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Is there any way to boost the signal to an old PowerBook G4's wireless card? It's been getting steadily weaker and weaker. It can still pick up wireless sometimes, but most of the time it can barely hold the signal. Is there any way to boost it so we don't have to replace it? (Is it even possible to find replacements any more?)

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You do have options ...

  • If the card is truly failing, I recommend buying a new card. All 15 and 17-inch models of the G4 PowerBook have a CardBus slot, so a number of PC CardBus wifi cards will work. (See WiFi Cards for PowerBooks with PC Card Slots for a list.)

  • If you want an Airport card specifically, you can find a used Airport card on eBay. There are many available. Search for "airport card", adding the model/part number if you know it. (e.g., My old G4 Titanium came with Model# PC24-H / Part# 630-2883.)

  • If you want to keep your card and experiment, you could add an external antenna for greater range. Airport cards used the MC (aka. Lucent) connector, so you'll need a cable adapter for most antennas. The type depends on the antenna you choose (common antenna connectors are N, SMA and RP-TNC). You can find MC-to-(connector) adapter cables online.

Either of the last two paths will require opening up the PowerBook (and possibly the first, to avoid conflict). Check out iFixit for detailed instructions. (example - Installing PowerBook G4 Titanium DVI Airport Card)

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