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Playing with 802.11ad WiGig

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by Bense, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. Bense

    Bense [H]Lite

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    This Dell DW1601 card that they offered in some of their notebooks is half height, Mini PCIe combo card that it looks like Dell used for a wireless docking station of some sort. I just scored one of these DW1601 WiGig cards, as well as a Dell D5000 Wireless docking station that I presume dell intended this DW1601 card to communicate with. I am not planning to use the docking station, however it includes its own DW1601 WiGig card, just like the individual one that I purchased.

    I have a HP XW8600 workstation that currently hosts my 6x3TB RAID5 array. I have an intel quad port gigabit ethernet adapter for it in the PCI-X slot which supports 802.3ad link aggregation, so that provides me with a 4.0Gbps connection, along with the Broadcom NetExtreme dual onboard gigabit ethernet with its 2.0Gbps connection. I have the 4.0Gbps + 2.0Gbps hardware aggregated links bound together in Windows Server 2012 R2 for a 6.0Gbps ethernet connection. It's not the most efficient setup in the world, but at the time it was the most optimal speed/cost solution that I could find for that platform. I recently have been investing my free time in building a mATX X99 'Mini Workstation'. One of my goals in that project is to me looking for a cheap, greater than 2.0Gbps way to link it to my XW8600. Unfortunately, all of the hardware multiport gigabit ethernet NICs are still ridiculously overpriced. A single lane PCIe 2.0 slot provides a theoretical bandwidth of 5.0Gbps. Why there are no quad port gigabit (4.0Gbps) NICs with a PCIe 2.0 x1 interface is a mystery to me.

    So that has been the driving motivation that has lead me to pursuing this project. That is, placing one of these DW1601 cards in a MiniPCIe -> PCIe x1 adapter and placing it in the XW8600 and configuring that card to run in AP mode. Then installing another DW1601 into a MiniPCIe -> PCIe x1 adapter and installing it in my X99 system and configure it as a client to the XW8600's DW1601. I have yet to come across any reason that this wouldn't work. I should also mention that these two systems have a clear line of sight to each other. They sit adjacent to one another, so much that their antennas will be able to touch another. I am crossing my fingers and hoping that these cheap MiniPCIe -> PCIe x1 adapters can function as PCIe 2.0 x1 (5.0Gbps), otherwise they'll be stuck at a limiting 2.5Gbps link.

    https://wikidevi.com/wiki/Dell_Wireless_1601_WiGig_(802.11ad)_and_802.11n_2x2_Wi-Fi_Half_Mini_Card
    http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/wil6210
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_Gigabit_Alliance
     
  2. seanmnaes

    seanmnaes n00bie

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    I think you are going to have issues finding a suitable antenna for your setup. I did a little searching and couldn't find any ready made 60 Ghz antennas. It's not exactly a DIY affair either.

    802.11ad is cool, but not ready for primetime yet. I look forward to it though. You should tryout the cards and see what happens though. I think it's a super cool experiment.

    Also I don't believe you will see any increase with nic teaming the way you are setup. 4 X 1Gig ethernet ports with 802.3ad does not equal 4 gigs of bandwidth. SMB3 can work some magic with multipath, but I believe that it only works if each nic has its own IP. I do not believe it works with 802.3ad. Also both sides need to be able to support it.

    Doesn't that XW8600 have several x8 PCIE slots in it? You can pick up pro/1000 quad port intel cards for pretty cheap these days. Even better, you can pick up an Intel X520 with sfp ports and use an SFP+ direct attach cable if the two are fairly close to each other. Most of them have two SFP+ ports that run at 10g a piece. You could use one set of the ports to directly connect the two computers and the other ports to connect to a switch. You can get used Dell 5524's for pretty cheap these days. This gives you a ton of bandwidth and a lot of flexibility without a complicated setup.

    Multi port NICs are intended for professional products. That's why you don't see them for x1 slots very often (if at all?). I think your best bet to go fast for "cheap" is 10g.

    -Sean
     
  3. GotNoRice

    GotNoRice [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I have installed a number of 4x cards in 1x slots simply by using a finger-nail clipper and cutting out the back of the slot. The rest of the card just hangs out of the back of the slot, but the card itself works great.
     
  4. Bense

    Bense [H]Lite

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    I would do this if I were certain that the card was PCIe 2.0 x4 and not PCIe 1.0 x4....

    Good news! The first DW1601 arrived! However I didn't see that there is actually a third antenna lead for the 802.11ad radio. So I ordered a MHF4 pigtail from amazon that I will be able to install in this MiniPCIe -> PCIe x1 WiFi adapter. The seller only had one available, but I should be able to use the one that is in the docking station.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. lordsegan

    lordsegan Gawd

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    Interesting. How did it turn out?
     
