[7.8.12] Panda USB Wifi  [Getting the card to run in Ubuntu 10.04]


Purchased low cost USB wifi card, wanted to use in ubuntu 10.04 (rtk)

This is a simple walk through on getting the Panda Wifi USB card working in ubuntu 10.04, its surprisingly simple, but doesnt appear to be documented yet. The card was on sale (9 usd) and appeared to work in newer linux kernels. Its marketed as 'Panda Mini Wifi (b/g/n) ASIN:B003283M6Q

Getting it to work Conclusion Image Directory

Open Box Test
First Pass:
The panda wifi card comes in a basic box, its a approximatley the size of a USB thumb drive and contains a small pcb-trace antenna.  Its also cheap. I started by checking if the card worked out of the box. After a quick plug-in to the older target computer I quickly found it wasnt quite supported

ifconfig returned just the ethernet card, no wlan for the wifi card. The card was blinking, so it was at least getting power.

The drop-down network config manager also didnt register the device on the system.

lsusb -v returned that it was present in the system, and had a ralink usb vendor id.

seemed to be same idProduct and idVendor as this

looks like they were having a similar issue

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Getting it to work
How  Image / Media
I noticed using dmesg | grep rt2 that there was an error,

"error: Driver 'rt2870' is already registered, aborting"

rt2870 was the correct driver to use, and it seemed to be running in the background / conflicting with something else
I found that the RT2870 and RT2800 drivers were trying to load at the same time.  The quick solution was to blacklist one and see if the issue went away

there's a simple way to prevent a driver from loading, blacklist.conf

typing in "sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf"  (or sudo nano / whatever editor you like)
pulls up the blacklist-list.

In the editor window i added

'blacklist rt2800usb'

Saved, then restarted the machine with sudo shutdown -r now
Restarted system, and lo, it was fully functional!

I was able to connect to a WPA2 network without issue

I preformed a quick stress-test and transfered a large file, it seemed to handle bulk transfers for extended periods of time well, i've seen similar cards simply overflow and reset after extended transfers, so this was a good sign.  Note the card was plugged into a usb 1.1 socket, the transfer rate limited around 740kiB/s.

(There's other photos in the photo gallery)
Concluding Remarks:

For Its a low-cost wifi adapter, works in 10.04 lts. At the moment i'm using it on an older laptop, but i may end up using it in a small embedded project as a low cost wifi modem. For 9$ i couldnt beat it as a low-cost wireless interface to the web for an embedded board.

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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 
Electrical & Electrical Power