The Apple AirPort uses Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) keys entered in ASCII. The Cisco Aironet products use hexadecimal. To set a WEP key on an Airport in hex, use a $ symbol before the key.
To ensure that you are using the correct key, check the AirPort Base Station Configurator. Since that application is Java-based, it requires Mac Runtime Java (MRJ) and the swing libraries.
Mac OS X, AirPort: Connecting to Third-Party Base Stations
SymptomWhen you try to connect to (or "associate with") a third-party wireless access point, the password or WEP key does not appear to work.SolutionMany third-party wireless access points use a WEP key or a password entered either as a string of hexadecimal numbers or as five ASCII characters.
To connect Mac OS X to a third-party wireless access point that is configured to use WEP, format your password one of these two ways:
1. Hexadecimal - precede the string with a dollar sign ($). For example: $123456789a
2. ASCII - enclose the characters in double quotes ("). For example: "magic"
This is similar to the situation in which a third-party wireless client attempts to connect to an AirPort Base Station. But in this case, the WEP key or password must be obtained from the network administrator. It cannot be obtained using the Network Equivalent Password algorithm found in the AirPort Admin Utility.
Some third-party base stations offer features for supporting up to four WEP keys. On these systems, make sure that the AirPort password is entered in the primary password field (first). Other settings may be required so refer to the manufacturer's instructions for additional information.
WLAN adapters (wireless card) / ACU (Aironet Client Utility)
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