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Thread: Need Help with Wireless Alfa USB w/RTL8187 Chipset

  1. #1

    Exclamation Need Help with Wireless Alfa USB w/RTL8187 Chipset

    Good morning,

    I have an Alfa high-powered USB adapter with the RTL 8187 chipset. I saw that the kernel doesn't support this adapter (natively), so I used ndiswrapper. The machine sees the adapter, sees the MAC address, but it won't connect. I'm running OpenSUSE 11.0 64-bit version on a custom-built AMD 5400-based chip (that is 64 bit), and 4 GB of RAM. Everything else is working (NVIDIA, wired LAN, codecs, etc.).

    Also, when I type the iwconfig or ifconfig commands -- even as root -- they return a command not found error. Mind you, I'm typing the commands without arguments or parameters, which might be why.

    I've entered the SSID and the 128-bit WEP key that is used on my network in the YAST config.

    I would still consider myself a noob in the Linux world (with only three months experience), but I know my way around command prompts and have worked with MS products for nearly 15 years now.

    Thanks much.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Need Help with Wireless Alfa USB w/RTL8187 Chipset

    which version of suse are you using? which program are you trying to connect with? try disabling IPv6 as well in yast. if you are using 10.3 may i suggest trying to connect using a diff program as a check. switch to traditional method with ifup and then try connecting with kinternet, or better yet (if you have cable access) download wifi-radar and try that. if none of this works we will try some more settings.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Need Help with Wireless Alfa USB w/RTL8187 Chipset

    Thistig,

    Thank you....I'm using OpenSuse 11.0 KDE 4 with latest updates.

    I was trying to configure the adapter in YAST and connect with KDEWifi, or connect through YAST itself.

    IPV6 is currently enabled ... i'll shut it off when I get to the machine later and download wi-fi radar.

    I have Verizon FIOS 20 MB down 5 MB up, and right now I'm using the wired LAN with a 100-foot cable (actually two 50s joined with a coupler) running from the 3rd fl. of my house down to the 1st fl family room (hence my getting a high-powered adapter). The machine is connected to a 46-inch Samsung LCD.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Need Help with Wireless Alfa USB w/RTL8187 Chipset

    OK....I shut off IPV6 and took the reboot. I also downloaded today's patches and took the reboot. IWCONFIG started working. I also ran the scan utility and it found the networks in my immediate area including mine. I can now authenticate to my AP, but not get an IP address.

    My card is set to 27 mw. I need to crank it up. I know there is a text file I can edit, which basically invokes the ndiswrapper, starts the wifi, and also lets me set the power among other things.

    I tried the one-click 10.2/10.3 for WiFi Radar, but that did not work. I'm going to have to download the rpm and do it manually, so no WiFi Radar yet.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Need Help with Wireless Alfa USB w/RTL8187 Chipset

    yeh there is no wifi-radar for suse 11 yet, i thought you could get it if you were running an earlier version but never mind that now. you should try knetworkmanager, it works fine for most people. you say 'the machine', are we talking laptop or desktop? if laptop it would be ideal to go round a mates house or whatever (in the least geeky way as possible...) and try and conect there, since if it still doesn't work there, you know it's your machines set up, not the network. strange it can't get an IP, and you say it found the network fine. this means the card is working at least, what is the signal strength?

    post the results of

    iwlist scan
    iwconfig

    cheers

  6. #6

    Default Re: Need Help with Wireless Alfa USB w/RTL8187 Chipset

    Thistig,

    Thank you...the machine is a desktop. Knetwork manager doesn't work for some reason. I'll post the output later, but from what I saw, the signal strength was good, but the transmission speed was awful -- 1 MB. That could account for why DHCP wouldn't work.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Need Help with Wireless Alfa USB w/RTL8187 Chipset

    Thistig,

    Here is the output (please note, I obscured my ESSID and encryption key in the output, but it's otherwise unchanged). My SSID is also not broadcast (on purpose). The empty SSID in Cell 1 scan is mine.

    linux-s8e5:~ # iwconfig wlan0
    wlan0 IEEE 802.11g ESSID:"*****"
    Mode:Managed Frequency:2.412 GHz Access Point: 00:0F:66:2C:46:E8
    Bit Rate=1 Mb/s Tx-Power=27 dBm
    Retry min limit:7 RTS thr:off Fragment thr=2352 B
    Encryption key:****************************
    Link Quality=54/64 Signal level=29/65
    Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0
    Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:0 Missed beacon:0

    linux-s8e5:~ # iwlist scan
    lo Interface doesn't support scanning.

    eth0 Interface doesn't support scanning.

    wmaster0 Interface doesn't support scanning.

