Wireless NICs on 7.2

Paul B. Mahol onemda at gmail.com
Fri Jul 3 08:29:29 UTC 2009

On 7/3/09, Robert Hall <rjhjr0 at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 4:14 PM, Paul B. Mahol<onemda at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> $ ifconfig ral0 list scan
>>> SSID            BSSID              CHAN RATE   S:N     INT CAPS
>>> livingroom      00:13:10:b9:e7:d6    6   54M -93:-95  100 E
>> 93 is too low.
> Paul, I really appreciate your help. I'm obviously not an expert on
> either wireless networks or radio communication in general. But I
> doubt the accuracy of the scan. First of all, there's an XP box less
> than a foot away getting a "very good" signal (according to both the
> MS and the Belkin utilities), and successfully communicating with the
> wireless network. When I move the FBSD box and put the XP box in it's
> place, the XP box continues to report a good signal and continues to
> communicate with the network.  While the XP box is reporting
> variations in rate and signal, the FBSD box reports no change.
> Secondly, when I run "ifconfig ral0 up scan", the scan hangs. It never
> completes or reports results. According to the man page, it's supposed
> to complete the scan, report the results, and exit. I have to Ctrl-C
> and run "ifconfig ral0 list scan" to get the results. So I know that
> at least part of the scan function doesn't work and I know that it's
> not detecting changes in rate and signal that are being reported by
> the XP box.

That have sense only if station is associated. Reported driver signal
is to low to be usefull.

> 1) The XP box works fine with the Linksys NIC in it.
> 2) Both the XP and FBSD boxes are Dell Optiplex GX270, so they have
> identical hardware aside from the wireless NICs.
> 3) The md5 checksum for the install CD is correct, so I should have a
> good installation of 7.2
> 4) I seem to be getting a good signal, good enough to communicate with
> the network.
> 5) Both the Belkin and the Linksys work fine in the XP box.
> 6) The FBSD box always reports the same data, regardless of changes in
> conditions.
> 7) If I move the boxes and test them in the same physical location,
> oriented in the same direction, the XP box works and the FBSD box
> doesn't.
> So my guess is that output from a scan is the result of a problem in
> the driver, and not the result of actual conditions. If I thought I
> could solve this with a high gain antenna, I'd buy one in a second.
> But at the moment I have pretty good reason to believe that the
> problem isn't signal strength. I'd still like to compile a working
> ndis driver for either the Belkin F5D7000 v.7032 or the Linksys WMP54G
> v.4.1, if that is possible, or get the ral driver to work with the
> Linksys. I'd be willing to move from 7.2 to 6.4 if anyone has had
> success with that.

I'm aware of similar problems with rum(4) driver - signal is too low
comparing to linux rt73 and ndisulator. I don't have ral(4) card
so I can not comment on that.

Alternative approach would be to explore AP settings.


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