Finally got this thing to work with the following link providing the best solution.http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/wireless-internet/159738-ubuntu-9-10-wusb100v2-solved.html
It should be noted that I could not get the current driver (available via the Ralink site) to work at all but had success with the older driver that appears as an attachment on page 2 of the above link.
I followed the instructions down to the make install section and then
mv /etc/Wireless/rt3070sta /etc/Wireless/rt2870sta
I rebooted and then
Ifconfig then showed ra0 as being avaiable. VLWifi could then find the connection but I could still not connect.
In the end I set the connections via the command line as per the instructions in Introduction to Wireless Networking under the "Doing it old school" sectionhttps://vector.ecosq.com/ic/HowTos/HowToBook/ChapterWireless
Thanks to everybody above who helped.