I figured, since the goal is to eventually mount my Pi high up a wall in the attic, I might as well give it an additional use as an extra WiFi access point. So I started investigating what the possibilities are. Soon I stumbled upon a post by Dave Conroy who managed to get this working with a popular USB WiFi dongle for the Pi: the Edimax EW-7811Un. Great, so it is doable!
I got my hands on another Edimax dongle, the EW-7612UAn V2, which has an antenna and *should* therefore be more powerful (but that’s purely hypothetical on my side, at least for the time being). I also bought a 4-port powered USB hub which not only will provide ample power for both the WiFi dongle as well for the 1090MHz receiver dongle I plan to connect, as well as powering the Pi itself.
Reading somewhere that this dongle uses the same RTL8188CUS chipset as the type Dave Conroy did his setup, I guessed this one should work just as well. Following Dave’s instructions to the letter I found I was right!
The only thing I changed is “wpa=3” in the hostapd.conf file. Full explanation of all possible settings in the config file can be found at hostap.epitest.fi.
Not as powerful maybe as a professional WiFi AP, it is still yet another purpose we can put the Pi to good use with. I’m happy with it, the fun with and joy with my Pi is growing and growing.
Thank you Dave for a job well done, good stuff. If you are going to use his solution, don’t forget to post a “thank you” in the comments (not here, but on his website)!