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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Dec 09, 2010
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    Mac Mini without WIFI
    Hi,

    I expect this is covered ground but I cant find anything to specifically answer my questions.

    I've bought (but not yet recieved) a 1.25 g4 mac mini without either wifi or bluetooth.

    What is the best way to get wifi enabled?

    USB wifi dongle - are there any that work?
    Ethernet bridge
    Or install an airport express card? - I work with electronics so not too scared.

    Or just run a wire round the room to the router and stuff wifi.

    I want to use the mac mini in my lounge to access spotify, youtube and internet tv through my hdtv.

    I'd like to be able to use my iphone to control the mac mini, I have an app that allows me to control my macbook using wifi, both touchpad and keyboard. If I was to run a wire from my mini to the router would I be able to use my iphone to control it?
    Or does the iphone connect directly to the mac not the router?

    If I was to do an ethernet bridge would it behave as if it was a wireless mac mini or does it connect differently to the router.

    Sorry if all this has been covered before and if I've confused anyone!

    Oh and by "What is the best way to get wifi enabled?" I mean easiest and cheapest!

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrfoster View Post

    What is the best way to get wifi enabled?

    USB wifi dongle - are there any that work?
    From most of what I've heard from Mac Users...they don't work very well. Some have had success...but I believe most have not had acceptable performance.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrfoster View Post
    Ethernet bridge
    I've found these complicated to set up (maybe that's just me)! And the bridges I've seen & used are sort of expensive.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrfoster View Post
    Or install an airport express card? - I work with electronics so not too scared.
    This can cost you over $100 to do. Besides the Airport express card...you need some other special parts to do the install. A "riser card" and a hardware kit.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrfoster View Post
    Or just run a wire round the room to the router and stuff wifi.
    This certainly would be the least expensive route (plug ethernet cable into the Mini)...but this of course wouldn't be WiFi.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrfoster View Post
    I'd like to be able to use my iphone to control the mac mini, I have an app that allows me to control my macbook using wifi, both touchpad and keyboard. If I was to run a wire from my mini to the router would I be able to use my iphone to control it?
    Or does the iphone connect directly to the mac not the router?
    I'm not 100% sure about this. But I think that you would need bluetooth or WiFi to make this work (either of which is going to be expensive to install in the mini). Plus..there's a lot of time & technology between the Mini (2005)...and a new iPhone...from a compatibility standpoint.

    Basically you would probably be MUCH better off if you were able to purchase a Mac-mini (ideally an Intel Mac-Mini) with Airport & Bluetooth already built-in.

    HTH,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
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  3. #3

    XJ-linux's Avatar
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    I've home brewed a Mac Mini or three. They are pretty simple once you crank them open. Try here for your parts. They have everything you need from antennas, cards and the mezzanine board. Keep in mind, for a bit more than the cost of the parts you can likely snag one off eBay that has what you need.

    Mezzanine Board for Mac Mini $42.99 | 800-525-3888

    Mac Mini Intel Replacement Parts | 1-800-525-3888
    Never judge a man, untill you have walked a mile in his shoes...
    That way you'll be a mile away from him, and you'll have his shoes.

  4. #4

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    XJ beat me to part of it. That is the nicest way to do it if you can afford the Airport card and Mezzanine board.

    Pigoo is correct in that a good Wireless Bridge is not cheap, but you can find an old Linksys WRT54G or GL router and install DD-WRT Linux Firmware, you can use it easily as a Router, WiFi Access Point, Bridge, Repeater. I have 2 WRT54G's modded here with DD-WRT and setup is easy. You can find a really old WRT54g for quite cheap on ebay and the Firmware is free.

    Just thought I would throw that out there as another option.

    I own both the stock 1.25Ghz Mini and the last 1.5Ghz G4 Mini that has the Airport and BT built in.

    Also I own an Linksys RangePlus WUSB-100 USB WiFi adapter. It works great in OSX with a Ralink driver. Works well on my old Mini.

  5. #5

    XJ-linux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
    XJ beat me to part of it. That is the nicest way to do it if you can afford the Airport card and Mezzanine board.

    Pigoo is correct in that a good Wireless Bridge is not cheap, but you can find an old Linksys WRT54G or GL router and install DD-WRT Linux Firmware, you can use it easily as a Router, WiFi, Bridge, Repeater. I have 2 WRT54G's modded here with DD-WRT and setup is easy. You can find a really old WRT54g for quite cheap on ebay and the Firmware is free.

    Just thought I would throw that out there as another option.

    I own both the stock 1.25Ghz Mini and the last 1.5Ghz G4 Mini that has the Airport and BT built in.

    Also I own an Linksys RangePlus WUSB-100 USB WiFi card. It works great in OSX with a Ralink driver. Works well on my old Mini.
    I actually have that same router sitting in a drawer at home. Were these things just issued to everyone en masse at some point? There are good, simple and everyone seems to have one or have had one at some point. I may have to give that a try for the heck of it. Cool!
    Never judge a man, untill you have walked a mile in his shoes...
    That way you'll be a mile away from him, and you'll have his shoes.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Dec 09, 2010
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    Thanks for the replies gents, Im in the Uk so the stores you've linked to might cost a bit to ship stuff over.

    Im going to try and hard wire first and see if I can use the iphone, apparently I should be able to.

    Then try a Wireless ethernet gaming adapter. From what I can understand this turns an ethernet port into a wireless receiver/sender so will connect directly to the wireless router. So no need for a second part of an ethernet bridge.

    Failing this I'll find a broken mac mini to cannibalise, rip open mine and stick an airport card in.

  7. #7

    XJ-linux's Avatar
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    Good luck. Welcome to the forums and please let us know how it turns put.
    Never judge a man, untill you have walked a mile in his shoes...
    That way you'll be a mile away from him, and you'll have his shoes.

  8. #8

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrfoster View Post
    Thanks for the replies gents, Im in the Uk so the stores you've linked to might cost a bit to ship stuff over.
    I think that one of the main ideas behind the earlier store links was...to let you know what the parts look like & how much they cost...not so much to actually order the parts (regardless if the stores are based in the US).

    When you add up the total cost of the parts (mezzanine board, hardware kit, and Airport card)...you'll find that you're getting close to the cost of the Mac-mini. That's why it's more cost effective to buy a mini with Airport (and maybe bluetooth) already built-in.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  9. #9


    Member Since
    Dec 09, 2010
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    Hello again,

    Its finally turned up, just waiting for a dvi to hdmi cable to arrive.

    I ended up buying this one as it was a bit of a bargain and I will admit I didn't completely check the specification before I bid! Nevermind, lesson learnt.

    Installing an airport card is a last resort, I will stick with it being hard wired I expect. Pretty sure the iphone app should still work as it connects to the router not the actual computer.

    Thanks again,

    Alex

  10. #10

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrfoster View Post
    ...I will stick with it being hard wired I expect. Pretty sure the iphone app should still work as it connects to the router not the actual computer.
    Nothing wrong with being hard wired (especially on a desktop Mac)...as long as it's not too much hassle running the cable to the computers location.

    Good luck,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

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