Outside Wifi antenna for Piratebox?

Posted by DM 
Outside Wifi antenna for Piratebox?
January 10, 2019 03:43AM
Hi - I'm putting together a RPi 3 based Piratebox for an art project and have a need to 'extend' the wifi reach. The Piratebox will be sitting inside a steel tube so the wifi signal will be effectively blocked - so I was hoping to use an external (ie outdoors) USB antenna (this one to be exact). I have a sample unit here but, naturally, it doesn't work out of the box. I've found the drivers (Realtek) for it but managed to completely kill my installation a few times trying to instal them! My question is - is there an official 'guide' for doing this - or am I best to just try to find another way of extending the wifi??


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/2019 03:43AM by DM.
Re: Outside Wifi antenna for Piratebox?
January 11, 2019 07:59AM
puh. No, there is no "official" manual.
You are faceing three issues here:

a) The Realtek checks are very unlikely to have direct support from the Linux Kernel. So you need to build additional driver
b) These drivers do not necessarily work together with hostap or support AP mode
c) The default SDCard image is quite small for building new packages directly on the Piratebox

Do you still want to go this route?
If so, you need a fresh installation, with no SDCard share activated,

Step 0: Make your box internet ready
a) Start with this howto: Expand your root partition
b) Fix some issues with the key store
sudo pacman-key --init
sudo pacman-key --populate archlinuxarm
c) Run a full system update
sudo pacman -Syu

These steps are updating your system to the latest level, which is required for a consistent progress.
At next, you can have luck and your device is supported by the latest kernel (I did not verify with doing research in the kernel source).
You can double check, if you can find two devices listed in:
sudo iw phy
You should find a phy0 and a phy1

best regards
Re: Outside Wifi antenna for Piratebox?
January 18, 2019 06:30AM
Hey Matthias - thanks for the reply and instructions.

You're right - overly complex!

I've reviewed the set up and we've found a way of eliminating the external antennae that I referenced.

I've got hold of a tp-link TL-WN822N (from the list of tested UScool smiley but it looks to be a v5.0 model as I'm getting a failure for the device (is set to wlan1). Would I need to update the drivers for it??

Or - as a noob with RPi's, can you suggest another wifi adaptor that will work with RPi3? All I need is something that I can use a long USB (or ethernet?) cable to place the wifi receiver 3m higher than the Pi.

Thanks - and sorry :-(
Re: Outside Wifi antenna for Piratebox?
February 07, 2019 09:38AM
Try to get an old used Alpha Device like those [www.amazon.com]
Re: Outside Wifi antenna for Piratebox?
February 10, 2019 01:19AM
OK - saw those previously. Will one of those work out of the box? Will it need a USB hub?

Re: Outside Wifi antenna for Piratebox?
March 11, 2019 08:19PM
Depends on the RPi version, your PSU and the dBi you want to train.
I used it without an additional hub.


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