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SlowBro
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In search of reliable FCC-certified USB Wi-Fi adapter with removable antenna

Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:00 pm

I'm needing to include a second Wi-Fi adapter with a Zero W in a product I am building. Any recommendations? Must haves:
  • Reliable, I don't want a lot of returns
  • FCC-certified
  • Removable antenna. I will mount the antenna externally.
  • Relatively low-cost, around $15 in bulk or less would be ideal, but I know that cheap != quality
This one would seem to check all the boxes. I bought one but it's only marked "FCC" on the package with no FCC ID, which tells me the FCC certification advertisement may be a lie.
EDUP Wifi Adapter Wireless N Adapter 300Mbps 2.4GHz Wifi Usb with High Gain External Antenna
Last edited by SlowBro on Mon May 27, 2019 3:56 am, edited 2 times in total.

wh7qq
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Re: In search of reliable FCC-certified USB Wi-Fi adapter with removable antenna

Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:37 pm

You may have to get that information directly from the manufacturer. http://www.pandawireless.com/Contact

I have been using a Panda PAU06 adapter for some time and it has been quite dependable and has a removable antenna. They also offer an industrial version for embedded applications. Still, I cannot find any claim to FCC certification on the device and the packaging is long gone. The Panda wireless web page has no information either. They do offer a contact number in Californica (part of US? :lol: ). I do find a FCC ID No. on the tiny Edimax dongle in extremely fine print on the metal housing for the USB connector (but sadly, with a fixed internal antenna). I purchased the Panda from Amazon and it retailed for $14.99. Amazon selling it guarantees nothing about the FCC imprimatur. I can find no information of the country of origin although it is presumably fabricated in the far east so at some point they should be subject to US Customs scrutiny but that is no guarantee either. Call the company.

wh7qq
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Re: In search of reliable FCC-certified USB Wi-Fi adapter with removable antenna

Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:04 pm

wh7qq wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:37 pm
You may have to get that information directly from the manufacturer. http://www.pandawireless.com/Contact

I have been using a Panda PAU06 adapter for some time and it has been quite dependable and has a removable antenna. They also offer an industrial version for embedded applications. Still, I cannot find any claim to FCC certification on the device and the packaging is long gone. The Panda wireless web page has no information either. They do offer a contact number in Californica (part of US? :lol: ). I do find a FCC ID No. on the tiny Edimax dongle in extremely fine print on the metal housing for the USB connector (but sadly, with a fixed internal antenna). I purchased the Panda from Amazon and it retailed for $14.99. Amazon selling it guarantees nothing about the FCC imprimatur. I can find no information of the country of origin although it is presumably fabricated in the far east so at some point they should be subject to US Customs scrutiny but that is no guarantee either. Call the company.
Addendum: "dmesg | tail" reveals that a Realtek chipset is inside the Panda. Perhaps the Cert is for the chipset and not for the packaging but you would think that the whole thing, including antenna would be subject to testing/certification.

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SlowBro
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Re: In search of reliable FCC-certified USB Wi-Fi adapter with removable antenna

Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:39 pm

When I checked the page for the Panda adapter I also found this:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B071Y6Y8 ... B00JDVRCI0

Bit higher than budget but I will manage.

It is possible to use an ESP8266 in SDIO mode and there are FCC-certified modules for that which are real cheap. But it is much more difficult to use so I will first go the standard route.

Any other suggestions?

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SlowBro
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Re: In search of reliable FCC-certified USB Wi-Fi adapter with removable antenna

Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:39 pm

Apparently the Panda is FCC-certified. I searched the questions for FCC and got a hit.
https://www.amazon.com/Panda-Wireless-P ... 8001426738

wh7qq
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Re: In search of reliable FCC-certified USB Wi-Fi adapter with removable antenna

Thu Sep 27, 2018 1:13 am

Still, be careful using this...as with roasted coffee, Californica has found that it can cause all sorts of bad things. From Amazon's web page:

Proposition 65 Warning for Californica Consumers

WARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals including Bisphenol A (BPA) which is known to the State of Californica to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm and Lead which is known to the State of Californica to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

wolf.z
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Re: In search of reliable FCC-certified USB Wi-Fi adapter with removable antenna

Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:51 am

Sorry
for having spread wrong information. The WL 0151A uses a RTL8188EUS chip from Realtek. My WIFI sticks are the WL 0151 V.2 using Ralink RT5370 chip. So the Ralink is the good one I was recommending. I cannot judge the Realtek chip.
Sorry

Cheap, rock-steady operation with my Pi 2B, detachable antenna, reverse SMA connector: Logilink WL 0151 V.2
http://www.logilink.eu/Produkte_LogiLin ... anguage=en
chipset RTL8188EUS RT5370, needs no additional driver. AP mode runs perfect. Within downloads of linked website you'll find EU certificate. For whatever reason you'll need FCC approval, search for a product from https://elinux.org/RPi_USB_Wi-Fi_Adapters.[/s]

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SlowBro
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Re: In search of reliable FCC-certified USB Wi-Fi adapter with removable antenna

Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:56 am

Update: I hit alibaba and searched for FCC Wi-Fi Pi and started talking to sellers, found a few possible choices whose prices are quite attractive. No idea yet of reliability.

