The forum is open to new posts.

Connecting Kiwi via WiFi

At home, no problem to use Ethernet to connect to my router.
Away from hone (motels, vacation rentals, DXpeditions) there is often no access to the router.
To solve that, I;ve been using an AP in bridge configuration, or a laptop with bridgee mode configured in Win 10.

What would be even better is to have WiFi in the Kiwi ?

Is there anything in motion to do that? Failing that, is there any way to add WiFi to the Kiwi, possibly via a USB dongle? Or other methods?

Chuck
«134

Comments

  • Yes, in my opinion there is an advantage to having wifi at the kiwi - if the kiwi is kept very close to the antenna with a very short feedline then the impedance on the path for common mode current *through* the kiwi (in one 'ground'/common and out the other) is increased. This can reduce QRN/QRM that is not being produced/coupled as TEM on the coax going to the Kiwi's SMA. Effectively it lets one operate "feedline-less".
    I have experienced reducing/removing the feed line as greatly improving common mode noise on a kiwi. A wifi dongle, located right at the kiwi which is also right near the antenna combined with a very-carefully decoupled power source, possibly a battery also located right at the kiwi, can greatly reduce the possibility for noise contributions and has shown to make a very considerable difference in overall sensitivity.
    I have one kiwi 'package, with battery, wifi dongle a small (active) dipole antenna all mounted together within 50 cm of each other and light enough to lift with a helium balloon or quadcopter. This arrangement allows using the kiwi to 'probe' an area to measure e-field without having the measurement polluted with noise from other than the probing antenna/receiver. It doesn't eliminate differential noise, such as noise on the power supply or LAN but I've found the Kiwi itself to be quite good in this regard.
    Although I've thought about using a BeagleBones with on-board wifi to accomplish this, I've found that a small USB Wifi adpator, such as TL-WR802N does the job just fine, is small and inexpensive, so I seen little incentive for kiwi redesign. What we have can work great as it is.
    Glenn n6gn
  • That KiwiSDR/quadcopter combo sounds ideal for someone that needs to scout a neighborhood looking for RFI sources.
  • I think so. So often people seem to mistake noise as "radiated", as truly inverse-square-law rather than either common mode or near-field. This matters because common mode noise can be addressed with proper system design and near-field noise falls off much faster than radiated so a few feet of antenna movement in the correct direction can often make rather extreme difference in the noise floor and sensitivity. A kiwi system can make a wonderful probe to sort this out and potentially enable rather tremendous improvements in what otherwise might have been thought to be simply "all that digital noise we have these days".
  • Hi Glenn:
    OK, you;ve been there and done that with a USB dongle.
    Can you give us a short rundown of what it took to get it running?
    I have a fear of having to stretch my weak knowledge of Debian to make it work.

    Chuck
  • Well my approach was trivial. I simply set the TPLink up as a bridge, told it the Wifi ssid/pass and plugged it in. I think I did this from a web browser. That didn't even involve the kiwi. Once it was running,it passed the kiwi through to my network such that DHCP was all satisfied and things and once plugged plugged into the Kiwi everything just worked.
    I do notice that the model I used, which was around US$25 when I got it on Amazon|e-bay, may be at end of life. Perhaps the adapter that Jim suggests is better, I don't know what it takes to make that work. I was concerned about total weight so something even lighter would be better. Jim, can you comment on what it takes to make the ADAFruit one work?
  • Beagle USB WiFi dongle is not the same as Ethernet-to-WiFi adapter bridge. The former is known to be tricky to setup. The later is easy but a bulkier solution.

    Using the right dongle model is (apparently) essential. Installing additional software packages may be necessary. A least one mention from someone who has done it successfully exists on the forum: http://forum.kiwisdr.com/discussion/comment/6047/#Comment_6047
  • Glenn: You described your solution as a "small USB Wifi Adapter" but the TL-WR802 is a stand alone router that does not use USB except to power the router.
    Is that the correct model number?

    My hope is a USB dongle that plugs into the Beagle's USB.

