Oct 082013
 

There have been a couple of posts here about the TP-Link TL-WN725 wireless adapter and its problems (see here for details). This post will give instructions on how to use the pi3g package repository to install the driver. This means that if you’re running Raspbian, you don’t have to compile anything and will receive updates to this and other packages automatically.

My Pi crashes when I plug in the adapter, even on a clean Raspbian install. So don’t plug it in when you have important stuff running. Plugging it into a powered usb hub seems to be safe though.

The quick version

Add our repository (repository.pi3g.com) and install rtl8188eu.

The long version

Add the pi3g repository

Adding the repository is pretty easy and, in principle, works the same as for every other software repository. Create the file /etc/apt/sources.list.d/repository.pi3g.com.list with the following line:

deb http://repository.pi3g.com/debian/ wheezy main

A quick way to do that is this command:

sudo wget -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/repository.pi3g.com.list http://repository.pi3g.com/sources.list

Then add our public key, which will ensure the packages are not intercepted and altered during download. The command apt-key add <keyfile> will let you do just that. Or in one command:

wget -O - http://repository.pi3g.com/pubkey | sudo apt-key add -

Install the driver package

First make sure your system is up to date:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

(It’s a good idea to run these two commands every now and then so your system doesn’t fall too far behind.)

Then simply install the package rtl8188eu like any other package. For example with this command:

apt-get install rtl8188eu

Load the module

The module should load automatically on reboot or whenever the device is plugged in. To load it manually run:

sudo modprobe 8188eu
Sep 022013
 

Update:

This image only works with NOOBS v1.2.1. In NOOBS v1.3 some structural changes bar it from working.

We have, though, released the driver in our repository, for an easy installation – thus, this image should not be necessary, except for academical purposes.

Go to this article to read about the installation of the driver for TP-Link TL-Wn725N from our repository. (Easy!)

 

Original Article follows:

We hereby present the Raspberry Pi community a NOOBS image with preinstalled Raspbian TP-Link TL-WN725N v2.0 driver.

download-tp-link-wlan-fix-image

Download it here

This archive contains a Raspbian Wheezy HF with

  • updates as of 01.09.2013
  • preinstalled TP-Link TL-WN725N v2.0 WiFi driver
  • preinstalled pi3g repository

Installation instructions

Insert an SD card with NOOBS on it. Delete one or several of the other images in the SD card’s /images folder – you need to free up about 350 MB of space. We suggest to remove the Raspbian image, as this image can serve as an enhanced drop-in replacement.
Go to the top folder of the SD card. Copy the contents of this archive into it (preserving folder structure). When asked whether you want to overwrite “A.png”, say “yes”. (This will add our slides with further information and instructions).
Remove the SD card. Insert it into a Raspberry Pi, boot. Press “Shift” during the boot process, to enter the rescue mode.
Select “pi3g-tplink-v2” to install, and be patient while the image is extracted and installed.
Click OK when the image installation process has been finished.

After the reboot process you will be presented with raspi-config. It is highly advisable to set at least your keyboard layout here. You can continue to use the system like any other normal Raspbian installation.

“ifconfig” should now show you your TP-Link WiFi Adapter.

Customized Raspberry Pi solutions

This image was prepared by pi3g.com
We can provide a customized Raspberry Pi solution for you, too. Contact us today!

Thanks

Thank you to: mr-minifig @ GitHUB, whose script was used in the preparation of this image for NOOBS. And of course to the authors of the WiFi driver, and MrEngman from the Raspberry Pi Forum!

Jun 032013
 

Introduction

This is a quick and dirty test setup as a special favour for one of our blog commentors. We compare the two TP-Link Nano Wifi adapters versions, and their respective throughput rates.

Test Setup

One notebook as a web server, with a Samsung 840 Pro SSD harddrive, 8 GB RAM. Connected to Gigabit switch (over Gigabit Ethernet), which in turn is connected to TP-Link TL-WR1043ND over Gigabit Ethernet.

The router is running on DD-WRT. WiFi is set to N only (2.4 Ghz). (Expect worse performance on mixed networks!)

Distance between the router and the TP-Link Wifi adapter: ~ 15 m – located on the same floor.

Measuring is done with iftop  (to install: aptitude install iftop )

iftop -b -n -i wlan0

This will show the throughput rates in bits/s, not bytes/s (divide by 8 if you need them, or use the appropriate command line switch).

The wlan0 is the only network on the Raspberry, eth0 is disconnected.

The load is generated by wgetting a large file (raspbian Image) from the web server, and writing it to /dev/null (otherwise the SD card’s speed will have an impact). For even faster performance, the log is also written to /dev/null .

wget -o /dev/null -O /dev/null 192.168.1.16/raspbian.img

If you want to try this yourself, replace the IP adress with your host (name or IP).

Remember, this is the Raspberry – general purpose processing power is at a premium and needs to be factored in. iftop will also take it’s toll, the real throughput in the test setup will be a bit higher.

