WiFi dongle doesn't work out of the box


#1

I got a GoPiGo for Christmas with most of the extras including the wifi dongle. However, although the instructions made it seem like the WiFi dongle would work out of the box it didn’t. I was able to get it working and I’m posting the steps I took in case anyone else has the same problem.

The instructions I followed were found on this page:
http://www.fars-robotics.net/
The “Installing the rtl8188eu based wifi adaptor driver for Raspbian.” section.

To determine if your WiFi dongle is using the Realtek 18188EU chipset use ‘lsusb’.

If lsusb doesn’t tell you the chipset, run ‘update-usbids’ while connected to the internet and try it again.

See these instructions:
https://wiki.debian.org/HowToIdentifyADevice/USB


#2

I’m in the same boat with a wifi dongle that I got my son with his new BrickPi. We had no problem establishing that the dongle does indeed use the same chip. But we are new to the Pi and Linux and are having trouble following the directions. When enter the Terminal and enter a command to activate Nano on the specified files like:

/etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

I enter the editor, and it is blank and indicates “new file” at the bottom of the screen. Am I supposed to create the file? If so, what all needs to be in it? If not, what am I doing wrong?

I am using the official Noobs package, downloaded yesterday.

We would appreciate any help you can offer.


#3

Or maybe we just didn’t find the necessary instructions. They seem only to be linked through the bottoms of pages on the Dexter Industries site under “Product Manuals”.

From that link: BrickPi> Using the Raspberry Pi> Option 3: Connect with WiFi

<a href="http://www.dexterindustries.com/BrickPi/getting-started/using-the-pi/" title="Check out option #3" target="_blank">BrickPi Instructions Part 4, Option 3</a>

#4

An update:

The method described at far-robotics.net was not fully successful for us. But it got us far enough.

We were able to get the wifi dongle to work on our Noobs card using that method, but the same method failed with the Dexter Industries card. Then (through a convoluted process) we moved the two relevant files (interfaces and wpa_supplicant.conf) from the Noobs card to the Dexter Industries card, replacing the relevant files in the process. We have no idea why this worked. Replacing the text of the files in question would seem to be identical in expected effect. But the fact is, replacing the text didn’t work and overwriting the files did work.

One interesting note. We used a usb flash drive to get the files transferred, and during the boot process, the Dexter Industries OS recognized one of the files on the flash drive, grabbed it and installed it, then deleted it from the flash drive. I don’t remember which of the two files it was (probably interfaces), but it was pretty interesting and surprising.


#5

Hey,
Could you try this https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruits-raspberry-pi-lesson-3-network-setup?view=all to set up the networking.

Let us know if it helps.
-Karan


#6

Bret and all, three quick questions for you:

  • Did you order the wifi dongle from us?
  • Did you us our image? From the website or did you download it?
  • Which brand wifi dongle shipped to you?

Sorry for all the questions, but hopefully it helps us prevent this problem in the future.


#7

No worries. Happy to help.

I did indeed get the wifi dongle from DI. It is an “EDUP NANO Card” (EP-N8508GS). The DI sticker has this number on it: 855947002552.

I was using the stock DI SD card on an RPi B+. At some point I did the DI software update. It seemed to work, but made no apparent difference in functionality.

Interesting additional piece of information:

I later replaced the wifi dongle with a cheap one (Edimax EW-7811Un 150Mbps 11n Wi-Fi USB Adapter) with good reviews. With no additional configuration, it works vastly better than the EDUP NANO Card ever did. It is much faster, and the connection to the network doesn’t drop. I detect no functional difference between the Edimax wifi connection and the ethernet connection. There had been a huge difference between the the EDUP unit and ethernet.

Perhaps the new dongle would have reduced or eliminated much of the messiness we experienced. I can’t say for sure, because the configuration was already done.