Hi David and Daniel,
Thanks for the pointer on including the kernel release name when building the .deb files. However, this didn't solve my issue. Here is some more data, hopefully you guys can help me figure out what I'm doing wrong. I'm sure it's simple.
Daniel ask how I added the reference to the rt2800usb driver: I used the make menuconfig command, which brings up a TUI utility. I then browse Device Drivers -> Network device support -> wireless LAN -> Ralink driver support -> and finally select the Ralink rt27xx/rt28xx/rt30xx (USB) support option. I make sure to save the changes back to the .config file and then exit the utility.
I appear to be successfully building the kernel image using
make -j4 Image dtbs KERNELRELEASE=4.4.9-linaro-lt-qcom
make -j4 modules KERNELRELEASE=4.4.9-linaro-lt-qcom
And then make my .deb files via:
make bindeb-pkg KERNELRELEASE=4.4.9-linaro-lt-qcom
I then transfer all the deb file (except the debug linux-image file as I don't believe it's required) to my 410c. Then on the 410c, in a terminal window I switch to a directory that contains only my newly transferred deb files and run:
sudo dpkg -i linux*.deb
This appears to be successful. Then I reboot and don't seem to have any rt2800usb support still. When I look in /lib/modules/4.4.9-linaro-lt-qcom/kernel/drivers/net/wireless I only see the ath directory, I'd assume I should see Ralink or something similar. Also, when I run uname -a on the 410c, I get:
Linux linaro-alip 4.4.9-linaro-lt-qcom #1 SMP PREEMPT Thu Jun 30 21:34:48 UTC 2016 aarch64 GNU/Linux
And I think I should see today's date. Under /boot/ I do see vmlinuz-4.4.9-linaro-lt-qcom with today's date.
So: Feels like I am missing some step? As I mentioned before, when I've had to build kernels for ubuntu x86-64 and for Raspbian, I've used a procedure I found using fakeroot and dpkg which has worked for me. I am realizing now that I probably really don't know what that built process is really doing. I just make my changes to some .c files, build, deploy, and move on with life with my changes working. So any help here with getting Ralink support working on this 410c running Debian would be really helpful! Also, learning a bit more about kernel building and deploying isn't going to hurt me either.