HOWTO Configure WiFi EDIMAX EW-7811Un on Mindstorms EV3 59

LEGO Mindstorms EV3 has built-in Wifi capabilities so you don’t need to buy an expensive WiFi sensor like you had to do with NXT. Unfortunately LEGO decided to save some pennies and don’t include an actual WiFi card inside the brick ( to save battery life of course *grin*).

So if you want to connect your robot with WiFi to your computer so you can program it remotely and send it command, much like with Blueetooth but faster you have to buy a WiFi dongle for EV3.

Actually Mindstorms EV3 only supports Netgear N150 Wireless Adapter (WNA1100). It is a big ugly and black WiFi dongle that will make your robot looks like a plane with just one wing. The other option is using Edimax dongle, that it is world’s smallest WiFi USB card.

edimax-ev3-wifi-dongle-howto

The problem is that it doesn’t work with LEGO Mindstorms out of the box. Keep reading to know how to fix it and make it work with your LEGO Mindstorms EV3 kit.

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Get the Wifi Dongle

First step is getting the WiFi dongle and good news is that you can order it at Amazon for barely £7

edimax-ev3-wifi-dongle-box

So once you get the dongle, open the box and get the dongle at a handy place. We will use it later.

Update the EV3 Firmware

As I was telling you EV3 doesn’t work with Edimax dongle out of the box. We need to update the firmware of the EV3 brick so it support the little USB dongle.
By doing this we are updating EV3 with a modified Linux kernel that has support for this little dongle.

Will update the firmware void my warranty?
No, you won’t void any warranties doing this.

Will it work with the EV3 software?
Yes, it supports EV3 standard software.

Can I restore LEGO original firmware if I don’t like this?
Yes, you can always restore original LEGO firmware.

Can I make a brick of my brick? Can I break it?
No, there are no risk of breaking your EV3 brick.

Will I lose files stored on the EV3 brick?
Yes, you lost the files on the brick. Do a backup first.

firmware-update-ev3

So go and download the modified EV3 Firmware from the original source ) and open EV3 Software, go to Update Firmware section and ignore newer firmware updates.

brick-connected

Click on Browse and find your ev3-edimax.bin file, then the screen will look like this.

ev3edimax-file

Click on the Edimax file and click download ( make sure your brick has full battery before this! ). It will start updating the brick.

download

Once the process is complete it will reboot the EV3. So now introduce your Edimax WiFi dongle.

Enable Wifi

So now we go to the last Tab in EV3 Brick screen and enable Wifi

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Configure Connection

Now choose connections…
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… and the WiFi Card will start blinking with a blue led.
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After a while, around 10 seconds or so a list of Wifi connections will appear.
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Choose your network and click on Connect.

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Now you can choose the security of your network, either WPA2 or None. Keep in mind that using WPA2 will shorten your EV3 Battery life… but it more secure.

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Time for some fun and type your WiFi Network password. It is usually written down under your Internet router. Now type it…

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And voila! It is connected! Just look at the Wifi Icon on the top left of the brick that has a two arrows.

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Connect on EV3 Software

It is even easier than plugin the USB cable :)
First open EV3 Software and look at the bottom right corner… it should be like this

Screenshot

Click on the third side tab so that it looks like this:

Screenshot-1

Click the refresh button ( or even you don’t need that ) and it should change to this

Screenshot-2

Finally click on the Wifi check mark and there you have.

Screenshot-3

EV3 Software and the EV3 are now joined using Wi-Fi… no more USB messed cables. Hope you find this tutorial useful, but in case there is any question that I left unanswered please drop me a comment and I will try to help you.

59 thoughts on “HOWTO Configure WiFi EDIMAX EW-7811Un on Mindstorms EV3

  1. Reply magomar Apr 15,2014 10:08 pm

    Thanks for the article.
    I have tried to make it work without success. After installing the linked firmware, I see firmware version 1.04H installed. ¿Is that right?¿Or should it be something different?

  2. Reply magomar Apr 15,2014 10:34 pm

    More info: I have been able to successfully connect to my wifi network from the brick, but I cannot see it in my PC using the Lego EV3 Software (on Windows 8.1)

    • Reply Miguel Apr 16,2014 10:29 am

      Are both your PC and the brick connected to the same Wifi? You need to make sure that they both are in the same network

      • Reply magomar Apr 16,2014 6:32 pm

        Thanks, my PC is connected by ethernet, but it is the same LAN, so I assumed my computer didn’t need to have wifi access. I will try to connect from my laptop to check… damm it, now my EV3 brick is refusing to connect to the wifi, so I cannot check :( I will keep yo informed of my progress, I am really keen to connect my EV3 brick either by wifi or bluetooth with no success yet :(

      • Reply magomar Apr 16,2014 8:31 pm

        Well, finally I managed to fix my wifi, which I have broken in the meantime, connect again from the brick , and then I can see my EV3 from the laptop, but not from the PC, so it seems the PC running the software must actually be connected to the same wifi network. That behavior surprises me, I don’t think this should be like that. At least I found a way to connect remotely, which is great ! Thanks for your help. And congrats for your blog and youtube channels, I really like some of the articles and videos you produce ;)

  3. Reply AndiSho Apr 18,2014 9:24 am

    Hello!
    You can type mixed case passwords all right, just hop (cursor key left etc.) to the virtual key “ShiftLockToggle”, sited left of char “A” and press OK, switching to lower case or back to upper case.

    Has anyone seen a Educational Firmware (1.0xE) with the mod? Or can I do data logging experiments with the H anyways?

    Of course I shot some WNA1100 Netgears for some EUR, 7-9 inc. pp, and a pair came with a suiting router, and of course this got an all upper-case password ;)

    Of course the original WLAN stick ist old, sold for completely sky-high price. Seen it for 11-14€ new. But ist is working. And ANY USB stick sticking out of the ONLY precious USB host plug ist one to much in harsh environments.

    Leading to some idea…: (sorry if it doesn’t get clear, english is not my mother tongue):
    I am desperately searching for plastic PCB foil that can be soldered to some form of USB plug male (sawn tight short at the neck, so foil has room to bend inside the plug hole, plus a strap to get it out;) and female, serving as an extension that has a plug _completely_ vanishing in the socket in the ev3. The printed circuit foil should be bendable enough to have the opportunity to do a straight 90° bend, so no design restrictions apply to any technic bars, etc., on the mechanical lego side of the robot, even allowing covering the usb hole as the case in so many good old designs.
    So I’m searching for a PCB manufacturer that would do a solderable version of a USB cable. Perhaps one could use PCB material for the plug as well, little bit of gold plating for luxury like on some tiny usb memory sticks. Or re-using such.

    Have fun!

    Andi

  4. Reply Michael May 3,2014 2:46 pm

    Excellent! I managed to connect to my WiFi. Are planning on writing a tutorial on how to interact with the EV3 and the PC? Better yet, how to connect the EV3 to the Internet and control it from a remote location?

    • Reply Miguel May 3,2014 3:25 pm

      Sounds like a fantastic idea. I will sure cover this on my EV3 Megatutorial… meanwhile I have to say that it is quite trivial to get it done using leJOS

  5. Pingback: HOWTO Install leJOS 0.8.1 on LEGO Mindstorms EV3 ← LEGO Reviews & Videos

  6. Reply okrofatto May 4,2014 4:06 pm

    In the article, you say it will only accept letters in uppercase. That’s not really true. You can use the button right above the one to change to numbers (an arrow pointing down) to change the letters to lowercase.

  7. Reply Graham Jun 23,2014 1:59 am

    I tried this firmware but I am having problems.

    I can connect my brick to my wifi network. I can see the brick in the lego software only sometimes (even after pressing refresh). When I can see it, if I click on the box to connect then the lego software gives error message that it fails to connect.

    I checked the brick address, and i pinged it with the command line. The response was destination unreachable.

    Any thoughts ?

    • Reply Miguel Jun 24,2014 7:50 am

      Umm… I really love Wifi networks… let’s try this: Get close to the AP and give it another try, does it fail sometimes? Turn off your brick and do a ping to the IP of the brick was assigned to… it should fail.

      Also make sure you are pinging the 192.168.x.x and not the 10.0.0.1
      If still fails make sure your AP is correctly configured for DHCP, it could be possible that your PC is already configured with a static IP and the AP is giving a wrong range of IP and that could be the cause of the destination unreachable.

      Tell me what you get.

  8. Reply Tom Jul 5,2014 5:14 pm

    LEGO made an update of the firmware to 1.6. Did you made an EDIMAX version of this firmware, too? I guess there are less bugs in a newer firmware, but I need the EDIMAX support ;-)

  9. Reply Cole D. Jul 7,2014 11:16 pm

    the brick will not connect to my WiFi network. I enter the password and it always says error. Any suggestions?

    • Reply Miguel Jul 8,2014 5:43 pm

      Did you updated the firmware of the brick as explained above?

      • Reply Tom Jul 8,2014 5:55 pm

        Hello Cole D. My mistake was to use big letters (standard) for the password. Did you shift to small letters?

      • Reply Cole D. Jul 10,2014 1:48 am

        Yes, I updated the firmware. I checked and it says V1.04H on the brick. I did shift to small letters.

        • Reply Miguel Jul 10,2014 11:26 am

          Which security setting has your router? Check it is either WPA2 or none. That may be the problem.
          Another option could be that your router doesn’t give automatically IP addresses ( Is DHCP enabled? )

          • Reply Cole D. Jul 11,2014 3:23 am

            I think you found the problem. My router has WPA and not WPA2. I am working on changing it over, but otherwise I think the case is solved.

          • Reply GK Oct 15,2014 3:54 am

            I have the same issue with the router. It has WPA security key. Is there a way to connect with out changing the router security to WPA2?

          • Reply Miguel Oct 15,2014 8:42 am

            No, AFAIK it has to be either Open or WPA2. WPA has several security issues that make it a poor option for network encription.

          • Reply Cole D. Oct 17,2014 2:12 am

            No, you must have WPA 2 for it to work, it just says error with WPA.

  10. Reply Chris Marshall Jul 10,2014 1:09 pm

    Is there a way to connect bluetooth or wifi without a dongle??

  11. Reply Chris Marshall Jul 12,2014 12:33 pm

    Could I use the USB port in my brick to charge my phone?

  12. Reply Tom Jul 12,2014 5:23 pm

    Hello Miguel,
    is there a firmware 1.6 including the driver for the EdiMax ?

  13. Reply krishna Aug 17,2014 3:23 am

    Thanks for this post, I have been able to access wifi using this firmware change, now my regular Micro USB connection from the brick is not recognized also if I upgraded the firmware with the dongle working, will it pick up an adapter or do we have to redo this all over again ?

  14. Reply Raluca Aug 26,2014 11:25 pm

    Hi,
    I tried to follow the instructions but when I select the edimax binary nothing shows in Available Firmware Files. :(
    I am blocked by this issue.
    I am running LEGO Mindstorm home edition on a OSX 10.9.2.

  15. Reply Paul Aug 27,2014 4:25 am

    Hi Guys, Does anyone know if there is an updated version that includes the new 1.06 firmware? Either 1.06E or 1.06H

  16. Reply Steffen Hortmann Sep 4,2014 9:52 pm

    Is the Firmware 1.04 also able to connect the brick with bluetooth to an iPad?

  17. Reply minghan Sep 20,2014 7:55 am

    this Edimax can work on EV3 new firmware 1.06h?

  18. Reply dmx Oct 3,2014 1:54 pm

    +1 for a modified 1.06H version.

  19. Reply Daren Oct 4,2014 11:12 pm

    Does the router need to be configured as a GATEWAY or AP ? Thanks!

  20. Reply Daren Oct 6,2014 12:14 pm

    I got it to work with the router configured as a gateway. The trick was to update the Netgear usb dongle to the latest drivers (via the PC) and have both the EV3 and the PC on the same Wifi.

  21. Reply Aidan Oct 19,2014 8:38 pm

    My brick is stuck on the start up page how do you fix it

    • Reply Miguel Oct 20,2014 6:22 pm

      Remove battery and then reinsert battery
      Hold down Center and Right button until it says “Updating…”
      Plug into computer
      Update the Firmware ( Tools | Firmware Update )
      Select the Firmware revision and hit Download

      It should download and install the latest update and then reset on it’s own. Resetting takes about 1 min or less usually.

  22. Reply Toni Oct 22,2014 7:07 am

    how it would be possible to connect two computers at the same time a block?

    • Reply Miguel Oct 22,2014 4:01 pm

      If you are using leJOS you can create as many IP connections as you want but really no clue about how to do it using Mindstorms EV3 software.

  23. Reply Toni Oct 22,2014 7:12 am

    or two connections simultaneously wifi and bluetooth. Thank you very much.

  24. Reply Michiel Overeem (@michielovereem) Oct 23,2014 7:09 pm

    Miguel, will there be an updated firmware?

    • Reply Miguel Oct 25,2014 8:29 am

      Let me check. I suppose that it is as easy as recompile the kernel for the new firmware that LEGO released. I will update here what I find.

  25. Reply v1n2 Nov 14,2014 12:11 pm

    any News regarding 1.06 FW incl. edimax Driver?

  26. Reply Hijo2006 Nov 28,2014 4:30 pm

    Hello, does it means that the current FW from Lego doesnt work with Edimax EW-7811Un?

  27. Reply Hijo2006 Nov 30,2014 7:15 am

    Hk thanks. are there plans to get an update edimax FW version for 1.06?

  28. Reply Hijo2006 Nov 30,2014 12:57 pm

    Hello, i have been able to install the 1.03 edimax Version and has worked. But do i really have to enable the Wifi after shut down and up?

    Thank

  29. Reply phil Dec 2,2014 3:49 am

    it does not come up when i click it to download i tried to do it again but it still does not work

  30. Reply stuffie Dec 11,2014 7:29 pm

    This works. One comment: you cant use USB cable with Wifi dongle inserted. Shutdown and remove Wifi dongle if you want to use USB cable.

  31. Reply Frank May 8,2015 1:55 pm

    Wil there be a 1.07H release of the edimax solution

  32. Reply Ranger Jul 28,2015 11:43 pm

    Hi – Anyone out there who have successfully tested this USB dongle for firmware1.06H ?

  33. Reply Peter B Sep 9,2015 6:45 pm

    Thanks for this article, just received the adapter, installed the firmware, did the setup and from my son’s Windows 7 laptop the Mindstorms software can connect with the EV3 brick successfully. He will be stoked! On my Mac (10.9) on the same Wifi network Mindstorms software can’t see the EV3 despite repeated refreshes. I can ping from the Mac the EV3 so the IP connection is working. Any suggestions?

  34. Reply Tom Nov 18,2015 7:51 pm

    Hello,
    LEGO has made an update to 1.08H. This works with the EDIMAX Stick out of the box.

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