Ok well i not long got the above card and am currently testing on the latest backtrack.

for some reason when i check the txpower it's always starting on 5dBm, is that normal?
i looked around on how to change the txpower level and the only way that will allow me to change the txpower is this method:

iwpriv wlan0 highpower 1
iwconfig wlan0 txpower 30

Now seeing as on the aircrack-ng webisite it states :

+++++++++ WARNING +++++++++
+++++++++ WARNING +++++++++
WARNING: Enabling high power can damage or destroy your wireless device. Use this feature at your own risk.
+++++++++ WARNING +++++++++
+++++++++ WARNING +++++++++

So will this damage my card? thats the only way that will let me set the txpower to max 30dBm in vmware. if i start bt4 r2 on live disc then the alfa will start off on 20dBm.

I used to have one of these cards before and i can never remember having this much trouble, if i remember default txpower used to be 27dBM.............