In a real scenario, though, you want to run other utilities, applications, etc, so throughput will most likely be lower.

Sensitivity to orientation

As the throughput is very sensitive to the orientation of the dongle, we have tried to optimize the positioning of the Raspberry and the dongle in these measurements.

 

TP-LINK v 2

This is the result for version 2 of the TP-Link WiFi Adapter, using a custom driver (none included with the official distro).

 

image

 

The total network throughput we measure here is (peak) ~ 28 Mb/s, or > 3 MB/s. 

 

TP-LINK v 1

This is the result for version 1 of the TP-Link WiFi Adapter, using the stock driver

 

image

Total network throughput is ca. 21 Mb/s or slightly more than 2.5 MB/s.

 

LogiLink Ultra Nano Wireless N 150 Mbps USB Adapter

This is “WL0084B” or 98 71 33 Wireless N 150 Mbps Adapter by LogiLink. This is most probably the adapter we will be shipping with our kits when we have no TP-Link adapters left anymore.

This adapter works out of the box for us, we’ve also tested it on Raspbmc. Apparently you can also use it to set up a WiFi  access point, as the chipset supports that mode.

image

Peak throughput seems to be at about 20 Mb/s = 2.5 MB/s (with a lot of orientation fiddling).

 

Orientation sensitivity

The WiFI adapters are highly orientation sensitive. Consider the following two screenshots (TP-Link hardware). the Only difference is the orientation of the Raspberry Pi (and with it the TP-Link WiFi USB dongle)

image

image

 

To reach the optimal rates we measured here, you need to orient your nano dongle. A good idea would be to use a passive USB extension to allow for a greater degree of freedom in the orientation.

May 082013
 

This is a short summary of the German article I have posted yesterday. Have a look at it, if you want to see photos how to distinguish Version 1.0 from Version 2.0 of this TP-Link TL-WN725 N Nano WiFi USB dongle.

Update

We have released a package in our repository to install this driver in the most easy fashion possible. Head on over to our new blog-post to read all about it!

What is this about?

TP-Link changed the chip driving it’s TL-WN725N Nano WiFi stick. Whereas v1.0 would work out of the box with the newest Raspbian (02-09-13) v2.0 does not work unless you install a custom driver.

Driver installation procedure (legacy)

If possible, you should use the instructions to install the driver from our repository – it is more convenient for you. The remainder of this article is here for historical purposes.

MrEngman from the Raspberry Pi Forum has compiled a driver for v2.0 (which uses the 8188eu chip), including modifications for making the blue LED work and less debug output (thus making it faster).

Here are his installation instructions, quoted from this forum post on the Raspberry Pi Forum:

wget https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/80256631/8188eu-20130209.tar.gz
tar -zxvf 8188eu-20130209.tar.gz
sudo install -p -m 644 8188eu.ko /lib/modules/3.6.11+/kernel/drivers/net/wireless

Once you have installed the driver you should activate it:

sudo depmod -a
sudo modprobe 8188eu

The first command will update the kernel module settings – on the next reboot, the new driver should be included automatically. The second command allows you to load the driver immediately. Now you can try ifconfig to see wlan0 – it should be available now.

Raspbian Image with driver

We have bundled the driver with a fresh Raspbian image, based on Raspbian 2013-02-09.

Additionally we have updated the apt cache, and installed all currently available updates to the default packages. This should save you some bandwidth and – more importantly – time.

This image will be 4 GB in size when you decompress it (use 7-zip), and should be installed by the usual method of image writing to SD cards. Please note that we have not expanded the image to fit the whole (4 GB) SD card, you still need to run sudo raspi-config to finish the set-up.

The original tar.gz file from MrEngman is in the folder /home/pi/wlan-fix – just in case you should ever need it, it is already installed and activated for you in this image.

download-tp-link-wlan-fix-image[4]Download raspbian-wifi-fix130523.7z (532 MB)

 

Update

I have updated the image today (31.05.2013). It has all updates as of the 23rd of may of a stock Raspbian install. Also I have resized the image to the real size the partitions need initially.

Please note, if you run updates the driver may become disabled. Simply use

sudo depmod -a
sudo modprobe 8188eu

to fix this after the updates.

 

Simple WiFi network setup

In the simple case of the Raspberry Pi being used with WLAN only, a DHCP access point / router, and no roaming is required, you should be fine with the followíng /etc/network/interfaces file

auto lo

iface lo inet loopback
#iface eth0 inet dhcp

allow-hotplug wlan0
auto wlan0
iface wlan0 inet dhcp
        wpa-ssid "your-ssid"
        wpa-psk "your-password"
#wpa-roam /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf
iface default inet dhcp

Change your-ssid and your-password, but please keep the quotation marks around them. As you see in the setup above, the wpa_supplicant.conf is commented out.

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