  6. ggpwnkthx

    ggpwnkthx n00bie

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    I tried the same thing. Same mPCIe card and, by the looks of it the same mPCEi to PCIe adapter card.

    It blew out my motherboard.

    Tried new motherboard and a different adapter card, same result.

    I haven't looked at the traces on the PCB, but clearly the DW1601 has a non standard mPCIe interface designed specifically for the Dell laptops.
     
  7. Bense

    Bense [H]Lite

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    pics?
     
  8. ggpwnkthx

    ggpwnkthx n00bie

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  9. Bense

    Bense [H]Lite

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    And you fried your board with this? What kind of motherboard are you using? What is that in the third picture?

    I had mine work on this board. however the signal strength was terrible. I only ran it for a short while.

    Thank you for registering to comment on this, if it is easier for you, I can give you my email address.

    What kind of antenna connector does yours have? I had ordered this MHF4 pigtail because I thought that it was the type of connector that the WiGig radio used, however it doesn't seem to snap in.

    I think now is a good time to take apart the docking station ;)
     
  10. ggpwnkthx

    ggpwnkthx n00bie

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    The third picture is a 60ghz antenna, which came out of a Latitude that had the DW1601 in it. You'll need one of you want any significant range. A typical 2.4-5ghz antenna isn't going to work for 802.11ad.

    The old motherboard was an ASRock Z97 Extreme4 (which NewEgg RMAed without question) and the new board is an MSI Gaming7.

    If yours is working I wonder if my card is just bad? That seems to be the common denominator at this point.
     
  11. Bense

    Bense [H]Lite

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    Do you have the part number for that 60GHz antenna that you pulled from the Dell Latitude?
     
  12. ggpwnkthx

    ggpwnkthx n00bie

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    Unfortunately, no. And Dell wasn't forthcoming either. I ended up just ordering a full LCD backlid that had the antenna already in it and carefully removed it.

    I think it was about $40. Which, despite it not working out for me, is only disappointing because I'm sure the antenna itself only cost a few pennies to make.
     
  13. Bense

    Bense [H]Lite

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    I just took my Dock apart, it has the same antenna connector. The WiGig card doesn't have the two antenna connectors for the 802.11n/bluetooth parts either.

    I'm trying to find a lid so that I can get another antenna. I wonder how difficult it would be to get the dell software to work on another piece of hardware.

    Even if I wind up putting my DW1601 in my Lenovo T420 (already has mPCIe whitelist removed with BIOS mod), and just using this docking station, it's still worth pursuing this project :D
     
  14. ggpwnkthx

    ggpwnkthx n00bie

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    Just tried using the card that was in the docking station in the mPCIe to PCIe adapter. I'm getting the same issue.

    Luckily the MSI has overpower protection built-in so I don't blow out the board, but I can't boot it up so long as either WiGig card is plugged in. The LED on the motherboard will power up and then almost immediately go out. This cycles indefinitely.

    Take the card out and everything works fine. It even works fine if the mPCIe adapter is plugged into the motherboard without the WiGig card plugged into it.
     
  15. Bense

    Bense [H]Lite

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    Are you able to power the board on at all when the card is plugged in? I ran into a somewhat similar issue with my RAID controller in an older Gigabyte GA-X48T-DQ6 motherboard.
     
  16. Bense

    Bense [H]Lite

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  17. ggpwnkthx

    ggpwnkthx n00bie

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  18. ggpwnkthx

    ggpwnkthx n00bie

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    No dice. Same issue. But I think, having tried both WiGig cards, perhaps I can rule out the DW1601 card as bad?

    Some close up shots of the adapter's pinout. http://imgur.com/a/J4rVW
     
  19. Forge

    Forge n00bie

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    I'm late to this party, and you may have already figured this out, but I figured I've done a goodly amount of complementary tinkering and would add my results.

    DW1601 in a non-Dell system: You can kinda make this work, you can get 802.11n drivers and BT drivers loaded with a lot of work, but the 802.11ad and wireless docking stuff won't even consider installing. Even if you force/crack the installer and get the bits out and into the filesystem, the Dell docking app itself checks on startup and won't go. Probably a complete loss.

    Using 802.11ad as a short haul: I wouldn't. I've never seen anything much over 600-800Mbps out of these cards, even talking to their companion docks at very short range.

    Sources: I have a Dell Latitude 6430U (without WiGig antenna), worked on two 6430Us with WiGig antennas and DW5000 docks at work, and tried to make my spare DW1601 work in a Lenovo X220, a Dell M4800, and the 6430U w/wrong antennas mentioned above.
     
