George Hardesty

Jul 152009

Alfa 500mW USB adapters are prone to drop the connection about once a day for no apparent reason.  Here is the fix in Windows (less than 30 seconds):


Click this icon WiFi-icon  in your system tray.  Click “Support” tab, then “Repair” button.

This is not a permanent fix – it will quickly re-connect the adapter the the network.

A savvy customer told me that the
high power of the card itself causes dropped connections. When I find all the technical details that explain how this happens, I will post here.

Jul 152009

DOWNLOAD page of drivers for various operating systems, for the Alfa 500mW USB adapter:

There is a driver on this page that works with MacOS 10.4 (Tiger) / Mac iBook G4

One of our customers confirmed that it works.

My understanding has been that the realtek chipset in the adapter is the most friendly chipset to all OS’s and have heard & read that it auto-installs on macs.

Jul 152009

ALFA AWUS036H 1000mW USB wireless/WiFi client driver notes:

ALFA AWUS036H USB wireless/WiFi client uses the RTL8187 chipset.  Here are the drivers that are available for this chipset:  You should consider updating your driver if you are having serious dropped-connection issues:


Driver versions after 1221 (from Realtek site) are pretty flakey with XP SP2.

The CD that we are shipping has driver version 1207 (as of May 2007), which does not have any issues.

The REALTEK drivers from the REALTEK site, especially the newest, seem to constantly drop connections.

Also, if one “hardwires” an IP address – then the Realtek utility doesn’t really work. The connection is there, but it seems that the utility doesn’t see the dongle unless it was DHCP assigned.

Realtek is aware of the issues.

When Vista came out Realtek attempted to write a “Uni-driver” for all versions of windows. This is a good idea – but something went wrong.  The older drivers seem to be more sensitive and more reliable.  I suspect that they induced some “overhead” in the code which messed up the channel scan logic a bit. I’m trying to get them to “open source” it so I can look at it. I’m not a Windows Drivers guy, per se – but I’ll at least work the issues until someone gets it done.

I’ll let you know, as I know…in the meantime have people stick with the 1207 version:  Use it without the utility and just rely on windows to do the configuration.

Jul 152009
From customer:   Three questions concerning the Alfa adapter I bought from you:

1) I use XP.  On page 12 of the instructions it says to uncheck Windows Zero Config (to use the Alfa).  On page 16 it says to uncheck the Windows Zero Config to use the native wireless support.   Which should I do?

This is referring to whether you’re going to use the alfa utility or the windows utlity:  Either will work, but alfa probably best

2) On page 20 of the instructions it shows a Wireless Mode selection and this is also on my screen.   But my screen only allows ‘b’; there is no g/b in the dropdown.  What is wrong?

This is a G/B card – I don’t know why they left G off

3) In your online troubleshooting guide it says for “laptops with internal wifi use Device Manager in windows control panel to disable the internal wifi card”.  My computer came with a keyboard button that disables all of the internal wireless devices but does not turn off the power to them.  Will using this button be sufficient or do I need to go into the Wireless Assistant and turn off the power?

Using the button is sufficient 


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