New | ALFA AWUS036NHR v2

Discussion in 'Wireless Networking Cards' started by Mr. Penguin, 1 Sep 2013.

  1. Kostja_V

    Kostja_V Well-Known Member
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    May be somebody here knows... Is AWUS036NHR v2 supported buy Alfa R36? Can not find any information. As it is mentioned that v2 uses new driver there could be problems with R36 without new firmware.
    Looks like I am going to buy NHR v2 to replace AWUS036H.
    AWUS036H is extremely sensitive, but it is it's minus too. In places where a lot of AP are around and a lot of interference it becames very slow and unstable even with near APs. Directional antennas help a little bit, but sometimes there is no time to find correct direction.
     
  2. rioboy

    rioboy Well-Known Member

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    dont give up on 036H try these homebrew drivers 1st, I did and it made a huge difference.

    @kevsamiga modded drivers if anyone wants to try! Windows - New ALFA 036H Modded Drivers + Homebrewed & Improved by Me | Xiaopan Forums
     
  3. Kostja_V

    Kostja_V Well-Known Member
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    I will definetly try trese drivers on Windows. But in most cases I use AWUS036H as a pair for R36, and there is no way to modify driver in the firmware.
     
  4. kevsamiga

    kevsamiga Well-Known Member
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    On paper...(Or rather all the FCC test reports I've perused), the 036NHR is specified at a greater output TX capability than either 036H or 036NH out of the box looking at those test reports also side by side in multiple tabs for comparison between 036H, 036NH and 036NHR.

    This combined with the greater apparent receive sensitivity figures given for 11b, 11g and 11n networks as specified given for 036NHR (all in the 90's range which are well in excess of NH and H even for 11G) doesn't seem to add up to it's apparent lack of perceived ranking of range, and reporting of comparatively poorer results using an 036NHR over the others considering it's altogether newer tech, and a more modern chip to boot.

    Due to all this conflicting info strewn around, I'm still confused about the benefit of purchasing an 036NHR therefore...and still unsure of whether this paper ranking of NHR translates to real world tangible improved results over the adapters I already currently own.

    I would hope (and at least on paper think so according to what I've read)...better ability to de-authenticate, stronger usable signal received etc.

    I already know about the worse reliability and likelihood of breaking sooner than expected. This doesn't concern me however. I'm interested in performance improvements only.

    But this is only the paper figures on the NHR. What is the rub in the real world ?
     
  5. rioboy

    rioboy Well-Known Member

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    Its like a performance cars BHP it looks great on paper until its put on a dyno to reveal true figures :)
     
  6. kevsamiga

    kevsamiga Well-Known Member
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    So, it's well after xmas. You finished doing any tests yet ?

    Incidentally a brand new 036NHR V2 dropped on my doormat this morning, but with the included 2013 driver on the CD, I'm seeing very low signal strengths reported like 10%.

    However existing connections from before are still connectable, and this thing sucks all the available bandwidth of a router better than anything else I tried
    in the past.

    What concerns me is the Signal strength. I'm confused...The driver on the CD is newer than anything available at the Realtek site, but it doesn't work properly
    as well as the Alfa linked V2 driver that is from 2011 ?!?

    But no 5 bars on anything...

    Help... :)
    --- Double Post Merged, 9 Jan 2014 ---
    Here is what I know so far after more playing around after a day or so :

    The first mistake was trying to use any available drivers provided on the ALFA CD with my new NHR V2
    in the box. There was a 2013 NHR driver on there so I assumed what with the late august 2013 V2 model
    these would be the right drivers......nope. Or at least you would assume one of the drivers provided in the
    box with the NHR V2 would work. Fact is that *none* of them provided with the inbox CD work.

    Well they do work after a fashion, but the signal strengths with the provided drivers will be so piss poor you will
    think your new adapter is busted.

    So then onto Alfa network site......, plonk NHR V2 in the search box and download, minutes later after uninstalling
    and re-installing the 036NHR V2 finally works like it should and shows passable signal strengths, but WTH ?!?

    This "special" driver for the V2 which points from ALFA to download is dated early 2011.

    I thought the NHR V2 was supposed to be a new model ?!?

    With what you would think a newer driver. I have RTLWlanU_XP_TO_WIN81_UI_1.00.0235_1210.L 036NHR driver
    sitting on my HD downloaded from somewhere I don't remember, dated very late 2013 well after the launch of the NHR V2 model,
    except I can't use it or the signal strengths are all screwed up just like the CD drivers provided with the V2 are.

