Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Hardware Hacking Portables (Apple) Upgrades Wireless Networking Apple

Macbook Air Internal EVDO Broadband Card Mod 68

Posted by timothy
from the evdo-wants-to-be-free dept.
Sastira writes "Jordan Bunnell has successfully modded his Macbook Air to use an internal EVDO Broadband card. In order to make everything fit, he had to sacrifice the WiFi and bluetooth cards, but considering the portable nature of the laptop, it is a small price to pay for being truly wireless." (You'll need to scroll down past the sketchy-looking top section of that page.) Sastira also links to this InsanelyMac forum thread on the mod.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Macbook Air Internal EVDO Broadband Card Mod

Comments Filter:
  • by mbone (558574) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @12:49PM (#23240172)
    Uh, my EVD0 USB dongle from Sprint is about 2.5 inches long, and weighs 2.01 ounces. I carry my MacBook around all of the time with it attached and in use. I sure wouldn't give up WiFi and Bluetooth to put it inside.
    • by MightyYar (622222)
      Pardon me for being an ignorant T-Mobile user... can't you just tether to your phone with Bluetooth? I find it unlikely that someone with an Air would lack a cell phone with Bluetooth...
    • by sootman (158191)
      my EVD0 USB dongle from Sprint is about 2.5 inches long, and weighs 2.01 ounces

      You should peel off the sticker and get it down to two ounces even! :-)
  • by Bazman (4849)
    So when the internal, non user-replaceable battery dies on this laptop, which it will, I get the feeling Apple might not be too happy about replacing it...

    • So buy a replacement battery online, unscrew the 6 screws in the bottom of the laptop, and pull out the old battery, and plug in the new one.
    • by sammy baby (14909)

      So when the internal, non user-replaceable battery dies on this laptop, which it will, I get the feeling Apple might not be too happy about replacing it...
      Yyyyyeah. If you're okay with killing your bluetooth and wifi in order to get internal EVDO, I have a feeling you're going to be okay replacing the battery yourself [slashdot.org].
    • by necro81 (917438)
      I wouldn't worry about the battery so much. This person clearly has the chops for opening up the case and replacing the battery, a task that only takes a screwdriver [appleinsider.com] and a few minutes' time [appleinsider.com], since the battery isn't soldered in. Even if it was soldered, I doubt that'd be a problem for this guy. When he needs a replacement battery, he'll have no trouble getting an after-market one.
      • by joeytmann (664434)
        In Apple's eyes, cracking open the thing just because you have the "chops" till doesn't make it ok. What if he has to have the MB replaced?
  • Jordan Bunnell has successfully modded his Macbook Air to use an internal EVDO Broadband card.

    ...because even for the humungous amount of money you pay for an Air, there's not even an RJ-45 wired network connector in it!

  • Drop WiFi? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by alanmeyer (174278) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @01:00PM (#23240342)

    In order to make everything fit, he had to sacrifice the WiFi and bluetooth cards, but considering the portable nature of the laptop, it is a small price to pay for being truly wireless
    Losing bluetooth is OK perhaps, but losing Wireless is far too big of a price to pay. Even the best connection via Verizon is slow, relative to wireless. Too bad
    • The summary suggests that he removed two cards, but Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are on the same card in a MacBook Air. It's all or nothing.

    • by Da_Biz (267075)
      Losing bluetooth is OK perhaps, but losing Wireless is far too big of a price to pay. Even the best connection via Verizon is slow, relative to wireless. Too bad

      As someone who owns a EVDO Sprint card, I could see why someone would want to use this:
      1) The nature of my work and hobbies requires frequent, flexible access to reliable network connectivity. The whole reason why I pay a premium for Sprint EVDO service (and the hardware) is to virtually guarantee that I can be anywhere in my city and have access.
  • Swapping a 10ft cable for a 15ft one is neither more, nor less, wired. Swapping Wi-Fi for EVDO is neither more, nor less, wireless. Lets call it truly wireless when no cords, including power cords, come in the box, or are required, ever.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Uncle Focker (1277658)

      Lets call it truly wireless when no cords, including power cords, come in the box, or are required, ever.
      I also look forward to the day that batteries charge themselves through magic.
      • by jandrese (485)
        Clearly the OP wants some sort of nuclear powered laptop.