Now Chinese manufacturers are notoriously dishonest about their own products so in order to weed out the liars I asked every seller for the FCC ID of the product they were selling. Most who advertised that their adapter was certified did not have an ID —which told me they were lying. If you get actual FCC certification (not just Verification) you will get an ID number. And it’s public record; I had one tell me they don’t give it out unless you sign a contract. Ha!

But not every apple was spoiled and I found a few with trade assurance, gold level, etc. Top sellers. Got quotes and samples. I’m trying them out now.

So that is a great path for my needs. If you need to know which one I went with for your own project ask and I’ll share which ones I’m looking into. I’m on my phone at the moment and don’t have those handy.

Oh and the EDUP I mentioned in the opening post? Not certified. I spoke with the manufacturer on Ali. If I were their competitor and I wanted to play dirty pool, it would be super easy. Just put in a report to the FCC that their adapter is causing interference and sit back and watch the fireworks. Big no-no, and quite a risky one at that.

Paul Hutch
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Re: In search of reliable FCC-certified USB Wi-Fi adapter with removable antenna

Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:03 pm

SlowBro wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:56 am
...
If I were their competitor and I wanted to play dirty pool, it would be super easy. Just put in a report to the FCC that their adapter is causing interference and sit back and watch the fireworks. Big no-no, and quite a risky one at that.
No need to say that it interferes, simply say it is not certified and the FCC will act. In fact saying it interferes when it doesn't, or you don't know, will cause trouble because the FCC's first step with an interference complaint is to visit your location to measure the interference as the start of the investigation. The FCC encourages every citizen to report when they spot a device being sold without certification.

seven2seven
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Re: [SOLVED] In search of reliable FCC-certified USB Wi-Fi adapter with removable antenna

Wed May 08, 2019 12:42 pm

SlowBro, or any others for that matter, what brands did you find to be in the sweet spot of price/performance with FCC certification? What did you end up going with?

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SlowBro
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Re: [SOLVED] In search of reliable FCC-certified USB Wi-Fi adapter with removable antenna

Fri May 24, 2019 2:47 pm

I'm still testing (call me SlowBro for a reason) but I've pretty well settled on this, which I bought in October based on a discussion I had with a supplier on Alibaba. It ticks almost all of the boxes: FCC-certified, reliable, good range, Pi-compatible. It's been going strong since November on my Pi, connected through a few walls to an AP about 38 feet/11 meters away. Been running continuously almost the entire time. Works out of the box with Raspbian, no extra drivers needed. Plug and play. The FCC ID is not written on the product (which I think may be a violation?) but I'm going to include the ID in the documentation for compliance. I asked them for the ID and confirmed it on FCC.gov.
https://www.amazon.com/Ralink-RT5370-Ra ... B019XUDHFC

I thought I would need a removable antenna but this has sufficient range. The manufacturer though does have similar models with removable antennas, but not every model is FCC-certified, so ask. The bulk price they quoted was less than $3, and also they sell on Prime so samples arrived in two days.

Here's the supplier Alibaba site. I chatted with Alice Wang who is very friendly and helpful.
https://www.alibaba.com/countrysearch/CN/eastech.html

Here's the product web page:
http://eastech4u.com/index.php?c=content&a=show&id=180

Andyroo
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Re: [SOLVED] In search of reliable FCC-certified USB Wi-Fi adapter with removable antenna

Fri May 24, 2019 3:11 pm

It’s in violation - neat bit of guidance at https://f2labs.com/fcc-labeling

Please note I am not responsible for the content or you acting or not acting on this link. It’s worth nothing in a legal sense but I would be bothered that it’s not on the item if you plan to have your completed unit certified (having all items on their own certified is not valid for automated certification)

By the way they state eating burnt toast or crispy potatoes is bad for you in some parts of the world...
Need Pi spray - these things are breeding in my house...

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SlowBro
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Re: [SOLVED] In search of reliable FCC-certified USB Wi-Fi adapter with removable antenna

Fri May 24, 2019 3:30 pm

So they went to all the expense and trouble of certifying and missed the two cent process of labeling it. Noice. I need to review your link but I thought it is acceptable to include the ID in documentation? It is certified though. I checked the FCC.gov site and the pictures and company name therein match the product and company I was speaking with. I wonder, could I glue on a sticker?

