Connect SD WiFi card for Pocket PC and Palm Zire 71 Posted
July 25, 2003 by Lisa
Gade, Editor-in-Chief Palm Zire 71 Owner: Important Note,
July 2004. Revision 2.1 of this card or newer, whose package is
marked as compatible with the Zire 71, is required if you wish
to use this card with the Zire 71. The older revsion card for Pocket
PC only will not work due to a hardware design change. The new
card is manufacturer's part #SDWSDB-000-A10M.
Now here's something many of us have been waiting
for a LONG time: an SD WiFi card! SanDisk's new card will be available
August 1st 2003 for $129 US. The card works with most Pocket PC
2002 and Pocket PC 2003 models that have SD slots supporting SDIO
(see the list at the bottom for models). Palm OS 5 drivers will
come out in November according to SanDisk.
The card protrudes 7/8" inch
from the Pocket PC and has a green LED connection indicator.
If you think that's a large antenna cap, consider that this card
has great range, equaling CF WiFi cards. It's power friendly,
consuming 280ma peak when transmitting, 230ma peak when receiving
and 20ma average at sleep. Since SD slots aren't as fast as CF
slots, pages did take a little bit longer to download compared
to my CF WiFi cards. I tested the SanDisk against the Socket CF WiFi card on
identical pages using Pocket IE with an empty cache, and the SD
card took about 1 to 2 seconds longer to download a page (that's
The SanDisk card comes with Pocket PC 2002 and Pocket
PC 2003 drivers. Insert the included CD into your PC and you'll
see an html based installer that allows you to pick your OS and
install the driver. The CD also contains documentation that covers
using the card in both operating systems and troubleshooting. Once
the driver is installed, soft reset your Pocket PC and you're ready
to insert your card and do any necessary configuration.
Configuration on Pocket PC 2002 PDAs is similar to
most other WiFi cards. You'll set DHCP and DNS info (if necessary)
in the Pocket PC's Connection Manager under the Settings group,
then use the SanDisk WiFi utility to set WEP encryption, SSID,
check link strength and etcetera. The SanDisk installer puts a
connection status icon in the taskbar that tells you if you're
in range of a WiFi network access point, and shows you a graphical
representation of signal strength. The utility works the same on
Pocket PC 2002 as it does on Pocket PC 2003, which is further described
below. One additional feature for Pocket PC 2002 models is the
access point browser (commonly referred to as site survey or wardriving)
which lists all access points within range. The AP browser tells
you the name, channel, encryption status and signal strength of
each access point. Since this functionality is built into the Pocket
PC 2003 OS in a basic form, it is not included on the Pocket PC
On Pocket PC 2003 models you'll use the new Connection
Manager to configure your connection to WiFi networks. When the
card is inserted in the Pocket PC's SD slot, SanDisk's utility
will appear in the system tray on the bottom of your Today screen.
This utility allows you to turn the radio on and off, get network
status (link quality and strength, channel, view your IP address,
renew IP address, Ping, view current TCP/IP values and BSSID name).
The Advanced Configuration menu item allows you to set power save
mode and preamble mode. It's nice to have both native Pocket PC
2003 configuration and a utility that allows you to view all the
details and change several connection and power settings! The card
worked well with both our iPAQ 2215, iPAQ
1940 and ViewSonic V36 all
running Pocket PC 2003 (aka Windows Mobile 2003) OS.
SanDisk isn't just about memory cards anymore. Their
strong reputation as a memory card manufacturer may well extend
into the PDA networking area with their new WiFi products. I recommend
this product, and I would even if they did have competition .
The driver is reliable and robust, and is easily removed (which
can't be said of all Pocket PC networking drivers). It comes with
both Pocket PC 2002 and Pocket PC 2003 drivers. The new revision
of the card (2.1 or newer) includes drivers for the Palm Zire 71
as well (but no other Palm OS PDAs).
This card does not work with Toshiba Pocket PCs other
than the e405 and e805, even though they have SDIO slots, due to
lack of a software stack for SDIO cards other than Toshiba's Bluetooth
SD card. The Dell
Axim X5 is not supported because it does not have an SDIO slot.
Your Pocket PC must have an SDIO slot and run either Pocket PC
2002 or Pocket PC 2003 OS. I tested the card on the iPAQ 2215,
iPAQ 1945, Samsung i700, and XDA II and it worked great. It did
not work on the Toshiba e310.