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 From:  Jim Thompson <jim at netgate dot com>
 To:  David Courtney <blixel at gmail dot com>
 Cc:  m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch
 Subject:  Re: [m0n0wall] m0n0wall 1.2b# terrible wireless throughput
 Date:  Fri, 25 Mar 2005 17:38:21 -1000
On Mar 25, 2005, at 3:50 PM, David Courtney wrote:

> Since the newest betas of m0n0walll are running on FreeBSD 5.3, I
> decided to buy an 802.11b/g Mini PCI card from netgate.com so I could
> finally join the land of 54Mbps wireless.

(and we thank you for your business).

> However, nothing is going right for me and I'm wondering if someone
> can offer some advice.
>
> The new Mini PCI card got here today and I've been messing with it for
> hours and hours.  The first thing I did was download the 1.2b7
> m0n0wall firmware and upgrade my Soekris net4801.  After it was done,
> I shut it down and unplugged everything.  I installed the new MiniPCI
> card netgate and then powered it back up.

Note that netgate ships 1.2b6 on WRAP boards with these same radios.  
I'm seeing just under 20Mbps throughput
when close-enough to sustain a 48Mbps/54Mbps connection, and the WRAP 
board is out of CPU there for some reason
that I've not found (yet).

> Since then, my wireless has been virtually unusable.  The signal
> quality to my wireless stations is all over the place and they
> frequently drop connection.  I can't even transfer the smallest of
> files without a dropped connection.  When the transfer is actually
> working, I get as much as 17Mbps according to the traffic graph, but
> it doesn't last for more than 10 seconds before it drops to under
> 1Mbps, or drops connection completely.
>
> I tried putting changing channels even though the channel I had been
> using with my 802.11b MiniPCI card from netgate.com was working just
> fine.
>
> After spending literally my entire day on this problem, I finally gave
> up and put my old 802.11b card back in.  With my old card back in, I
> decided to keep the beta firmware on the system.  But I quickly
> changed my mind on that because I noticed file transfers were only
> 900Kbps.  But at least they were sustained.  No drop outs.

I'd say you've got a local adjacent/alternate channel interference 
issue.   Try finding the source, and if its 802.11-based,
use the *same* channel.   let us know the results, please.

Also, any chance you didn't quite make the u.fl connection (twice?).  I 
know it sounds unlikely.

> But since I was getting 5x that before, I decided to downgrade the
> firmware back to 1.11.  Now, with my old 802.11b card back in and with
> the 1.11 m0n0wall system, my wireless connections are again rock solid
> and I'm able to sustain a 5.5Mbps file transfer indefinitely.  (Tested
> with several large ISO images.)
>
> So that's my story.  Can anyone help?  Suggestions?
>
> Why is this 802.11g card so unstable?  It drops constantly.
>
> Why is m0n0wall 1.2b7 only giving me 900Kbps with my old 802.11b card
> when m0n0wall 1.11 gives me 5.5Mbps?

I have yet to try 1.2b7.  Maybe later tonight though.

jim