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HP Compaq Tablet PC TC1100 - Configuring the Wireless LAN Card

Configuring the Wireless LAN Card

Using a Wireless Local Area Network

This product is a Local Area Network (LAN) device. A LAN is composed of two or more computers that are connected to each other in order to share files or common equipment such as a printer or a modem. A wireless LAN provides the same functionality of a wired network, but it eliminates the need to install networking cables and other networking equipment. Not only is a wireless LAN easier to deploy, but it also allows for roaming. For example, when using a tablet PC with a Compaq 802.11b Mini PCI card, you can roam from a conference room to an office without being disconnected from the network.

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Features and Requirements

An 802.11b based wireless LAN includes the following features:

  • Support for the IEEE 802.11b standard

  • 2.4-GHz band operation

  • Network data rate up to 11 Mbps

  • Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) encryption

To participate in a wireless LAN, you need the following items:

  • Compaq 802.11b Mini PCI card

  • Software CD containing application, drivers, software reference guide, and help file

  • A tablet PC with a Mini PCI Type III slot, a CD drive, and Microsoft Windows XP Tablet Edition.

NOTE: Compatibility
The Compaq 802.11b Mini PCI card is Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) certified and will work with any other Wi-Fi certified base station or wireless client adapter.

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Configuring the Compaq 802.11b Mini PCI Card in Microsoft Windows XP Tablet Edition

The Compaq 802.11b Mini PCI software consists of the Windows XP Tablet Edition device drivers. Configuration information and troubleshooting in Windows XP Tablet Edition is available in Microsoft's Help and Support Center on Windows XP systems. Links to the appropriate Microsoft Web sites are also available here. To access this information:

  1. From the Start menu, select Control Panel.

  2. Click Network and Internet Connections.

  3. Click Network Connections.

  4. Right click the connection for your Compaq 802.11b Mini PCI device, and select Properties.

  5. From the General tab, click the Configure button.

  6. From the General tab, click the Troubleshoot button.

When the Help and Support Center window appears, you can access information regarding the network adapter. To access configuration information of your adapter, follow the on-screen instructions. For the network adapter to function in a wireless LAN, you must change the settings at least once.

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Configuring Your Wireless Networking Settings

After the Compaq 802.11b Mini PCI card has been configured, set up the wireless settings in Windows XP Tablet Edition. Configuration information and troubleshooting in Windows XP Tablet Edition is available in Microsoft's Help and Support Center on Windows XP systems. Links to the appropriate Microsoft Web sites are also available here. To access this information:

  1. From the Start menu, select Control Panel.

  2. Click Network and Internet Connections.

  3. Click Network Connections.

  4. Right click the connection for your Compaq 802.11b Mini PCI device, and select Properties.

  5. Click on the Wireless Networks tab.

  6. Click on the link Setting Up Wireless Network Configuration.

When the Help and Support Center window appears, you can access information regarding wireless network configuration. To access configuration information of your adapter, follow the on-screen instructions.

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Wireless LAN Activity Light

There is a wireless LAN activity light on computers that support the Compaq 802.11b WLAN Mini PCI card. Once the Compaq 802.11b WLAN Mini PCI card and drivers are installed, the wireless LAN activity light provides quick feedback to the user on the current status of the wireless LAN. On the tablet PC, look for the wireless LAN icon (shown below) to identify this light. You may also refer to the Hardware Guide included with the tablet PC.

Light status definitions
Light flashing
Access Point search mode
Light on
Active link
Light off
Radio power off

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Advanced Network Property Page

You can configure the advanced wireless settings by clicking the Configure button in the General tab from the Wireless Network Connection Properties window shown below.

The following window shows the content of Advanced tab:

You can configure these advanced settings as described below.

Feature
Specification
802.11 Power Management
This property controls whether 802.11 power management is used. If power management is set on, the Compaq 802.11b WLAN Mini PCI card operates in a power saving mode.
  • Disabled: Disable 802.11 power management. Default setting.

  • Enable: Enable 802.11 power management.

