6 Replies Latest reply: Jan 8, 2011 11:38 AM by revoir
DonN99 Level 1 (0 points)
I am moving an eMac which is now connected to a router with an ethernet cable to another room and am in need of a wireless connection. I am hoping to buy a wireless card on eBay to provide the wireless capability. The specifications in various apple kb documents are confusing and appear to be somewhat inconsistent. My eMac specifications from the System Profiler are:

Machine Model: eMac
CPU Type: PowerPC G4  (3.3)
Number Of CPUs: 1
CPU Speed: 1 GHz
L2 Cache (per CPU): 256 KB
Memory: 512 MB
Bus Speed: 133 MHz
Boot ROM Version: 4.6.4f1
Sales Order Number: F9252LL/A

This unit is a variation of Order Number M8950LL/A. See http://support.apple.com/kb/SP98 for Apple specifications. These specifications state "Wireless(5): Airport Extreme ready". Footnote (5) provides further information which refers only to Airport Extreme. The statement under Communications is "Built-in antennas and expansion slot for optional 54-Mbps AirPort Extreme Card (5)". There is no mention of compatibility or readiness for the AirPort Card anywhere in the specifications.

The compatibility for the AirPort Card (see http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1621) states that "The Apple AirPort Card (Figure 1) can be installed in the following Macs: eMac" without exception. On the other hand, the compatibility for the Airport Extreme Card (see http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3024?) states, "When sold separately, the AirPort Extreme Card (Figure 1) requires one of these computers:
• eMac (USB 2.0)
• eMac (ATI Graphics) (See Note) — which reads "An eMac (ATI Graphics) computer without a SuperDrive may be able to start up in Mac OS 9. If the computer is started up in Mac OS 9, you cannot use the AirPort Extreme Card. To regain use of the AirPort Extreme Card, start the computer up in Mac OS X 10.2.3 or later.""
My eMac has ATI Graphics but not USB 2.0 (has USB 1.1).

The installation guide for the AirPort Card in the eMac (see http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/emac-airport.pdf) shows a built-in connector that appears to be compatible with the AirPort Card, but perhaps not with the Airport Extreme Card.

The installation guide for the Airport Extreme Card in the eMac (see http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/apexc.pdf) refers only to "eMac (ATI Graphics) and eMac (USB 2.0) AirPort Extreme Card", and states at page 5 "The original AirPort Card can not be used in this computer.You must use the AirPort Extreme card."

I have also checked the Apple Discussions. They seem to indicate that I need the Airport Extreme Card.

My conclusion is that the Airport Extreme Card is compatible with my eMac and that the AirPort Card will not work.

I would appreciate confirmation of this conclusion or further information. Thanks.


eMac, Mac OS X (10.3.x), internet via router
  • Niel Level 10 (298,740 points)
    Your computer takes the AirPort Extreme card.

  • Dale Weisshaar Level 6 (15,860 points)

    Maybe this will work for you.




  • revoir Level 1 (90 points)
    there is a quite simple solution for you: the most simple and most effective way to add wireless connectivity to older macs is to buy an airport express station configured as an extension to an existing network and to connect it via ethernet cable to the "old" computer. i costs less than any internal card, you have a much faster connection and you don't need to mess with 3rd party drivers. I tried this on old G4 and G5 Macs and it worked brilliant.
  • ShirleyApple Level 1 (0 points)
    I bought an airport express but it says on the package that it "requires an airport or airport extreme enabled computer". I take that to mean I would still need the airport card in my computer. Reluctant to open the express to find out more as then I can't return it. ANY help would be much appreciated!!!
    Cheers and thanks in advance
  • K.S. Level 4 (3,690 points)

    You would be better off if you started a new thread instead of jumping in at the end of this one. Also, you need to tell us what kind of Mac you have (and its operating system version), how you connect to the internet, and what kind of equipment that connection uses – modem, router, wireless router, that kind of thing.

  • revoir Level 1 (90 points)
    Hi Shirley, of course it requires an airport enabled Mac to set up a wireless connection. but if you configure the new airport station as an extension to an existing wireless network, you can connect your old Mac via Ethernet to it. that way it works as a dongle, adding a network connection to your old machine.