New Shake activated, and tribulations

Hi. My new Shake and Boom (RBE98) arrived Christmas day, and I am happy to now be part of the community. I had a few difficulties getting started, so thought I’d document them for any advice and perhaps to help others in the future.

  1. I had intended to use a WiFi dongle because I needed to install the shake far from my router (an approved one with drivers in the kernel). I found one from Canakit that worked just fine with my other Pi’s, and intended to use it on the Shake. Thus ensued a very long period of troubleshooting, because try as I might, I could only get the internal WiFi up and working (with attendant interference) but not the dongle, even though it was seen in iwconfig as valid. No matter what I did, Wlan1 would not start, and if I disabled Wlan0 (internal WiFi) in the configs, Wlan1 would also disappear. I read through much here on the support forum, but finally came to the conclusion that this dongle (and a broadcom dongle I tried) were not supported on the Shake. I am synopsizing many hours of effort in this paragraph, and I am no newcomer to IT, having spent a career in the IT and Engineering world. I could get the internal WiFi up and working with a good connection to the server, but using the external dongle instead of internal WiFi defeated me.

  2. I then turned to a wireless travel router I had (a Tplink TL-WR902AC) thinking this was the right and most elegant solution. The device has a bridge mode where it can provide a wireless bridge to any Ethernet client, so I simply connected the bridge to the RJ-45 port on the Shake. This also turned out to be difficult. The device would start, I could get to it at RS.local, but despite a lot of effort, it would not connect to the server. Looking at the post logs, I could see that the device was not able to see a connection to either the NTP servers or any of the normal severs. Connecting via SSH allowed me to try pinging, and within the local network that worked just fine. Externally (Google, Yahoo, Shakenet) all failed with nothing but dropped packets. Out of desperation, I released and renewed the IP from the SSH connection, and suddenly I could ping externally, and also was connected to the servers as shown on the RS.local page. A reboot of the RShake resulted in the same, again cured when I released and renewed the DHCP address using “sudo dhclient -R” then “sudo dhclient”. I wish I’d done this earlier, but the device received a real valid internal 192.168.X.X address, and all looked well until I did this.

While I am glad to be up and operational, don’t have to worry about WiFi interference now, and will put a UPS on the Shake to prevent reboots, I still have no idea why I have to do this with the bridge.

Any comments/solutions, welcome.



Hello Bob,

Thank you very much for all the detailed explanation that you’ve written in your message, it could potentially be very useful to other Shake users in similar situations!

It is indeed a curious series of events. I don’t exactly know why the bridge was behaving like this, but seeing some other stories from other Shake users, I cannot say that I am surprised to hear such strange things happening.

I hope that other users can give more insight on this particular situation.

Thanks Stormchaser. I figured it out. For some reason, despite having a fixed IP assigned in dhcpcd.conf, the Shake was still requesting a DHCP address. I turned on DHCP in my bridge, and gave it an IP range of a single address (the static IP I wanted the shake to have) and the Shake is now immediately able to communicate with the internet immediately on reboot without having to first renew/release the address. Strange behavior, probably more due to the bridge I am using than the shake, but working is working.