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PANASONIC TOUGHBOOK CF-52


abarbarian
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Well I had a play with the card I bought.

 

http://www.ebay.co.u...9sAAMXQAx9RL3~0

 

It has three ariel contacts but my 52 only has two ariel wires. It should still work ok but as far as I can tell from my research I will get limited or zero functionality on the 5.0GHz spectrum. If I add another ariel this functionality should be restored.

 

I could not get the card to function. Apparently there is a hack regarding pin 20 which I tried but still no joy. I may have borked the card as I cut the trace for pin 20 as I did not have any nail lacquer.

 

Also I may not have installed or loaded the required modules properly. I have just had another look at the modules and here is what I found.

 

root@mx1:/home/demo# apt-get install firmware-iwlwifi
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree	
Reading state information... Done
firmware-iwlwifi is already the newest version (20170823-1mx17+1).
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 1 not upgraded.
root@mx1:/home/demo# modinfo iwl4965
filename:	 /lib/modules/4.14.0-3-amd64/kernel/drivers/net/wireless/intel/iwlegacy/iwl4965.ko
firmware:	 iwlwifi-4965-2.ucode
alias:		 iwl4965
license:	 GPL
author:		 Copyright(c) 2003-2011 Intel Corporation <ilw@linux.intel.com>
version:	 in-tree:
description: Intel(R) Wireless WiFi 4965 driver for Linux
srcversion:	 3E9A613CB0A594AF2D58360
alias:		 pci:v00008086d00004230sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias:		 pci:v00008086d00004229sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
depends:	 iwlegacy,mac80211,cfg80211
intree:		 Y
name:		 iwl4965
vermagic:	 4.14.0-3-amd64 SMP mod_unload modversions
parm:		 swcrypto:using crypto in software (default 0 [hardware]) (int)
parm:		 queues_num:number of hw queues. (int)
parm:		 11n_disable:disable 11n functionality (int)
parm:		 amsdu_size_8K:enable 8K amsdu size (default 0 [disabled]) (int)
parm:		 fw_restart:restart firmware in case of error (int)

root@mx1:/home/demo# lsmod
Module				 Size Used by
iwl4965			 114688 0
iwl3945			 77824 0
iwlegacy			 81920 2 iwl4965,iwl3945
mac80211			 798720 3 iwl4965,iwlegacy,iwl3945
cfg80211			 716800 4 mac80211,iwl4965,iwlegacy,iwl3945

root@mx1:/home/demo# modprobe -r iwlwifi ; modprobe iwlwifi
root@mx1:/home/demo# lsmod
Module				 Size Used by
iwlwifi			 212992 0
iwl4965			 114688 0
iwl3945			 77824 0
iwlegacy			 81920 2 iwl4965,iwl3945
mac80211			 798720 3 iwl4965,iwlegacy,iwl3945
cfg80211			 716800 5 iwlwifi,mac80211,iwl4965,iwlegacy,iwl3945

 

I am writing this from my Skylake but will have another play with modules on the 52 tomorrow.

 

As to updating the bios to sort put the wi-fi, I can not find any bios updates for my Mk1 on the Panosonic site. All the bios updates seem to relate to Mk3's and upwards. One of those may work but I am a bit wary of borking the pc with a wrong bios.

I did read through a whole load of posts relating to 52's wi-fi updates on the NoteBook Review forums,

 

http://forum.noteboo...1n-easy.434560/

 

but could find no conclusive information that I could use.

 

 

In the meanwhile to have wi-fi I bought this for £1.59 and it works straight out of the box on the 52 running MX-17 from a stick.

 

https://www.ebay.co....72.m2749.l2649

 

I spent some time hunting some ram and finally bought these 4 x 2 GB's for £12.99 which was by far the cheapest on E-Bay. I have tried one stick in another machine and it works. So I will install two sticks on the 52 tomorrow, 4 GB should be plenty for the way I will use the 52.

 

https://www.ebay.co....72.m2749.l2649

 

Oh and I took the 52 out with me yesterday and today and have watched five episodes of Captain Harlock whilst waiting for my passengers.

 

http://youtu.be/VKC-IfmMb38

 

:clap:

Edited by abarbarian
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Looks like the modules are there and loaded.

