire to be true telecom grade outdoor routers. In all of them, the CPU/cooling system/case become an integral assembly.
Sadly, none of them are cheap, so anyone on a tight budget, look elsewhere.

In our laser systems, we use peltier coolers to protect otherwise-fragile lasers from extreme temperatures - which is excellent, but that's not exactly the same as removing 20W from a Pentium M (and 100W Pentium 4 - forget it!). Getting ~20W from the case is a different game, and a mix of active/passive solutions seem to be required.

Do send me a mail offline if you want to discuss. Put 'stephen.patrick' instead of 'info' in the address below -


Posted: Sat Jun 04, 2005 8:16 pm
by DirectWireless
For cooling I've thought about using a metal box and basically channel outside air only across the heatsink (and maybe powerpack) using fans, and keep the rest of the box sealed... Maybe mount heatsinks outside the pipe itself so the pipe itself can absorb heat from the box...

Maybe like a 3" pipe going from side to side inside of the NEMA box, with a 3" electric fan on the end if it to channel outside air across the heatsink... I don't know if sending 100 degree air in the summers across a P4 heatsink would help though, even with a huge heatsink on it.. And if you're not putting in a P4 you might as well use a C3 based solution which heat isn't as much of an issue...

Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 11:09 am
by xandor
You can use cooling to water in association with PADOC (Power and Data Over Cable) system. In this way you solve heat problem and you use only one coax cable for data (over 100Mbps full duplex) and power (120W), consider that coax cable preserve also from radio interferences.


Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 11:17 am
by stephenpatrick
The problem with water cooling is that you have to top up the water regularly. A shame, as liquid cooling has some excellent potential.
It's already used in PCs for "gaming" use where people over-clock the CPUs and you need to get rid of a lot of heat.

Regarding the "ducted air" concept, we did think that one through, it's potentially excellent - divide the box in two halves, make one waterproof with the CPU in it, and all the "hot" bits connected to heatsink bulkhead connecting to the other half, which has fans ducting "outside" air over the heatsink. The only problem then is weather-proof fans, normal internal grade ones would fall apart pretty quick. Anyone tried this?

P4=bad news, 100W to get rid of - cheap though. C3=excellent, but almost all the BIOS/MBs "lock up" at high speed with EPIA. Pentium M = excellent but $.
There are some interesting new CPUs coming out, NX and LX from AMD. And VIA just announced C7, a "Pentium M beater" which might prove to be the best medium-term ...


Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 2:15 am
by rickard
I will try soon as possible to use air to air heat exchanger with 2 fans.
then the box will be air tight. The Telco peopel use that in thier boxes...

Im using in my new test box a mobil cpu with 1.5 Ghz and a MB with Mini pci and flash socket. and 10/100/1000 Lan . and the best of all DC 12-19 Volt in :-) no ATX. it running the MT 2.9 RC5 werry god.
the power supply is a standard laptop 70 w unit.

Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 10:54 am
by stephenpatrick
That sounds a good solution, if you have complete sealing between the "CPU compartment" and the "cooling duct" where the air goes through -
Am sure we'd all like to hear how you get on.
Measure degrees rise of CPU vs. ambient with the fans off vs. on


Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 8:34 pm
by variable
anyone tried "heatpipe" technology, alot of new expensive cpu heatsink have a copper tube filled with a liquid , and the liquid evaporates from the bottom, rises, loses heat, and then falls back to do it all over again.?

Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 10:14 pm
by stephenpatrick
Yes, I have.
It works though is not cheap (why, I'm not sure - perhaps it's still a specialised low-volume technology).
(BTW I seem to have found good<>cheap on making high speed routers work cool - :( )

However, the heatpipe has a "themal resistance" so even if you have a huge heatsink outside the box, the CPU runs hotter than the heatsink - there is quite a gradient down the pipe. Some "active plus passive" with solid state heatpumps is one solution here.

Also there are many sources of heat on a motherboard - Northbridge, Southbridge, Ethernet (if that's separate), Graphics, power regulators, all sorts of other stuff most of which you can't disable (well, without a scalpel or soldering iron :wink: ) and it's not very feasible to heatsink the whole lot. BTW CM9's (and CM6, EM9) run pretty hot too.

And it all depends what climate you want it to work - Northern Europe, can be fine if properly built - but put it in Southern California or the Middle East though and you need something a bit better ....