Configuring PC Cards and CompactFlash (CF) cards for wireless WAN (WWAN) and wireless LAN (WLAN) connections isn’t difficult. For example, here are the steps you take to configure a WWAN PC Card (Sierra Wireless’s AirCard 510) on Compaq’s iPAQ H3800 or iPAQ H3700 with Sprint PCS as the service provider:

  1. Connect and synchronize your iPAQ with a Microsoft ActiveSync host PC or laptop. Don’t insert the AirCard in iPAQ’s PC Card expansion pack yet.
  2. On the iPAQ, run the AirCard’s wireless setup program for Pocket PCs, which is available on the Sierra Wireless Web site.
  3. Go through the guided PC setup steps, letting the setup program install the necessary files on the iPAQ.
  4. Perform a hardware soft reset on the iPAQ and insert the AirCard into the iPAQ PC Card expansion pack.
  5. Go to Programs and tap Watcher for AirCard 510.
  6. After opening the Watcher for AirCard 510 application, tap Options, then Activation Wizard to activate your card.
  7. Call the Sprint PCS customer care advocate and provide your Electronic Serial Number (ESN). The advocate will provide you with an activation code, which you enter in the necessary text box.
  8. I recommend that you set your connection to Enhanced Mode to maximize your connection speed. This setting uses the optimization services provided by Sprint PCS. To set this mode, go to Tools, Connection Manager. Tap Enhanced Internet, then Set As Default. Tap OK.
  9. Check the bar meter at the top of the Watcher window to ensure that you’re in a Sprint PCS coverage area.
  10. Tap Connect, and the Status section of the Watcher interface will show that the Pocket PC is dialing.

After connecting, you’ll see a window similar to the one that Figure A shows. You can now browse the Pocket Internet Explorer (PIE) to browse the Internet and read your mail at pretty decent wireless speeds.

Configuring WLAN cards for your Pocket PC isn’t difficult, either. Simply connect your Pocket PC to a laptop or PC running ActiveSync and install the LAN card drivers and client utility included in the vendor packaging. In most cases, you’ll need only to configure the Extended Service Set Identifier (ESSID), which is the numeric code of the Access Point (AP), and an encryption key, also called Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) algorithm. Chris De Herrera's Windows CE Website has step-by-step instructions for Pocket PC wireless network configuration and troubleshooting.