Author Topic: C-860 & Ambicom Wifi Card  (Read 9018 times)

pdahero

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C-860 & Ambicom Wifi Card
« on: June 04, 2007, 09:06:02 pm »
A few months back I picked up an Ambicom WiFi card for my Zaurus. It works great - just plug it in and connect. I'm pretty sure it's this guy: http://www.ambicom.com/products/wave2net/wl1100c-cf.html

The problem is that it kills my battery - I can get about an hour of surf time before my battery goes yellow then I get the "connect to AC power" message. I'm on a pretty new battery too; I just got it this February and have only charged it about 5 times.

I can use AC power but I don't want to kill the battery prematurely. Is there some way to throttle the power consumption?

Thanks for any advice!

MP2100

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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2007, 01:22:50 pm »
Quote
A few months back I picked up an Ambicom WiFi card for my Zaurus.
<snip>
I can use AC power but I don't want to kill the battery prematurely. Is there some way to throttle the power consumption?

Thanks for any advice!
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I use this card with my 860.  My opinion is that the battery lasts pretty well, an hour or more.  I guess it's just my expectation -- after using the Ambicom in my SL5500 (20 minutes of surfing).

2 suggestions:  

-- Wifi draws a lot of juice from the battery, as you've noticed.  I've noticed that if I disconnect from the network, the battery % rises.  This must be because the high current draw of wifi drops the battery voltage.  Once I disconnect, the milli-amps drop to normal, and the voltage rises.  So taking a break now and then will extend your surfing time.  If you require continuous surfing, yes, plug the 860 in from time-to-time.

-- You can throttle the power by slowing down the CPU.  I'm using Cacko ROM.  Depending on your ROM, here's how to reduce power consumption:  
tap on the battery icon in the system tray,
tap on the Frequency tab (looks like a red stoplight),
tap on "power saving".

Allen
SL 5500 w/Sharp 2.37
Ambicom 802.11b, more CF, memory cards, etc., etc.
and now! SL C860 w/ Cacko 1.23

Omicron

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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2007, 09:38:01 pm »
I know the WIFI cards suck tons of juice, which is why I think an internal WIFI would probably been a good idea for Sharp.

However, I am unsure but I think 1 hour of WIFI is on the low side.  I think most people can achieve about 3 or 4 hours of WIFI time before needing a boost.  However, my memory may be skewed because I ALWAYS used an external 4xAA pack whenever doing heavy Zaurus work (so to speak).  

For example I can watch a 2 hour movie at 15fps (plenty for such a tiny screen), and good sound (in-sync) with an AA battery charger and barely even lose half my battery.  And Movies do suck battery as well.  Even worse than WIFI I think due to all the processing.  

So my advice is see if there is any options for a different (lower-powered card), although Abicom is one of the best (depending on specific model of card...lots of posts about Ambicom CF WIFI card models...I don't use Ambicom, so I cannot say why).

I use a D-Link card and I was very happy and not sure of time usage, but an hour of WIFI (with just internal) would definably be easy.  Beyond that I can't offer anything except that your battery might be a dud (is this a NEW battery?)  or it could be SO new that you should really cycle it to full drain a few times, it may help a bit, but usually that is only needed for NIMH...but I have heard reports that it helps Lion that have been on "the shelf" for a while.

Replacement batteries and external are available on  Ebay...one of the best sellers (by general consensus) for cheap Sharp accessories was a guy called PeakCloudy but not sure if he still sells on EBay (Note:  I have no affiliation to him, except as a customer).
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pelrun

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« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2007, 11:48:45 pm »
Roughly 1.5 hours or so on wifi from a full battery has always been my experience. I certainly expect a wifi card to be more powerhungry than the CPU.

