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Fun Facts

The dual transceiver devices from Netgate come with a PC Engine WRAP board. (Wireless Router Application Platform.) M0n0wall is the default application, but it doesn't support WPA. So after looking at all the freeware packages listed on the PC Engine site, I decided to try pfSense. So I needed to write the image to a CF card.

Writing the Image to a CF card

Used a SanDisk SDDR-92 from Best Buy (~$30) Plugged it into the USB port and found instructions for enabling USB support. (Basically, loaded a couple of modules and edited /etc/modprobe.conf.) The drive is /dev/sdb.

Download the image from pfSense and do the following:

Delete all the partitions on the CF disk. (Mine was /dev/sdb, which was mounted via the USB port and a SDDR-92 SANDISK reader.)

fdisk /dev/sdb

Write the image to the CF card as follows:

gunzip -c image-name.img.gz | dd of=/dev/sdb bs=16k

(Note the extension will be .gz)

Put the card into the WRAP and apply power. The terminal parameters should be 38400,n,8,1 and the cable needs to be a null modem cable. The tty device is /dev/ttyUSB0. After the WRAP boots, pfSense switches to 9600,n,8,1. So change your terminal program. Answer the questions. The LAN interface will be sis0 and the first WAN interface will be ath0 (or wlan0 for the prism card.) Set the LAN IP address to Then go to a web browser for final configuration. Here are the notes for configuring pfSense.


From the PC Engine web site, I investigated just about all the different firmwares. Here are a few notes about them. You can visit the PC Engine site for a more complete list.

m0n0wall - good, easy to use, but no WPA or EAP yet.

pfsense - expanded version of m0n0wall, but no WPA. May be good once ready.

buildroot - to roll my own, spent a day trying to get the damn thing to compile. No luck

StarOS - commercial, but they don't tell you it's $70 per box for a license - forget it

Zeroshell - looks good, but needs 512MB FLASH, I only have 256MB

Voyage Linux - looks good, I was able to install the OS. Very configurable. Has Hostapd and WPA.

LEAF - depreciated

ME2000 - not ready for prime time. This builds on LEAF

GNAP - looks promising, but based on GENTOO, my workstation is FC5 at work


Use the CM9s with the Atheros chip set. Forget the 2511. They can't do WPA2 because they were produced before the standard.

http://www.ubnt.com/super_range9.php4 - 900MHz radios

Flash the 2511

This didn't cure the WPA-PSK problem for me.

Turns out the version of firmware I'm using is old and won't support the Intersil Prism 2511 card, which comes with the dual netgate wireless node. So you need to flash the card with new firmware. Here's the link: http://www.netgate.com/info/miniPCI/Prism/Firmware/help.html

voyage:/etc/network# hostap_diag wlan0
Host AP driver diagnostics information for 'wlan0'

NICID: id=0x8013 v1.0.0 (PRISM II (2.5) Mini-PCI (SST parallel flash))
PRIID: id=0x0015 v1.1.0
STAID: id=0x001f v1.4.9 (station firmware)
voyage:/etc/network# cd /usr/src
voyage:/usr/src# ls
PK010101.HEX  SF010802.HEX

After the flash:

Components after download:
  NICID: 0x8013 v1.0.0
  PRIID: 0x0015 v1.1.1
  STAID: 0x001f v1.8.2