Can anybody recommend a solution for increased 2.4ghz range on the GL-AR750S?

I have searched the forum as well as some openwrt ressources and I understand that gl-inet firmware currently only supports external adapter with Brume so far. However, I’m currently clinging on to a network with only 9-16 SNR and really could do with a little boost as I’m not sure how long I will have to stay here.

Looking at the options, I think the easiest turn-key option would be an external USB WiFi adapter configured through LuCi.

I don’t have the equipment or ability to modify the board to fit an external antenna.

Hopefully there is a common 2.4ghz USB WiFi adapter that can be powered by the USB port on the Slate?

I understand that power requirements and compatibility are the main issue.

Does anyone know of a model that has openwrt support, low enough power draw for the slate to power it (or some option for external power)?

Hopefully something that can be bought from Amazon in europe.

Thanks for any suggestions.

This may not be the answer you want, but have you thought about a powered USB hub? It means you’re stuck with an extra ac adapter, but that would open up any compatible USB WiFi adapter, if you can find one with big antennas.

EDIT: I’m pretty sure all the Glinet routers support hubs, there are posts from employees on here confirming it for other models.

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You could look at something like the Tp-link Archer T2U Plus, which has a pretty big antenna with some reasonable gain. It uses an RTL8811AU which I think is supported, if someone else could confirm?

It may draw more than the AR750S can supply, so you’d need to run it through a powered hub in that case.

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Thanks for the reply!

Im travelling around and any extra plugs/usb ports/chargers are not really available and would add up to a significant cost on top of getting a new wireless adapter.

I was hoping to find just a USB wireless card for 10-25 euros with no extras needed.

Im spending so much time trying to find the chipsets sand their compatibility it’s getting a bit frustrating.

From previous posts in this forum it seems like the Alfa adapters can be powered by the device alone but I would love a confirmation of that.

Price-wise there are adapters by tp-link that are very cheap with 4 and 5 dbi antenna but the information on compatibility is killing me. If I am to pay 40 Euros for an Alfa card, only to have to buy a Y cable and a power supply it will cost more like 55 euros. Surely there is an option that is cheaper and doesn´t require external power.

Anyway I am still looking.

If anyone is using Alfa card without external power please share.

If anyone is using another long range adapter without external power, please share.

The current devices I am interested and would appreciate any compatibility information for include:

TP-Link Archer T2U plus
this looks good - apparently RTL8811AU based - cannot see specific support in openwrt:


Source: https://deviwiki.com/wiki/TP-LINK_Archer_T2U_Plus

TP-LINK-TL-WN722N
this v2 version has lots of reports of not working in older kernels, but mainly lots of kali-script-kiddies complaining so it’s hard to tell for sure what the deal is with openwrt. According to device wiki it is RTL8188EU which has firmware in openwrt repos:


source: https://deviwiki.com/wiki/TP-LINK_TL-WN722N_v2

D-Link DWA-127
d-link are suspicously discrete with their information:


[there is no entry in device wiki for the Dlink]

ASUS USB-N14
I thought this was broadcom based but apparently not - apparently RT5372 supported maybe by rt5370sta for which i cannot see anything in the openwrt repos:


source: https://deviwiki.com/wiki/ASUS_USB-N14

J & J OEM
The title says 5dbi but the body says 3 and the company just seems dodgy - apparently it is Apparently rt5370 based:


[did not even look for a source]

EDIMAX W-7612UAn-V2
is 3 dbi enough?.. apparently this is RTL8192CU chipset which seems to have kernel module and firmware in the repos:


source: https://deviwiki.com/wiki/Edimax_EW-7612UAn_v2

Thanks!

I have looked at this one… it seems good but it is hard to verify!

I found this “somewhat” useful resource:
https://www.elinux.org/RPi_USB_Wi-Fi_Adapters

I suspect that some of the information is out of date however, especially the white TP-Link models seem to have had different revisions with different chipsets.

Having put all my research together, i am wondering why some devices only have firmware whilst others have both firmware and kernel modules in the gl-inet/openwrt repos.

Does the presence of both kernel modules and firmware imply better support?.. is it just that some devices have a generic kernel module?

If anyone can advise I would be most grateful

I’m afraid I don’t know. I hope someone is able to to offer more expertise than I have.

