ath driver on thinkpad R50p

George Hartzell hartzell at
Mon Oct 11 15:16:19 PDT 2004

Matthew Luckie writes:
 > >> I notice that the HAL has changed and that NetBSD has a more recent 
 > >> HAL, one with that xchanmode parameter.  FreeBSD has while 
 > >> NetBSD has and perhaps my bug will be fixed with a more 
 > >> recent hal.o
 > > 
 > > Your problem is indeed in the hal and what you need to do is get a more 
 > > up to date hal.
 > I was successful using the more recent HAL with some NetBSD clue to get 
 > my ath working with the 11b modes (well, successful enough to associate 
 > with my Linksys 802.11b accesspoint and send this email).
 > ath0: <Atheros 5212> mem 0xc0210000-0xc021ffff irq 11 at device 2.0 on pci2
 > ath0: mac 5.6 phy 4.1 5ghz radio 1.7 2ghz radio 2.3
 > ath0: Ethernet address: 00:05:4e:4a:bd:34
 > ath0: 11a rates: 6Mbps 9Mbps 12Mbps 18Mbps 24Mbps 36Mbps 48Mbps 54Mbps
 > ath0: 11b rates: 1Mbps 2Mbps 5.5Mbps 11Mbps
 > ath0: 11g rates: 1Mbps 2Mbps 5.5Mbps 11Mbps 6Mbps 9Mbps 12Mbps 18Mbps 
 > 24Mbps 36Mbps 48Mbps 54Mbps
 > My patches are at
 > and they are against BETA7
 > [...]

[I've been following various atheros threads here, and know that the
 driver is in transition and that Sam has newer stuff in the madwifi
 world that has yet to find its way into FreeBSD.
 However, I thought it might be useful to share my experiences with
 the current driver.]

I'm running 5.3BETA4 on an IBM T-42p w/ the Atheros A/B/G card.  When
I load the if_ath module I don't see any "11b rates" line, but I am
able to connect via my first generation apple airport w/ wep with a
line like this in my /etc/dhclient.conf:

   "media DS/11Mbps ssid 'foo net' nwkey 0x1213141516"

I was unable to connect to an even older airport that was using wep
(it was also "hidden").

I applied your patches (cleanly), and saw an '11b rates' line when I
rebooted and kldloaded the module, but was unable to connect to either

Backing out the changes made things work again.

I never see a signal strength (as measured by the gnome wireless link
monitor applet) of more than 30%, even sitting right next to the
access point).  If I boot into windows, it shows 100%, and if I insert
an orinocco card, the gnome applet shows 100% for wi0.

I'm looking forward to trying out newer versions, although I need wep
for my day-to-day work (I can set up a temp. test network though).


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