Bewick Place
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Need a really stable WiFi adapter

Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:05 am

I'm currently using an RT5370 based wifi adapter on my 3.10.25+ kernel using the built in kernel driver (28xxusb). I use WPA2 security.

Whilst I get a moderately stable operation I get consistent problem when put under load which is well documented by others(tx_status debug...). As I want to use the Pi for streaming audio this is really necessary to avoid regular drop outs.

I'm looking for an alternate, more stable solution, I've tried:
- alternate versions of the rt2870.bin including 0.29, 0.32, 0.33 & 0.233 - no impact;
- built my own Ralink drivers, but either get a very unstable network connection(v2.5.0.3 I think), or with the current staging driver 2.6.1.3 get the NODCHPOFFERS problem where I don't even get an IP address allocated;
- use RTL8188CUS based adapter - this now regularly drops the connection under the latest kernels.
- tried various versions of network settings including no security(!) and 20 and/or 40 Mhz only channel width.

I've exhausted the options I can think of.

[Edit: With the help of the posts below I managed to lay my hands on a pukka version of the Ralink v2.5.0.3 driver for the RT5370. Once compiled for my kernel this seems to operate pretty well - my recommendation is to try this].

If anyone can advise either on how to address any of the above, or to recommend a mini usb adapter that will work reliably I'd really appreciate the help.

Regards,
Last edited by Bewick Place on Fri Apr 04, 2014 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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pluggy
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Re: Need a really stable WiFi adapter

Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:25 am

Sounds a lot like why I abandoned wireless on the Pi.......
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spino
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Re: Need a really stable WiFi adapter

Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:33 am

Hi .

That is weird cause the RT5370 seems to be supported . :?
RTL8188CU sounds like [****MOD EDIT _ no bad language please ] to me .
I've experienced many problems with it regardless to wifi stability as you did .
I recommend to you Atheros Chipset . I don't know if there are mini USB dongle but there is a site with explainations and advises on Linux hardware compatibilities :
http://www.linux-hardware-guide.com/

I do own a TP-LINK TL-WN722L wich works like a charm on my Rpi .

Regards .
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MaxK1
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Re: Need a really stable WiFi adapter

Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:47 am

Have you tried putting the Pi in a shielded (metal) box? (with the dongle outside the box!...) Have you tried putting the dongle on a USB extension cable? (ie get some distance between the Pi and the dongle) That also will allow you to position the dongle for a "better" signal. Have you tried different power supplies? (5V/1A+ is only part of the solution. If it's a "noisy" or poorly regulated 5V, well, that's _not_ a Good Thing(tm) - A little more filtering may help.)
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pluggy
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Re: Need a really stable WiFi adapter

Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:26 pm

spino wrote: RTL8188CU sounds like [Mod edit - Pluggy - you should know better no profanity is allowed here] to me .
The RTL8188CUS is the chipset, its used in a myriad of WiFi adaptors including the very popular Edimax EW7811UN. This chipset and the RT5370 probably account for the lions share of all the low cost Compact WiFi market. It works out of the box with the Pi - but for how long depends a lot on exactly which firmware you're running and a whole load of other factors. It was no problem for a couple of days or even more, then it would hang and needed deprivation of power to get it going again. If you were using the Pi as a workstation rather than a server, you probably won't hit the long term problems.

Them working with Linux is no guarantee they'll work reliably with the Pi. Most boxes that run Linux don't have the 'challanged' USB the Pi has.

Been down the power road many times, even to the extent of a 'scope across the test points, not merely a meter.....
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jamesh
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Re: Need a really stable WiFi adapter

Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:29 pm

I have NEVER had a problem with Wifi on the Pi, but not sure which adapter I am using. Add this is on an 256 Model B running OpenELEC, streaming video wirelessly, so an intense use of the USB and WIfi.

So please don't say that the WiFi on the Pi is bad due to the USB. It clearly isn't in the majority of cases.
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pluggy
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Re: Need a really stable WiFi adapter

Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:40 pm

I'm a glutton for punishment. I've set up one of my Pis to read a couple of digital thermometers every minute, log it locally and then secure copy a tailed version wirelessly it to my main wired Pi. We'll see how long it runs for.