Fragmentation Threshold
This attribute specifies the current maximum size, in octets, of data that may be delivered to the wireless network at once. A frame is broken into fragments if its size exceeds the value of this attribute. Lower fragmentation thresholds can increase throughput in areas where high interference is encountered. Higher fragmentation thresholds can increase data throughput if there is little interference. The default value of this attribute is 2346. The minimum value is 256.
Preamble Type
The preamble type property controls the length of the preamble. The type of preamble allows the user to trade off compatibility with pre-802.11b wireless LAN cards for some transmit throughput increase on 802.11b wireless LANs. Set preamble type:
  • Short: Only compatible with 802.11b wireless LAN networks. Allows faster transmittal of data on 802.11b wireless LAN networks.

  • Long: Compatible with 802.11b and pre-802.11b wireless LAN networks.

  • Auto: Automatically choose short or long preamble type. Default setting.

Radio
Set this attribute to control your radio emissions. Some situations may require you to turn off your Compaq 802.11b WLAN Mini PCI radio. Flying on an airplane is one example where the radio is required to be turned off.
  • On: Card can transmit and receive signals. Default setting.

  • Off: Card cannot transmit and receive signals.

Rate
Sets transmit rate of the Compaq 802.11b WLAN Mini PCI card. Setting a fixed rate will force the card to connect at only that speed to other 802.11b and pre-802.11b clients or access points. Setting the speed to Auto allows the card to automatically select the optimum transmit rate based on the capabilities of the other clients and access points.
  • Fixed 1 Mbps: Set transmit rate to 1 Mbps.

  • Fixed 2 Mbps: Set transmit rate to 2 Mbps.

  • Fixed 5.5 Mbps: Set transmit rate to 5.5 Mbps.

  • Fixed 11 Mbps: Set transmit rate to 11 Mbps.

  • Auto: Set transmit rate to auto adjustment. Default setting.

Region
Configures the Compaq 802.11b WLAN Mini PCI card for compliance in the listed regions. The region setting must match the region you are in for your card to interoperate with local equipment and to comply with local laws and regulations.
  • Canada

  • Europe (except France)

  • France

  • Japan

  • Japan (MKK1): also known as TELEC.

  • USA

RTS Threshold
Setting this attribute turns on RTS/CTS handshake for frames of Data or Management type transmitted by the Compaq 802.11b WLAN Mini PCI card. When a data packet to transmit is greater than or equal to the RTS Threshold, the card will use a RTS/CTS handshake before sending the data packet. The default value of this attribute is 2347.

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Statistics Properties

You can obtain more information from the Statistics tab in the window shown below.

It includes the following information.

Feature
Specification
Firmware version
Displays the current firmware version of the Compaq 802.11b WLAN Mini PCI card.
Driver version
Displays the current driver version for the Compaq 802.11b WLAN Mini PCI card.
MAC address
Display the MAC address of your Compaq 802.11b WLAN Mini PCI card.
Associated BSSID
Displays the MAC address of the access point that your card is currently associated.
Link Quality
Indicates the condition of the current wireless link. The higher the quality, the better the throughput.
Signal Strength
Indicates the signal strength with respect to the current connected access point. In general, you will get stronger signal strength when you are closer to the associated access point.

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Troubleshooting

Problem
Solution
My computer does not recognize the wireless network card.
  • Ensure that the wireless network card has been inserted into the Mini PCI slot.

  • Ensure the antennas are connected.

The wireless network card does not work properly.
Right click My Computer and then choose Properties from the menu. Click Hardware and then the Device Manager tab from the System Properties window and click Network Adapter from the list. Compaq 802.11b WLAN Mini PCI will be listed if it is installed successfully. If you see a Yellow Question Mark in front of the wireless network card, then the wireless card is not properly installed. Perform the following steps:
  1. Check and make sure that you have inserted the right card and have installed the proper driver.

  2. Remove the driver and install it again. Then reboot your computer.

  3. Confirm that the workstation and the wireless network are configured with the same SSID.

I cannot connect to one of the users in the network.
  • Make sure each network client is up and running.

  • Make sure your Network Name (SSID) settings are correct.

  • Make sure your WEP settings are correct.

  • Move your computer closer to the base station or other network client.

  • Make sure the network client you need to reach is within range, or within range of an access point.

  • Make sure the network settings are correct for your local area network.

  • On a tablet PC, the Compaq 802.11b Mini PCI radio may not be enabled. Go to Device Manager in Control Panel and open the Compaq 802.11b Mini PCI properties page. Click on the Advanced tab. Verify that the Radio property is set to On.

  • Make sure the Wireless LAN Status Light on the tablet PC is solid green.

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