Penguin Wireless N USB Adapter for GNU / Linux (TPE-N150USB, TPE-N150USBL, & TPE-NUSBDB)

If you get a device descriptor read/64, error -110 it means that USB port power supply was exceeded. Turn off the computer and unplug the USB wifi adapter from the computer, wait a few minutes, and then try again using a different socket.

If you get "Failed to wakeup in 500us..." you might also want to try to put a powered USB hub in-between the adapter and the USB port you are trying to use. It would appear on at least some machines that there is an inadequate amount of power being supplied (applies to TPE-N150USBL, although it could theoretically apply to TPE-N150USB too).

New Firmware

We have posted new firmware which works around bugs on some machines with flaky USB controllers. If your experiencing connection stability issues (getting disconnected frequently) update your firmware in /lib/firmware with the following:

1. Open a terminal
2. Enter the following commands one line at a time (hit enter after each line, and enter any login passwords when prompted)

Note: The firmware may need to be placed in /lib/firmware/ath9k_htc and named htc_9271-1.4.0.fw on distributions with a more recent kernel

cd /lib/firmware
sudo mv htc_9271.fw htc_9271.backup
sudo wget

3. Disconnect the USB adapter if its plugged in and reboot the computer
4. Reconnect the USB adapter and try it out

* This firmware includes a patch which reduces the packet size. Some USB controllers don't like larger packets which is why users on some systems were experiencing frequent disconnects. This firmware has been pretty well tested already and we do recommend it to anybody experiencing issues.

OpenBSD Documentation

While we don't officially provide support for OpenBSD the OpenBSD developers have finally got around to porting support for AR9271 and our USB N wifi adapters. One of our customers has taken the time to write up some documentation on using it in OpenBSD (yes, it's probably what you are expecting, download firmware, insert adapter, etc):

3.15.x Kernel Bug Confirmed / Temporary Fix

Open up a terminal and use your favourite text editor to add the following line to /etc/modprobe.d/ath9k_htc.conf:

1. run the following from a terminal (or equivalent for your favourite distribution):

sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/ath9k_htc.conf

2. Add the following line and save:

options ath9k_htc nohwcrypt=1

3. Reboot

Your wireless adapter should be working again.

If you have an account at the mainline kernel bugzilla web site add yourself to the CC list on this bug:

Technical Notes

If the USB wireless adapter is not recognized by your system there may be a problem with the USB controller in use on your system. Some systems are affected by a bug that prevents many USB devices from working. While the adapter will work with your distributions and version (if it was listed on the product page) the improper functioning of your USB ports is preventing the adapter from working.

On some systems there are multiple controllers and switching USB ports resolves the problem. Simply try each USB port until the wifi adapter works. If switching ports does not resolve the problem you may be able to resolve it by upgrading to a newer kernel or distribution.

If neither of these resolve the problem you may need to consider exchanging the adapter for a different model. One such model that will work despite the bug is our Wireless G USB Adapter.

Introduction to Wireless Networks & Setup Instructions

Connecting to a wireless network using a USB wireless adapter (video)

CentOS 6.4 & RHEL 6.4 & Scientific Linux 6.4

None work out of the box with the 6.4 series although all three USB N adaptors (TPE-N150USB, TPE-NUSBDB, & TPE-N150USBL) work with the proper drivers installed. Contact us for directions.

Trisquel 6

1. From them menu go to System Settings > Update Manager

2. Apply any updates available

3. Visit and download the latest version of the pre-compiled free software binary/firmware: htc_9271.fw and htc_7010.fw (or for the latest beta version of htc_9271.fw, works around issues on some computers)

4. From the menu go to Accessories > Terminal

5. Type the following, enter your password, and hit enter, this will give you administrator permission

sudo su

6. Move the files from the location you have saved them to /lib/firmware; as an example:

mv /home/trisquel/Downloads/htc_9271.fw /lib/firmware

Debian 6, 7, 8, & 9

How to install firmware for the Debian 6 (Squeeze), 7 (Wheezy), 8 (Jessie), & 9 (Stretch) stable releases:

Parabola GNU/Linux

Install the firmware:

pacman -Syu ath9k-htc-firmware

Setting the Regulatory Domain

To set the regulatory domain replace US with your regional code ( for a list of code):

sudo apt-get install iw
sudo iw reg set US

Then edit /etc/default/crda

In there, set "REGDOMAIN=US"

Tips for Improving Speed

1. Enable WMM/QoS on the router
2. Make sure that all devices connecting to the network are modern USB N devices (printers, wireless weather devices, phones, etc)
3. Set the regulatory domain

And lastly remember that advertised speeds are theoretical. The more devices on the network, the further away you are, and interference will slow down the real-world speeds of any wireless connection. We would suggest reading up on why you will likely never get the maximum advertised speed.

A reasonable number to expect for dual-band in non-bonding mode is 80 megabits or around 10 megabytes a second. The TPE-N150USB and TPE-N150USBL adapters will generally achieve somewhere between 20-40 megabits a second (2.7-5 megabytes).

Tips on what else to do when you have a slow connection
Measuring download speed