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Enterasys Roamabout PCMCIA Cards

The Enterasys cards are common as mud at the moment, as there has been a flood of them obtained through bulk orders. They are actually rebadged Lucent Orinoco Silvers with external antenna connectors.


Manufacturer: Enterasys
Model: Roamabout PCMCIA Cards
Type: PCMCIA Card
External Antenna Jack: MCCardConnector
Chipset: Hermes
Power: 30mW
Recieve Sensitivity:
Drivers URL: External linkDrivers
Available New: Yes
Average Price: New - ?? Secondhand - ~$100 Liquidated stock - $60
Vitals last updated: 21st July 2002

Notes from Enterasys


Enterasys Roamabout

Operating Systems


These cards are supported by the built in orinoco_cs.o driver that comes in 2.4 series kernels (possibly 2.4.5 and later). This driver is by External linkDavid Gibson and is also described on the External linkLinux WLAN page

Make sure you External linkupgrade to a more recent version of orinoco_cs, as the included version is 0.09 or older, and is very buggy.

There is an experimental patch to enable AP mode support for the orinoco_cs 0.13b driver External linkhere. You'll have to load a new Tertiary firmware on your card for this to have any chance at working.


Well my flatmate just stuck it in a Win2K laptop and it just worked... but he had previously installed a Compaq card, I don't know if that complicated matters?

Another report: Bog standard fresh install of W2k on a lappy with service pack 3 picked it up no worries, Netstumbler was able to use it.

Anther reports working cards in Win95 laptop, using drivers from the Enterasys website.

There are issues on some laptops running Win98 - where the Enterasys client utility will alternate between saying it can see the card, and can't see the card, at approx 1 second intervals.

Works fine on ME, in the PCI-riser.

Windows CE

Yes, this card works with Windows CE. I have tested it using a CompactFlash to PCMCIA adapter on my iPAQ.
email Zeigerpuppy for more info

Mac OS 7/8/9

You can use the External linkOrinoco drivers (same chipset). Fully supported for 8.6 through 9.2, but ruomor has it they will also work in 7.5.x and up. You may need to flash the card with Orinoco firmware. Or not.

Mac OS X

External linkDrivers here, but have not yet implemented 100% of the features.


(it's basically the same driver on all three, but here's the specific manual
pages for each)
External linkOpenBSD
External linkNetBSD
External linkFreeBSD
see also the specific cases page for troubleshooting.


The default 6.04 firmware only supports the non-standard Ad-Hoc mode, not true IBSS mode. You'll need to flash the card to External link6.06 firmware or later for IBSS ad-hoc support under linux.

Note that it's the secondary firmware which is flashable.
When using the cards under Windows, the Windows driver loads a tertiary firmware into volatile memory each time the driver is loaded, and the secondary firmware is not used at all.
Under linux, however, it's the secondary firmware which is used by the card.

RogerVenning has successfully used a card in non-upgraded state (Lucent/Agere firmware version 6.04) under Win2K and Linux to associate to an Nokia A020 access point. IBSS mode has not been tested.

Another report has successful use of IBSS mode between two Enterasys cards (but not interoperability testing with other manufacturers). That'd be me (TonyLangdon). The network setup at NodeBCJ comprises a P133 laptop running Red Hat 6.2 with the Enterasys drivers acting as a wireless router, and the roaming workstation is a Windows 95 laptop running the Enterasys drivers. There were no firmware upgrades installed. According to the documentation with the drivers, the linux machine was configured to use IBSS mode, and the Windows driver can only select IBSS (called Peer-Peer) from the GUI. With IBSS configured at both ends, the link works perfectly.

Also worth noting that Netstumbler is capable of detecting peer-peer networks when using the Enterasys cards with stock firmware.

Misc Notes

RogerVenning has had success with a Netgear MA301 (PLX based) PCI carrier with these Enterasys cards under Linux. See PlxCarriers for more information.

The Enterasys cards work well in any PCI carrier which uses a Ricoh chipset (such as the SVEC WL123).
Note that these carriers supposedly require a PCI 2.2 compliant bus, but numerous people have got them working under linux with a PCI 2.1 compliant bus (although some External linkstuffing around with interupt and memory addresses may be required.

Version 6 (current) modified Mon, 26 Jul 2021 12:49:29 +0000 by Kahless
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