    On another note, because of this cock up there are no Windows 8 drivers for the 036NHR V2 yet you can obtain them for the V1.
    It totally puzzles me what exactly they changed for the V2, because I shouldn't have to be using years old drivers just to get it to work
    and show the signal strengths correctly.

    Or is this infact not a better "improved" model of the NHR but instead some "cut down" version which needs old drivers ?

    Extremely confused over the driver situation with this model...
    --- Double Post Merged, 9 Jan 2014 ---
    Looks like they stuffed up...

    There is now no NHR V2 tacked at the end of that list anymore as of recently.

    And my own NHR v2 that arrived a few days ago seems no worse compared to 036H or 036NH to warrant having been in last place on there.
    --- Double Post Merged, 10 Jan 2014 ---
    ...Well I just sent for an NHA as well to complete the full set.

    Some other thing, the V2 NHR (don't know if it also applies to V1) seems to have a good interference suppression. ie, rejection of unwanted signals.

    Also ALFA 9dbi Omni's seems to benefit this adapter more so than the others where as the others at times see no improvement and can actually worsen the signal,
    larger omni's on the NHR V2 seem to help very much and actually give noticeable improvements over the 5dbi included. (I always use panel or yagi's anyway)
    --- Double Post Merged, 18 Jan 2014 ---


    Added a video link of the V2. As you can clearly see from the accompanying disc (same as mine) in the video below, the drivers shipped on the one with the blue stripes are 1024.2.xxx. HOWEVER THEY DONT WORK CORRECTLY ON THE V2 ! YOU WONT BE ABLE TO CONNECT TO HALF THE AP's AVAILABLE, BECAUSE THE POWER OUTPUT IS ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE DOWN COMPARED TO USING THE CORRECT DRIVER.

    Watch this video on YouTube.
    --- Double Post Merged, 30 Jan 2014 ---
    Well, after much hand wringing, and gnashing of teeth...........

    1012.1.131.2011 *ARE* the correct drivers for the 036NHR v2 ! And from the ALFA website, not off the disc shipped with the V2.

    If you use the ones off the blue striped NHR v2 disc, 1024.2 they will work of course, but the RSSI's and signal strengths will be all messed up, and...

    You will *get* less range. I have tested this out personally. Stick to 1012.1 - 1015.2 drivers for the 036NHR version 2, if you value your sanity. However there is no Windows 8 specific ones for having to use these such old drivers, which over the NHR v1 doesn't make any sense since it's newer released in 2013 ?!? Whereas the v1 has access to Win8 drivers for some time.

    This is the 036NHR v2 cracked open, as you can see the board is blue and half the size of the v1 :

    Watch this video on YouTube.
     
    #26 kevsamiga, 8 Jan 2014
    Last edited: 4 Feb 2014
  7. Yurtikus

    Yurtikus Active Member

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    Hi everyone,
    I got my awus036nhr v2 and found green board inside. So I decided to write to sales@alfa.com.tw and they answered that it genuine.
    So it could be also with a green board inside.
     
  8. kevsamiga

    kevsamiga Well-Known Member
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    A green PCB'd V2. Interesting...

    However mine V2 (blue board) is still such a disappointing let down, saddled with having to be using old drivers from 2011 (1012.1) or the RSSI readings and output power with connectivity to distant AP's is all crippled and messed up.

    So what's the story on the green ones and trying the different drivers ?

    Why the hell would an adapter launched in late 2013 be forced to use even *older* drivers than what are available for the NHR v1 ?

    And no Windows 8 specific driver therefore (like there is available for the V1). You "can't use the V1 driver" on V2 according to ALFA however the disc that comes with the NHR v1 is the only driver that "works" properly for the V2, and not those 1024.2 monstrosities that comes shipped with the V2 and installs by default from autorun the CD. Any drivers available direct from Realtek DO NOT HELP either.

    I emailed ALFA multiple times regarding the V2 about this inconsistency and utter driver confusion with no specific Windows 8 driver and got NO ANSWERS.

    YES the 1024.2 driver will work as shipped in the box, but your effective range will be complete pants. So I advise treading very carefully buying the V2 at all.

