Product Review: Tenda W311Mi USB Wireless Adaptor

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tendaW311MiI recently purchased a TendaW311Mi wireless USB adaptor from Micro Center for a robot project. The sticker price was $19,99, but the register rang up $10.00; so I thought I got a steal!

According to the box, the adaptor  support Wireless N at 150Mbps.  It has a nice small footprint, great for interfacing to a BeagleBone Black (BBB), the CPU board that I was using.  Googling the web I found the driver for it is readily available for Ångström, the OS I am running on the BBB, so I thought I have a sure thing and happily paid it.

bbb_wifiAfter the required set up, following the instruction given here, I was able to get connection, though intermittent.  I checked my Net Gear router’s Attached Devices list, and saw BEAGLEBONE appeared and disappeared erratically.  Then I decided to ping BEAGLEBONE from my Linux box, and this is the result:

Screenshot from 2014-02-07 14:28:59As you can see, it took a long while before W311Mi locks and able to respond to ping, and the average time between ping is awfully long.  Then I stopped pinging a little while and restarted it.  This time W311Mi stopped responding altogether–essentially disconnected from the network.  If I keep on pinging it, W311Mi will continue responding indefinitely, acting as if it depends on a steady stream of incoming data to stay alive.

After trying this for several days with the same behaviour, I decided to abandon this device and go with another model. If you know of a good, reliable wireless USB dongle that works under Ångström, please send me your recommendation!

(The above article is solely the expressed opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the position of his current and past employers)

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