AR750S Adding USB Wifi adapter

Hi There, I am loving the AR750S travel router. I love the simplicity of set up using both web and mobile apps, but also the fact you can ssh into open-wrt for more advanced config.

I have an external USB adapter with a larger high gain antenna that I would like to occasionally use with the AR750S. I can see from the System Log that the adpter is based on the RTL8187 chipset so I have installed the Realtek Drivers for RTL818x devices (RTL8187 USB) Plugin (kmod-rtl8187 v4.9.120+2017-11-01-9).

When I insert the USB adapter into the AR750S I can see the following with uci.


So far so good.

First problem, the gl-inet UI can no longer scan for wifi networks in the Internet section (wlan-sta). It just scans then returns with a blank screen. I guess the wifi scanner wasn’t expecting the additional USB adapter, despite already searching across wlan0 and wlan1. I also tried renaming this USB adapter to wlan4 but it had no effect.

Is this a know bug? I had a hunt around the internet to find the source some of this web ui to see if I could spot the problem but I couldn’t find the source code anywhere.

I am hoping someone can give me some pointers.

Our web does not use all radio scans. For this type of USB wifi adapter, you can scan from the LUCI interface or from the command line with the following command

iwinfo radio2 scan

I wouldn’t mind scanning for radio2 separately from LUCI or command line but adding the 2nd adapter breaks the ability to scan on the built in radios using the GLINET Web and mobile apps. That would seem like a bug to me.

It is a bug anyway.

We are adding support to external wifi adapters in MV1000 first, which does not come with wifi.

We will update other models. They may not support external wifi dongle because they have good wifi already. But at least not crash because of plugging external dongle.

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Hi, I do not disagree that models such as the AR750S Slate have good WiFi. Perhaps if I explain my use-case it will make more sense.

I am intending to install the AR750S on my sailing yacht. It will be installed in an equipment cupboard along with other boat instruments. The small size, low power consumption and Ethernet ports makes the AR750S A great choice for this. The AR750S’ WiFi is great for accessing internet from the boat, but it will be just a couple of meters above the waterline (so not very high up) and sometimes surrounded by other boats. The repeater mode of the GL.inet UI is great for connecting to WiFi hotspots in marinas. The built-in WiFi should be fine in our home marina but the issue is that sometimes other marina’s WiFi can be further away or at an awkward angle to pick up from the AR750S directly. Hence I am looking to install an external larger WiFi antenna. Most of these external Outdoor antennas are USB.

I will look forward to any future firmware updates.

Sorry to open up an old thread but I have just upgraded to the new GL-MT1300 Beryl which I notice has a newer firmware. Before I start trying to mess around with external USB wifi adapters/antennas again, I wanted to ask whether the new 3.200 firmware will support external wifi adapters better than the old version? My use case is still the same as I described above.

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I cannot say it improves the combability for external dongle because the new firmware didn’t do any further work on this.

But this should not be difficult. Do NOT use luci to configure wifi. SSH to the router and use uci directly.

So, reset the firmware and plug in the dongle, reboot and try again.

Hi freakent,

I have exactly the same need : improve the wifi reception inside my sailboat at marinas
Most small marinas have quite weak wifi signal and it is worst when inside the boat.
So I was thinking of putting a high gain directional antenna for reception outside the boat and linking it to a mini-router for emission inside the boat.

I am still thinking about many solution, trying to find the best one.

Did you achieve you solution ?
I would be very interested to know how you did it !

Thanks !

Yes! I bought a Teltonika RUTX11 and an unlimited data 4G sim. Now we have amazing internet on the boat. I can also connect the router to the marinas WiFi if needed.

Freakent, why Teltonika and not Mudi (GL-E750) or Spitz (GL-X750)?

I’ll give you a list.

  1. RUTX11 has a CAT6 LTE+ 4G modem supporting carrier aggregation.
  2. RUTX11 supports wide range of input voltages, much more suited to a boat’s electrical system and does not need a 12-15v to USB/USB-C converter (most of which are of very poor quality)
  3. RUTX11 supports and promotes the use of external antennas, signal below decks and at sea is vastly improved with a good antenna from someone like Ponting.
  4. RUTX11 has 4 Ethernet ports so no need for me to have to power an external switch
  5. RUTX11 has a far superior firmware, despite being based on the same OpenWRT.
  6. RUTX11 has a ruggedised case and mounting brackets making it better suited to being installed and securely mounted in a boat.
  7. RUTX11 just works, no mysterious disconnects or other unexpected technical problems

I regret the time and money spent wasted on the two GLinet routers I have, I wish I had gone straight to the Teltonika.

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In this post, you mentioned AR750s and MV1000 and trying to add external wifi dongle to it.

This has nothing to do with 4G routers.

You are quite correct. But missing the point. If adding a usb WiFi adapter to the GL.iNet routers had worked I wouldn’t have switched to a 4G router. But now that I have switched it turns out there are other advantages too.

4G routers has extra benefit of course. But I think GL-X750 works for you. But it is ok that you choose other brand.

right now, I use an Inseego m2000 via USB and ZTE MF833V through a powered USB hub with the SLATE and MWAN3 keep them balanced nicely.

I’ve gone through a few configurations of this in my Overland Toyota Prius, tried the FLINT and it failed miserably. Now a BERYL and SLATE power things but that RUTX11 looks mighty fine, just wish it was 5G!

My setup is all powered by added USB ports and setup in the case the car has no battery power, I can use big power banks to still keep internet going.

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