BTW don't cycle Z batteries; LiIon/LiPoly batteries don't need it or like it - and they really *hate* "full drain". The only case where it serves a purpose is with smart batteries that need occasional recalibration to show an accurate battery level, and the Z battery isn't one of those.
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cptpike

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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2008, 12:54:05 pm »
My ambicom with my c1000 does the exact same thing.  Which is okay when I'm at home.  On the road, not so much.  Most of the time though I use a sitecom bluetooth card and my cell.  The bluetooth drains my battery maybe a quarter what the wifi card does.  I've been thinking about replacing the ambicom with another brand just to test the difference in battery life.  If so, I'll let you know what I find.
c1000 running cacko 1.23 full.
Ambicom WL1100C wifi card
Sitecom CN-501 bluetooth card
4gb SD Transcend, 2gb SD Toshiba

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Capn_Fish

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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2008, 05:31:00 pm »
I've found that if you add "power 1" to the end of your wireless command string, eg:

Code: [Select]
iwconfig mode managed essid yourssid key yourkey power 1
You get better battery life. The card also stays cooler.
SL-C750- pdaXrom beta 1 (mostly unused)
Current distro: Gentoo

speculatrix

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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2008, 04:09:00 pm »
I found that using a bluetooth adaptor and PAN gave me *much* longer surfing times - although basic bluetooth rate gives only 300kbps and not 2+Mbps, the performance of the Zaurus itself means you don't tend to suffer too much anyway!

This of course only works if you have a computer on your network with a bluetooth adaptor providing the PAN service.
Gemini 4G/Wi-Fi owner, formerly zaurus C3100 and 860 owner; also owner of an HTC Doubleshot, a Zaurus-like phone.

cptpike

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« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2008, 12:19:09 pm »
Quote from: Capn_Fish
I've found that if you add "power 1" to the end of your wireless command string, eg:

Code: [Select]
iwconfig mode managed essid yourssid key yourkey power 1
You get better battery life. The card also stays cooler.

Do you know if there is something similar for cacko?  I tried the above line and it failed.
c1000 running cacko 1.23 full.
Ambicom WL1100C wifi card
Sitecom CN-501 bluetooth card
4gb SD Transcend, 2gb SD Toshiba

Rad bag to carry all of my crap.

Capn_Fish

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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2008, 07:08:18 pm »
Cacko does have the iwconfig command, but you need to be root to use it. Try these:

Code: [Select]
sudo iwconfig mode managed essid yourssid key yourkey power 1
Code: [Select]
su
iwconfig mode managed essid yourssid key yourkey power 1

Code: [Select]
sudo su
iwconfig mode managed essid yourssid key yourkey power 1

I don't know how Cacko's privileges are set up, so some may work and others may not.
SL-C750- pdaXrom beta 1 (mostly unused)
Current distro: Gentoo

cptpike

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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2008, 05:17:49 pm »
Quote from: Capn_Fish
Cacko does have the iwconfig command, but you need to be root to use it. Try these:

Code: [Select]
sudo iwconfig mode managed essid yourssid key yourkey power 1
Code: [Select]
su
iwconfig mode managed essid yourssid key yourkey power 1

Code: [Select]
sudo su
iwconfig mode managed essid yourssid key yourkey power 1

I don't know how Cacko's privileges are set up, so some may work and others may not.

Hi Capn thanks for the info.  Here's the error I get

Error : unrecognized wireless request "managed"
c1000 running cacko 1.23 full.
Ambicom WL1100C wifi card
Sitecom CN-501 bluetooth card
4gb SD Transcend, 2gb SD Toshiba

Rad bag to carry all of my crap.

Capn_Fish

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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2008, 05:29:17 pm »
Oops, my command didn't show up as I typed it, evidently. It should be:

Code: [Select]
iwconfig INTERFACE mode managed essid YOURSSID key YOURWEP power 1
Sorry about that.
SL-C750- pdaXrom beta 1 (mostly unused)
Current distro: Gentoo

cptpike

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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2008, 10:22:51 am »
Quote from: Capn_Fish
Oops, my command didn't show up as I typed it, evidently. It should be:

Code: [Select]
iwconfig INTERFACE mode managed essid YOURSSID key YOURWEP power 1
Sorry about that.

Does it matter if I'm using WPA instead of WEP?  I keep getting "invalid key".  Sorry for so many questions.
c1000 running cacko 1.23 full.
Ambicom WL1100C wifi card
Sitecom CN-501 bluetooth card
4gb SD Transcend, 2gb SD Toshiba

Rad bag to carry all of my crap.

Capn_Fish

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« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2008, 06:19:31 pm »
Yes, it matters very much. For WPA, set up /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf (google for a how-to), then do something like:

Code: [Select]
wpa_supplicant wlan0 &
dhcpcd wlan0

After the iwconfig commands (minus the "key YOURKEY" part).
SL-C750- pdaXrom beta 1 (mostly unused)
Current distro: Gentoo