Harris Wireless Products

Harris Semiconductor
No. AN9666
Harris Wireless Products
January 1997
Wireless LAN Evaluation Kit SW Installation and Usage
Authors: Mike Paljug and Eric Turner (Squires Engineering)
If there are no error or warning messages during installation,
you may verify that the card is operating properly by viewing
the adapter setup in System Manager. Open Control Panel
and then double-click the System icon. This opens up the
System Manager. Select the Device Manager index tab. One
of the listed items should be Network adapters. If
Windows95 thinks there’s a problem with the adapter, the
adapter will be listed under Network adapters and there will
be a yellow exclamation visible next to it. Whether there is a
yellow exclamation visible or not, you may view Windows95’s
resource allocation for the adapter by double clicking its listing. (If the adapter listing isn’t visible, double-click the Network adapters listing to toggle between expanding and
collapsing the Network adapters list.) If you choose to
change the settings for the assigned resources then you
do so at your own risk. Harris does not assume any liability for hardware or software malfunction.
This Application Note describes
the driver and application software necessary to demonstrate
the 802.11 network capabilities
of the PC Card WLAN Evaluation Kit cards. These cards are
based on the Harris PRISM Chip Set and the AMD
Am79C930 Media Access Controller. Ad hoc network connectivity is provided via alpha 802.11 firmware and an alpha
NDIS3 driver. In addition, Windows 95 application software
is provided for evaluating the performance of the physical
layer in terms of Packet Error Rate (PER). At this time, the
alpha firmware and driver are only able to support
1 Mbit/second operation. Updates will be provided (as
they become available) via the Harris Semiconductor
World Wide Web page at http://www.harris.com.
If a problem exists as evidenced by the yellow exclamation
or by an inability to connect or sporadic behavior in
Windows95 (machine locks-up during normal operation,
screen displays errant behavior, etc.) then you might be
experiencing a problem with Windows95 resource management. The minimal testing that has been performed suggests that certain platforms are at less risk than others for
these types of problems. Since the software and firmware
are in alpha form, Harris Semiconductor is unable to
support resource management problems at this time.
However, the solution to the majority of problems that have
been experienced to date involve changing the Input/Output
Range setting. Usually changing this setting to 0200-020F is
successful. To do this open Control Panel and double click
the System icon. Select the Device Manager tab and then
double click the ‘Network adapters’ listing. Now double click
the ‘AMD...’ adapter listing. Select the ‘Resources’ tab and
highlight Input/Output Range setting. Uncheck the box titled
“Use automatic settings” and then select “Change Setting...”
Wireless LAN Connectivity
Before installing the adapter it is strongly recommended that
you update the BIOS for your PC. The new BIOS should ease
the task of resource management for Windows95 and maximize your chances of having a clean installation. First, determine the PC’s current BIOS revision. The BIOS revision
number is usually displayed during system start-up or in the
CMOS Setup. Consult your PC documentation for more information on determining the BIOS revision. Once the current
BIOS revision number is known, scan the PC Manufacturer’s
Website or call the PC Manufacturer in order to determine the
most recent BIOS revision for your PC model. If the Manufacturer has a newer revision, download/order it and follow the
Manufacturer’s instructions for loading it onto your system.
Initial installation of the hardware and software is described
in Chapter 2 of the “PC Card Wireless LAN User Guide [1].”
During initial installation, Windows95 will attempt to automatically assign the hardware resources required by the adapter
(i.e., IRQ, I/O, etc.). Windows95’s Resource Manager usually assigns resources appropriately. However, the task is
complicated by the absence of a Plug ‘n Play BIOS, lack of a
PCI bus, and/or the presence of legacy hardware. Error
messages encountered during installation should be taken
seriously. Consult Microsoft Windows95 Resource Kit, call
Microsoft Technical Support, or visit the Microsoft Website at
Another rare problem involves the configuration accepted by
Windows95’s Resource Manager. Two configurations are
possible, but in this alpha release both do not work equally
well. Configuration 0000 is preferred. To view which configuration has been selected by resource management, open
Control Panel and select the System icon. Select the Device
Manager tab and then select ‘Network Adapters’. Select the
‘AMD...’ adapter listing and select the ‘Resources’ tab. The
configuration is shown in this window. You may select it by
PRISM™ and the PRISM™ logo are trademarks of Harris Corporation.
Windows™ and Microsoft™ are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
© Harris Corporation 1997
Application Note 9666
dynamic fragmentation. Furthermore, the current driver
defaults to a maximum packet size of 1000 bytes.
clicking the arrow next to the configuration listing box. If you
have to change this make certain that the memory range is
usable. It should range somewhere between C0000h and
FFFFFh. If it doesn’t, you must find an area in this range that
does not conflict with any other device. Take the steps outlined in the paragraph above only change the memory setting instead of the Input/Output setting.
Initial installation of the Evaluation software is described in
Chapter 2 of the PC Card Wireless LAN User Guide.
Before running the application, you must first verify that the
TCP/IP protocol software is installed. To determine this,
select “Network” from the “Control Panel”. Under the configuration page, the TCP/IP protocol should be present. If it is
not present, add it by pressing the “Add” button, selecting
“Protocol”, selecting “Microsoft” and “TCP/IP”.
After installing the hardware and software as outlined in the
User Guide, verify your Windows95 Network setup via the
Network icon in Control Panel. Be sure to configure each
computer with a unique Computer Name but identical Workgroup. Also, be sure that a client is configured with at least the
TCP/IP protocol and that File Sharing is selected. After installation, my setup included the Microsoft Network client with the
IPX/SPX, NetBEUI, and TCP/IP protocols and File Sharing.
To configure the TCP/IP protocol, select “Network” from the
“Control Panel”. Under the configuration page, select the
TCP/IP protocol and press the “Properties” button. Under
the “IP Address” page, select the “Specify an IP Address”
radio button. Enter a valid IP address (we suggest “1.1.1.x,”
where x = 2 through 200) and a valid subnet mask (we suggest The IP address that you select must
not conflict with any other Wireless LAN IP address. The
LAN Evaluation software will not establish point-to-point
communication if the nodes are not on the same subnet.
This requires that the first three fields of the IP address be
identical on all Units Under Test (UUTs).
Once installed and configured properly, the PCs should be
visible to each other. Since all networks need time to establish a link database, it is suggested that you wait about 1
minute after entering Windows95 so that the network has
time to synchronize. After waiting for this period, double click
on Network Neighborhood. You should be able to see the
other computer. If the other computer is not visible, try
refreshing the view (F5) in Network Neighborhood a few
times on both computers.
Now that the other computer is visible, you must share its
resources in order to access its hard drive. This is accomplished by entering Explorer, highlighting the drives, folders,
or files that you wish to share and right clicking. This will
bring up a context menu with a “Sharing...” option. Click the
sharing option and make the appropriate selections to give
restricted or unrestricted access. The other machine is now
able to “see” these shared items and access them according
to your wishes.
The Lan Evaluation software allows the user to test performance of the 802.11 Wireless Lan evaluation cards. There
are two basic modes of operation and under each mode the
user must elect to be a transmitter or a receiver. The user
must also select the “Test Port”. The default value (1025) is
usually appropriate and the transmitter must match the
The two operational modes are:
Wireless LAN Evaluation Software
Packet Broadcast
Under this mode, the transmitter continuously broadcasts
packets with embedded sequence numbers and the receiver
automatically synchronizes to the data stream. Missing
packets are detected by comparing the embedded sequence
number with the expected sequence number. Packet error
rate is also continuously calculated and displayed.
The Wireless LAN Evaluation Software provides the capability to evaluate the performance of the Physical Layer of the
radio in terms of PER and Throughput.
There are two modes: Packet Broadcast and TCP Stream
Point-to-Point. The latter mode will gauge throughput under
normal full 802.11 protocol conditions. Packet Broadcast
mode is used to evaluate PER performance. This mode configures a transmit node and one or more receive nodes to
perform PER measurements. The receive nodes can be
placed at various distances and areas relative to the transmitter. In addition, these receivers can be subjected to various sources of interference. An experiment with multiple
receivers will provide data to compare radio PER performance of the various topologies and with different sources of
Stream Point-to-Point
Under this mode, the receiver must be set up to listen for
incoming connections and the transmitter must specify the
target address before beginning transmission. Once the connection is established, the transmitter begins transmitting
data. When using this mode (which relies on the TCP protocol), data is not separated into packets (hence the name
“stream”) so a measurement of “Packet Error Rate” is meaningless. Instead, what is displayed is a throughput rate. This
mode simulates network traffic such as would be encountered during normal network operations (such as file/printer
It should be noted that current revisions of the firmware
and driver do not implement MAC management features
and thus attempt transfers at a 1 MBPS rate only without
Application Note 9666
6. Total Packet Count
Once you have selected a test mode and a test port, you
must be a receiver or a transmitter. This calls up the appropriate window.
7. Packets/Second
8. Packet Error Rate %
Common Characteristics
To begin receiving data, press the “Start Rx” button. Note
that the “Start Rx” button and the “Done” button are disabled
and the “Stop Rx” button is enabled. You must press the
“Stop Rx” button to terminate the test before you can close
the window.
Both the “Receive Data” and the “Transmit Data” windows
have a section at the top which display static information.
This information includes the local host name and address,
the test mode and test port as selected from the main
window, and the remote host address. The remote host
address field represents the identity of the remote side of the
communication link once it is established. During broadcast
transmission, it remains blank since there is no specific
Transmit Data Window
Below the common section, the transmit data window contains an input section. In the input section are two input
In addition, there is a field which indicates the current state
of the communication link. Possible values for this field are:
1. Remote Address
1. Idle
2. Packet Size
2. Listening
Below the input section, the transmit data window contains
two columns of metrics. The number of metrics displayed
depends on whether packet or stream mode was selected.
The first column of metrics represent “Current” values and
the second column represents the “Cumulative” values. The
current values are a snapshot of the metrics over the last two
seconds and the cumulative values are the metrics since the
start of the test.
3. Connecting
4. Sending
5. Receiving
Receive Data Window
Below the common section, the receive data window
contains two columns of metrics. The number of metrics
displayed depends on whether packet or stream mode was
selected. The first column of metrics represent “Current”
values and the second column represents the “Cumulative”
values. The current values are a snapshot of the metrics
over the last two seconds and the cumulative values are
the metrics since the start of the test.
The following metrics are displayed (only the first three are
displayed for stream mode):
The following metrics are displayed (only the first three are
displayed for stream mode):
5. Packet Error Rate %
1. Elapsed Time
2. Byte Count
3. Kbit/Second
4. Packets/Second
To begin transmitting data, press the “Start Tx” button. Note
that the “Start Tx” button and the “Done” button are disabled
and the “Stop Tx” button is enabled. You must press the
“Stop Tx” button to terminate the test before you can close
the window.
1. Elapsed Time
2. Byte Count
3. Kbit/Second
4. Good Packet Count
5. Bad Packet Count
[1] Need reference. See Technical Literature Standards
manual, pp 1-87.