Alfa AWUS036H 1000mW USB plug and play in Backtrack 5 (BT5)

July 28, 2011

Just a quick note to let people know that Alfa's AWUS036H long range 1000mW USB Wi-Fi adapter has tested plug and play in Backtrack 5. This means that no messy Linux driver installation was needed to use the device to hook up with our office AP and go online. We have not done any advanced testing with any programs included in BT5, but as the RTL8187L Linux driver it uses has been around for some time there is no reason to think it will not work with the same programs it works with in BT3 or BT4.


Mike Albright

Mike Albright said:

These are excellent adapters. I have this model and an older generic model with the same Realtek chipset. They work well in XP, and just about every current Linux distro I’ve tried including BT 3,4,5. While the transmit power level can be easily adjusted in XP all the way up to 1000mw, it appears to be limited in Linux to 500mw +-. I’ve tried IWCONFIG and a few other command line ways to change it but I’m not very Linux literate. From what I’ve read online I’m not the only one stuck at this lower power level. If anyone knows how to raise the transmit power please post it here in noob terms.
We RV full-time and the only reason I haven’t switched to Linux for good is we need full power to reach out to many open WIFI networks in RV parks and on the road. This adapter works even better with a home made reflector made of paperboard, tape and foil. I’ve tried many adapters and this is not only the least expensive, but the most powerful. Rokland offers great service too, why buy elsewhere? Whether you RV or wardrive, or just want to reach out for free open WIFI this is the ticket.

Rokland LLC

Rokland LLC said:

Thanks for your comments, Mike. The power matter is driver related, and something on which we are working with the chipset maker.

Billy Wu

Billy Wu said:

To change the power on linux, you need to set your region settings.

iw reg get , will tell you your current region. As you know the power is restricted from region to region. ie. US allows 27db, while 30db (1000mW) is allowed in a region like Bolivia.

To set your region and fix the power, here’s what you need to do, although this may be illegal depending on what region you reside in.

iw reg set BO
iwconfig txpower 30

so it should look like this,

iw reg set BO
iwconfig wlan0 txpower 30

and thats it!

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