Signal strength for ath5k is poor

Bug #338984 reported by David Nivens on 2009-03-06
10
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
EasyPeasy Overview
High
mb74

Bug Description

The signal strength for netbooks with the ath5k wireless card is reportedly much worse than in Xandros, with the signal intensity being much lower, or non-existant, in places where the signal was perfectly fine under Xandros.

http://forums.geteasypeasy.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=616

One person's dmesg (on an eeePC 900A) is as follows:

# grep ath5k /var/log/messages
Jan 11 13:04:08 easy1 kernel: [ 9144.874998] ath5k_pci 0000:02:00.0: PCI INT A disabled
Jan 11 13:04:11 easy1 kernel: [ 9148.496151] ath5k_pci 0000:02:00.0: PCI INT A -> GSI 17 (level, low) -> IRQ 17
Jan 11 13:04:11 easy1 kernel: [ 9148.500663] ath5k_pci 0000:02:00.0: registered as 'phy0'
Jan 11 13:04:11 easy1 kernel: [ 9148.505081] ath5k phy0: Support for RF2425 is under development.
Jan 11 13:04:12 easy1 kernel: [ 9148.550331] ath5k phy0: Atheros AR2425 chip found (MAC: 0xe2, PHY: 0x70)
Jan 11 13:14:00 easy1 kernel: [ 57.424411] ath5k_pci 0000:02:00.0: PCI INT A -> GSI 17 (level, low) -> IRQ 17
Jan 11 13:14:00 easy1 kernel: [ 57.424489] ath5k_pci 0000:02:00.0: registered as 'phy0'
Jan 11 13:14:00 easy1 kernel: [ 57.428889] ath5k phy0: Support for RF2425 is under development.
Jan 11 13:14:00 easy1 kernel: [ 59.389760] ath5k phy0: Atheros AR2425 chip found (MAC: 0xe2, PHY: 0x70)

and some more info (also on 900A):

root@easy1:~# lsmod | grep ath
ath5k 100096 0
mac80211 209396 1 ath5k
led_class 4228 1 ath5k
cfg80211 24456 2 ath5k,mac80211

root@easy1:~# iwconfig wlan0
wlan0 IEEE 802.11bg ESSID:"keller"
Mode:Managed Frequency:2.462 GHz Access Point: 00:1D:0F:C5:XX:XX
Bit Rate=11 Mb/s Tx-Power=27 dBm
Retry min limit:7 RTS thr:off Fragment thr=2352 B
Encryption key:XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Security mode:open
Power Management:off
Link Quality=39/100 Signal level:-78 dBm Noise level=-103 dBm
Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0
Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:0 Missed beacon:0

root@easy1:~# uname -a
Linux easy1 2.6.27-8-eeepc #1 SMP Sun Nov 16 12:02:12 MST 2008 i686 GNU/Linux

root@easy1:~# ls -lrta /lib/modules/2.6.27-8-eeepc/kernel/drivers/net/wireless/ath5k/
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 120016 2008-11-16 20:37 ath5k.ko

David Nivens (nivensd) on 2009-03-06
Changed in easypeasy:
status: New → Confirmed
David Nivens (nivensd) on 2009-03-07
Changed in easypeasy:
importance: Undecided → High
Jon Ramvi (ramvi) on 2009-07-10
Changed in easypeasy:
assignee: nobody → mb74 (mrb74)
mb74 (mrb74) wrote :

Please try this latest kernel:
http://files.getdropbox.com/u/709242/kernel/linux-headers-2.6.30.3-ep1_2.6.30.3-ep1-10.00.Custom_i386.deb
After you've installed it and before reboot execute the following commands:
update-initramfs -c -k 2.6.30.3-ep1
update-grub

Ludovic Claude (ludovicc) wrote :

With EasyPeasy 1.5 RC2, I'm getting at last a good connection with my wireless (using an EeePC 702).

The following configuration worked for me:
WPA authentication, wireless mode 802.11b only (faster 11g works but lots of frames are dropped, so the real performance is even worse).

WEP authentication failed with timeouts, and using no authentication also did not work.

Can you try to include in the kernel the latest ath5k driver from http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/ath5k, those people on wireless kernel are very committed in getting everything working. How can I know the version of the ath5k module I'm using, it may help when reporting issues.

mb74 (mrb74) wrote :

I've included a relatively new madwifi patch into the kernel.
You can list the drivers with: lsmod | grep madwifi
For ath5k the driver has the name: ath_pci
To use madwifi please read the instructions at their homepage.
For getting the module version: modinfo ath5k

Ludovic Claude (ludovicc) wrote :

Hello,

I'd like first to try the latest version of ath5k, but for that I need the linux headers. How can I install that? I tried linux-headers-2.6.30.5-ep0, but it does not contain /lib/modules/2.6.30.5-ep0/build as expected.

I have got to the madwifi site, but I got lost... Can you help me to get started, I don't know much about wifi.
Thanks

mb74 (mrb74) wrote :

Yes maybe the headers package is not installed by default. Grab the headers package from here:
http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/709242/kernel/linux-headers-2.6.30.5-ep0_2.6.30.5-ep0-10.00.Custom_i386.deb

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