ath and how to control wireless light

Chris Whitehouse cwhiteh at
Sat Feb 4 11:52:03 UTC 2012

On 04/02/2012 08:37, Waitman Gobble wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 6:52 AM, Chris Whitehouse<cwhiteh at>  wrote:
>> Hello
>> I have FreeBSD 9R amd64 installed on a HP G60 laptop. This machine has a
>> combined wireless switch and led. The switch turns the wifi on and off but
>> the light stays red.
>> The light is supposed to show red for wireless off and blue for wireless
>> on. I found some sysctls that control it:
>> dev.ath.0.softled: 0
>> dev.ath.0.ledpin: 3
>> dev.ath.0.ledon: 1
>> dev.ath.0.ledidle: 2700
>> softled, ledpin and ledon are all set to 0 on boot.
>> I set ledpin to 3, then to change the colour of the light I turn on
>> softled 0->1, toggle ledon and turn off softled again.
>> Can I make that sequence occur, or do something else, to make the led
>> change when the button is pressed _and_ keep in sync with whether the
>> wireless is on or off?
>> With softled=1 the light is blue with a short red flash or red with a
>> short blue flash depending on the value of ledon. Also when softled=1 the
>> light flashes in it's "opposite" colour when there is network traffic. So
>> it would probably be ok just to leave softled=1 and toggle ledon.
>> The wireless device is
>> dev.ath.0.%desc: Atheros 5424/2424.
>> I think there is a slight glitch with the on/off button, that under some
>> circumstances it doesn't turn the wifi on again, which would be much easier
>> to test if the light worked.
>> Also what is ledidle and what do different settings do?
>> Thanks
>> Chris
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> Hi Chris,
> I have an Acer Aspire D150 and the LED hasn't been lit with FreeBSD, 9-rc3,
> 9-release or 10-current  (with BroadCom and 2 Atheros cards). it did work
> with Fedora GNU/Linux 11. I did try setting in loader.conf as recommended
> to me to no avail. On one hand it was easy to get the attitude "who cares
> about the LED anyway" but on the other I'm thinking it's a simple little
> thing that's important,I guess like maybe buying a new car and it's missing
> a knob on the stereo. (?) :) I suppose it probably should work.
> Waitman Gobble
> San Jose California USA
I have another HP laptop with a Broadcomm card which has a 
button_with_light and it just works. None of the sysctl oids above occur 
though. Maybe I'll swap wireless cards between the two and see what happens.

What is the output of sysctl -a |grep led ?
You'll get lots of "enabled's" but there might be something that relates 
to led's.

I had to change ledpin from default of 0 to 3 before any of the other 
ones had any effect.

Thanks for the reply anyway.


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