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Thread: [REVIEW] DX 2000mW dual antenna adapter (RTL8187)

  1. #1
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    Default [REVIEW] DX 2000mW dual antenna adapter (RTL8187)

    EDIT 3: Review is up!

    EDIT2: Pictures of the board are up on dealextreme, it appears both antennas are connected, and the chipset is shielded by a ribbed plate of metal which might double as a heatsink. (thanks for the heads up Charlie)

    EDIT: Forum member Pentest09 received his adapter and claims it works well, if you use a proper USB cable.

    I sadly had to sell my old cheap Alfa alternative to a client, and since there is speculation the newer ones have a different board, I think it's time for a new adapter.
    Thankfully, DX got me covered, with this insane thing:



    2000mW (is this becoming the new megapixel race?)
    Dual antennas (both connected to the board)
    802.11 B/G (nothing new here)
    Price: 24 dollars (about as expensive as my older alfa clone)

    So let's get started! the whole thing arrived in a small box, with a plastic mold containing the parts.

    What's in the box?

    -Adapter itself
    -USB cable (generous length, mini-USB male to USB male)
    -Dual antennas (estimated at 6 dBi)
    -"Manual"
    -CD with drivers, and BT3

    The "manual" is both in chinese and english, and the english is unusually readable (it's not written in "engrish"). The manual describes how to set up VMware with BT3, and it shows you how to use Spoonwep, written by our very own forum member ShamanVirtuel!

    The CD contains BT3, and the windows driver for the card. Please note that most windows (7?) systems don't work well with the chinese character set, so it is neccesary to copy the installation files to a folder on your PC.

    Now let's take a look at the adapter itself:



    What we see here are two, probably gold plated RP-SMA connectors. On the other side of the adapter is the mini-USB connection, and on the top of it is a weak yellow activity light.

    Also in the box, are two antennas. The bend mechanism has 3 stops (one halfway), but it's firm enough to maintain the antenna at any angle. The antenna mounting can also rotate by itself, which makes it possible to change the antenna's rotation without unscrewing it from the adapter:



    Here is the unit assembled with the two antennas. The adapter retains it's balance with the two supplied antennas mounted, it won't fall to the side like the single antenna Alfa does:



    I have opened my adapter up to take a peek at the insides, and it is the same as shown on the dealextreme customer image:

    http://imgur.com/dDCHms.jpg
    (not my image)

    Both antennas are connected to the board, and the chip has a small heatsink which probably also doubles as an RF shield.

    Let's give the adapter a spin!

    I have noticed that the adapter sometimes has issues when connected at boot (it gets SIOCSFLAGS errors when trying to "up" the interface, or set it to monitor mode). However, plugging it in after a fresh boot does not show any errors at all. Forum member Pentest09 reported some issues with the supplied USB cable, but I have not found any yet. Perhaps these two problems are related though.

    Once you get the adapter to work, it's just what you expect from the RTL8187 chipset. Injection works, and it is very sensitive. It is at least as strong as my genuine alfa and cheap chinese knockoff, and I presume the doubled (quadrupled?) output power will be beneficial when working with AP's far away, or de-auths.

    Of course, this unit has dual antenna's. Now I don't have an expensive spectrum analyzer, but some simple tests revealed that both connections can be used for receiving (there is no Tx/Rx seperation as far as I can see). This is great, because it allows me to use a 10 dBi antenna to cover large distances, and a 3dBi antenna to cover AP's higher up in apartment buildings (due to the more narrow radiation pattern of a longer omni).

    Aside from pentesting, the adapter feels very responsive when used in Linux Mint (Ubuntu/Debian based)

    So, the question everyone will ask: Should you get this instead of an Alfa?

    As a previous Alfa owner, I can only say yes. Even if this adapter did not surpass the Alfa in range/sensitivity, it is cheaper. Unless you need fast shipping (DX is quite slow), I'd get this 2000mW beast.

    Recommended!

    DealExtreme: $24.10 2000mW High Power 802.11b/g 54Mbps USB 2.0 Wireless Network Dongle with Dual High Gain Antenna
    Last edited by Citruspers; 11-26-2010 at 10:51 PM. Reason: [REVIEWED] 2000mW Dual Antenna ALFA clone

  2. #2
    Junior Member 5cardcharlie's Avatar
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    Default re: [REVIEW] DX 2000mW dual antenna adapter (RTL8187)

    Sweeet... I eagerly await your results. If you have good luck with it I'll likely get one myself.

    Yes, the 2000 mw is more for marketing than anything else, but it seems there are times when more power helps with deauth.

    Anyone else have one?

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    Default re: [REVIEW] DX 2000mW dual antenna adapter (RTL8187)

    It's quite new, so I don't think anyone has it yet. Haven't seen it pop up on the forums yet.

    I'll of course take any requests as far as testing goes, just don't ask me to measure the actual output power (don't have the right equipment I'm afraid).
    Student Systems Administration and Network Engineering, second year.
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  4. #4
    Junior Member Focaccia's Avatar
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    Default re: [REVIEW] DX 2000mW dual antenna adapter (RTL8187)

    u can buy a splitter 1->2 and mount 2 antennas on alfa

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    Default re: [REVIEW] DX 2000mW dual antenna adapter (RTL8187)

    Which probably wouldn't have a very beneficial effect on signal strength. Part of me hopes this adapter uses 1 antenna for sending, and one for receiving.
    Student Systems Administration and Network Engineering, second year.
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    Default re: [REVIEW] DX 2000mW dual antenna adapter (RTL8187)

    That looks awesome! At least for the wallet
    Hope it delivers!

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    Default re: [REVIEW] DX 2000mW dual antenna adapter (RTL8187)

    Gah, it's status is still "waiting for supplier", even though it's in stock according to the page. I don't expect it to arrive this week (week 42).
    Student Systems Administration and Network Engineering, second year.
    Don't PM me with questions, unless very specific. Otherwise, use the forums so everyone can potentially benefit from it.

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    My life is this forum Barry's Avatar
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    Default re: [REVIEW] DX 2000mW dual antenna adapter (RTL8187)

    Aww! They left off the backtrack logo on this one!
    Of course, if you really wanted to have some fun, go to Wal-Mart late at night and ask the greeter if they could help you find trashbags, roll of carpet, rope, quicklime, clorox and a shovel. See if they give you any strange looks. --Streaker69

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    My life is this forum Snayler's Avatar
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    Default re: [REVIEW] DX 2000mW dual antenna adapter (RTL8187)

    Quote Originally Posted by Citruspers View Post
    Dual antennas (I wonder if they are actually both connected to the board)
    It must be the same system I see on my internal adapter and the internal adapter of most routers: one main antenna and one auxiliary antenna.

  10. #10
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    Default re: [REVIEW] DX 2000mW dual antenna adapter (RTL8187)

    Please dont tell me you have been w8ing for 42 weeks for this item ? I ordered mine on 9.10.10 and its still in packaging, its taken about a month for an item to get to UK from hong kong before cant w8 to test it out please keep us updated when u get it.

    Regards Dee.

    Please note: im using the alpha 1w usb on bt 4 final with no problems ever, but R1 edition even with reverting to the older drivers with the mod in other threads doesnt work correctly it works but not as stable so sticking with final until its resolved.

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