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A lot of the wireless chipsets support the same kernel module (the driver) as they belong to the same family, thus the same driver works. However certain models require their own firmware to run properly. Think of firmware like an extension to the kernel module that is not open source (specifically, firmwares are a way for manufacturers to get around the GPLv2 licensing of the Linux kernel, and be able to release a custom driver, or at least part of it, without needing to release the source code for that bit).

Basically the availability of a specific kernel module or firmware for a device does not guarantee superb support.

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my personal favorite. v1

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I can only find the v2 with the less desirable chipset.

Have you tried using yours with the slate and compared the difference in signal level received?

I can buy the v2 for only 12 euros so maybe it is still worth it.

That makes a lot of sense.

From my continuing research, the least problematic adapters seem to be those which do not need firmware or kernel modules because they simply have good mainline linux support already.

From the many posts made by @alzhao on this subject, I see that the rt3070 and 8187 are particularly desirable for this reason.

I also understand that these external devices should not have a driver/chipset that interferes with the existing internal atheros chipset present in the Slate - which is apparently the case with the rt3070 and 8187.

Does anyone know if the RTL8188EU in the TP link TL-WN722N V2 from amazon is likely to perform well with the Slate despite the need for kernel module and driver?

Otherwise, as a possible new alternative, I have since found the following website that promesses speedy european delivery (the following link is a relevant blog post by the store):

Specifically: does anyone have any advice on feasibility of using these models with the slate - they all seem to sport the desirable rt3070:

At this stage, i think that i will either go with the cheapest amazon option (currently the TPlink TL-WN722N V2) or maybe one of these rt3070 devices.

Regarding the rt3070 devices I have my doubts about ability to power from the Slate so I have looked at some specs:

SLATE:
Power Input: 5V/2A
Power Consumption: <6W

From my terribly basic knowledge this means there is 4W of power left to work with. Does this mean that these high gain external devices will work? For instance:

This device is listed at 2000mw power consumption - can I assume that this will run well from the Slate’s USB port alone… I have a sneaky suspicion that it could never be this simple :slight_smile:

So I am almost close to an answer:

If someone is able to clear up the power capabilities of the slate in terms of ability of powering one of the high-gain RT3070 external anttena, I will probably go all out and get the biggest badest RT3070 antenna I can find.

Also, if someone can confirm that the TP-link TL-WN722N v2 with RTL8188EU will provide a real noticable improvement in signal levels, functioning well alongside the internal chipsets of the SLate I may just go for this cheap and easy option.

My aim is to pickup wireless signals outside the range of the Slate - ie. worse than -70dbm (seems to be the absolute lowest from my research),

I would like to thank everyone for contributing to these questions, reading all this text and for any further suggestions to help me narrow down the remaining options!!!

Thankyou!

Notice that the Slate will only give out 500mA on the USB port, following the USB Spec, so max 2.5W.

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yes johnny is correct. what I have done to compensate was to lower the signal power in wireless settings. It worked at max level but I didn’t want to run into any unknown errors due to limited power on the unit. I have noticed the ar750 on the otherhand I run at full power and never had any errors or hiccups…knock on wood

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How much improvement did you see in wifi signal and what adapater/antenna did you try?

Have you consider use a wifi extender, like the vixmini or microuter-N300 ? I have used the vixmini as repeater in weak wifi spots, 2.4 ghz perfomance is outstanding .

Im already using the slate essentialy as an extender via repeater mode… I have had it hanging from the walls and celings already so there is no where else to put an extender closer to the signal where the slate cannot go itself.

Hey thanks everyone,

following the advice on this thread and throughout the forum I went with the ALFA AWUS36NH because it has RT3070 chipset, detachable 5bi antenna and 2W power (that is just within the Slate’s capabilties).

I will not be using the internal 2.4ghz at the same time so I expect the combination to be reasonably stable.

I found the adapter for 27 Euros which is on the higher end of my margin but I expect that it will be less likely to disapoint than the other options and it will be easy to upgrade with another antenna in the future.

I did like the idea of the OEM rt3070 with big antenna but I did not want to get a potentially junk product with less potential for modification in case expectations fell short.

In retrospect, I think that the Slate does have good WiFi already so this is why I really wanted to get the best device to be sure to see an improvement. I am not really sure that some of the adapters linked would have genuinely provided a tangible advantage over the Slate’s built-in wifi.

I might post back once I have received the device if there are some interesting results/observations.

Thanks again - I guess we will have to wait and see :slight_smile:

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