Fixing TP-LINK TL-WN822N wifi problems on Linux Mint 17.2

I have a TP-LINK TL-WN822N Version 3.0 that I was having some problems with on Mint 17, it worked but the internet was very slow (under 4Mbps) so I used an alternate adapter and that was fine. I recently broke my install so I decided to do a fresh install of Mint 17.2 and found that the TP-LINK adapter connects to my network but doesn’t actually allow me to use the internet so I decided I would finally sit down and try to fix it.

After some poking around I figured out that my adapter uses the RTL8192CU chipset* and after searching around for a wifi fix I stumbled upon this github repository, I followed the installation instructions on that page and my wifi adapter now works 100% at full speed.

*Do note that versions 1 and 2 of this adapter use an Atheros chipset so this fix won’t work for those adapters.

Big thanks to the people out there maintaining that github repository, it really helped me out big time. I also know that this isn’t exactly the most informative post but I couldn’t find any fixes for my specific adapter on Linux Mint so I figured I would post this so that anyone else with this problem can find a solution quicker.

BAITE BTE13-009 CH340G Modification for 3.3v Logic

I bought the BAITE BTE13-009 off of eBay with the intention of using it to program some custom PCBs that I had made, it’s a nice USB to TTL adapter but I quickly found out that while there is a switch to switch between 3.3v and 5v this doesn’t change the logic level voltage but only changes the VCC pin voltage. After a quick google search I found the following video by Roland Nygren that showed you need to cut a trace on the board and then solder 2 capacitors together to get proper 3.3 logic level voltage.

Roland originally made a video where he showed that in order to use the BTE13-009 with 3.3v logic you would have to use a logic level shifter and another user RoterFruchtZwerg commented with a fix that involved cutting a trace and soldering 2 capacitors together. This fix worked perfectly for me and I’ve included a few pictures of my board before and after.

Before

IMG_3136

 

After

IMG_3137IMG_3140

After doing this fix the serial adapter now properly switches between 3.3 and 5 volts and I’ve confirmed that it works when programming micro controllers that use either logic voltages. One other problem with this adapter is that it only allows up to 120mA of current, this is fine for most things but for something like the ESP8266 which requires up to 260mA peak current you wouldn’t be able to use this adapter without a separate power supply for the micro controller.

Timelapse with fswebcam and avconv

I was growing some ground cherry plants in pots and it seemed like their growth was exploding so I wanted to make a timelapse video like I had seen on youtube to get a sense of their growth rate.

I decided to make my timelapse using fswebcam to take the frames, imagemagick to add a nice timestamp, and avconv (fork of ffmpeg) to combine them into one video.  There are simpler tools to capture the frames with but fswebcam has some very useful options which some people might need depending on their webcam, I’ll get into this later down in the code.

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I have used these exact instructions on fresh installations of Ubuntu and Mint Linux on my laptop, and have also used them with my Raspberry Pi and it worked just the same.

If you use an original Raspberry Pi you may need an externally powered USB hub to actually use any decent webcam because it can draw too much power, if you’re using a Raspberry Pi B+ or a Raspberry Pi 2 then you can adjust a config file setting to allow your RPI B+/RPI 2 to allow higher power consumption on USB ports.

I am not an expert on this sort of stuff but you can read more about it here, the website gives instructions for the B+ but they also work for the Raspberry Pi 2.

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Move your Raspberry Pi system to USB in 10 steps

By SparkFun Electronics from Boulder, USA (Raspberry Pi - Model A) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by Sparkfun Electronics / [CC BY 2.0]
Moving your filesystem to USB is a great way to improve reliability, speed and storage space on your Raspberry Pi.  If you’re running something that is writing a lot of data constantly then having your filesystem on USB is safer because it’s less likely to get corrupted or stop working with a high amount of write cycles.

This tutorial is using a USB stick which doesn’t require any additional external power, if you want to use a larger USB hdd you will have to also get a powered USB hub because you’re Raspberry Pi doesn’t have enough juice to power it.

I’m using Raspbian for my operating system and I’ll assume you know how to install and configure that yourself.

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Program Arduino Pro Mini with Arduino Uno

Arduino Pro Mini
Photo by oomlout / CC BY

 

The Arduino Pro Mini is a great alternative to a full sized Uno or Mega when you have a small space you want to fit an Arduino into or for when you’re ready to make that project permanent.

It’s got all the same features of an Uno at a fraction of the size(18x33mm) and cost, unfortunately that means that due to the lack of space there is no USB programmer on board and you have to use a separate USB to Serial adapter to program it.

On the bright side if you own another Arduino which chances are you do then you can program a Pro Mini with that very easily. For this post I’m using an Arduino Uno but you can also use a Mega, Mini or Leonardo to upload code to it.

Here is a diagram of how to connect your boards with a 5v version pro mini

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DCcEle Dccduino Arduino Uno Clone Drivers

EDIT: There are some versions of this that don’t have the DDcduino name on the silk screen but are exactly the same, all links to the DDcduino will now link to the cheaper unbranded version.

The DCcduino Uno is a popular Arduino Uno r3 pin and feature compatible clone with a few differences

IMG_2661_highlightedThe board comes with extra pads next to the standard headers so you can add yourself a second row of female headers and it also includes 12 pads not available on the standard Arduino Uno that allow you to solder in headers giving you extra RX/TX, SCL/SDA, 3.3v/5v, and GND locations which are really useful if you’re using a lot of pins.

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