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#1 2008-06-01 13:28:03

From: Haskovo, Bulgaria
Registered: 2007-08-31
Posts: 277

madwifi, atheros, wireless problem

Hello everyone.

I have a problem with my wireless device. I have two laptops. One running archlinux, and the other runnig MS Windows XP. Both have wifi. I can connect them via ad-hoc mode, but even when they are next to each other, I got very low network performance. Today I found that the Windows machine can detect a lot to wifi networks in range, but the linux one cannot. Why linux machine`s wireless is so poor in performance. Here is my linux machines wireless:

pspci -v:
05:01.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications, Inc. AR2413 802.11bg NIC (rev 01)
    Subsystem: Atheros Communications, Inc. Compex Wireless 802.11 b/g  MiniPCI Adapter, Rev A1 [WLM54G]
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 96, IRQ 22
    Memory at 50000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=64K]
    Capabilities: <access denied>

I have madwifi installed, and I have the following in my rc.conf modules array: "ath_hal ath_pci wlan"

I am scanning for wireless networks via wifi-radar, and manually via "wlanconf ath0 list scan" or "iwlist ath0 scan", but I got nothing in range.

What can I do? What are you doing to find networks. I have no gnome or KDE. I am using fluxbox, I have installed my system via ftp install, my kernel is 2.6.24-ARCH. If you need some other info, just say what you need.


Last edited by Gruntz (2008-06-01 13:29:25)


#2 2008-06-01 13:56:04

Registered: 2007-05-29
Posts: 167

Re: madwifi, atheros, wireless problem

You can try the ath5k driver and see if you have better performance.


#3 2008-06-01 18:28:55

Registered: 2008-05-31
Posts: 11

Re: madwifi, atheros, wireless problem

Well, if the scanned networks are very distant/weak, it might just be a difference in hardware or antenna or case design between your two laptops (unless they're both the same model). Also, could the antenna connector have come disconnected from the wifi card inside the laptop? Both seem less likely than driver / configuration issues though.

You might also check 'dmesg' for any messages from madwifi/wifi0. Oh, and you are bringing ath0 up before trying the iwlist scan, right? (It would say "Interface doesn't support scanning : Network is down" if you aren't, but I assume you're just getting an empty list instead)

I'd also add that in addition to sacamano_m82's suggestion, you might also want to check that you aren't using ath5k without realizing it. That is, if 'lsmod' reports that ath5k isn't loaded, try using it, but if it reports that it is loaded along with your ath_pci, try blacklisting it.

After I installed 2.6.25, my laptop started autoloading the ath5k module in addition to the ath_pci module (but with only the ath5k wlan0/wmaster interfaces appearing) and I got incredibly poor performance and was only able to maintain a connection when 2-3 feet from an access point. Another person on this bug report reported that he couldn't scan for networks anymore. I had to add '!ath5k' to my modules array to stop it from loading. Of course, I also have the same problems when using just ath5k. That doesn't mean don't try it to see if it's better for you than ath_pci (I have an AR5413 chipset rather than your AR2413 chipset, so there will probably be some differences), but trying to use both at the same time probably won't work smile.


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