Reviewing palmOne Wi-Fi card, part 1

by Volker Weber

palmone_sdwifi2.jpgRepeat after me: If all else fails, read the manual.

palmOne has sent me a Wi-Fi card to play with. This is good. I like to play with new stuff. And then write about it. :-) However, I was having some problems getting VersaMail to work after installing the palmOne Wi-Fi driver. Connecting to the network was a breeze. The browser was happy. But VersaMail was not. It always tried to establish a PPP connection although the T3 was already connected to my WLAN. Solution:

VersaMail has an “Always connect using” preference setting (Options>Mail Servers) that could cause VersaMail to attempt to connect to a mail server via network services other than Wi-Fi even if Wi-Fi is turned on. Make certain that you either disable the “Always connect using” feature, or set it to Wi-Fi if you encounter this problem.

There is more interesting stuff in the readme:

Wi-Fi channels 12, 13 and 14 are not supported. If you are in a country where these channels are allowed you will need to find an access point set to channels 1-11 to connect to.

Read: The driver was designed with only the US market in mind.

palmOne cannot guarantee interoperability between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so we recommend that you turn off Bluetooth when using the Wi-Fi card.

That is fine with me. I don't need another unused circuit sucking on the battery. Talking about the battery:

Constant use of the Wi-Fi card can deplete the handheld battery quickly. We recommend that you plug the handheld into a charging device or attach an auxilliary battery when using the Wi-Fi card for extended periods.

Hmmh. I wonder whether being tethered to a wall outlet is so much better than being tethered to an ethernet cable.


The wifi that's built into my Palm Tungsten C does indeed drain the battery faster but I can get about two to three hours of constant use when wifi is on before the unit needs to be recharged. Not great but probably much better than similar devices.

Michael LeRoux, 2004-12-16

I recall reading you had a T3 and a Treo... There's a hack to get the card working on a Treo now... wonder if you felt like taking the chance and reporting back here on it?

Jonathan Greene, 2004-12-17

Jonathan, if you scroll down one post, you will find that I am perfectly aware of the driver.


a) I have a Treo 600, not a Treo 650
b) my Treo is not a "lab" but a "production" machine
c) the driver certainly has lots of rough edges
d) I have a supported T3

Are these enough reasons to ask you to read somewhere else about this adventure? ;-)

Volker Weber, 2004-12-17

I knew you knew about the driver... there was some rumbling of it working in a 600 as well - though no card here. No worries.

Jonathan Greene, 2004-12-17

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