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Can't activate Alfa Network WiFi USB-Adapter

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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Anonymous
May 29, 2013 9:53:16 AM

I try to use a TUBE-U WiFi USB-Adapter from Alfa Network as a stronger replacement for the WLAN adapter build in and integrated in my Notebook Thinkpad SL510 with Windows 7 32-bit - but can't make it work. I tried the driver which came on the CD with device and also tried the latest driver offered on the Internet site of Alfa Network. Same result: I am not able to activate the WLAN port which is shown on the network center display. My dealer told me that he tried to use the device on his Windows 7 system and it worked fine. So, the hardware is OK. But hardware, driver and windows don't work together properly.

Has anybody an idea what I should do to make it work?
May 29, 2013 11:12:50 AM

are you using a y usb cable?

ie one that lets you use two usb ports to one device

as i think that alfa may use 1w

so one laptop usb port may not be able to supply enough power
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Anonymous
May 29, 2013 11:43:01 AM

Thank to mcnumpty23 for the swift response.

No, I did not use a Y USB cable but was thinking in the same direction.
It's true. The device has an output power of 1000 mW.

However all external HDD 2,5" I'm using need probably more than 1w and work fine on USB without additional power.

Nevertheless, I may buy a Y cable and give it a try.

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May 29, 2013 11:48:27 AM

i have a 500mw alfa

and on some laptops it wont work with only the single usb plug

some usb ports can supply more than 500mw

should be able to look in device manager to see how much power the usb can supply and the current draw on it

as far as i remember

edit---something like this i get from one of my usb ports

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Anonymous
May 29, 2013 12:25:26 PM

Thanks again mcnumpty23.

It really looks that power consumption is the reason:
A look at USB Properties shows that the Tube-U WLAN USB adapter requires 450 mA (don't know how to implement the picture) which is more than 2 W and above USB2 specifications.

So, I will definetly try out a Y USB cable.
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Anonymous
May 31, 2013 1:22:17 PM

Hello mcnumpty23,
I could not get the proper USB Y cable from a local dealer and don't have time now to order one via Internet.

So I decided to send the WLAN USB device back to the dealer from whom I bought it and try it again at another time.

Thanks again for your help.

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June 2, 2013 3:54:58 AM

Alfa is one of the worst offenders when it comes to manipulating the transmit power numbers. They seem to always quote "effective" power number which include antenna gain. In this case the unit does not even come with a antenna and they still put out crap like 1000mw.

The power consumption is not related to this number it is related to the actual power output of the radio chip BEFORE you include any antenna gain. It is likely 70-100mw. Because of the difficulty making amplifiers that can go much over 100mw it is pretty rare to see anything that has a radio that can transmit.

The only true was to find information about these unit is to dig though the FCC site and find the documents they had to submit from a outside licensed testing site. These will state the actual transmit powers of the radio.
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June 2, 2013 4:18:54 AM

bill001g said:
Alfa is one of the worst offenders when it comes to manipulating the transmit power numbers. They seem to always quote "effective" power number which include antenna gain. In this case the unit does not even come with a antenna and they still put out crap like 1000mw.


Agreed! Some of their 2W models are worse performing than their "1W" or even 0.5 W models because of this.

Here are the Alfa FCC reports.
Do a search for "UQ2" as the Grantee Code:
http://transition.fcc.gov/oet/ea/fccid/

For the TUBE-U model, search UQ2 and TUBEUN as the product code.

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