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I am trying to build an XBMC media center with my Raspberry Pi. Everything works great - except the one thing I really need, Wifi! (My router is on the other side of the house and I don't like the idea of having to run 50ft of cable everywhere just to get internet). I bought the WiPi adapter and have been - for the past 2 full days - been trying to get it to work.

I have done the following:

  • Tried to use Network Manager

  • go into /etc/network/interfaces and manually add the connection

  • test the voltage on my power supply (tried two of them). Getting 4.94V solid.

  • unplugged every other thing except for my ethernet cable

  • Reinstall RasBMC

The device is listed when I run lsusb:

Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0424:9514 Standard Microsystems Corp. 
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0424:ec00 Standard Microsystems Corp. 
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 1a2c:0002  
Bus 001 Device 005: ID 148f:5370 Ralink Technology, Corp. RT5370 Wireless Adapter

and when I run iwconfig I get this:

wlan0     IEEE 802.11bgn  ESSID:off/any  
      Mode:Managed  Access Point: Not-Associated   Tx-Power=0 dBm   
      Retry  long limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
      Power Management:on

lo        no wireless extensions.

eth0      no wireless extensions.

I have also noticed the following peculiar behavior (which might explain why some of the other things haven't been working).

When I sudo shutdown-h now my raspberry pi, the wifi dongle indicator light comes on, as if it were working. The second I start it up again, the dongle indicator light goes out! Some sort of interference perhaps? I turned off the electronics in the vicinity, and no change. I'm stumped as to what I'm doing wrong, I got the WiPi because I was told I wouldn't need a powered USB hub.

Nothing has worked, I'm out of ideas so I've turned to you guys.

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    How many amps is your power supply? You may need as much as 1.2A or 1200mA (Same thing, different notation) for it to work correctly. – Butters Aug 9 '13 at 2:59
  • I have tried two different ones. One came with the Raspberry pi and is only 5V 1A, but I'm currently trying my Amazon Kindle Fire microUSB, which supposedly puts out 5V 1.8A. No noticeable change on the wifi dongle indicator light. In fact, now I can't even get the dongle to light up, even after shutdown. – user2341388 Aug 9 '13 at 3:24
  • Does the USB Port work for different devices? thumbdrive, etc? – Butters Aug 9 '13 at 4:25
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    And just like that, it's now working! All I did was go back into /etc/network/interfaces/ and did the same thing (I thought) that I had tried the previous 20 times. Guess 21st time's the charm? – user2341388 Aug 9 '13 at 5:19
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    Can you add your solution (e.g. your /etc/network/interfaces/) as an answer to this Question? You can then sometime later accept your own answer, to make this Q&A complete. – Arne Aug 9 '13 at 11:28
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And just like that, it's now working! All I did was go back into /etc/network/interfaces/ and did the same thing (I thought) that I had tried the previous 20 times. Guess 21st time's the charm?

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