Headless Raspdian updated with apt-get update/upgrade fitted with Ralink RT5370 wireless adapter (the same chipset as the well known Wipi - in fact it has the same case as a Wipi but is made by Comfast)
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GTR2Fan
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Re: Need a really stable WiFi adapter

Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:48 pm

jamesh wrote:...please don't say that the WiFi on the Pi is bad due to the USB. It clearly isn't in the majority of cases.
Agreed. I'm using an Edimax EW-7711UMn wireless dongle in an old Rev1 256MB Pi and performance and reliability have been faultless to date.
Pi2B Mini-PC/Media Centre: ARM=1GHz (+3), Core=500MHz, v3d=500MHz, h264=333MHz, RAM=DDR2-1200 (+6/+4/+4+schmoo). Sandisk Ultra HC-I 32GB microSD card on '50=100' OCed slot (42MB/s read) running Raspbian/KODI16, Seagate 3.5" 1.5TB HDD mass storage.

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jbeale
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Re: Need a really stable WiFi adapter

Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:56 pm

jamesh wrote:I have NEVER had a problem with Wifi on the Pi, but not sure which adapter I am using. Add this is on an 256 Model B running OpenELEC, streaming video wirelessly, so an intense use of the USB and WIfi.
I think it would be worthwhile finding out which adaptor you have. I have used at least five different Pis with five different RTL8188CUS adaptors and while they work for low data rates, they are not well suited for high-bandwidth applications such as live MJPEG http://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewt ... 43&t=63276 I am seeing sustained data rates of 300 kByte/sec or lower with the 8188 devices.

I also have several Atheros chipset devices which are physically larger but have so far worked better for me, delivering around 1500 - 2000 kB/sec. They still do not perform like wired ethernet, certainly. Here is an example: http://www.ebay.com/itm/150M-USB-AR9271 ... 0957713117 I should also mention I am using my wifi adaptors direct into the Pi, not through a powered hub; that is a possible cause of trouble.

UPDATE: new testing shows better results; see by 4 April 2014 post below
Last edited by jbeale on Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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pluggy
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Re: Need a really stable WiFi adapter

Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:06 pm

GTR2Fan wrote:
jamesh wrote:...please don't say that the WiFi on the Pi is bad due to the USB. It clearly isn't in the majority of cases.
Agreed. I'm using an Edimax EW-7711UMn wireless dongle in an old Rev1 256MB Pi and performance and reliability have been faultless to date.
Which version of the EW-7711UMn ? There are 2 versions with different chipsets. What OS and updates and what are you doing with it ?

Performance doesn't matter for me - if it will transfer a couple of kB a minute it will do.
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Bewick Place
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Re: Need a really stable WiFi adapter

Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:16 pm

jamesh wrote:I have NEVER had a problem with Wifi on the Pi, but not sure which adapter I am using. Add this is on an 256 Model B running OpenELEC, streaming video wirelessly, so an intense use of the USB and WIfi.

So please don't say that the WiFi on the Pi is bad due to the USB. It clearly isn't in the majority of cases.
Are you able to confirm the Wi-Wi adapter? Just a simple "lsusb" and post the result should show us the answer. I would then be able to try out the appropriate driver from that distribution.

Cheers,

MrEngman
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Re: Need a really stable WiFi adapter

Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:12 pm

pluggy wrote:
GTR2Fan wrote:
jamesh wrote:...please don't say that the WiFi on the Pi is bad due to the USB. It clearly isn't in the majority of cases.
Agreed. I'm using an Edimax EW-7711UMn wireless dongle in an old Rev1 256MB Pi and performance and reliability have been faultless to date.
Which version of the EW-7711UMn ? There are 2 versions with different chipsets. What OS and updates and what are you doing with it ?

Performance doesn't matter for me - if it will transfer a couple of kB a minute it will do.
From the info I've seen the two versions both use the same chip set, the Ralink RT3070.

That's what the info here indicates.


