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Realtek RTL8188 WiFi dongle teardown and hacking tutorial

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I have just received cheap WiFi dongle (paid $1.6 in Aliexpress). I don't know yet if I will solder it directly to Orange Pi One extra USB exposed solder points.

Currently I want to share how to disassemble this dongle without damaging anything.

Watch my short tutorial video:

Using this module without the case significantly improves WiFi signal quality and range. Finally it would be possible to solder external antenna socket.

Some photos:

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Cool, thank you for the video. This is pretty simple, if you know how :thumbup:

 

Is this Realtek RTL8188 a reliable WiFi-Chip or worst-case-scenario-design like the RTL8192 ?

Does anyone have some experience for 2-3 weeks running with Linux and different clients?

 

 

By accident I just came across a to me unknown github:

For instance, such a Realtek chipset is present in the Medion MD 86498 USB wireless dongle.

The chipsets involved, are the RTL8192CU and the RTL8188CUS.

 

As a rule of thumb, this driver generally works with devices that use the RTL8192CU chipset, and some devices .... chipsets too, though it's more hit and miss.

Devices that use dual antennas are known not to work well. This appears to be an issue in the upstream Realtek driver.

Unfortunately the R1 comes with 2 antennas..

https://github.com/pvaret/rtl8192cu-fixes

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I suppose RTL8188 is cheap and not so good. But I purchased it just for testing and fun.First try was horrible - WiFi was slow as hell. But after I disassembled the case it improved a lot. I cannot expect anything good for $1.60.

Look at SMD quality, WiFi chip is dirty, etc.

Good thing is the support in different OSes. Currently I tested Zidoo Android, OpenELEC and Orange Raspbian - drivers are there and work ok. I wonder if I will be able to obtain Miracast functionality in Androids as Realtek chip seems to be WiFi Direct compatible. I will test it more tomorrow.

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I can confirm that Miracast works perfectly. At least tested with cheap Android 4.4 phone.

So instead of buying primitive Miracast dongle for $12-$20 it is much better to spend money for Orange Pi PC (probably should work also with cheaper Orange Pi One - I will test it later) and cheap WiFi dongle + Android on SD.

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I understand buying a 1 dollar toy.... I have done it also a couple of times in Ali Express.

 

I personally have the horrible experience of dealing with the realtek chipset that comes with the lamobo R1, and buying a 2 dollar Realtek dongle to give it a 2nd try. The damn thing has again the same bugs, and worse, when it overheats it stops working for a couple of seconds. Realtek...never, ever again. I ended up giving that realtek dongle to a trainee for him to play with Linux.

 

Check this ralink USB thing, it has worked well, and it has 5Ghz. http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Dual-Band-5GHz-2-4GHz-300Mbps-USB-Wireless-WiFi-WLAN-Network-Card-Adapter-IEEE-802-11a/32455426779.html

 

Also check my answer in this thread please.  http://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/252210/wi-fi-problems-using-asus-usb-n13-adapter/252215

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