Crazy Question: Airport on a TiBook, why so expensive?

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I have an old TiBook that has served me well for over 5 years that I would like to turn over to someone with a need for it; unfortunately, the airport crapped out yesterday. Airport "appears" in the options; however, it cannot find any networks (there are probably 8-10 in the area) nor manually connect to any.

I removed the bottom half and inspected the antenna which checked out fine. I am assuming that something has gone out in the airport card itself. No problem, I'll grab one from ebay. Probably over 200 listings and the average price is north of $70!?!!? What in the world are people doing charging so much for an extremely outdated card? Obviously the market is justifying the cost, but wow.

Any suggestions on a cheap replacement? Go with a third party PC-Card replacement?


  • Reply 1 of 8
    mbaynhammbaynham Posts: 534member
    they charging so much because its a discontinued card, so they can pretty much charge what they want, because if it is needed, people will pay.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    progmacprogmac Posts: 1,850member
    check out the Orinoco WaveLan Gold/Silver cards. You can get one on ebay for ~30$ and i've heard of those working, since the airport card is just a recased version of those without an internal antenna. there are also some usb wireless adapters, from which i've read mixed reviews.

    there are probably some specifics for getting it setup with the TiBook, and with sufficient googling i bet you can get up and running for much less than $70

  • Reply 3 of 8
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    A Google for "Tibook airport substitute" shows that the MacSense WPE-800 might be a good substitute, it has B and G standards, so for a little more than replacing original with same card, it's an upgrade. It doesn't appear that it would fit inside the system, using the external PC Card slot but supposedly the reception is better.
  • Reply 4 of 8
    atomichamatomicham Posts: 185member
    Thanks for the responses everyone. I'll see which third-party has the best software support. Late last night, I found an old TRENDnet card that I had used in an old StinkPad. Plugged it in, downloaded the 8180 drivers from the realtek website, and boom, it works. The software is utter crap (you have to run this extremely poorly written program to connect to a network), but it works.

    I am giving the computer to my inlaws who don't know the first thing about using a computer; therefore, I may spring for an airport replacement so that the software integration is seamless to them...

    We'll see. Thanks again.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    fooeyfooey Posts: 52member
    hah thats about 5 times cheaper than what it costs if you ordered one from apple. infact i dont think we can even get them anymore through apple.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    drazztikkadrazztikka Posts: 240member
    Maybe your airport card is loose from lugging it around.

    Loose antenna?

    Good luck
  • Reply 7 of 8
    cosmonutcosmonut Posts: 4,872member
    Check out the Sonnet Aria Extreme card. I bought it for my dad's old Lombard G3 Powerbook, but it should work with a TiBook just fine. It can even do 802.11g.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    progmacprogmac Posts: 1,850member

    Originally posted by drazztikka

    Maybe your airport card is loose from lugging it around.

    Loose antenna?

    Good luck

    good point, we never actually tried to figure out the original problem. this seems very, very likely.
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