So I finally got round to sorting out the heat issues associated with running the 1W ALFA at full power for extended periods of time. It was a simple hardware mod that cost next to nothing to do and it means I can run higher power for longer, which is useful 🙂
Ok, so starting from the top….. Your going to need an ALFA USB RT8178 external Wireless adapter, rated at 1W. You want the 1W one not the 2W or N spec etc ones as they are different chip sets and the best chip set for wifi pwnage is the 8187 🙂
Once you have your trusty ALFA card your going to want to overclock its power to make it see where other cards cannot. That is as simple as typing:
ifconfig wlan0 down iw reg set BO ifconfig wlan0 up iwconfig wlan0 txpower 30
Once you have full power enabled however, your going to start running into problems unless you modify the hardware as well. That’s where this guide comes in!
What you will need:
- ALFA USB RT8187 Adapter
- Small chip Heat sinks from Maplin or elsewhere
- 3M Heat sink double sided sticky pads
- Super Glue
- Sharp craft knife
To start, you need to crack open the unit. It just pops open, but I found that it snapped the clips that hold it together when I did it so you need to be careful or be prepared to super glue it back together.
Once you have it all open and ready to go clean up the chip and the heat sinks with some heat sink paste solvent and heat sink surface prep.
Once that’s done, cut a piece of the heat sink tape to size and attach it to the heat sink.
Then just attach it to the chip and your set for fabrication to commence!
No for the tricky bit. Using your dremil and knife, cut a hole for the heat sink in the face of the case. Its tricky, and mine didn’t come out great, but it was good enough and function over form is good for me on this one!
Now your all set, you can run your ALFA at full power, injecting and sniffing to your hearts content without burning it out.