Hi Ppl... Need help customizing a WiFi Driver (RTL8811AU + RTL8189ES)

Oct 12, 2023
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Hey People,

i have been trying to get a "Building Environment" working in order to recompile / reconfigure the Firmware for my "WD MYPASSPORT WIRELESS PRO HDD".

I finally did manage to recompile the complete Buildroot Package and make my changes such as: have the root fs on an SD-Card instead of the HDD, overclock the CPU and so on.

Unfortunately i am still unable to use the higher Channels (DFS) of the 5 Ghz WiFi Interface to connect to my Router. Right now the Device has: 2 (1x 2,4 Ghz and 1x 5Ghz AP) and 2 (again 1x 2,4Ghz and 1x 5Ghz) WiFi Interfaces. My Guess is that WD (or Realtek) somehow tinkered with the Driver in order to get this to work.

Now i do have the Sourcefiles for both the Drivers but i have no Idea how to make the Changes that i want. I would not mind if the, now 4 Interfaces would be reduced to 2 for a higher Bandwith (or Channel Width) and in order to use the higher Channels (like Channel 100) on the 5 Ghz Interface.

Would Someone, Anyone be interested in taking a look at the Souce Files for some Clues on how to achieve my Goal? Or help me with this?

Any help or directions would be greatly appreciated...


P.S. I am planning on uploading the complete FW onto a Repository like Github, but my knwoledge is pretty limited.. Its mostly just trial & error.. However i did solder a UART Connection onto the PCB because some of my changes did end up braking the WiFi. I was able to revive the Device via the Console but some help would truly be great.
Jan 24, 2024
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Hello DeKu,

It's great that you've made progress in recompiling the Buildroot package for your WD MyPassport Wireless Pro HDD. Customizing and reconfiguring firmware can be a complex task, especially when it involves modifying WiFi drivers.

I can provide some general guidance to help you get started:

  1. Understand the Codebase:
    • Take some time to understand the source code of the Realtek WiFi drivers (RTL8811AU and RTL8189ES) that you have. Look for the sections related to channel configuration, interface setup, and regulatory domain restrictions.
  2. Review Documentation:
    • Check if there is any documentation or comments within the source code that explains how the channels are configured or restricted. Sometimes, developers provide comments that can give you insights into the code.
  3. Explore Configuration Files:
    • Check if there are any configuration files associated with the WiFi drivers. These files might contain settings related to channel configuration and interface setup.
  4. Experiment with Channel Settings:
    • Identify the sections of code that handle channel settings. Experiment with different values and configurations to see how it affects the behavior of the WiFi interfaces. Be cautious not to make changes that could potentially damage the hardware.
  5. Check Regulatory Domain:
    • Verify if the regulatory domain settings in the driver code comply with the regulations of your region. Some channels may be restricted based on regulatory requirements.
  6. Consult Other Community/Forums:
    • Seek assistance from open-source communities or forums dedicated to Realtek WiFi drivers or embedded systems. Developers in these communities may have experience with similar modifications.
  7. Use Version Control:
    • Since you mentioned uploading the firmware to a repository like GitHub, consider using version control (e.g., Git) to track changes and collaborate with others. This can help manage different versions and changes over time.
  8. Backup and Recovery:
    • Before making significant changes, always back up your current firmware and understand how to recover the device in case something goes wrong. Your UART connection will be invaluable for debugging and recovery.
Remember that modifying firmware can have unintended consequences, and it's crucial to proceed with caution. If you encounter specific issues or have questions about the code, feel free to share relevant snippets or describe the challenges you're facing, and I'll do my best to assist you.

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