ALFA Network HaLow-U – An 802.11ah WiFi HaLow USB adapter supporting AP and STA mode

ALFA Network HaLow-U is an 802.11ah WiFi HaLow USB adapter based on the Newracom NRC7292 chipset and NXP i.MX 6 processor that works both in access point (AP) and client (STA) modes. It delivers long-range WiFi up to one kilometer in the 900 MHz frequency ISM bands and is mostly useful for IP cameras and high-end sensors.

The ecosystem around WiFi HaLow (802.11ah) is expanding slowly, but surely, and we previously covered a mini PCIe card, a WiFi HaLow development board, and a gateway kit to extend the range of IP cameras, and also ALFA Network’s AHPI7292S Raspberry Pi HAT that found its way into RAKWireless WisGate Connect gateway. The new HaLow-U USB adapter adds another way to bring WiFi HaLow connectivity to more devices.

WiFi HaLow USB adapter

HaLow-U specifications:

  • SoC – NXP i.MX6 Arm Cortex-A9 processor
  • System Memory – 256MB DDR3
  • Storage – 32MB NOR flash
  • Connectivity
    • 802.11ah HaLow
    • Newracom NRC7292 chipset
    • Frequencies – 915 MHz (US), 866 MHz (EU), 924 MHz (JP), 922 MHz (KR), 920 MHz (TW)
    • Date rate – Up to 6 Mbps
    • Channel bandwidth – 1/2/4 MHz
    • Antenna connector – SMA female
  • Host Interface – USB Type-C port
  • Misc
    • 4x LEDs for Power, System, RF, and Mode
    • Mode switch for AP/Client
  • Dimensions – 90 x 48 x 19 mm

802.11ah USB-C wireless adapter antenna cable

When I was searching for a WiFi HaLow USB adapter, I did not expect to find a Linux-powered device, but that’s what the HaLow-U is since it runs OpenWrt on an NXP i.MX 6 processor and is configurable with the LuCi web interface based on the documentation provided on the Rokland website which does not seems specific to WiFi HaLow because they are using 802.11an at 5.825 GHz… ALFA Network has a documentation website, but the new USB adapter is nowhere to be found at the time of writing.

HaLow U Access Point Settings LuCi
AP mode configured in OpenWrt

That still means you can add WiFi HaLow to any laptop, PC, or single board computer with a spare USB Type-A port acting either as an access point or as a client connected to an 802.11ah gateway.

Rokland is selling the HaLow-U USB adapter for $124.97 with free US shipping. Alternatively, there’s also a separate Ethernet connected (and PoE-powered) Tube-AH  model designed for outdoor use, but that appears to run the same software, that can be purchased for $179.97 including shipping (US only).

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2 Comments
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David
10 months ago

There is a youtube video of a person using two ALFA HaLow-Us to connect across a lake for those of you interested in seeing them in action. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNC8uKlmLfw&t=507s.

Tim
Tim
9 months ago

You mean this video?

https://youtu.be/QGt4kE58CEQ

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