Andyroo
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Re: [SOLVED] In search of reliable FCC-certified USB Wi-Fi adapter with removable antenna

Fri May 24, 2019 3:47 pm

Mind boggles at the possible legal minefield you could walk into on that one:

Misrepresentation of product / fraud
Labelling laws (at least in the UK)
Use of none FCC authorised equipment and any associated wireless telegraphy (love that term) law
Creating unlawful interference to emergency services
Copyright breach of the FCC logo
Contract law may get thrown in by the OEM

We still have the ‘misuse of electricity’ law in the U.K. that got thrown at early hackers (bad kind) - it’s never been repealed

and I am sure a lawyer would come up with a pile more (international trade agreements spring to mind) over a cup of coffee (that you would be paying for) :lol:

Me - paranoid - nope I know they are watching :roll: :lol: :roll: :D

Of course if you certify the whole unit then it does not matter that part of it is not certified originally but how that works with field replaceable units (IBM FRUs) like this I have no idea... it’s why certifying companies charge so much.
Need Pi spray - these things are breeding in my house...

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SlowBro
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Re: [SOLVED] In search of reliable FCC-certified USB Wi-Fi adapter with removable antenna

Fri May 24, 2019 5:03 pm

But the unit is indeed certified and has an ID? So how would I be misrepresenting anything?

Andyroo
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Re: [SOLVED] In search of reliable FCC-certified USB Wi-Fi adapter with removable antenna

Fri May 24, 2019 5:19 pm

Is it though?

As it does not have a certifying label on it, it could be anything being sold as the original.

Saying that - sticking a label on things is not passed the forgers skill (just look at the SD thread from the last few days I created)

Like I say - its these little bits of advice and indemnity from the certification companies that earn them the money (and as my wife was certified under the UK RICE HSE Testing and Monitoring schemes for asbestos - earning money to cover their legal and testing skill set is important to them).

I'm not being deliberately awkward (annoying maybe and for that I apologise) but you are asking the type of questions that companies normally involve lawyers for on a free user supported forum when the Pi Foundation and Trading company have arranged an integrator program (and cool logo) specifically for this type of issue.

As I say - I do not mean to be awkward - I've only had limited legal training as part of my old managerial role (and that was mostly contract based but covered IP / re-use of technology / indemnity etc) and know enough to shout for help before embarking on tasks like this professionally, so I'll step back now and wish you luck.
Need Pi spray - these things are breeding in my house...

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SlowBro
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Re: [SOLVED] In search of reliable FCC-certified USB Wi-Fi adapter with removable antenna

Fri May 24, 2019 8:46 pm

Andyroo wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 5:19 pm
Is it though?

As it does not have a certifying label on it, it could be anything being sold as the original.
A company forging their own product? The company name matched what was seen on FCC.gov. Far more likely they are ignorant of the labeling requirements than maliciousness. As they say, do not attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence.

Fair warning though, it would be something to ask a lawyer about. I don’t expect legal advice from a free forum. However, pointers like this are what free forums are great for.

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SlowBro
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Re: [SOLVED] In search of reliable FCC-certified USB Wi-Fi adapter with removable antenna

Mon May 27, 2019 3:56 am

I contacted the company about labeling with the ID and they said, they would do it if I would purchase a minimum amount, an amount much higher than I can afford right now. I couldn't get it through to the company representative that their company can get into a lot of trouble. My hunch is she thought I was trying to negotiate free printing on the label... :roll:

So the search is still on. Now that I know an adapter with a small embedded antenna is sufficient I may go with something like this:
https://smile.amazon.com/CanaKit-Raspbe ... way&sr=8-3

Or this:
https://smile.amazon.com/Rosewill-Wirel ... ay&sr=8-42

I plan to sell a longer-range adapter as well. This is interesting but I am not clear if it has the FCC ID on the label, would need to contact the company. I would install it in a small waterproof enclosure. Can even add an external antenna.
http://www.skylab.com.cn/uploadfile/Dow ... 508081.pdf
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/11N-Wla ... st=ae803_4

Also on Alibaba in bulk.

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Imperf3kt
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Re: In search of reliable FCC-certified USB Wi-Fi adapter with removable antenna

Mon May 27, 2019 4:48 am

Since November 2017, labelling a device as FCC compliant has been optional
https://www.federalregister.gov/documen ... -equipment
Google is ubiquitous - Try it today, it's free!
https://opensource.com/life/16/10/how-ask-technical-questions

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SlowBro
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Re: In search of reliable FCC-certified USB Wi-Fi adapter with removable antenna

Tue May 28, 2019 2:39 am

Imperf3kt wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 4:48 am
Since November 2017, labelling a device as FCC compliant has been optional
https://www.federalregister.gov/documen ... -equipment
Could you would point out which section says that? I saw that very small devices do not need to be labelled, and instead can be electronically labelled.

Spoke with the manufacturer and they finally agreed to print the FCC ID on the product, as they should :D So it's back on with this guy:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019XUDHFC
https://eastech4u.en.alibaba.com/produc ... ction.html

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