    Chuck
  • edited July 2019
    I have a D-Link USB wifi dongle DWA-131 working fine on the KiwiSDR, about the same size as my thumbnail and the first to try from the spares box.

    With an ethernet or USB network connection ssh into the kiwisdr, plugged in the D-Link tried lsusb command, not installed

    sudo apt-get install usbutils
    .....for lsusb etc.

    lsusb command now lists the D-Link and notes the Realtek chipset Rtl8192SU with vendor and product

    quick Debian search for this chipset to find required firmware

    sudo apt-get install firmware-realtek
    ......D-Link firmware

    sudo apt-get install iw
    .....tools

    sudo apt-get install wireless-tools
    ..... iwlist etc.

    sudo apt-get install wpasupplicant
    ........for encryption

    sudo apt-get install wavemon
    ...... a valuable tool for displaying local wifi networks

    Added the D-Link wifi interface configuration to /etc/network/interfaces

    something like...

    auto wlan1
    iface wlan1 inet dhcp
    wpa-ssid "SSID of router"
    wpa-psk "password"

    alternatively setup wifi with command line tools, or install a network manager. I tried connman works well
  • edited July 2019
    The spacing between commands and my comments has been lost...so the commands are

    sudo apt-get install usbutils
    sudo apt-get install firmware-realtek
    sudo apt-get install iw tools
    sudo apt-get install wireless-tools
    sudo apt-get install wpasupplicant
    sudo apt-get install wavemon
  • Could you possibly mean wlan0 instead of wlan1? What support there is in the Kiwi code for WiFi is currently hardcoded only for wlan0 (similar to eth0 for Ethernet).
  • I expected wlan0 John, but could not bring it up

    ifup wlan1 worked fine

    Andy
  • After following your procedure (note that one line should be: "sudo apt-get install iw"), I installed 'connmanctl' (apt-get install connman) to find and log on to my AP.
    Using USB wifi almost completely eliminates the crud and spurs previously seen above 10 Mhz and especially above 20 Mhz.
    I will soon be migrating all of the Kiwis at my quiet sites KPH and AI6VN/KH6 to use USB wifi.
    Thank you very much Andy!

    Rob
  • charlesh3 asked : You described your solution as a "small USB Wifi Adapter" but the TL-WR802 is a stand alone router that does not use USB except to power the router.
    Is that the correct model number? My hope is a USB dongle that plugs into the Beagle's USB.

    The WR802 is technically a 'stand-alone' but physically it is quite small and pretty light,around 60x60x20mm total with the PCB itself smaller and thinner, not as small as a small USB WiFi dongle though.
  • Online I have found that a BeagleBone Green with Wi-Fi can be purchased for $59 from Seeed, I wonder if this would be better than using a usb adaptor?
  • >
    >I wonder if this would be better than using a usb adaptor?
    >

    Hopefully we are talking about something like the £8 D-Link USB wifi dongle DWA-131 thumbnail sized dongle that was mentioned and just plugs into the USB port.

    This should be cheaper than replacing Beagle board and easy to retrofit.

    Regards,

    Martin - G8JNJ
  • They other possible benefit of an external dongle is that the RF environment of the basic BB won't be altered so much. I believe jks indicated that the BB with HDMI was noisy. Adding WiFi on-board may or may not have an adverse effect but is probably less of a known and more difficult to test and/or correct than a dongle which can simply be substituted. I think we do know that at least some USB/WiFi dongles appear to have no impact on the kiwi noise floor. I also believe Rob indicated that the same WiFi chipset did not necessarily work in every dongle he tried. I'll prod him to give us a summary.

    Glenn n6gn
  • edited August 2019
    The D-Link DWA-131 is around £8.00 on Amazon Martin.