        Of all of the laptops on the market, the Air is really the closest to his vision. The only cord you need is a power cord.
        • I'm sorry but how is that different from my laptop which only needs a power cord? I have wifi and bluetooth built in. How is the Air closer to "truly wireless?"
          • by jandrese (485)
            Well, the fact that it accesses optical devices (CD/DVD) over the Wifi is a start. Not coming with any sort of wired ethernet connection is another (you'd be hard pressed to find a PC laptop without an ethernet port these days). I'm not saying these are necessarily good things, but they do reflect Apple's mindset about the Air.
        • by Descalzo (898339)
          The non-user-replaceable battery makes it LESS wireless than my Dell, though. Even than my TiBook (if the screen wasn't destroyed). You have to plug it in more often. My buddy still brags that he can go for over 6 hours of movie-watching fun on his TiBook (what, like 5 years old now?) by swapping the battery.

          IMNSHO, the MacBook Air, in its attempt to be less wired than any other computer in the world, still manages to be (in many important ways) less useful than the EeePC.

      • by Amouth (879122)
        induction.. they are already starting to do it in japan for cell phones and ipods.. without much effort they could do it with laptops

        it isn't magic it is science
      • No magic required...

        they're working on it. [geek.com]
      • by vertinox (846076)
        I also look forward to the day that batteries charge themselves through magic.

        Someone hasn't been paying to recent technological developments...

        http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2008-01/electricity-air [popsci.com]

        The key to wireless power is resonance. Think of a wineglass that shatters when an opera singer hits just the right note. When the voice matches the glass's resonant frequency--the tone you hear when you tap the glass--the glass efficiently absorbs the singer's energy and cracks. Using magnetic induction

        • Someone hasn't been paying to recent technological developments...
          Nope, I was just being a sarcastic asshole.
      • by Dekker3D (989692)
        truth be told, there's already some research going on to make some kind of wireless power connection possible. one of them even seems quite realistic. of course, we'll never have it everywhere, but it'll still eliminate that last cord from the laptop ;)
  • by zerofoo (262795) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @01:12PM (#23240508)
    I have a Macbook Air and I solved this problem by tethering my Palm 700wx via bluetooth to my MBA. No hacking, no sacrifices (WiFi and Bluetooth still intact).

    Apart from the fun of moding - why would anyone else do this?

    -ted
  • Wifi runs at 2400 MHz, EVDO runs at 850, 1900 or about 2100 MHz, depending on carrier and implementation. So the fact that it works is fine, but I'm sure the signal isn't as good as it could be. Dell laptops have multiple antenna wires inside depending on which card you'll be using.
  • Q: Why would you pay a premium for something with limited functionality, then risk destroying it to swap in a different feature, when you could have had all those features for less money?

  • Explaining to airport security what all the extra wires they find in the X ray are.
  • by klubar (591384) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @02:11PM (#23241528) Homepage
    If apple wanted you to have verizon access... they would have built it in. If it's not there, you don't need it.

    Besides, if you want a computer that you can modify then you don't deserve to own a Macintosh.

    Nothing to see here. Go back to your boring gray PC please.
    • by Yvan256 (722131)
      Wow they have them in gray now? Good-bye beige, time to upgrade!
  • it's nice to be truly wireless, till he reads his TOS and realizes that his EVD0 connection is limited to web pages and even the unlimited plan has a bandwidth cap.

    From their TOS [vzw.com]:

    Examples of prohibited usage include: (i) server devices or host computer applications, including continuous Web camera posts or broadcasts, automatic data feeds, automated machine-to-machine connections, or peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing applications that are broadcast to multiple servers or recipients such that they could en

    • I would have loved to use a Sprint card, as it really is Unlimited, but was only able to get maybe 250kbps download speed in my area. True, true, the Verizon card is about as restricted as they come! They've revised it to where it's now their "5GB Plan" (Or $39.99 for a whopping 50MB) Wow!
    • Guess he should've got the Sprint plan instead.
  • .. but when I see hack jobs like this I can applaud the user for trying but the crap workmanship is appalling. Gee, buy a decent soldering station.. Sorry, off my soapbox.
  • Nice. (Score:2, Informative)

    by widderslainte (121941)
    Sacrifice wi-fi? Isn't it already missing an ethernet port? Nice way to make it worthless in an office, or even a home LAN for that matter.
  • This may be off topic but it is funny because just a few days ago the CDMA network in Australia was shut down for good. If America wants to stay ahead in the wireless broadband race it better start upgrading its network.
  • Anyone have a solution for tethering via USB with Sprint PCS? I've been looking at the Air but so far the lack of this functionality is a showstopper.
  • And in a month the guy would have had a 3G iPhone he could have tethered to easily and automatically via Bluetooth. He should have waited.
  • by ccdn (1282562)
    I think it is time to get the macbook air. -ccdn

"The greatest warriors are the ones who fight for peace." -- Holly Near

Working...