Hmm, more fun with the Lucent wireless cards. In the Ad-hoc mode the channel frequency matters. Also different cards default to different channels so you need to specifically set the channel if you are going to talk between different cards.
It does not seem to be required in managed mode, I am assuming that the master/access point is telling the slaves what frequency to use. Hmm, now how does it do that if they start on differnent channels?
Fun, fun, fun.