    Other wireless dongles may work if the Debian repositories have the appropriate firmware. The chipset type, Vendor and Product ID's used in the wireless dongle can be identified from the "lsusb" (list USB) command once the usbutilities files have been installed.

    root@kiwisdr:~# lsusb
    Bus 001 Device 002: ID 07d1:3303 D-Link System DWA-131 802.11n Wireless N Nano Adapter(rev.A1) [Realtek RTL8192SU]
    Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
    root@kiwisdr:~#

    If the commands I posted on July 12th are not sufficient I could try and elaborate - maybe on Skype. I've run Linux for 20+ years and the Kiwi runs Linux so it's easy to get carried away and assume the wifi installation on Debian is straightforward for all.

    SSH is available from Windows 10 - probably installed, otherwise System > Apps > Optional Features , scroll down to OpenSSH client. SSH access through the Windows Power Shell by typing "SSH root@kiwi_IP"....typically SSH root@192.168.1.xxx

    Best to ensure that the USB client network route described in the Kiwi documentation is functional, just in case, because eventually the ethernet cable needs to be disconnected and ideally ethernet prevented from starting automatically to avoid confusion as Linux will usually prefer to route to the Internet via ethernet. Access via the USB client network is a good long stop.

    If the wireless interface is managed through the /etc/network/interfaces text file, also best to backup this file before editing.

    As you say this is easy to retrofit by removing the wireless dongle and changing the /etc/network/interfaces file back to original...but SSH comms are needed - loosing SSH comms is the biggest risk - but three routes (ethernet, wireless and USB) are available.

    Andy G3TDJ
  • It's easy enough to minimise any risk by saving an image to SD card before you start making any changes.

    Then you have a 'get out of jail card' in case anything goes seriously wrong.

    I've always done this as my Linux skills are minimal, and it's allowed me to recover the situation when I've made a mistake and things have not worked as they should.

    I think for£8 it's worth having a go.

    Regards,

    Martin - G8JNJ
  • Which version did you use ?

    N150 Mbps ?
  • edited August 2019
    This dongle was literally the first I tried from the spares box so is many years old. However the lsusb command says it is DWA-131 802.11n Wireless N

    It's better not to get too recent with wireless devices as the Kiwi uses Debian "Jessie" which is two version behind the current Debian and the kernel used is unlikely to support recent hardware.....There is a post on another thread where somebody had updated the kernel to get a Kiwi wireless dongle working on 5 GHz. After update the dongle worked on 5 GHz but the Kiwi did not run.

    Andy G3TDJ
    W1EUJ
  • jksjks
    edited August 2019
    Someone mentioned the BBG WiFi board (BBGW). Look closely. It is physically incompatible with standard Beagle capes, hence the Kiwi board. Bad engineering on Seeed's part. You could potentially use cape header extenders to make it work but there are no guarantees there won't be power or signal integrity problems. The other issue is that with Debian Jesse the BBGW needed a special disto. This was fixed in later distros, but that doesn't help the Kiwi case.

    A better alternative if you want to try that route is perhaps the BBBW, the WiFI version of the standard BBB. But none of this has been tested and is not supported by us if you have problems.
  • edited August 2019
    Hi All,

    I installed all of these without any problem

    sudo apt-get install usbutils
    sudo apt-get install firmware-realtek
    sudo apt-get install iw
    sudo apt-get install wireless-tools
    sudo apt-get install wpasupplicant
    sudo apt-get install wavemon
    apt-get install connman

    Edited /etc/network/interfaces

    auto wlan1
    iface wlan1 inet dhcp
    wpa-ssid "SSID of router"
    wpa-psk "password"

    Checked the install

    root@kiwisdr:~/Beagle_SDR_GPS# lsusb
    Bus 001 Device 002: ID 2001:3319 D-Link Corp.
    Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub

    Looks OK - BUT........

    root@kiwisdr:~/Beagle_SDR_GPS# ifup wlan1
    wpa_supplicant: /sbin/wpa_supplicant daemon failed to start
    run-parts: /etc/network/if-pre-up.d/wpasupplicant exited with return code 1
    Failed to bring up wlan1.

    Any ideas what to try next ?