  20. Bense

    Bense [H]Lite

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    Wow, funny that you bump this thread up, I finally got around to putting my DW1601 module in my Lenovo T420 about two hours ago, and I am literally in the process of extracting the contents of Network_Application_9D41C_WN_1.8.5.1280_A03.exe that I retrieved from here:
    http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/product-support/product/latitude-6430u-ultrabook/drivers
     
  21. Bense

    Bense [H]Lite

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    Good news. I have obtained a method to install the applications on non-dell machines.

    I downloaded Network_Application_9D41C_WN_1.8.5.1280_A03.EXE from this Dell support page and I used 7-zip to extract the contents of it to a directory. I then opened an elevated command prompt, and I browsed to the directory that I extracted the contents of the aforementioned file to, which also contained the file MUPSetup.exe. I then entered the following command:

    MUPSetup.exe /z

    And everything installed normally. It appears that that single flag disables the Dell machine check.

    I have this DW1601 card installed in my Lenovo T420 which I have a modified BIOS with the Mini-PCIe whitelist removed. I previously purchased an LCD lid from a Dell Latitude 6430u off of eBay which includes the necessary WiGig antenna.

    The next step is to do some antenna routing and get this thing wired up in my Lenovo. I will post the results soon.

    I am not very interested in having a wireless docking station, however, this seems like a necessary step in the right direction.

    For the record, all of this will void your warranty, this is not an official statement from Wilocity, neither Dell, Wilocity, or anyone will be responsible if your system goes up in flames, eats your kittens, etc, etc.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
  22. jadenqa

    jadenqa n00bie

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    Fabulous job, Bense!

    I am trying to replicate what you have done,
    but I want to connect the mini-PCIE to usb port,
    similar to what this guy has done
    Running-mini-PCI-e-3G-card-with-USB

    Do you think this will work? If I connect the dell DW1601 wigig chip to usb,
    will the computer correctly recognize it?

    Also, could you tell me about the end results?
    how is the speed? is the connection reliable?
     
  23. Bense

    Bense [H]Lite

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    The Mini-PCIe interface supports both PCIe and USB 2.0 connectivity. Mini-PCIe WWAN modules only use the USB portion of the Mini-PCIe interface. If you look on hwtools.net, you'll find a plethora of passive adapters that allow you to connect USB based Mini-PCIe cards to a USB host port. These passive adapters will not work for for connecting PCIe based Mini-PCIe cards such as a Wi-Fi module to USB.

    Remember, single stream, single band (2.4GHz) 802.11n Wi-Fi (130 Mb/s) still provides more network bandwidth than 4G. And it wasn't until 3 stream, dual band (2.4GHz + 5.0GHz) 802.11n Wi-Fi (450 Mb/s) that started to approach the (theoretical) bandwidth ceiling of USB 2.0 (If you look, you'll notice that there are very few N900 (symmetrical 450 Mb/s) Wi-Fi adapters). It will be a while until WWAN speeds reach the USB 2.0 ceiling.

    The bandwidth that WiGig provides over 10x greater than that of USB 2.0

    However, there is a device that will allow you to bridge a Mini-PCIe device to USB 3.0. Unfortunately, it costs over $200 (including shipping) :(. You can watch a video about it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oq2wQB8SuQs
     
  24. jadenqa

    jadenqa n00bie

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    I plugged the DW1601 WiGig card directly into my pc's mini-PCIe slot,
    and run MUPSetup.exe /z, but I have the following error.

    Any idea on how to resolve this issue?
     
  25. Dew

    Dew 2[H]4U

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    Since your main goal is seems to be to direct connect two computers, why not grab a pair of 10GBe NICs off ebay for 2x$40 and a TwinAx SPF+ cable for another $25 and call it a day?
     
  26. Suriwan

    Suriwan n00bie

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    Sorry to revive such and old thread but did anyone succeeded to install this card? I mean to install two of them and use them to interconnect devices (not a PC with dell dock, but rather PC to PC). I am looking for a way to test 802.11ad technology and this looks much better way for first tests than spending $4000 on development kits...
     
  27. Bense

    Bense [H]Lite

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    Broke the antenna plug, tried to resolder it and messed it up. Lost interest in the project, sold the wireless docking station on ebay, used the money for beer/blow/hookers.
     
    Zuul and scobar like this.
  28. Suriwan

    Suriwan n00bie

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    What about you other guys? :) By the way thanks for the reply Bense! :)
     
    Bense likes this.
  29. Bense

    Bense [H]Lite

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    Err, lemme rephrase - I didn't lose interest in the project. I'm still very interested.

