Built-in Wireless Advanced Mods

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by mnementh, Feb 4, 2008.

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  1. mnementh

    mnementh Crusty Ol' TinkerDwagon

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    I've looked all over for the thread where we talked about switching the built-in wireless and/or GPS using the RIM/CDPD control panel in the base of the handle, so I'm just gonna make a new thread for it here.

    Somewhere I suggested using a two-transistor latch circuit to turn on/off a signal line using the momentary-contact switch on that little panel; but we still need to find a control circuit for the wireless or GPS. Well, a search for something else found me this:

    http://madwifi.org/wiki/UserDocs/MiniPCI

    It appears that to disable the WiFi, they drive pin 13 HI (+3.3V/+5V?); this would make it relatively easy to switch on/off the WiFi. Also, by biasing the LED across the output of the second transistor to B+, it would make the LED illuminate when the latch circuit was driven LO.

    This brings another point to mind; I suspect it's possible that other Mini-PCI cards operate the same way & that by ticking the DISABLE Serial B or LAN box in the BIOS, it drives that pin HI on one or the other of the Mini-PCI slots. I'm going to look into it when I can spare a few; I have a pretty full day scheduled on Monday.

    mnem
    Marcus... No, you are not allowed to eat your own fist...
     
  2. mnementh

    mnementh Crusty Ol' TinkerDwagon

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    Okay... after playing around in the BIOS for a bit, it appears the tickbox for Serial B is not for any physical port that is readily available on the laptop; probably for a second serial on a docking station. It does NOT drive pin 13 HI on either mini-pci slot. Closer examination of the Ethernet & MODEM cards reveal they don't even HAVE a pin 13 on either card. I'm sure most of you guys are aware that removing the Ethernet card & replacing it with the wireless card removes the LAN DISABLE tickbox in BIOS; and of course, the wireless card works just fine there as well.

    So, it looks like we're stuck with either a hardware fix by isolating & driving pin 13 HI with an auxiliary circuit, or perhaps since they have support in LINUX for disabling the wireless at the command line interface, there might be similar command structure for the Windows CLI.
    The latter would obviously be easier to realize, as if possible a simple script could do the work for you; but this would not make that kewl little control panel work.

    mnem
    "Fire good, tree bad..." <~~~ That's the level I'm functioning at this morning.
     
  3. Toughbook

    Toughbook Drop and Give Me 20!

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    I have a bunch of the little on/off switches for the RIM devices if you want them to play around with!
     
  4. klboo

    klboo Notebook Evangelist

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    Looking at some of the diagrams in the repair manual (thanks again Modly), there is a Serial B shown pointing/connecting to the port replicator.

    Another diagram indicates 'wireless modem/serial C' and 'GPS/serial D'. I guess Serial D is CN40?

    Not sure is this is useful for what you are doing.
     
  5. mnementh

    mnementh Crusty Ol' TinkerDwagon

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    TB -

    U mean the little membrane keypad on the handle base?
    SURE! It would really help to have one I can dissect to trace out the schematic... of course, I'd been thinking about that, but I don't yet have one to sacrifice to that end...

    mnem
    LED switches? How can you have LED without the ZEPPELIN?
     
  6. Toughbook

    Toughbook Drop and Give Me 20!

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    mnem.... PM me you address and I'll send you 4-5 of them... I wanted to try to have it be able to contorl the power to the GPS. I guess I probably could if I played round with it but I've got too much other stuff to do.
     
  7. tb4me

    tb4me Notebook Geek

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    I was kind of having a thought about a switch for the GPS. If I remember correctly I think Gravitar figured out that [fn]+tab switches the power to the hidden pcmcia slot. I'm not skilled enough to do the tracing on a schematic, or even know what voltage that that circuit is running (the pcmcia) on, but, given the proximity of that slot to the cn40, would it be possible to swap the source of power from one to the other. So, feed the pcmcia with the power that goes to the GPS as it stands, and steal the power from the pcmcia to power the GPS? Thereby providing a switch for the GPS, and having a permanently powered pcmcia slot.

    Along the same lines, has anyone poked around with other [fn]+?? keys while monitoring the supply line to the board? Seems like if Pana.... put a key combination switch for one add-on that they might have done the same for another.

    Anyway, just a thought.
     
  8. klboo

    klboo Notebook Evangelist

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    It seems like mnementh must be on the right track, provided the lines can be traced. The SB300 modem card is switched by that front panel, so power must go through that to the card. There are two 5v lines indicated into the card schematic on the daughter board - on pins 23&24, so the switch must control power to those some way.
    [
    http://toughbook.wikispaces.com/space/showimage/sierrawireless-sb300-2110049.pdf
    ]
    There are 8 pins on CN300, the front panel switch connector. 1&8 do not go anywhere on the ribbon, 2&3 combine (or split if they are going out [twin 5v lines?]), which leaves 4 more pins for a switch and 3 status LEDS.

    Edit - It looks like 6&7 are grounds(?).

    Now, what do they do?
     
  9. klboo

    klboo Notebook Evangelist

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    Depressing the switch on the front panel appears to make a momentary connection between pin 4 and 2&3.

    Can't see anything yet for 5, but must have something to do with the status lights.:confused:

    (Hope I am getting this right...:eek: )
     
  10. gravitar

    gravitar Notebook Deity

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    I was lighting the little lights up the other day, i'll have to ring it out and write it down.
     
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