22 January, 2016

Ralink 8188 USB wifi wireless adapter for Raspberry Pi Zero

I got it from ebay for 3.66$ but you can find it on amazon and many other sites under various names. I needed it for my Raspberry Pi Zero but I guess it can have other uses also. The only thing that shows how the price is cut down is that the USB connector is actually the same PCB as the rest of the device all the way to the antenna connector. Other than that the plastic looks good, the antenna seems decent.

What can I say about it? Pretty darn good at such a low price. Plugged it in the Pi and worked from the start. Sadly not the same happened when I tried it on a Windows 7 or 10 machine as the system couldn't find any driver for it and it didn't came with a CD from where I bought it.

Luckily after some head scratching I fixed this issue. Just googling Ralink 8188 for a driver didn't end up anything useful so instead I searched any driver that would fit the USB Hardware Ids that you can find in the Hardware Properties dialog for the device. So I found a TP-Link driver that was actually made for Ralink RT2870 but worked like a charm for 8188.

Didn't have the patience to do any range tests or any other tests but for this price.. if it works, it's great, if it doesn't, it's no wonder.