DIY: Reusing HP Wireless Printer’s Wi-Fi module as USB Wi-Fi Dongle for Ubuntu/Mint Linux Desktops

Recently My HP Wireless All-In-One Printer went bad due to ink spilled all over the printer. I upgraded the Printer to HP Laser Printer (MFP). While packing the old printer I noticed a wireless module, SD Card reader module and other boards. Out of curiosity I just thought of checking the compatibility of the Wi-Fi module chip with Linux, google brought this nice guy’s blog post on his success in reusing this module for Linux machine. The credit goes to him. So I gave a try, it worked nice! Here is a quick summary of how to get it done! It is not restricted Linux, I don’t see any reason for not working on Windows.

My Printer model was HP Photosmart C4588 Wireless model.

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The Wi-Fi module chip found in this printer was Atheros AR2524-AQ1C.

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This is 3.3V operated chip. So we need to convert 5V USB power supply from Host desktop machine to 3.3V. I have used AMS1117-3.3 Voltage Regulator to convert 5V to 3.3V. It has three pins as detailed below:

AMS1117

Here is the Pin Connection details of Atheros Wi-Fi module:

Pin 1 and 2 – Vcc – 3.3V+

Pin 3, 4 and 8 – Gnd

Pin 5 – Data (D-)

Pin 6 – Data (D+)

You need a old USB cable one end leaving it as it is for Host to connect and another end connector stripped off. This end you need to connect to Wi-Fi module and Voltage Regulator chip as shown below.

USB Cable (Red) +5V —> Pin-3 of Regulator (Vin)

Pin-2 of Regulator (Vout) —> Pin-1 of Wi-Fi module (Vcc 3.3v+)

Pin-1 of Regulator (Gnd) —> Pin-8 of Wi-Fi module (Gnd)

USB Cable (Black) Gnd —> Pin-3 or Pin-4 of Wi-Fi module (Gnd)

USB Cable (Green) D- —> Pin-5 Wi-Fi module (Data-)

USB Cable (White) D- —> Pin-6 Wi-Fi module (Data+)

 

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Now you should have your own USB dongle ready to connect to Linux machine.

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If lsusb command on Linux shell shows the device, you are done 🙂

$ lsusb | grep ZyDAS
Bus 002 Device 003: ID 0ace:1215 ZyDAS ZD1211B 802.11g

Ubuntu 14.10 and Linux Mint 17 detects and configure this module out of box. Nothing to install or configure. Once plugged in it shows list of Wi-Fi network in NetworkManager applet running at down right corner of desktop.

 

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