Table of Hardware - new search criteria

I suppose it will be beneficial to add one more search criteria to Table of Hardware

For example, there is a view called Table of Hardware: LTE Modem supported - This page shows devices which have a LTE modem built in and are supported by OpenWrt .

I suggest to add information about the number and type of miniPCIe slots supported in a similar way. Possible values could be the following:

  • none
  • X full
  • Y USB only

(mini-)PCI(e) is currently not well included in the dataentries and only shown in comments.
We could add a separate datafield for this feature.

Some questions:

  • Do we need to discern between mini-PCI / mini-PCIe?
  • Do we need to discern between mini-PCIe fullsize / halfsize?
  • What about mini-PCI types, do we need to discern the different types (I, II, III in A/B variants)?
  • How many ports can one expect at max in a single device? Max 4 or more?
  • What are those ports used for, only Wifi cards + 3G/4G modems?
  • Would you be able to list all devices with (mini-)PCI(e) which are supported by OpenWrt? Just to make sure we get the datafield filled once we have it included in the dataentries.

Some datasources:
https://openwrt.org/toh/views/toh_admin_comments
https://openwrt.org/tag/minipci?do=showtag&tag=minipci
https://openwrt.org/tag/minipciexpress?do=showtag&tag=minipciexpress
https://openwrt.org/tag/2minipci?do=showtag&tag=2minipci
https://openwrt.org/tag/3minipci?do=showtag&tag=3minipci
https://wikidevi.com/wiki/Category:PCI_device
https://wikidevi.com/wiki/Category:PCIe_device

OK, here is my personal view, point-by-point:

  • mini-PCI e only or any type, with further details provided on the device page
  • no need to discern between fullsize / halfsize in the TOH, we can keep this on the device page
  • mini-PCI types and variants we can also keep this on the device page
  • How many ports - 3 is a max I've seen
  • What are those ports used for - initially I thought that full vs. USB only will be sufficient for the TOH
  • Listing all the devices with (mini-)PCI(e) will be a bit problematic for one person. I should be able to do this for a few devices I know, then I believe our community could add this information to a forum thread and I volunteer to keep the dataentries updated from there.

Where to place the miniPCI ports datafield

Proposal: Put the new datafield in front of the USB ports (the following are all some kind of extension ports):
grafik

Choices for miniPCI ports dropdown list

  • none
  • 1x miniPCI
  • 2x miniPCI
  • 3x miniPCI
  • 1x miniPCIe
  • 2x miniPCIe
  • 3x miniPCIe

Additional choices for miniPCI ports dropdown list

(please feedback if useful or not):

  • for USB
  • for WiFi
  • for 3G
  • for 4G

Comment for miniPCI ports datafield

Select number of miniPCI(e) ports; provide details (types, sizes, etc.) about these ports on the devicepage

This comment will be shown as the rightmost column when a dataentry is being edited.

Please comment!

looks good with the exception of what was quoted - from the slot perspective there is no difference between 3G and 4G, both types of modems are dependent on USB lines presence.
From my perspective the value of Full[featured] means (for Wifi + for mobile WWAN + storage) and USB means mobile WWAN or modem only.

Ah, ok!
Is it possible to have 2x miniPCIe, one full + one USB only?

It seems so. For example, Unielec U7621-06 - it has 3 slots and here is a description from the seller:

2x Normal PCIE for 11ac or 11n WIFI module
1x PCIE connector for LTE or MSATA module

Slightly different story with Mikrotik RBM33G board which has 2 slots (+ one M.2):

Two miniPCIe 3G/LTE modems for multiple mobile connections (two SIM slots provided)
One USB 3G/LTE modem leaving other miniPCIe slot for 802.11 wireless card

and

Two miniPCIe slots for either a 802.11 wireless card or a 3G/LTE modem.
Only one 802.11 wireless card can be used at once]. It is suggested to use the other slot for LTE modems.

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Next iteration:

Choices for miniPCI ports dropdown list

  • none
  • 1x miniPCI
  • 2x miniPCI
  • 3x miniPCI
  • 1x miniPCIe (full PCIe)
  • 2x miniPCIe (full PCIe)
  • 3x miniPCIe (full PCIe)
  • 1x miniPCIe (USB only)
  • 2x miniPCIe (USB only)
  • 3x miniPCIe (USB only)

Thoughts: miniPCI could be moved to the bottom (less common nowadays?)

Comment for miniPCI ports datafield

Select number of miniPCI(e) ports; Full [featured] means (for Wifi + for mobile WWAN + storage); USB means mobile WWAN or modem only.

Without knowing if it supports USB, if it supports mSATA, and even if it supports PCIe, more than count of slots is fluff to me.

Even with a well documented board from a reputable manufacturer you get

3 miniPCI express (J14 USB or mSATA, with SIM; J15 USB only, with SIM; J16: full miniPCI express, but no SIM, intended for wifi).

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So "full PCIe" or "USB only" do not make sense?

In my experience, not enough information.

I unfortunately think it's unlikely that a no-name exporter is going to accurately describe their slots in meaningful terms. Assuming more than just that the specific wireless card they ship with works is unwise, though labeling it as "USB-only" when there is an off chance that an mSATA drive would work would exclude what might be a viable device from consideration. SIM support is another question, which is different than 802.11 support.

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