    wlan0 Scan completed :
    Cell 01 - Address: 00:0F:66:2C:46:E8
    ESSID:""
    Mode:Master
    Channel:1
    Frequency:2.412 GHz (Channel 1)
    Quality=20/64 Signal level=27/65
    Encryption key:on
    Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s
    24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s; 6 Mb/s; 9 Mb/s
    12 Mb/s; 48 Mb/s
    Extra:tsf=000000a537d6618e
    Cell 02 - Address: 00:1D:7E:E9:E0:A9
    ESSID:"raidensworld"
    Mode:Master
    Channel:6
    Frequency:2.437 GHz (Channel 6)
    Quality=7/64 Signal level=13/65
    Encryption key:on
    IE: WPA Version 1
    Group Cipher : TKIP
    Pairwise Ciphers (1) : TKIP
    Authentication Suites (1) : PSK
    Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s
    24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s; 6 Mb/s; 9 Mb/s
    12 Mb/s; 48 Mb/s
    Extra:tsf=000000deddfad1aa
    Cell 03 - Address: 00:1E:2A:61:08:D6
    ESSID:"Lynn"
    Mode:Master
    Channel:11
    Frequency:2.462 GHz (Channel 11)
    Quality=58/64 Signal level=38/65
    Encryption key:on
    IE: WPA Version 1
    Group Cipher : TKIP
    Pairwise Ciphers (1) : TKIP
    Authentication Suites (1) : PSK
    Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 6 Mb/s
    12 Mb/s; 24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s; 9 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s
    48 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
    Extra:tsf=000000e1424a2cbf
    Cell 04 - Address: 00:18:01:E5:06:96
    ESSID:"PR710"
    Mode:Master
    Channel:11
    Frequency:2.462 GHz (Channel 11)
    Quality=9/64 Signal level=12/65
    Encryption key:on
    Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 6 Mb/s
    9 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s; 24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s
    48 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
    Extra:tsf=0000003f351bb3e6
    Cell 05 - Address: 00:19:7D:AF:49:50
    ESSID:"63b8"
    Mode:Master
    Channel:1
    Frequency:2.412 GHz (Channel 1)
    Quality=25/64 Signal level=13/65
    Encryption key:on
    Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s
    24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s; 6 Mb/s; 9 Mb/s
    12 Mb/s; 48 Mb/s
    Extra:tsf=000000e1430ed019
    Cell 06 - Address: 00:1F:90:E2:3B:79
    ESSID:"IQ100"
    Mode:Master
    Channel:1
    Frequency:2.412 GHz (Channel 1)
    Quality=30/64 Signal level=14/65
    Encryption key:on
    Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 6 Mb/s; 9 Mb/s
    11 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s; 24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s
    48 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
    Extra:tsf=000000012c89afe2
    Cell 07 - Address: 00:18:01:EC:18:D2
    ESSID:"The Box"
    Mode:Master
    Channel:6
    Frequency:2.437 GHz (Channel 6)
    Quality=47/64 Signal level=16/65
    Encryption key:on
    IE: WPA Version 1
    Group Cipher : TKIP
    Pairwise Ciphers (1) : TKIP
    Authentication Suites (1) : PSK
    IE: IEEE 802.11i/WPA2 Version 1
    Group Cipher : TKIP
    Pairwise Ciphers (1) : TKIP
    Authentication Suites (1) : PSK
    Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 6 Mb/s; 9 Mb/s
    11 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s; 24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s
    48 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
    Extra:tsf=00000001b3a6bc53
    Cell 08 - Address: 00:1F:90:E1:35:96
    ESSID:"30458"
    Mode:Master
    Channel:11
    Frequency:2.462 GHz (Channel 11)
    Quality=28/64 Signal level=14/65
    Encryption key:on
    Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 6 Mb/s; 9 Mb/s
    11 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s; 24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s
    48 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
    Extra:tsf=000000269f06a54e

    Now...this adapter is an Alfa AWUS036H, which is based on the RTL 8187 chip. The adapter cranks out 500mw of power (which is 27 DBM -- I was wrong the other night -- it's 27dbm, not 27 mw!), when fitted with its factory default 2.5 db antenna. The output you see above is with the factory antenna.

    I also have a 9-dbm omni "rubber duckie," and a 12-dbm Super Cantenna, which is a directional antenna with a 30-degree spread. I noticed that the signal actually deteriorated when the higher-gain antennae were fitted, which suggests that the bigger antennae were introducing noise. I'm not sure, but my Cantenna (12 dbm antenna) combined with this adapter (27 dbm power) might bust the FCC's 30-dbm (1-watt) maximum tx power, or if not will be right at the margin. The 9-dbm might be in the same boat. So, for now, I'm staying with factory.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Need Help with Wireless Alfa USB w/RTL8187 Chipset

    Thistig,

    Just real quick...I put the Cantenna on and moved it to the doorway just outside my family room. Speed went from 1 MB to the full 54, and signal quality and level dramatically improved. Maybe, I'm down to just a DHCP issue now?

    linux-s8e5:~ # iwconfig wlan0
    wlan0 IEEE 802.11g ESSID:"GBOAD"
    Mode:Managed Frequency:2.412 GHz Access Point: 00:0F:66:2C:46:E8
    Bit Rate=54 Mb/s Tx-Power=27 dBm
    Retry min limit:7 RTS thrff Fragment thr=2352 B
    Encryption key:1068-6A8A-0B76-1651-6C8C-A794-8C
    Link Quality=57/64 Signal level=38/65
    Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0
    Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:0 Missed beacon:0

  9. #9

    Default Re: Need Help with Wireless Alfa USB w/RTL8187 Chipset

    seems strange it won't connect still after much better signal quality, means this is no longer the issue at least.

    what type of encryption are you using? WPA, WEP??
    have you tried disabling the router security and trying to connect then? to see if this is the issue.

    i had a reallt weird problem once where my laptop would not connect, disabled the security, got on fine, re-enabled the security and it worked (just ask deltaflyer44 on here!! )

    then get back to me. it sounds like it's not getting the IP like you say. are you using traditional method with ifup?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    U.K East Anglia
    Posts
    2,581

    Default Re: Need Help with Wireless Alfa USB w/RTL8187 Chipset

    as thestig said, try with security off, even if you are using MAC address filtering,turn it off.also, check your firewall,ensure you haven't made any typo's ( & yep, i remember it as if it were yesterday )

    Andy
    To be is to do = Immanuel Kant
    To do is to be = Descartes.
    Do be do be do = Frank Sinatra

    SuSE user since 7.0,Linux user since 1994

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