Monthly Archives: July 2014

Connect your ISS-Above to WiFi – using SSH (advanced)

note:  This is the old instructions to configure your wifi settings using SSH.  Please check out the somewhat easier method here.

Yes – the ISS-Above can connect to your home WiFi network – here is how you can do that.

You have probably seen the two USB ports on the device near to the ethernet port.   You can purchase a pretty inexpensive WiFi “dongle” that can plug in to one of the USB ports.

BEWARE – not every WiFi Adaptor is compatible with the Raspberry Pi (the computer inside the ISS-Above).   If you google search “Wifi Adaptors compatible with Raspberry Pi” you will find some…. or you can just buy this one from Amazon.

The setup is not quite as simple as it would be on your PC or Mac – as to complete the setup you have to manually change a configuration file on the Raspberry Pi (on the SD card).   It’s an “operating system” file – so it can only be changed by connecting to the computer using either a hdmi monitor/usb keyboard or via a “Terminal program” on your computer.   I prefer making all such changes using a Terminal program.

Of course to make these settings for the WiFi adaptor you must FIRST connect your ISS-Above to your home router via a wired ethernet connection (which you have done already right?)

If you have a PC/Windows computer I recommend you download and install a free terminal program called MobaXterm Personal Edition.

If you have a Mac – you can use the built-in terminal program instead.

Instructions for Windows users:

Launch MobaXTerm.

Select Session / New Session / SSH enter the ip address of your ISS-Above, optionally specify the username (pi).  Then click OK.  (The username/password is the default for every Raspberry Pi – pi/raspberry)

For the Mac launch the in-built terminal program and type

ssh pi@your-issabove-ip-address

You’ll be prompted for the password – raspberry (the default for all Raspberry Pi’s)

At the command prompt type

sudo nano /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

This will load a basic text editor with the wifi configuration file.

I have helpfully left lots of examples with all the WiFi settings I use (feel free to camp out on my wifi if you ever drive by my house).

You will just need to add a new “section” to the file for your network.

e.g.  Say that your SSID  is “myhomelan” and it uses WPA2 security with a wifi password of “5a9x2334b”   you would add the following lines

network ={
pairwise=CCMP TKIP

To save this press <Ctrl> X  then press Y and finally press <ENTER>.

At this point if you reboot your device it should then connect to your WiFi.


sudo reboot

Now remove the Ethernet Cable.

During boot up you should see the WiFi dongle’s activity light start blinking (rapidly) to indicate it has established a connection to your wifi.

You’ll then need to find out what IP address has been assigned to the WiFi connection as you previously did in order to find out what the wired ethernet connection was (it won’t be the same number). Then remember to use THAT new IP address whenever you want to access the built-in web site for your ISS-Above device.

If you’ve got this far and you’ve never done anything like this before – give yourself a pat on the back for being a bad-ass linux hacker. Welcome to the club!