question

Dave van Dongen avatar image

Currently available and cost-efficient USB Wifi adapter for **GX devices

It would be good to have an updated list of Wifi modules that the CCGX supports. Because the article about it on the Victron website (https://www.victronenergy.com/blog/2014/12/12/color-control-gx-accessories-tips/) is almost 3 years old and for example the ZyXel NWB2105 isn't available anymore!


I tried 3 other USB Wifi modules: 1 works, but doesn't fit in the CCGX housing (Sitecom WL-344), 1 doesn't work (Sitecom WLA-2100 v1001 > no driver support, isn't recognized), 1 sort of works, but is very slow and unstable. (Generic Nano USB)


Could someone please provide the brand/type specification of a few USB Wifi modules that work with the CCGX and that are generally available. (I am curious which USB Wifi module Victron uses in house for testing purposes at this moment.)

What would help me (and other users) mostly is the specific brand and type of USB Wifi module that 100% works well with the CCGX and is generally available at this moment in time.


I have been trying to figure out which currently available USB Wifi module is a good replacement for the ZyXel NWB2105 (antique by now), but the "buy-and-test" approach is costing me a lot of money and time, as I am down to my 3rd module that doesn't work...


If other users have good tips (with a link to the shop that sells them. I am in The Netherlands, BTW, but we should aim for a Wifi module that can be bought everywhere), that would be appreciated as well! ;-)


Thanks in advance! :-)

CCGX Color Controlwifi
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my Victron dealer sold me a Gembird High Power/long range WiFi USB adapter #BPP900200200 but when I posted on how to connect it to my system the Victron Energy staff response was that it will not work????


it would be good if the Victron Energy staff that respond to posts on this support forum were consistent with their advice and didn't respond unless they were knowledgeable.

Hi @Daniel1957,

There is a bit of confusion here, I will try to explain why.

Firstly, here is the relevant part of the manual:

https://www.victronenergy.com/live/ccgx:start#internet_connectivity

there is a subsection called "Wi-Fi USB dongle".


The gem bird wifi adapter is no longer generally available. It has been replaced by the Asus N14, when longer range wifi is required.

So notice was sent out to Victron Energy Staff that Gembird was discontinued, and would not be available any more.

However, many 1000's of systems out there have them, and are still using them. They are still supported by the software, and if you have one you can still use it.

Some suppliers still have stock of them, and there is nothing wrong with using them.


I had a quick look, and I can't see anywhere that it was said on this community by a Victron Energy Staff member that the Gembird would not work?

If you could please post the link to that post where you were told that, I will correct it.

10 Answers
Guy Stewart (Victron Community Manager) avatar image
Guy Stewart (Victron Community Manager) answered ·

The currently supplied wifi USB adapters are available from your Victron dealer.

You can also search 'wifi' in the Victron Product Pricelist.

These links will remain valid.


For now there is also an up-to-date list of supported adaptors in the CCGX manual here.


More generally - I have some recent words from Matthijs on the matter of using unsupported accessories and Victron equipment, in a slightly different context.


Victron - Using Unsupported Accessories


Hey all, we can't stop you from using cables or adapters like that; and also making money on cables like that is not important for us; also I understand the appeal of saving costs like this; however I'm not happy with it; and recommend heavily against it. Here is why:


we cannot make any guarantees about functioning; and in case of issues; don't ask Victron for help. Not about issues with the cable or meter, but also don't ask us for help if the system works awkward in whatever other way; for example the complete ESS being unstable. Thats of course not likely to happen; also not impossible.


For example, I've recently spent quite some time on debugging a customer system with VE.Direct USB cables that didn't work, to in the end found out that they were self made, and and communication didn't work bi-directional. Only RX worked, TX didn't and that lead to very weird error messages that required multiple top R&D people, and myself to spend time on before discovering the root cause. A major waste of time; those people can far better spend there time improving our products or making new ones.


Another example: we've tested multiple RS485 cables ourselves; and there are many that don't work properly; they loose packets now and then. So from the outside it seems to work; to then in reality not work really well.


So, again, I don't want to scare you or force buying through Victron; but for anything on which you do want support from us; you'll also have to use the cable we supply.

- mvader.


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I purchased a ASUS-N14 dongle through Victron rep. The dongle power LED does not even light up when connected to a CCGX. The dongle works fine on a PC. The CCGX works fine with all attached Victron devices. Replacement CCGX did not help. CCGX is powered from 24V battery. Is this a firmware issue?

Dave van Dongen avatar image
Dave van Dongen answered ·

John Rushworth from Victron is pointing me to this Wifi adapter:

https://www.modmypi.com/connectivity-1138/wifi-dongle-nano-usb

Unfortunately it is also out of stock... :-(

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Dave van Dongen avatar image
Dave van Dongen answered ·

If the ModMyPi USB 11N nano is the USB Wifi adapter that works (because it is sold by Victron itself) then we are looking for the Ralink 5370 Chipset.

Found some (Dutch) links for that:
https://www.reichelt.nl/wlan-n-150-mbit-s-usb-adapter-ultra-nano-logilink-wl0084e-p169760.html

https://www.sossolutions.nl/150-mbps

https://www.onlinehandelshuis.nl/index.php/mini-usb-wifi-ontvanger-150mbps

https://nl.neckermann.com/nl/mini-usb-wifi-ontvanger-150mbps.html


Or just a general Google search:
https://www.google.nl/search?q=rt5370

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I just purchased and installed the dongle that ModMyPi sells, and it works flawlessly. The packaging was actually labeled as ModMyPi p/n MMP-0027 on one side, and as Victron p/n BPP900100200 on the other side. There are no markings on the dongle itself, other than "802.11n" on the end.

As a reference for other potential buyers in Sweden; Deltaco distributes this item as p/n RPI-1058, and I bought it from teknikproffset.se (p/n 38-71907) via CDON marketplace for 119 SEK. They refer to it as a "Raspberry Pi WiFi Dongle, nano USB"

The CCGX uses the Technexion TAM-3517 ARM A8 board and a Linux based OS, which seems to be similar enough to Raspbian on the RPi to be using the same WiFi chip drivers. It is therefore likely, that dongles that work natively with RPi will also work with the CCGX. Of course, YMMV.

Hi, just a small correction; you wrote:

> It is therefore likely, that dongles that work natively with RPi will also work with the CCGX.

Thats not how it works. Venus OS is built using Yocto; and our own Linux kernels with our own selection options; and our own selected list of wifi drivers & binaries; and so forth. So its not based on Raspbian or anything like that. Doesn't mean that lots of drivers don't work; They might; they might not. Its really hard to tell in advance what works and what doesn't.

max-b avatar image
max-b answered ·

I'm using an Edimax (didn't check if still around) which works better that the one I ordered from Victron list.

But still quite weak. I have to connect it outside the housing with the short usb dongle which came with the CCGX

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Nice! Thanks for sharing! Good to know there are other USB wifi adapters that seem to work! Do you happen to know the exact type/model number? So I can check if it is still available and figure out which chipset, etc. Thanks! :-)

Here is a link to the supplier I ordered it from, back in 2014. The product reference is still the same, even if I didn't cross-check the product specs.

It's cheap but, IMO, not the perfect item, since too weak. I tried to hook another one with antenna from Raspberry pi supply, but didn't work out of the box. Not surprising since the Pi needed a driver tweak. I didn't try to tweak the driver on the CCGX. Although I think this it's feasible.

https://fr.rs-online.com/web/p/adaptateurs-sans-fil-et-cles-bluetooth/7603621/?sra=pstk

Great! I was thinking it was this one. I found it at a webshop that's convenient for The Netherlands. (https://www.conrad.nl/p/raspberry-pi-wifi-stick-edimax-ew-7811un-993655)
Good to know that it works, so that's another one on the list that we know works.

kpgsolar avatar image
kpgsolar answered ·

I just had a kind of similar question in mind, related to that topic: Has anyone ever successfully connected a CCGX via 5GHz-WiFi? I have situations were only 5 (instead of 2.4) GHz is available and wonder if anyone ever found a solution to that? My current best approach is reconfiguring a MikroTik mAP device to use it's WiFi-interface as WAN-source and the ethernet-plug to connect the CCGX. But any other solution one has ever succesfully tested?

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a mikrotik wireless client is cheap , like the mikrotik hap mini (only 2.4G) around 18 euro , and that one has 3 ethernet ports. it can be powered off the venus USB port.

basreflex avatar image
basreflex answered ·

i'm using a mikrotik hapmini as accesspoint, and connecto to ethernet port of the venus, powered off the venus USB. 5Ghz has less wall penetration . the other side is mikrotik 0.5W groove with external antgenna with 10x gain. not legal but very effective.

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kpgsolar avatar image
kpgsolar answered ·

Looking at the compatibility-list there's a newly supported "StarTech.Com USB300WN2X2D USB Dual Band Wireless Network Adapter" which indeed supports 5 GHz Wifi.


Did anyone tried that already? How about availability (I can't get it easily here in Thailand, but doesn't mean anything when it comes to global availability)...?

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lief ryan avatar image
lief ryan answered ·

I have just installed this one https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/282527586497

its working well, and the wifi router is about 100m away from the power shed where the Colour control is

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100m away ! Impressive. I still have unstable link 5m away (with a thick double glass window in between, tbh)

Petar Maksimovic avatar image
Petar Maksimovic answered ·
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johnfr avatar image
johnfr answered ·

I have installed VenusOS on a Raspberry PI and due to a long distance to the router (and bad experience with the RPI-Wifi) I decided to install an USB WiFi Dongle.

For everybody who has the same question (what is compatible) I just want to share what I found out:

I have tried an RTL8191SU adapter I had at home. It is not working (recognized by lsusb but dmesg shows "Direct firmware load for rtlwifi/rtl8712u.bin failed with error -2"). I found a similar issue on google, which leads me to the conclusion that the driver was not added to the VenusOS (https://github.com/maxnet/berryboot/issues/259)

Therefore I am going to buy a new dongle.

The ones recommended by Victron both have an Ralink Chipset, RT5370 on the Nano and RT5372 on the Asus. Both are supported by the rt2800usb driver (https://wiki.debian.org/rt2800usb). Therefore I guess (not tested, but if you have one at home go ahead and give it a try) all dongles supported by that driver work.

I am going to buy a MediaTek Ralink RT5370N as it supports an external antenna, hopefully it will work.

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