Hawking Technology Hi-Gain Wireless USB adapter reviewed

Internal Exam

The Hi-Gain Wireless USB's (HWU) internal details are shown in Figures 1 and 2.

Hawking HWU36D - Internal view

Figure 1: Internal view of the H-WU36D

Hawking HWU36D - Circuit board

Figure 2: H-WU36D circuit board
(click on the image for a full-sized view)

Update 10/31/2003 It's manufactured by Taiwan ODM ASUS, to which Hawking has granted permission to also sell the product as ASUS' WL140.

The design is based on GlobespanVirata's (formerly Intersil) PRISM 3 chipset. The USB function is built right into the ISL3871 Baseband/MAC chip, making for a compact design with low part count. Host connection is via a mini-USB connector, but Hawking supplies a 6 foot USB cable that will get you properly hooked up.

Link and Power LEDs are on the front of the adapter's base and the Link light flashes about once a second when not associated with a WLAN, but doesn't blink during data transfer.

The antenna coverage pattern is directional and is shown in Figure 3. Maximum gain is spec'd at 6dBi, which as the rule of thumb given in our Wireless LAN Performance Improvement NTK indicates, can possibly double your range.

Hawking HWU36D - Antenna details

Figure 3: Antenna details

Note that the antenna panel can flip up and over 180 degrees, but can't be twisted for antenna aiming. This shouldn't be a problem when the HWU is sitting on a desk, but could limit your options when the adapter is wall mounted, using the slotted screw hole provided on the adapter's base.