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Old 11-25-2004, 06:48 PM   #1
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Aironet 350 kills Fedora Core 2

I've got a Dell box running Fedora Core 2 with an Aironet 350 PCI client card installed in it. With the PCI card out the system boots fine and I have access to my wired network, but when I install the PCI card and restart it refuses to bring up eth0, or eth1. Using a minimal (non GUI install) the boot process will finish and give me a login prompt but I still can't access either the onboard ethernet or the Wifi card. Ifconfig just reports the local loop. With a GUI install the system boots fine with the card out, but hangs with the card in, right after all the pass/fail reports finish. With either install kudzu responds with the correct detection information, and lists the correct card type. One thing that I find interesting is that on startup the Aironet's yellow indicator led stays on steady until kudzu finishes it's run and then I get a fast flashing green and an occasionally rapid flashing yellow. I've gone to Cisco's site looking for documentation on the leds, but can't seem to find it anywhere. Any help would be much appreciated.

The whole story (for anybody that's interested):

I'd been looking for a new hobby for a while, and after accidently connecting to my neighbors access point with my Powerbook (and subsequently playing around with kismac) I thought it would be interesting to build a big ear and see what I could hear, so to speak. I'd read about war driving but a large, sensitive, stationary (but pointable) system was more interesting to me at the time. The plan was to keep the signals as strong as possible, which meant keeping the radio as close to the feed as possible, thus hanging a headless Linux box off the back of the biggest parabolic dish I could reasonably use indoors, and then accessing that box via ethernet seemed like a good idea. So I now have a 1.2 meter satellite dish sporting a homebuilt quarter-wave bi-quad feed, hooked via LMR-400 microwave coax into the afore mentioned Aironet card, installed in the afore mentioned dell, which counterbalances the dish, all of which is mounted on a custom built aluminum chassis, which in turn bolted onto a heavy duty tripod which sits in the southeast corner of my loft overlooking downtown. It's a hell of a conversation piece, which would be even more impressive if it actually freaking did something. And that is as they say, the crux. I've never used Linux before in my life so this is the hard part for me. For the last three days the "Satbox" as I call it has been sitting under my desk hooked into the monitor for my desktop system, while the now un-counterbalanced dish sits across the room looking like a sad wilted flower. It's heartbreaking, really... So the sooner I figure out this little conflict, the happier I'll be.

I realize that's probably already too much information for most people, but if there's anything else that I might have left out, please don't hesitate to ask.

Old 11-25-2004, 07:30 PM   #2
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I use the pcmcia version of that card. There are issues with particular firmware versions and Linux which I imagine might cause the problems you're seeing. Try searching on the kismet forums ( for 'cisco' and 'firmware' to find out what the right version is, then flash the card (this is probably easiest done from Windows, unfortunately). As I said I use the pcmcia version, so this *might* not apply.

As for the LEDs, normal operation (in Managed mode) is flashing steady green, and a flashing, sort of vibrating orange (probably what you're describing). While the card's being initialised the green light stays on (as does the orange one, if I remember correctly). In rfmon mode (wardriving mode), the green light flashes, and the orange light only comes on when the card picks up traffic. Again, this is for the cardbus card.

You might want to install Fedora with the card out, then plug it in later, and tell kudzu to ignore the new hardware. If you're wardriving, you'll have to use iwconfig to put the card into rfmon mode anyway, so it's probably not a good idea to let kudzu try to set it up for you. You can insert the driver using modprobe yourself.

Hope that made sense.


P.S. I've got a couple of scripts which configure my machine for wardriving which might make your life a bit easier...


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