[beagleboard] But it works on the Raspberry Pi

I've been trying to get USB WiFi working for over a week now (see my previous post).
I'm using a Realtek RTL8192CU device.
I've tried the latest ubuntu distribution and doesn't work (confirmed in other post).
I've tried the latest Angstrom distribution and that doesn't work either.
I read (ECE497 Beagle Bone WiFi - eLinux.org) that I need A5 Angstrom to get it going, quote:"You will also need the A6 hardware version of the BeagleBone. This does not work with the A5 version. (again at a later date this may not be an issue)"

Yeah, that wiki has a load of bullshit.

Other people have got it going, but not me :frowning:
So I tried installing it on a Raspberry Pi and it worked with no problems (that I have seen yet).
I'm not sure if this is a kernel, distribution, hardware or driver problem but I assume it has to be distribution or hardware if it works on the RPi (Kernel and driver the same?)

So I have four options:

1. Revert to version A5 of Angstrom if I can find it. (It makes me nervous having to use older code, surly the latest is the best).

The latest is indeed the best. I have a rtl8192cu working with the 3.8 kernel. Make a backup of your sd card and use the files from

  Index of /koen/angstrom/beaglebone/update

To make a new one. Erase the second partition and extract the tar.xz there. Replace the MLO and u-boot.img on the first partition with the ones from the link above. Beware that the first boot takes an hour or so, but the subsequent boots only seconds.

You weren’t kidding about it taking an hour to boot the first time!

Koen, thanks for your great work here. I’ve got your version working with an rtl8192cu adapter, and it did seem to be more stable, at least initially. I still needed the USB extension cable though. Any word if that will still be the case with the new Beaglebone?

My search for a reliable wifi solution continues however, as my wifi link dropped after five or so minutes of usage. The problem seems to occur after the connection has been idle for more than several seconds. Perhaps it’s a driver problem related to an adapter power save mode? Whatever goes wrong requires a reboot to fix.

As an FYI, the firmware file rtl8192cufw.bin is missing from that image. I downloaded it from http://mirrors.arizona.edu/raspbmc/downloads/bin/lib/wifi/rtlwifi/ and copied it into /lib/firmware/rtlwifi. Is there a better source for this firmware?

I see that Angstrom-distribution/setup-scripts has been updated to Yocto 1.3, but the 2012.12 feeds don’t yet have the wireless-tools or portmap packages. Perhaps I’m jumping the gun here and just need to wait a bit longer.

Now I just have to figure out how to enable SPI for this kernel, since the source files have completely changed. Looking at the instructions listed at http://markmail.org/message/ej4i36wscdkxxszw now.

You weren't kidding about it taking an hour to boot the first time!

Koen, thanks for your great work here. I've got your version working with an rtl8192cu adapter, and it did seem to be more stable, at least initially. I still needed the USB extension cable though. Any word if that will still be the case with the new Beaglebone?

My search for a reliable wifi solution continues however, as my wifi link dropped after five or so minutes of usage. The problem seems to occur after the connection has been idle for more than several seconds. Perhaps it's a driver problem related to an adapter power save mode? Whatever goes wrong requires a reboot to fix.

As an FYI, the firmware file rtl8192cufw.bin is missing from that image. I downloaded it from http://mirrors.arizona.edu/raspbmc/downloads/bin/lib/wifi/rtlwifi/ and copied it into /lib/firmware/rtlwifi. Is there a better source for this firmware?

Opkg install linux-firmware-rtl8192cu should get you the one from linux-firmware.git

I see that Angstrom-distribution/setup-scripts has been updated to Yocto 1.3, but the 2012.12 feeds don't yet have the wireless-tools

Wireless-tools have been replaced with 'iw': en:users:documentation:iw [Linux Wireless]

or portmap packages. Perhaps I'm jumping the gun here and just need to wait a bit longer.

Portmap and portmap-utils should be there. Did you do 'opkg update?'

regards,

Koen

Out of curiosity, why does the first boot take one hour?

To discourage you from using this software ; )

It runs package post install scripts that cannot run on the host (yet), it's a IO heavy process, getting a better SD card will bring it down a lot.

OK, thanks.

Koen - thanks for your reminder to run “opkg -update”. That was my problem, although I keep forgetting that you usually need to run “opkg --tmp-dir ~ update”. I can mount NFS shares and have the correct rtl8192cufw.bin firmware file now. Still not much improvement in wifi stability though. If I use an extension cable the connection eventually drops. I sometimes see this in the dmesg output:

[ 2433.236577] lun0: unload attempt prevented
[ 2433.236636] gadget: sending command-failure status

If I connect the adapter directly to the bone I either get the above behavior or a kernel panic and halt:

[ 2460.487555] INFO: task kworker/0:1:457 blocked for more than 60 seconds.
[ 2460.494850] “echo 0 > /proc/sys/kernel/hung_task_timeout_secs” disables this message.
[ 2460.503303] Kernel panic - not syncing: hung_task: blocked tasks
[ 2460.509748] [] (unwind_backtrace+0x1/0x8c) from [] (panic+0x55/0x14c)
[ 2460.518449] [] (panic+0x55/0x14c) from [] (watchdog+0x151/0x19c)
[ 2460.526705] [] (watchdog+0x151/0x19c) from [] (kthread+0x61/0x72)
[ 2460.535045] [] (kthread+0x61/0x72) from [] (ret_from_fork+0x11/0x34)

The USB port is VERY sensitive to device removals and reconnects, and quickly goes unstable if I unplug anything after boot.

Ian - thanks for your suggestions about investigating the 5V power source. I have seen the same behavior with two separate power supplies. One is the Adafruit wall wart, and the other is a big Mean Well NES-200-5. I’ll check the supplies with a scope, but the Mean Well is rated at 150mVp-p noise/ripple. I use very thick leads when using the Mean Well. Perhaps I will try a battery to see if the behavior changes.

I was intrigued by this thread about the bone usb/wifi behavior, but I haven’t seen any acknowledgement by Gerald as to whether this is a real problem or if it was addressed in boneblack.

I've been trying to get USB WiFi working for over a week now (see my previous post).
I'm using a Realtek RTL8192CU device.
I've tried the latest ubuntu distribution and doesn't work (confirmed in other post).
I've tried the latest Angstrom distribution and that doesn't work either.
I read (ECE497 Beagle Bone WiFi - eLinux.org) that I need A5 Angstrom to get it going, quote:"You will also need the A6 hardware version of the BeagleBone. This does not work with the A5 version. (again at a later date this may not be an issue)"

Yeah, that wiki has a load of bullshit.

So fix it :wink: