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Wifi Catcher!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Dell' started by val23, Oct 17, 2007.

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  1. val23

    val23 Notebook Consultant

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    HEy,
    Has ANyone gotten their WIFI catcher to work? WHAT's supposed to happen when it is working?
    I've enabled it in QUICKSET already, but when my computer is OFF and I use it, All i get is ONE BLINK of a green light, and that's it. IT works when I'm my computer is ON (when im in vista)... but doesn't work when it's off. Is it defective? I'm using the DELL broadband card (not the wirless N one), just the b/g one.

    Please help.
     
  2. Zigby

    Zigby Notebook Guru

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    I'll be following this thread....

    The point of the WiFi catcher is to allow you to quickly tell if there's a WiFi network around without powering up the laptop. AFAIK, it's just a simple blink-if-present sort of thing.

    I tried the catcher on Monday when I received the laptop, and it worked just fine. With the 1520 off, it blinked when I pulled the switch forward, indicating that there is a Wifi signal, as it should. Then I tried it again this morning and lo-and-behold, no blinks. It doesn't do anything now. Wifi is working fine on the laptop and in my home, and the only difference is that I went through a whole slew of windows updates over the past few days.

    Not sure why it just quit on me. It's not a big deal as I'd rarely use the feature anyway, but it kind of sucks that it just quit on me. I'll have to tinker with drivers and BIOS settings tonight and see if I can get it working again.
     
  3. vostro1400user

    vostro1400user Notebook Deity

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  4. Hiker

    Hiker Notebook Deity

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    So, I take it they're coming built into the laptops now? Good idea. I got a Iogear Wifi hotspot finder I use quite a bit before I pull out my laptop.
     
  5. Hiker

    Hiker Notebook Deity

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    From a search that led to the Dell website...

    Dell™ Wi-Fi Catcher™ Network Locator

    The wireless switch on your Dell computer uses the Dell Wi-Fi Catcher™ Network Locator to scan specifically for WiFi wireless local area networks (LAN) in your vicinity.
    NOTE: For more information about the wireless switch, see wireless switch.

    To scan for WiFi wireless LAN, slide and hold the switch in the "momentary" position for a few seconds. The Wi-Fi Catcher Network Locator functions regardless of whether your computer is turned on or off, in hibernate mode, or in standby mode, as long as the switch is configured through QuickSet or the BIOS (system setup program) to control WiFi network connections.

    Because the Wi-Fi Catcher Network Locator is disabled and not configured for use when your computer is shipped to you, you must first use Dell QuickSet to enable and configure the switch to control WiFi network connections.

    For more information on the Wi-Fi Catcher Network Locator and to enable the feature through QuickSet, see the Dell QuickSet Help. To access the Help file, right-click the icon in the taskbar.
     
  6. Zigby

    Zigby Notebook Guru

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    I don't believe this is correct. I tried the catcher before I even powered the laptop on for the first time. It worked as expected. I have a WiFi network (WPA) in my home and can also detect a couple of the neighbors AP's too. The catcher LED blinked a couple of times when I pressed the switch, and no fans.

    Now, two days later, it doesn't work. Sleep,Hibernate, or totally off, plugged in or on battery, I get no green light. No blinks, no fans, no nothing. WiFi works perfectly when it's powered up. The only differences are that now the notebook has been used on a WiFi network, Vista downloaded and installed a couple dozen updates, I've disabled UAC, and installed a handful of applications (Office, Picasa, antivirus, etc). One (or several) of those things changed something in the configuration.
     
  7. Devedander

    Devedander Notebook Evangelist

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    I have intermittant use of my wifi cather both in windows and while shut off...

    Sometimes in windows it brings up that network display box but sometimes it doesn't. I get the feeling it tends to be after resuming from a low power state but haven't really tested it much... not sure how much I will be using it but I am rather unhappy with how unreliable it seems to be.

    Seems odd to me that any windows setting or software could effect how it works in hybernation or sleep mode...
     
  8. Zigby

    Zigby Notebook Guru

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    Amen to that. It seems to me that the button should do nothing more than what a $20 keychain WiFi finder does. It should be entirely hardware based, and OS changes should not have any affect on it what-so-ever.

    It is totally bizarre that power states, administrator-account shutdowns, and Vista drivers seem to alter the functonality of that button when the notebook is powered down. :rolleyes:
     
  9. SoMuch2S@y

    SoMuch2S@y Notebook Consultant

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    My WiFi catcher has worked flawlessly since the day I received my lappy. It works when I have a low battery, in all modes of power state and even after I disabled UAC.
     
  10. billcsho

    billcsho Notebook Deity

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    If you think that brief blink is how the WiFi catcher supposed to work, I am sorry to say you are wrong. The WiFi catcher should show a green light for good signal and yellow for weaker signal that sustains for quite a few seconds. My Vostro has gone through from the non-working blink (sometimes not even blink), to working after administrator shut down, to finally fully functional in over a month. When it was not working, the tech support told me to re-install the WiFi driver and Quickset. Then I got it to work only after shutting down from administrator account. It stayed that way for around 3 weeks with multiple test. More than a week ago, I have re-installed the chipset driver, Notebook System Software, etc. Then I suddenly found it is now working when it is hibernated or power off in any condition.

    Log-on using the real administrator account would create an extra token and that may affect the pre-boot status in certain security setting. That may affect the function of the WiFi catcher under certain condition.
     
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