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GTR2Fan
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Re: Need a really stable WiFi adapter

Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:19 pm

pluggy wrote:Which version of the EW-7711UMn ? There are 2 versions with different chipsets.
I don't know. I've never had the need to find out.
What OS and updates and what are you doing with it ?
Just the latest fully updated Raspbian for desktop work and XBMC for media centre duties. It's used to connect the Pi to a Sky Hub with a lot of live streaming and large file transfers going across the network. It's not thrown any wobblers yet, or at least none that I'm aware of.
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Bewick Place
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Re: Need a really stable WiFi adapter

Fri Apr 04, 2014 4:08 pm

Thanks to everyone for their comments.

Following one of the leads I managed to find a pukka version of the 2.5.0.3 Ralink driver for the RT5370. Once compiled for by kernel it provides a very stable operation.

I'll update this front post with this comment.

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Re: Need a really stable WiFi adapter

Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:08 pm

Just wanted to update my previous comment. Today I did a more careful comparison between a Realtek and Atheros wifi adaptor, and they both performed reasonably well. I wonder if some firmware update has improved things from what I found earlier. Both were used direct in a R-Pi model B without external hub. RPi power from 2A 5V supply direct into the GPIO pins, not using the microUSB power input.

uname -a : Linux mypi 3.10.26+ #628 PREEMPT Fri Jan 10 17:18:51 GMT 2014 armv6l GNU/Linux
/opt/vc/bin/vcgencmd version : Jan 10 2014 16:54:51

Remote station (iperf -s sending): Rpi is 38 feet and 2 interior walls distant from the 3801HGV wifi router.
Local station (iperf client): Rpi connected via ethernet to above wifi router.

Realtek RTL8188CUS: 19.2 to 19.5 Mbps (three iperf runs of 60 seconds each)
Atheros AR9271: 22.3 to 23.1 Mbps (three iperf runs of 60 seconds each)

This specific Atheros item: "802.11n/g/b Mini USB WiFi Wireless Adapter Atheros AR9271 Chip with 5dBi Antenna" http://www.ebay.com/itm/141222684247

Realtek part was a generic thumbnail-sized 8188 type item.

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pluggy
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Re: Need a really stable WiFi adapter

Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:21 pm

pluggy wrote:I'm a glutton for punishment. I've set up one of my Pis to read a couple of digital thermometers every minute, log it locally and then secure copy a tailed version wirelessly it to my main wired Pi. We'll see how long it runs for.

Headless Raspdian updated with apt-get update/upgrade fitted with Ralink RT5370 wireless adapter (the same chipset as the well known Wipi - in fact it has the same case as a Wipi but is made by Comfast)
This trial is coming up to running solid for a week, and I set up another with a RTL8188CUS a couple of days later, they have never run that long before with a wireless adaptor. The one thing that has changed since the last time I did anything wireless with a Pi is the router, it packed up and a replaced it, I didn't think a lot about it at the time, but since exactly the same Pis with exactly the same Wifi adaptors are now appearing to behaving themselves, I suspect the entirely non Pi-related router was the issue with my problems.
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MaxK1
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Re: Need a really stable WiFi adapter

Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:03 pm

Interesting.... What brands/models of routers? (Before and after)
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pluggy
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Re: Need a really stable WiFi adapter

Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:20 pm

Both are ISP supplied, The first was an Orange the second is an EE Brightbox (EE is what Orange morphed into). Probably not a great deal of good unless you're familiar with them in the UK. I didn't have any problems with non Pi wireless connections on the earlier one. I had a problem with a customers router recently, His laptop had decided it didn't want to connect to it anymore, but anybody elses computer would connect to it without issue and his computer would connect to other routers OK. (Blacklisting/Firewall in the router was the first thing I looked at, it hadn't been blocked/blacklisted) but I suspected his ISP had firmware updated it.

Image

EE Brightbox
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ujuj
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Re: Need a really stable WiFi adapter

Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:08 am

Bewick Place wrote:Thanks to everyone for their comments.

Following one of the leads I managed to find a pukka version of the 2.5.0.3 Ralink driver for the RT5370. Once compiled for by kernel it provides a very stable operation.

I'll update this front post with this comment.
hi

i wish i can try the driver you made for your, RT5370 chipset in RASP

i got a Rpi B+, openelec 4.2.1 (+gotham 13.2) and a wifi adaptator that is OFF ... cause .. u know ...

do u think it could work here too ? ;)

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