    I lost interest (at the time) because I was unemployed and finding a job took priority. I didn't really spend it on beer/blow/hookers - I was just frontin' cause i didn't want y'all to think that I'm some sort of pansy guy that encounters such trivial adversities such as enemployment :)


    Do you have any equipment yet? I think I've got one of the DW1601 cards left.

    May be easier for you to get a used fiberchannel card
     
  30. Suriwan

    Suriwan n00bie

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    Actually I am looking to buy some equipment to test 802.11ad. The problem is that I need to test it on ARM processor and all drivers are for x86 and specifically for few chosen one Windows machines... The other question is how much you can influence the wifi part on those dell cards - from what I found it uses some application to connect to the dock, but I would like to interconnect two PCs....
     
  31. Bense

    Bense [H]Lite

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    What are you trying to do?

    Why do you need that amount of I/O for an ARM machine?
     
  32. Suriwan

    Suriwan n00bie

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    I am trying to move a lot of big data over air, not always connected to normal PC. Basically my current need is to evaluate how suitable wigig is for such transports. So I am looking for any way how to get my hands on this technology - and as I said before, the only available modules nowadays are the dell ones...
     
  33. Bense

    Bense [H]Lite

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    Okay so you're trying to move lots of data over air, you're considering this technology, and these are this is the only hardware available.



    No, but really... what are you trying to do?
     
  34. Suriwan

    Suriwan n00bie

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    I am trying to make a device like a GoPro camera which you can wear and stream raw data from or to it. Basically its more like a study of what this technology is capable of. I know the specs can tell you a lot, but reality is often very different - from what I found the transfer rates are much lower than advertised. But still the main point here is to get hands on and play with the technology, do some measurements and provide more data for community.
     
  35. Bense

    Bense [H]Lite

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    Why not use something like a 3x3 802.11ac card? That's 1.3Gbps. You gotta think about what that Mini PCIe card is capable of. I'm not sure if its x1 lane of PCIe 1.0 or 2.0 - but I'd imagine that it's 1.0. - Which has a theoretical max of 2.5 Gbps -- 802.11ad is already pushing the boundaries of that, and even if it were PCIe 2.0 x1. - 5.0Gbps -- Which I'd be surprised if it is.

    Sadly, I think that the people that have access to this kind of tech right now are the ECE folks - that have the developer boards - some of which are upwards of $400. Furthermore, it seems like the industry is moving towards NGFF - Which will give us x2 lanes - even if it's PCIe 2.0 x2 - thats 10.0 Gbps - Much more room to work with.

    I'd be surprised if youd be able to saturate a 3x3 MIMO 802.11ac card with raw video input from a GoPro. But then again, I'm not really sure what exactly you're going for. The linux driver offers the ability to transfer 1 stream at 802.11ad speeds IIRC.

    I could be wrong, and you could very well prove me wrong. I'm just doing my best to share with you some insight that I gained from the project.

    Something like a BCM94360HMB might be more feasible. But that's just my $0.02.
     
  36. Suriwan

    Suriwan n00bie

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    I am very grateful for any information you are willing to provide me. I have considered the option of IEEE 802.11ac too, but the thing is that my intentions are to make in depth evaluation of this new emerging technology. I work in academic field and those kind of results are very usefull for our research... Sadly I havent found anything cheaper than those evo kits, which costs from $400(as you suggested but I am not able to find :-( ) to $1,800(WirelessHD kit) in 60Ghz band...

    All of this was reason for me to look for an alternative solution and one possibility was to get those cards and maybe a Dell dock... That is also why I asked if anyone knows about other way how to get hands on this technology. So if you will be able to provide me at least with a link to some of those overpriced evo kits for IEEE 802.11ad I will be very happy.

    The other thing is, that if I would like to test this on some evo kit for arm processor just with the card, it will most probably run some kind of linux (Android or Debian) and this rises again the compatibility(driver) issues...

    Hope this helps you to get more insight on my point of view and issues...
     
  37. Bense

    Bense [H]Lite

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    sent you a PM requesting to email me
     
  38. spinel

    spinel n00bie

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    Just found this forum.

    I want to upgrade my Thinkpad X220(mini pci) to 802.11ad WiGig. Then connect it to ThinkPad WiGig Dock.

    Which 802.11AD Wireless Card and antenna do I need to buy?

    thank you!
     
  39. Superfish1000

    Superfish1000 n00bie

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    Hey can anyone point me in the right direction as far as getting this installed. I threw on in an adapter and my desktop failed to even post. This is the only place I've found ANY information on this card at all. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
     
  40. sovking

    sovking n00bie

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    Have you succed to get connected two host using ieee802.11ad with these cheap cards ?