    It doesn't make any sense for a newer revision to be forced to use much older drivers to work correctly, and I strongly believe the V2 is some kind of "cut down" adapter compared to the V1 since the pcb is almost half the size, and it may not actually perform the same as the V1 did or does.

    I would like a real comparison done between V1 and V2 from someone who has both and testing out different drivers.

    The v1's reputation might have been sullied and plagued by reliability issues, but it still likely remains more powerful than the V2 is or ever will be. Dead in 6 months or not.

    In fact, my 5dbi Omni as shipped with my V2 didn't even work and was "out of tune" or something, it couldn't even connect to an AP merely just a few feet away, until I swapped it for the 036NH's that is, and the 036H's or 036NHA's 5dbi omni didn't work on it either.

    The receiver is completely messed up on the NHR. Purchase it at your peril.

    If you expect to find even more networks than the 036H or 036NH, forget it...

    I can't state enough how *horrendously* bad it is at detecting networks, a child with graphing paper could do better.

    My frickin cheap phone is better at finding more networks than the NHR, seriously.

    -----------------------------

    I found this extra snippet of information regarding the V2 model :

    The V2 NHR goes back to using a Skyworks PAM (SE2574L?) power amplifier, the same brand of PA chip as used in the other ALFA's although they're Skyworks 2576L instead.

    I think (although I'm not 100% sure) the NHR v1 got too clever in it's design of working great (but only as long as it lasts), and used a MicroSemi LX5518 PA instead, and as we all know and evidence shows, the working lifespan of those v1 models wasn't too fantastic (ie. had a tendancy to go deaf, and only show 1 network etc a few weeks/months into service, that and losing power over time.) Lot's of people reported failure of their V1's after only owning them for a relatively short time...then bought another one.., that one followed the other into the bin.

    Could it have been the LX5518 PA in the NHR V1 responsible for all the early deaths to blame and just simply burning out prematurely, instead of the proven Skyworks PA's in the others, I don't know the real answer, but you can make up your own mind based on the differences of V2 and the other more reliable adapters compared to the V1 which uses a different PA.

    Disregarding those who powered up their NHR v1 without an antenna attached, and those who fingered the antenna socket too much causing ESD discharge causing a different kind of death, I think this info about different PA in V1 might be a relevant factor in assessing the early NHR v1 failures a few months into service.

    Not to say you might well still have a working NHR v1 (depending on how heavy you use it) but why would you go and alter the PA in the V2 board back to Skyworks from using MicroSemi in the V1 if it works just fine already in the V1 right and the V2 is just supposedly a redesign ? But instead they completely canned the LX5518 PA.

    I can't speak for the green boarded NHR v2. I'm using a blue PCB NHR v2. Maybe they ran out of blue electrical varnish... :)

    ...Smelling something fishy right ?
     
    #28 kevsamiga, 23 Feb 2014
    Last edited: 27 Feb 2014
  9. anazhd

    anazhd Active Member

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    As my v1 still working after 2 years, I'll stick with it. Stumbled upon this new v2 few months ago and I finally decide to buy it, but then I found this thread. I think v2 is just a bit fail redesign or so. As for right now, if my v1 dies, I dont know which nic should I get for the replacement.

    On the other hand, R36 got my attention. But I dont really know how it works. Is it like tplink tl-wa850re where I can connect to the wireless router easily and extend it? My dad is using that tplink one, but it's kinda unstable and from what I learn on their forum, tplink just dont give a :censored about users problem.

    So now, I'm looking into 2 new device to get, awus036nhr v1 replacement ( for future ) and a repeater/wireless extender that can support at least 30 meters range.
     
  10. kevsamiga

    kevsamiga Well-Known Member
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    So what makes the v1 worth hanging onto/using over a v2 NHR so much ?

    I don't understand the real world differences since I only went straight to buying a V2 after hearing all the V1 scare stories.

    That and not being able to find a specific v1 being sold anywhere as new.

    Yet regardless of version they are still both plop adapters for pen testing because they are unable to grab WPA handshakes by not being able to de-auth clients.
    --- Double Post Merged, 26 Apr 2014 ---


    Well....as my final footnote to this thread since buying (like a muppet) a second NHR v2 just to see if the first was defective.

    My second NHR v2 has now arrived just for giggles, and this time it seems much better in pickup than the first and came in a different box.

    Although this time no Y cable in the box ! WTH is all that about ?!?

