Wifi Connect: TP-LINK TL-WN722N: The device does not support Access Point mode

Hello! I’m trying to use Wifi-Connect with Balena, a Raspberry Pi CM4, and a TL-WN722N as recommended by the Readme here.

However, I’m getting the following D-Bus error when Wifi Connect tries to start an access point:

Can anyone advise on why that might be?

 wifi-connect  [network_manager::dbus_api:ERROR] org.freedesktop.NetworkManager::AddAndActivateConnection method call failed on /org/freedesktop/NetworkManager
 wifi-connect  Error: Creating the captive portal failed
 wifi-connect    caused by: D-Bus failure: org.freedesktop.NetworkManager::AddAndActivateConnection method call failed on /org/freedesktop/NetworkManager
 wifi-connect    caused by: "the device does not support Access Point mode"

For reference I also created a Github issue here: TP-LINK TL-WN722N: The device does not support Access Point mode · Issue #413 · balena-os/wifi-connect · GitHub

Not ideal, but, can you test with a different WiFi dongle by chance Keenan? What I want to determine is, does the source of the problem exist in DBUS / WiFi-Connect, or, is the particular WiFi adapter the cause here. Thanks!

Yup I can do that shortly, though I don’t have another one from the approved list, I’ll try a few others.

I’ll also try on a raspberry Pi 4 normal rather than the CM4, as I know that has a different Balena build and maybe that has something to do with it.

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I guess the answer is extremely simple and horrifying at the same time: Version 2 vs. Version 1
TL;DR - there are different versions of this card. v1 is with Atheros, v2 with RealTek Chipset. v2 is basically not useable, I guess maybe you got this one? :cry: - maybe something to add to the Wiki page?

Ah man that’s really lame. Yeah that definitely deserves a note on the Github Readme here which doesn’t really make that plain.

Are there really no workarounds to get that chipset to work in AP mode? That chipset theoretically supports AP mode according to the docs, but I guess doesn’t play nice with Network Manager?

I had some problems with plain Raspbian back in the day with a similar issue and there was some workaround, but that was basically hacking together kernel modules. It worked in the end, but was unreliable. Trying to do something in balenaOS would probably not something you could do for production usage, if at all. You would need to build your own versions yourself - to be honest - it is not worth the hassle. I am telling you that as (see above) already burned child, in the end I changed to Atheros in my project and was very happy with that.

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Ah darn. Is there a specific model you’ve been able to buy that consistently works with Wifi Connect? There was already a small list on the Wifi Connect supported docs and now I’m not sure what to actually buy to use. Thanks!

I have not yet bought anything in the last 4+ years, so no.
But in your case, I would just look for some USB Wifi Sticks with Atheros AR9271 in them and that should do the trick :slight_smile: (I think Ebay and other sources should have them :))

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Ah thanks man!

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Just catching up on the thread, thanks @nmaas87 ! I didn’t realize there were two versions of the WN722N, so, yes we will need to update the docs to make note of the v1 versus the v2. I wonder if there was no such thing as a v2 when we tested and documented it! :slight_smile:


Haha yeah I would love to identify a wifi dongle that works well with Wifi connect as an access point that you can reliably buy in the US from a vendor that is not EBay haha. Any suggestions would be great :slight_smile: