Compaq WL400 and NWN Parrot 1100 APs [Was: Search for driver NowiresNeeded Accesspoint]

Discussion in 'HP' started by Petri Krohn, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. Petri Krohn

    Petri Krohn Guest

    [Original titel "Search for driver NowiresNeeded Accesspoint"]
    This is not the first time product support evaporates in less than three
    years after product introduction.

    NoWires Needed was started in Bilthoven, The Netherlandsin 1994.
    "No Wires Needed (NWN) is a leader in high-speed, IEEE 802.11-based
    wireless LAN technology and products NWN is the first vendor to ship an
    11 Mbps WLAN product that implements all IEEE 802.11 mandatory
    features including WEP security."

    The company was sold to Intersil in 2000:
    "NoWires Needed is an OEM provider of wireless equipment for several of
    the LAN wireless vendors, including BreezeCom and Compaq."
    "During the course of our tests, the company was purchased by Intersil
    (the company that makes the Prism chipset)."

    Intersil was the maker of the PRISMĀ® WLAN chip set:
    (Used also in NoWires Needed products)

    In August 2003 Intersil sold of their Wireless product group:
    "Intersil Corporation (NASDAQ: ISIL), a world leader in the design and
    manufacture of high performance analog solutions, announced today that
    it has completed the sale of its Wireless Networking Product Group to
    GlobespanVirata, Inc. (NASDAQ: GSPN).",1091,1063,00.html

    On March 1, 2004 GlobespanVirata, Inc merged with Conexant Systems, Inc:
    - Press release:
    - WiFi Planet news story:

    The Conexant web site offers support only to "registered customers".
    I do not think you will find anything there even if you register:


    The NoWires Needed "Parrot 1100" 11Mbps access point was also sold as the
    Compaq WL400:
    "Compaq's access point is a NoWires Needed OEM product. The access point
    is manageable only via the NoWires Needed management software, which--as
    we mention below--isn't particularly user friendly." sells the Compaq WL400 access point for US $59.99: (See picture)

    Management software is available on the HP web site:
    "This SoftPaq contains the AP Manager for the Compaq WL 400 Hardware
    Access Point, as well as a firmware upgrade."

    You may also find the software here:


    The management software only runs under MS Windows (98 - 2000).
    In theory it should be possible to manage the access point through SNMP.
    (This is what the software in fact does.)


    I year ago I bought some Compaq WL400 access points on eBay for about US $29
    each. The best thing about this access point is that it has two external
    antenna connectors, both are standard SMA connectors! (Nor reverse polarity
    or threaded.) Otherwise the mechanics are good, as you would expect from a
    device with an original price of $899.

    Last year I found software and information on the NoWires Needed and
    Intersil web sites. ( )
    As you mentioned, the sites are now down.

    I did some experimenting with the different firmware versions. The Parrot
    1100 and Compaq WL400 firmwares and management software seem to be

    NoWires Needed sold the Parrot 1100 with three other firmware versions:
    - Bridge master (for connecting two Ethernet networks)
    - Bridge client -"-
    - Client bridge (for connecting a printer etc.)

    All four devices seem to have the same hardware. Only the color of the case

    I tried to install the bridge firmware on the Compaq WL400. The bridge
    client firmware would not install. I did manage to install the bridge master
    firmware, but in fact this seemed to be the same as the access point.


    One problem with the Compaq WL400 access point is that there seems to be no
    way of controlling the output power. I would like to use the access point
    outside with strong directional antennas. In Europe this requires that the
    output power is tuned down.

    There seems to be a firmware version floating around which increases the
    output power. This is of cause of no use in my case.


    NoWires Needed also released another 11Mbps access point, the Parrot 1148.
    I do not know if this was ever sold anywhere. I have a copy of the
    accompanying CD-ROM (.zip file, 7497kB)

    [Added copy to followups to
    Petri Krohn, Oct 28, 2004
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