    How can this new miniscule green pcb be specified at 33dbm output when it's now running off a single usb cable provided in box ?

    I'm running it through a powered usb hub in any case to be sure but...

    There is a huge lot of variation/cock ups as to what your going to be getting in the boxes when you buy this NHR v2, and the pcb blue/or green when you buy a v2, incorrect cables, defective antenna's and wrong driver discs, although I fear everybody is going to be receiving green pcb ones from now on in 2014 (bait and switch), and a failed redesign is an understatement.

    It's pcb is now green instead of blue or brown, light as a feather, tiny... cheap and nasty looking despite being genuine. Nothing approaching the board quality of the brown v1 or the initial v2's blue pcb redesign you saw in August 2013.

    A cost cutting exercise taken to the extreme. Alfa quality has now sunk to a new "low depth" along with 9dbi antenna's where the writing smudges off...

    I can also confirm the ugly v2 "green pcb" which looks very cheaply made indeed, and looking at the size doesn't even seem capable of 33dbm output unlike the original. Why oh why are they doing this and going backwards ? This isn't better quality/improved redesign, it's a cost cutting exercise over the originals plain and simple, but with all the same old problems as the original in going deaf over time.

    I've discovered there are different boxes being used to ship the NHR v2 out with.

    The one with "Built for distance" slapped on the front which rokland sells.

    Then there is a horrible white and green box (think eco friendly).

    Different markets maybe ?

    And as for the NHR v2 being of more quality and reliable, this is entirely questionable, It looks to have still retained the adorable qualities of the original since I can also confirm loss of reception strength over time comparing my new adapter to the old one which is only WEEKS OLD.

    It's a kind of "creep" downwards in reception you won't immediately notice, until you buy a brand new one, or start disconnecting at random to previously strong signals that is regardless of using higher and higher dbi antenna's to compensate for the spiral of doom in reception strength till you run out of dbi.

    (I feel an attack of a heat gun coming on for my first model to reflow the solder)

    Conclusion : These brand new x2 genuine (alfa smudge) v2 adapters I had the misfortune to purchase are total and complete junky garbage, the sensitivity claims and output figures a total lie, unreliable, lose reception strength after a some weeks depending on use, are now constructed with shitty quality, and will NOT last.

    Power claims are not everything, and I seriously doubt given the board redesign to such a tiny ugly green pcb, and SINGLE cable provided with latest shipments it's even remotely capable of 33dbm. The supposed fixing of previous issues with the NHR is just a marketing ploy to shift more turds in boxes that DONT WORK for long enough, or as well enough as the other adapters ALFA chuck out.

    NONE OF MY OTHER ADAPTERS HAVE LOST RECEPTION CAPABILITY OVER TIME. DESPITE THE V2 REDESIGN THEY WILL STILL SLOWLY PROGRESSIVELY DIE ON YOU AND WONT LAST FOR NEARLY AS LONG AS THE OTHERS (THINK WEEKS OR MONTHS RATHER THAN YEARS).

    SOMETHING IS INHERANTLY WRONG WITH THE 036NHR's LASTABILITY/AND RECEPTION DEGRADATION. MAYBE ITS TOO POWERFUL FOR ITS OWN GOOD. EITHER THE HARDWARE IS FLAWED/BUGGY OR THE SOFTWARE IS THAT IS SLOWLY KILLING THE DEVICE, EITHER WAY DONT RELY ON IT AS YOUR ONLY GO TO ADAPTER BECAUSE SOONER OR LATER IT WILL CRACK THE SHITS, BECOME WEAKER OVER TIME AND START DISCONNECTING AND HAVE YOU PULLING YOUR HAIR OUT AS OPPOSED TO BUYING THE OTHERS.

    I have now bought 2 of these crappy v2's NHR's and it's a complete lie. Be very suspicious of "redesigned" Alfa's : translated...(cut down in quality).

    Stick to the other 3 reliable better performing ones over the long haul, and avoid these like the plague as they are....well, cheap and don't last.

    As the guy said above, the green pcb is genuine ( and I've no doubt they are ), but the quality now is even worse than the original V2 blue pcb which you won't see anymore, because it's silently been switched again behind the scenes into something worse. Think of the green pcb NHR v2 as now a V3.
     
    #30 kevsamiga, 9 Mar 2014
    Last edited: 6 Jul 2014
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