 

Yeah that is what I thought too. I will have another play tomorrow and if I have no luck I'll buy another card and try again. I would rather have on board wi-fi than a usb type. :breakfast:

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Still hacking away at the wi-fi on the 52. I ordered another dirt cheap card with different firmware and will report back.

 

In the meanwhile. The reason I have become interested in Toughbooks is down to my sister. She does a lot of fancy cooking and needs to have a copy of the recipe to hand. She was concerned at how much paper she was wasting and the cost and how paper sheets do not get along well with sticky hands and surfaces.

I suggested she use her Kobo Arc tablet but she said she had tried it but the text was too small and making the text bigger and scrolling with sticky hands was not do-able. Also she was concerned with knocking/dropping the Kobo in a kitchen.

I remembered the small CF-19 Toughbook with the swivel screen and rugged use anywhere construction and told my sister about them. After taking a look at one on-line she asked me if I could find her a reasonably priced CF-19. It was whilst looking for one that I bought the 52.

Back to the CF-19 story.......... I did indeed find one. One that was sold as faulty with missing parts. Looking at the sale pictures I noticed that there did not seem to be a bios password set. That is an important fact as Toughbooks with set bios passwords are only useful for parts or as door stops. Reading around it seems that hacking a Toughbook bios password is not possible for mere mortals.

I made my bid and won the auction and paid the handsome sum of £42 inc postage. Now this delightful beast was missing a hdd caddy, a hdd, a ram cover, a charger and a key "AltGr". You may wonder why I bought the poor old thing ?

The beast arrived a few days later.

After unwrapping and plugging in I thought the charger I had bought for the 52 would work on the 19 and it did, so that was one good point. Ah ha I could change the boot order in the bios and save the changes, my instincts were right, another good point. Plugging in a usb a Live MX-17 fired up and ran pretty neatly, another good point. The onboard wireless worked straight away, another good point. However FireFox which did open smartly, locked up the poor old beast to such an extent that hitting the power button was the only option, not such a good point. This point did not bother me as I had an idea that the 2 GB ram I had on order for the 52, whilst being faster ram should work ok in the 19.

Anyways here is a shot of the 19 beast before any work had been done to it. I am well chuffed that the beast appears to be almost fully functional despite the missing parts.

 

3fYmWMC.png

 

That is a shot from a few days ago and the wi-fi is showing down. I am actually posting from the 19 now. Posting is slow as I have yet to fully master the strange keyboard.

 

The tale will continue.

 

:breakfast:

 

Oh an I still am on the no smoking wagon :clap:

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securitybreach

Neat but I am surprised that the harddrive is only 8gb. Why did you not get a more up to date laptop as this is neat but honestly, you will not be able to do very much with it? I mean you could have gotten a ThinkPad with an i5, 4gb of ram and an 80gb ssd for $120: https://www.ebay.com...op/253375622599

 

Even a $59 Chromebook would have had more power than that one: https://www.ebay.com...12/263488244287

 

I know it's kind of late to suggest a different one but I didn't realize what your total price was (including the high shipping price).

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I imagine the HDD is actually a USB thumbdrive as the regular HDD is missing. The cheapest SSD you can get will make a big difference.

If the wifi card is working your "old" card should have worked in the CF-52. Same model card?

Edited by raymac46
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Neat but I am surprised that the harddrive is only 8gb. Why did you not get a more up to date laptop as this is neat but honestly, you will not be able to do very much with it? I mean you could have gotten a ThinkPad with an i5, 4gb of ram and an 80gb ssd for $120: https://www.ebay.com...op/253375622599

 

Even a $59 Chromebook would have had more power than that one: https://www.ebay.com...12/263488244287

 

I know it's kind of late to suggest a different one but I didn't realize what your total price was (including the high shipping price).

 

$120 is way over budget for a device that will be used in a kitchen for reading recipes. Also second hand prices over here are more expensive than where you are. I get your point that I could probably buy a more powerful laptop for the same loot but it would not have the features I am looking for. A more powerful laptop would be overkill for the intended use of either of the Toughbooks.

An an ordinary laptop just don't have the same street cred as a Toughbook. :happyroll:

 

I imagine the HDD is actually a USB thumbdrive as the regular HDD is missing. The cheapest SSD you can get will make a big difference.

If the wifi card is working your "old" card should have worked in the CF-52. Same model card?

 

Yup you are right the CF-19 was running from a live MX-17 on a 8 GB usb stick. There was no hdd or caddy so no os. I do have a spare 60 GB cheapo ssd that will eventually be fitted to it.

On the 52 I have MX-17 on a stick but I have Vista Pro installed on the ssd which I am leaving on until I get the wi-fi sorted in a permanent fashion.

 

I finally have wi-fi on the 52. :bounce:

 

I bought a dirt cheap card,

 

https://www.ebay.co....872.m2749.l2649

 

once fitted into the 52 it did show up.

 

xcSJmVj.jpg

 

However I could not get the card to work. I am connected here and now on the 52 with the very cheap usb dongle but I had to do a heap of reading and fiddling. In the end I had to blacklist the iwl3945 module belonging to the card for the dongle to work.

 

At least I have learnt a great deal and I must say it has been fun. I am finding typing on the laptop rather odd, what with the FN key and all the different ways you use the keyboard. At the moment I am typing with the FN key pressed down all the time with my left hand and type with one finger on the right hand. Otherwise I end up w5th a33 s6rts 6f strange st4ff and spend all my time deleting and re-typing.

 

The sun is shining although it is cold an a freind has called around to see if I am up for a short ride out on the Enfield. So see you later with another CF tale. :whistling:

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Odd the internal wifi is seen, modules loaded yet no wifi. At least the USB will work. I know Vista sucks, but if you boot it does the machine see your wifi card in Windows? If not maybe the BIOS is set to disable internal wifi or there is something funny with the wifi switch. I assume you have figured out how to turn it on.

I don't think another distro will be better since MX-17 excels in compatibility with wifi.

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Odd the internal wifi is seen, modules loaded yet no wifi. At least the USB will work. I know Vista sucks, but if you boot it does the machine see your wifi card in Windows? If not maybe the BIOS is set to disable internal wifi or there is something funny with the wifi switch. I assume you have figured out how to turn it on.

I don't think another distro will be better since MX-17 excels in compatibility with wifi.

 

Vista did not see my first card, before I did the cut trace mod , or after. Vista did see the second card I tried but told me that a hardware switch needed to be switched on, drivers were installed and device manager told me that the card was ready for use.

MX-17 is fab.

 

@abarbarian try with only the internal wifi:

#rfkill list

 

If it shows either hard or soft blocked, run:

# rfkill unblock all

 

I had no luck whatsoever with my first card, possibly it was a dud, or I had already made the trace cut hack before I was fully up to speed on fiddling with the command line.

 

The second card was found in MX and Vista, see above for Vista info.

In MX-17 I did try with only the internal card and followed advice from the Arch Wiki,

 

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Wireless_network_configuration

 

and several other sources. I tried quite a few different commands and ways to access the card and to try and get it up and running. I did try the "rfkill" commands but they did not enable wi-fi even though they showed no blocks on software or hardware.

I did try both the card and the usb dongle at the same time but they did not work even though the modules needed for both were installed. Once I did a "modprobe -r" I managed to have the usb dongle working.

So it seems that even though MX-17 is telling me that the card should work it does not. I found a lot of posts regarding wi-fi on the 52 and it seems that there is a hack to do with pin 20 that works for some folk. Details here, the post is for a CF-30 but a lot of the 52 posts point to it as a solution.

 

http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/problems-upgrading-cf-30-internal-wireless.595917/

 

Seeing as the card cost me less than £2 I am going to ask my neighbors wife for some nail polish and try the hack. If it works , great, if not I'll buy another cheapy card and keep trying.

 

Oh and I went for the ride. Nice and sunny with dry tarmac apart from one five minute spell where a shower of hailstones turned the road white, then the sun came back out again. It was as they say quite parky, that is blooming cold in normal speak.

 

:breakfast:

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abarbarian
On 1/29/2018 at 9:32 PM, securitybreach said:

Yeah, G is pretty old and cannot go any faster than 54mbps. Most wireless N usb dongles should work fine for you and they are pretty cheap. Most can be had for under $20 or less.

