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 fit-PC2i as an accesspoint 
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Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:52 am
Posts: 10
Post fit-PC2i as an accesspoint
After reading all the other posts on accesspoints it is still unclear to me, can the fit-PC2i operate as an accesspoint in ANY OS? I'm using XP (in virtualbox host ubuntu) and atleast the driver seem to support it. It's possible to configure it as an accesspoint. Other hosts will "see" it as an access point, but doesn't seem to be able connect. Is this some configuration issue or can't the fit-PC2i operate as an accesspoint regardless of OS?


Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:26 pm
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Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:02 pm
Posts: 162
Post Re: fit-PC2i as an accesspoint
Quote:
ANY OS

The fitpc2i is using a Ralink RT3070 USB wireless card which -- in theory -- is capable of running as a wireless host/accesspoint. This should be possible on any OS as long the drivers support this. There are some patches floating around for the linux driver, but I haven't tested those because I don't have a fitpc2i. Windows is completely out of my scope..

Quote:
Note that this will not work with Ralink's USB chips because we don't know how to get status messages (ACK/FAIL) for sent packets.

If you plan to use linux, bad luck. The hardware supports hostap mode, but they failed on the software side. And if I read the comments correctly, they don't bother because it's a real pain in the...

Quote:
Advertising HostAP support in ural(4) and rum(4) was a mistake I'm not going to reproduce. Those devices simply don't have what it takes to properly support HostAP mode. I'm not removing HostAP from ural(4) and rum(4) because some people already depend on it, but quite frankly, it is nothing else than a toy. You will start running into troubles as soon as you start mixing 11b and 11g stations in your BSS. Beacons are simply never updated. There is also no rate control in HostAP mode with these devices.

This is a quote from Damien Bergamini, the guy writing nearly all ralink wireless drivers for the OpenBSD project. It's not entirely related to the fitpc2i or the wireless chip used in them, but it's more about support some ralink chips in general. So even if the hardware and the software support master mode, you really don't want to use it.

Quote:
Other hosts will "see" it as an access point, but doesn't seem to be able connect.

So you tried it? IF so, the driver support just might not be at the point it is usable, yet. If you are using encryption, disable it for testing.


Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:09 pm
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Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:52 am
Posts: 10
Post Re: fit-PC2i as an accesspoint
Quote:
This should be possible on any OS as long the drivers support this. There are some patches floating around for the linux driver, but I haven't tested those because I don't have a fitpc2i. Windows is completely out of my scope..


This is why I choose to test in in windows as it usually have the most "bleeding-edge/mature" drivers.

Quote:
So you tried it? IF so, the driver support just might not be at the point it is usable, yet. If you are using encryption, disable it for testing.


When I was testing it earlier i tried various encryption modes and also unencrypted. Wireshark reported no received packets regardless of mode so my guess is that it is not able to receive packets properly.

I also switched it to ad-hoc and was atleast able to connect, so it shouldn't be a general reception problem.


Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:31 am
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Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:02 pm
Posts: 162
Post Re: fit-PC2i as an accesspoint
Quote:
This is why I choose to test in in windows as it usually have the most "bleeding-edge/mature" drivers.

*cough* *cough* I highly doubt that. It may be the case for this specific driver, but in most other cases it's not. I have my problems with bleeding-edge considered matured, too :P

Quote:
When I was testing it earlier i tried various encryption modes and also unencrypted. Wireshark reported no received packets regardless of mode so my guess is that it is not able to receive packets properly.

I also switched it to ad-hoc and was atleast able to connect, so it shouldn't be a general reception problem.

Well, as I said, the hardware should have a very basic support master mode. However, the drivers do lack quite some features. I think this specific card was never meant to do so...

If you really need AP mode, you are better off with the fitpc2 which has a ralink rt3090 mini-pcie (and is actually using the pcie line, not the usb line). Although this card is quite okay, I would rather buy a better suited one, if AP mode is critical to my needs.


Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:39 am
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Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:52 am
Posts: 10
Post Re: fit-PC2i as an accesspoint
Quote:
*cough* *cough* I highly doubt that. It may be the case for this specific driver, but in most other cases it's not. I have my problems with bleeding-edge considered matured, too

I beg to differ. Most x86 peripherals/devices are _primarily_ developed for Windows (since there is where the large "bulk" customer base is). Naturally this will lead to a more "mature" product quicker for Windows. With "bleeding-edge/mature" I meant that it would reach bleading-edge/mature _quicker_ (since i don't know what state the RA drivers are in) then Linux (typically). But enough of that. ;)

Quote:
Well, as I said, the hardware should have a very basic support master mode. However, the drivers do lack quite some features. I think this specific card was never meant to do so...

Heh, well, it either support master mode or not. :D Is the driver "new" or is it likely to get better in future driver updates?

Quote:
If you really need AP mode, you are better off with the fitpc2 which has a ralink rt3090 mini-pcie (and is actually using the pcie line, not the usb line). Although this card is quite okay, I would rather buy a better suited one, if AP mode is critical to my needs.

Having bought a fitpc to minimize the power consumption/heat/devices, I'm not going to spoil it of having an extra device just for that. I will stick to AD-HOC (if i can get it to work) or perhaps buy some other USB based wireless device that _can_ do AP.


Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:04 pm
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Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:52 am
Posts: 10
Post Re: fit-PC2i as an accesspoint
Update

After a bit of tinkering with the settings I have gotten it to work (don't know exactly what change I made that made it work), which means that AP works in Windows on fitpc2i. I run a stripped down XP in virtualbox, NATed back to ubuntu which runs as host. So this might be a workaround solution if you _really_ want to use your 2i as an AP in linux.


Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:57 pm
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Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:02 pm
Posts: 162
Post Re: fit-PC2i as an accesspoint
Wow, that sounds great! Could you monitor the wireless and report any "longterm" problems (disconnects, throughput, etc.)? Is this system a 24/7 solution?


Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:31 pm
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Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:52 am
Posts: 10
Post Re: fit-PC2i as an accesspoint
Yep, I use the system as a 24/7 server but unfortunately the AP will be used mostly for temporary "guest" access which make it hard to monitor longterm. But, I will report back if I discover any "oddities".


Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:59 am
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Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 6
Post Re: fit-PC2i as an accesspoint
Hi,all.
I had succeeded to setup fit-PC2i as an access point with Ralink RT3070 usb wifi on ubuntu 10.04 (Kernel 2.6.32-27).
The key to success is remove the old drivers.
I had tried as follows.

1. First of all, find old Wireless modules and remove them.
$ sudo lsmod | grep rt2
$ sudo rmmod rt2800usb
... remove related wireless drivers.

2. Find old Wireless drivers and move to some other locations.
$ sudo updatedb
$ sudo locate rt2800usb.ko
$ sudo locate rt2800lib.ko
$ sudo locate rt2x00usb.ko
$ sudo locate rt2x00lib.ko
$ sudo locate rt2870sta.ko
Move those drivers to some other locations.

3. Download source of latest compat-wireless driver from http://wireless.kernel.org/
$ wget http://wireless.kernel.org/download/com ... 20.tar.bz2

4. Compile compat-wireless driver.
$ tar xfv compat-wireless-2010-12-20.tar.bz2
$ cd compat-wireless-2010-12-16
$ ./scripts/driver-select rt2x00
$ make && make install

5. Install hostapd
$ sudo apt-get install hostapd

6. Install bridge-utils
$ sudo apt-get install bridge-utils

7. Edit hostapd.conf
I choose WEP for test , but WPA may works as well.
$ vi /etc/hostapd/hostapd.conf
interface=wlan0
bridge=br0
driver=nl80211
logger_syslog=-1
logger_syslog_level=2
logger_stdout=-1
logger_stdout_level=2
dump_file=/tmp/hostapd.dump
ctrl_interface=/var/run/hostapd
ctrl_interface_group=0
ssid=TEST_AP
country_code=JP
hw_mode=g
channel=6
macaddr_acl=0
auth_algs=3
ignore_broadcast_ssid=0
wep_default_key=0
wep_key0=0123456789
ieee80211n=1
wpa=0

8. Edit /etc/network/interfaces
$ sudo vi /etc/network/interfaces
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback
auto wlan0
iface wlan0 inet manual
wireless-mode master
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet manual
auto br0
iface br0 inet static
address 192.168.1.100
network 192.168.1.0
broadcast 192.168.1.255
netmask 255.255.255.0
gateway 192.168.1.1
pre-up ifup eth0
pre-up ifup wlan0
post-down ifdown eth0
post-down ifdown wlan0
bridge_ports eth0 wlan0
bridge_stp off
bridge_fd 0
bridge_maxwait 0

9. Reboot fit-PC2i and check if it works.
$ sudo iwconfig
lo no wireless extensions.

eth0 no wireless extensions.

eth1 no wireless extensions.

wlan0 IEEE 802.11bgn Mode:Master Frequency:2.437 GHz Tx-Power=20 dBm
Retry long limit:7 RTS thr=2347 B Fragment thr=2346 B
Power Management:on

br0 no wireless extensions.

mon.wlan0 IEEE 802.11bgn Mode:Monitor Tx-Power=20 dBm
Retry long limit:7 RTS thr=2347 B Fragment thr=2346 B
Power Management:off

That's all, thanks.


Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:08 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 2:26 pm
Posts: 2
Post Re: fit-PC2i as an accesspoint
nabecyan wrote:
Hi,all.
I had succeeded to setup fit-PC2i as an access point with Ralink RT3070 usb wifi on ubuntu 10.04 (Kernel 2.6.32-27).


Well, this is great news. I followed your instructions on my fit-PC2i running debian (kernel 2.6.32-29). After stuffing around removing all the old modules, the kernel picked up the new drivers ok, but I still can't put the card into master mode :cry:

Code:
[root@zeus]# iwconfig wlan0
wlan0     IEEE 802.11bgn  ESSID:off/any 
          Mode:Managed  Access Point: Not-Associated   Tx-Power=0 dBm   
          Retry  long limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Encryption key:off
          Power Management:on


Code:
[root@zeus]# iwconfig wlan0 mode master
Error for wireless request "Set Mode" (8B06) :
    SET failed on device wlan0 ; Invalid argument.


When I try to run hostapd, I'm nl80211 driver wont load.

Code:
[root@zeus]# hostapd /etc/hostapd/hostapd.conf
Configuration file: /etc/hostapd/hostapd.conf
ioctl[SIOCSIFFLAGS]: No such file or directory
nl80211 driver initialization failed.
rmdir[ctrl_interface]: No such file or directory


Looks like I've got some more work to do, but at least it can be done.


Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:00 am
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