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Ungathered Thoughts

Getting TiddlyBot on the wireless

TiddlyBot arrived in the mail a week or two back! The boys and I had a fun time assembling it (really simple kit, no breakages) although there was a few days pause when we tried to mount the Pi and realised we needed a v2 Pi not a v1 ... nicegear shipped it quickly and we picked up the next weekend. Once we had it assembled, the AP mode didn't work out of the box, so I'm writing a quick post on how we got it to work so far.

The TiddlyBot image v1.1 contains hostapd v0.8.x_rtw_r7475.20130812_beta while Debian currently has v1.0; the Pibot crew recommend the Edimax EW-7811Un and confirm it works with a few others. We had a miscellany of wifi devices for pi, all of which have worked out of the box on Raspbian. I didn't want to wait for another part to ship, so here's the process I'm using to bring up hostapd starting with TiddlyBot and a v1.1 image.

My wifi card is: Bus 001 Device 004: ID 148f:5370 Ralink Technology, Corp. RT5370 Wireless Adapter - this device requires the nl80211 driver in hostapd.

The version of hostapd in TiddlyBot v1.1 doesn't include RT5370 support, so I want to swap in the binary from Debian's current package of the same without changing Tiddly's startup configuration by installing the full Debian package.

My current process is to -

If the above process works for you and you can connect to Tiddly over wifi at this point, then the steps to turning the bot on and connecting are still a little longer than "just works".

I suspect at this point hostapd is starting on boot, but works on second / delayed start; I don't yet know why. Still fiddly but will do for tonight - I have a working TiddlyBot today instead of when a new USB device would have arrived.

Might not hurt to have hostapd logging to a specific file, that way we have a bit more to look at when things don't work. I've been running it with -dd in a tmux session but not out of the init scripts.

I'd recommend asking questions on the TiddlyBot forum rather than posting questions as comments here :)