 

I replied

 

Quote

$20 !!!!! blimey

 

https://www.ebay.co....53.m2749.l2649

 

£1.39 inc postage is more like it.

 

So my cheapo usb wi-fi certainly was worth the loot. Sadly it will no longer be used, not because it broke, but because I finally got onboard wi-fi working on my CF-52 :clap:

 

I bought "512AN_MMW Intel WiFi Link 5100 SPS: 470985-001 0E" card for £4 inc postage on E-Bay. Shaved of the gold contacts on pin 20 fitted it and whoopee it works. Wi-Fi is fast enough here for streaming from Utube  and web pages open pretty fast so I recon that is a win for me. No more cables or dongles, freedom at last. 😎

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abarbarian

It was quite a puzzle making the wifi work as I wanted.

Just using the usb wifi with no card in the machine wifi worked great.

Using a card in the machine unmodified did not work.

What puzzled me was that leaving the unmodified card in the machine and then trying to use the usb wifi did not work. I tried rebooting , different sockets but both together would not work. RFkill showed that they should have worked or at least it looked that way to me.

 

$ rfkill
ID TYPE DEVICE      SOFT      HARD
 0 wlan phy0   unblocked blocked
 1 wlan phy1   unblocked unblocked

 

Looked to me as though the onboard card had a hard block. Trying RFKill with just the usb in the machine gave soft and hard unblocked messages.

I spent quite some time trying out all the different rfkill commands and did a whole heap of reading up around wifi on linux but could not figure out why the usb wifi would work on its own but not alongside the unmodified onboard card.

Eventually I made the pin 20 modification and now RFKill shows,

 

$ rfkill
ID TYPE DEVICE      SOFT      HARD
 0 wlan phy0   unblocked unblocked
 1 wlan phy1   unblocked unblocked

 

The onboard wifi works and if I plug in the usb wifi it works too.

During my research I saw that the Intel card I had purchased covered a/b/g and Draft N.

 

Quote

The Intel® WiFi Link 5100 Series is a family of IEEE 802.11a/b/g/Draft-N1 wireless network
adapters that operate in both the 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz spectra. These adapters, available
in both PCIe* Mini Card and Half Mini Card form factor deliver up to 300 Mbps2 of receive
bandwidth; in addition to providing a host of features that enhance today’s mobile lifestyle

 

Checking on the speed of the card with the MX Conection Information tool I was initially only seeing speeds of 54 Mb/s and I thought that possibly my old Tough Book could not handle Draft-N1 or maybe I needed some extra bios stuff or somesuch. As I found the speeds acceptable I decided to not bother struggling with more research.

So I was surprised when I made a quick speed check today to find speeds of 126 Mb/s being recorded. I could not get a screen shot showing those speeds but did manage to capture a shot showing 108 Mb/s. Whoopee my tough old laptop is a speedster.

 

9OnmEcY.png

 

😎

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abarbarian
4 minutes ago, securitybreach said:

That is odd that the wifi didn't just work out of the box.

 

ToughBooks are notorious for wifi start up problems. It all depends which organisation the TB came from. Some TB's have the wifi locked down so tight that it is impossible to hack away around it.Some TB's let you do the pin 20 hack and some do not. Not all cards work in the TB's either.If the TB has a supervisor password then it is almost impossible to beat, apparently on the earlier models you might get lucky and do a successful hack.

On mine now I have done the pin 20 hack the mechanical switch for wifi does not work, mind you it did not work before the hack either.

 

I love my ToughBook and have a few more improvements in mind for it.  😎

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securitybreach
15 minutes ago, abarbarian said:

 

ToughBooks are notorious for wifi start up problems. It all depends which organisation the TB came from. Some TB's have the wifi locked down so tight that it is impossible to hack away around it.Some TB's let you do the pin 20 hack and some do not. Not all cards work in the TB's either.If the TB has a supervisor password then it is almost impossible to beat, apparently on the earlier models you might get lucky and do a successful hack.

On mine now I have done the pin 20 hack the mechanical switch for wifi does not work, mind you it did not work before the hack either.

 

I love my ToughBook and have a few more improvements in mind for it.  😎

 

Ah, I thought it was the new adapter that you bought?

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abarbarian
1 hour ago, securitybreach said:

 

Ah, I thought it was the new adapter that you bought?

 

The USB wifi worked straight away once the right drivers were activated. It was the onboard that was the problem. I could have left it with the usb but did not want something sticking out at the side of the laptop.

I use the toughie when I go on trips and holidays so the less clutter that comes with it the better.

Starting next week as it is winter here and I have to wait for an hour or so at hosplitals when voluntary driving I will be watching anime episodes on it. 😋

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  • 2 weeks later...

Two out of three ain't too bad.

 

After successfully doing a pin 20 mod and install of this wifi card,

 

nzROPrB.png

 

I decided to upgrade my usb facilities. The ToughBook comes with a Express Card slot aswell as a PCI slot and during my research into wifi I found this card,

 

5vKuLBN.png

 

Quote

 

Support Express card 54 slot
Support USB 1.1 / 2.0 / 3.0
Support USB 3.0 Specifications, Transfer rate up to 5Gbps
2 X USB 3.0 specifications ports
Transfer rate up to 5Gbps
Support older USB series specifications (Compatible USB 1.1 / 2.0)
Support transfer rate of 1.5/12/480Mbps, 5Gbps
With USB bus power for external AC power supply

 

I do not really need to up the speed of the usb slots as this is just a backup pc. However I will be transferring some large files and I can just not resist fiddling.

Card arrived and was duly installed and it looks like it has the given me USB3 sockets.

 

$ inxi -xxx -J
USB:       Hub-1: 1-0:1 info: Full speed (or root) Hub ports: 2 rev: 1.1 speed: 12 Mb/s 
           chip-ID: 1d6b:0001 class-ID: 0900 
           Hub-2: 2-0:1 info: Full speed (or root) Hub ports: 4 rev: 2.0 speed: 480 Mb/s 
           chip-ID: 1d6b:0002 class-ID: 0900 
           Hub-3: 3-0:1 info: Full speed (or root) Hub ports: 2 rev: 1.1 speed: 12 Mb/s 
           chip-ID: 1d6b:0001 class-ID: 0900 
           Hub-4: 4-0:1 info: Full speed (or root) Hub ports: 2 rev: 1.1 speed: 12 Mb/s 
           chip-ID: 1d6b:0001 class-ID: 0900 
           Device-1: 4-1:2 info: Areson Gaming II type: Mouse driver: hid-generic,usbhid 
           interfaces: 2 rev: 2.0 speed: 12 Mb/s power: 100mA chip-ID: ffc0:001f class-ID: 0300 
           Hub-5: 5-0:1 info: Full speed (or root) Hub ports: 2 rev: 1.1 speed: 12 Mb/s 
           chip-ID: 1d6b:0001 class-ID: 0900 
           Hub-6: 6-0:1 info: Full speed (or root) Hub ports: 6 rev: 2.0 speed: 480 Mb/s 
           chip-ID: 1d6b:0002 class-ID: 0900 
           Hub-7: 7-0:1 info: Full speed (or root) Hub ports: 2 rev: 1.1 speed: 12 Mb/s 
           chip-ID: 1d6b:0001 class-ID: 0900 
           Hub-8: 8-0:1 info: Full speed (or root) Hub ports: 2 rev: 2.0 speed: 480 Mb/s 
           chip-ID: 1d6b:0002 class-ID: 0900 
           Hub-9: 9-0:1 info: Full speed (or root) Hub ports: 2 rev: 3.0 speed: 5 Gb/s 
           chip-ID: 1d6b:0003 class-ID: 0900 

 

As to how fast the sockets are I still have to do some tests to see.

 

Deciding I was on a roll I thought it would be nice to see if I could give the ToughBook internet capabilities by adding a WWAN card. So I bought this,

 

ufr6ZwO.png

 

I managed to dismantle the TB and find the socket for the WWAN card. However there were two screws which I could not undo, I have a set of electrical screwdrivers but none of the drivers would fit the screws. So my attempt came to a stop, I may have another go if I can find a mate with better screwdrivers.The card I have might not be suitable for this TB but I won't know until I can seat it properly.

I don't really need a roaming internet connection but it would be neat to have the facility.

 

So two out of three ain't too bad.

 

Oh and I fitted the TB out with some great Linux stickers which of course make it run much better. I'll post pics later on.  😋

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