    Regards,

    Martin - G8JNJ
  • edited August 2019
    Martin....first try

    ifconfig

    This should list all the network interfaces...eth0, usb and hopefully a wireless interface

    Also ..

    ifconfig -a

    will list active interfaces

    I'm hopeful that the wireless interface will show as wlan0. Although mine came up as wlan1 with the D-Link dongle, yesterday I took another wifi dongle from the junk box, an aged Netgear WG111v3. This configured OK in the kiwisdr, but as wlan0...otherwise worked "out of the box" no extra drivers required, the driver is in the kernel

    Talking to Rob yesterday, his wireless dongles in the Kiwisdr are showing as wlan0...and working OK

    If your wireless interface shows as wlan0, you will need to change both mentions of wlanx in /etc/network/interfaces

    Connman is an alternative to managing the network through the /etc/network/interfaces file. Very good documentation on line and much more versatile.

    I'm slightly surprised that the lsusb command did not give you more information on the wireless dongle...this is mine

    root@kiwisdr:~# lsusb
    Bus 001 Device 002: ID 07d1:3303 D-Link System DWA-131 802.11n Wireless N Nano Adapter(rev.A1) [Realtek RTL8192SU]
    Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
    root@kiwisdr:~#


    Andy G3TDJ
  • Hi Andy,

    It's not listing the wireless interface.

    root@kiwisdr:~/Beagle_SDR_GPS# ifconfig
    eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr c4:f3:12:b9:fa:95
    inet addr:192.168.1.107 Bcast:192.168.1.255 Mask:255.255.255.0
    inet6 addr: fe80::c6f3:12ff:feb9:fa95/64 Scope:Link
    UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST DYNAMIC MTU:1500 Metric:1
    RX packets:11641 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
    TX packets:12739 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
    collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
    RX bytes:2594344 (2.4 MiB) TX bytes:7561229 (7.2 MiB)
    Interrupt:175

    lo Link encap:Local Loopback
    inet addr:127.0.0.1 Mask:255.0.0.0
    inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
    UP LOOPBACK RUNNING MTU:65536 Metric:1
    RX packets:195 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
    TX packets:195 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
    collisions:0 txqueuelen:1
    RX bytes:20131 (19.6 KiB) TX bytes:20131 (19.6 KiB)
  • Was that for

    ifconfig -a

    ?

    Also try ...

    rfkill list all

    to see if the wireless is hard or soft blocked

    Can't remember if rfkill is installed ...will check my kiwi

    Andy
  • root@kiwisdr:~/Beagle_SDR_GPS# ifconfig -a
    eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr c4:f3:12:b9:fa:95
    inet addr:192.168.1.107 Bcast:192.168.1.255 Mask:255.255.255.0
    inet6 addr: fe80::c6f3:12ff:feb9:fa95/64 Scope:Link
    UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST DYNAMIC MTU:1500 Metric:1
    RX packets:12651 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
    TX packets:13503 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
    collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
    RX bytes:2720786 (2.5 MiB) TX bytes:7664827 (7.3 MiB)
    Interrupt:175

    lo Link encap:Local Loopback
    inet addr:127.0.0.1 Mask:255.0.0.0
    inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
    UP LOOPBACK RUNNING MTU:65536 Metric:1
    RX packets:223 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
    TX packets:223 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
    collisions:0 txqueuelen:1
    RX bytes:23517 (22.9 KiB) TX bytes:23517 (22.9 KiB)

    usb0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr c4:f3:12:b9:fa:90
    BROADCAST MULTICAST DYNAMIC MTU:1500 Metric:1
    RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
    TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
    collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
    RX bytes:0 (0.0 B) TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)

    root@kiwisdr:~/Beagle_SDR_GPS# rfkill list all
    bash: rfkill: command not found
    root@kiwisdr:~/Beagle_SDR_GPS#

    I have Connman installed but reading the documentation isn't helping me to configure it.
  • Installed rfkill

    It's not returning anything
  • OK the wireless interface is not active...so that brings me back to the lsusb command not showing information on the chipset. The VID 2001 and PID 3319 do decode to D-Link DWA-131, I'm wondering if D-Link have changed the chipset

    Andy
  • Yes that's probably it.
Sign In or Register to comment.