We very often receive requests on how to enable wireless connectivity to our boards. Hence this thread intends to identify current experiences and tries to answer frequently asked questions.
Does WindowsCE include WLAN support natively?
Nativly WindowsCE does only feature basic wireless support. This means Windows CE includes stacks for IEEE 802.3, 802.5 and 802.1x wirless standards.
But it does not include device drivers for any specific WLAN device.
Which interface should be used to connect an external WLAN device?
Of course there are a lot extension interfaces available on our boards and it still might be possible to find a WLAN module that can be interfered using SPI for example. But most important factor on electing a module is availabity of a device driver for Windows Embedded CE/Compact. Hence you should take a look at the Windows CE verified device driver list from Microsoft.
There are only a few modules that have passed this verification process.
One of these drivers is build for devices based on a wireless chip from RALink (RT2860, RTL2870, RTL2770). This chip is designed to be connected via USB interface.
Do you have experience with specific WLAN modules?
According to previous question we would suggest using a WLAN adapter that is equiped with a RALink wireless chip and connected to F&S board via USB interface.
In fact this chipset is a widely used product by many different WLAN manufacturers. One module customers reported about good experiences is the "Qcom LR802UKN 54 MBps" module.
Where can I get a driver for my module?
Attached to this thread you will find a driver for RALink chipset RT2870. This zip package also includes a cab installer. Just copy this cab file on your board, execute it and follow the instrations on screen (destination folder should be \FFSDISK). If you are not able to access windows desktop you could also use winceload utility to install the cab file without UI (/noui option). Additionally please make sure to save the registry after installtion has finished to make sure that registry settings are still available after reboot (ndcucfg command "reg save")
You may also find some additional information on the RALink driver on the RAlink windows CE Blog.