Jump to content
Welcome to InsanelyMac Forum

Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to contribute to this site by submitting your own content or replying to existing content. You'll be able to customize your profile, receive reputation points as a reward for submitting content, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox, plus much more! This message will be removed once you have signed in.


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About NessLookAlike

  • Rank
    InsanelyMac Protégé
  1. WiFi + 3G Mini PCI-Express Card in Macbook Air?

    More possibilities for an internal 3G (or LTE?) capability as opposed to some complex solution that involves soldering, this time without WiFi. Still looking around for more. If I was to take out my Airport/Bluetooth Mini PCI-Express card and swap and of these in it, would it work just like how it does on my PC -- search for specific drivers, then if none found install generic and functional drivers? I haven't swapped out too many parts on Mac machines before, my knowledge-base is more established with Windows machines. EDIT: Of course I would be dual-booting between OSX and Windows 7. In Windows I'm sure I would have no problems using the 3G+WiFi card (they're all listed as having Windows/Linux drivers on the mfg sites) but I'd prefer a solution that would let me have connectivity in OSX as well. My ultimate goal would be to use an AT&T SIM card with an unlimited data plan with my Macbook Air so that I could have connectivity (and GPS? WiFi?) on the go. Sounds like how it should already be to me. EDIT2: See iFixIt's teardown of the most recent 11" Macbook Air model and note the Mini PCI-Express form factor of the wireless card. EDIT3: Oh, look at that. An updated model -- the GTM671W -- from the company "Option" with 802.11n support and supported for 3G/4G speeds. Delicious. According to the datasheets, there is driver support for Windows 7, Vista, XP, Linux, Windows Mobile and Android? Anybody willing to take one for the team and give this thing a whirl? EDIT4: Found a polish site trying to sell the card with a few tidbits about the GTM671W: Sounds like it probably has generic drivers that are installed automatically, and its going to need some kind of SIM card reader. The wireless card itself is only half the size of a regular Mini PCI-Express card, so I suppose that a SIM card reader could be soldered together and placed next to the GTM671W in the space left over? This is really starting to sound like a viable solution to having WiFi+3G+GPS in the Air..
  2. So it dawned on me earlier today that I would love to have a Macbook Air with an internal 3G modem -- preferably AT&T as I have excellent signal strength at my home with them -- so I searched around on Google for a while and came upon the several-years-old article about the guy who shared the steps he took to mod an EVDO modem into his Air at the cost of removing the Airport+Bluetooth Mini PCI-Express card (his project shown here for reference). The whole setup worked well enough (albeit at a ~20-25% signal loss once the Air was closed up) but it made me think, why not find a Mini PCI-Express card capable of something similar to swap with the current wireless card which would at least retain WiFi connectivity? So I searched around for a while and stumbled across: "Option™ GTM679W 4G EV-DO RevA with GPS + Wi-Fi Half-Size PCIe Minicard / Global Bands" http://www.embeddedworks.net/pdetail.php?m...mp;prod=wwan239 Data Sheet: http://www.embeddedworks.net/ewdatasheets/...EW-Gobi3000.pdf This is a unique WWAN/WiFi/GPS Mini PCI-Express card that weighs in at $130. The description from the site: What you see in the picture is just one part. It features WWAN connectivity (GSM/GPRS/EDGE + UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA + 1xRTT/EV-DO RevA, 850/900/1800/1900 MHz), as well as 802.11g WiFi and GPS. 802.11n would have been nice but maybe there's a card out there that does it all that I just haven't found yet? The data sheet mentions that the WWAN portion of the card has some kind of SIM-card interface, so it seems as though with the proper configuration one could connect an AT&T SIM (from an iPhone? an iPad? possibly with a micro-SIM to regular-SIM adapter?) or any other supported carrier SIM card and enjoy 3G + WiFi + GPS on the Air, without having to break out the soldering gun. My only concern would be antenna placement and tuning: AFAIK the current Air models have a 2.4GHz-tuned antenna which would work with the WiFi card fine, but for the modem and GPS to work additional antennas would need to be placed somewhere in the Air.. and I've seen teardown pics, there isn't all the much space to play with, even for just wire placement, and I'm not really in-the-know when it comes to figuring things like best possible antenna configuration and how to minimize radio interference, etc. Am I overlooking something obvious here? If this was possible and dead-easy, I'm sure others would have done a simple swap by now. Or is this as easy as swap-and-play? I've come out of the woodwork just to find what others think.