Atheros HAL in latest snapshot



  • Hi,
    pfSense build 11-Oct-08 did't detect my wireless card (AR5416 based card).
    dmsg shows me that ath_hal is 0.9.20.3.
    But according to the screenshot in this message http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=11404.msg63237
    the version of ath_hal in earliest 1.3 build was 0.10.5.6.
    Any reason why you return back to ath_hal 0.9.20.3 ?



  • Because as you can see in that thread, that HAL does not work on FreeBSD 7.0. It was reverted to the functioning 0.9.20.3 included with 7.0, the person posting there happened to catch a snapshot where we were trying to make that HAL work.



  • Will we see support for the AR5416 any time soon?



  • Will we see support for the AR5416 any time soon?

    Ditto.  I'm considering playing with the MadWiFi HAL just to get the AR5416 chipset working….

    I might consider going back to one of the 1.2.1 RC1 snapshots that still uses the FreeBSD6 tree just to check out ath_hal 0.10.5.6.

    Regards.



  • @2low4zero:

    I might consider going back to one of the 1.2.1 RC1 snapshots that still uses the FreeBSD6 tree just to check out ath_hal 0.10.5.6.

    That won't work.  It only works on newer, non-stable FreeBSD releases.



  • @cmb:

    That won't work.  It only works on newer, non-stable FreeBSD releases.

    That's funny.  You just said non-stable and FreeBSD in the same sentence… but I knew what you meant.  Back in the day, when winamp.com was hosted on a FreeBSD cluster (circa 4.3 through 4.9), even the most experimental FreeBSD releases were more stable than the other "options" out there for an OS.  There are three caveats to go with that though;

    1.  I turned a blind eye to the 5 tree, 6 was better, both were revolutionary rather than evolutionary.
    2.  I've tried to donate to the FreeBSD dev guys, even talking to Christian at one point,
        they never seemed to get back to me.  It was like my mail was being eaten at one end or the other.
    3.  Notice that FreeBSD 7.1 just went RC1.  I have high hopes....

    Okay, that said, I had some luck with card recognition at the OS level hacking the MadWiFi driver to accomodate the AR5416 chipset using the 5413 driver, but the UI diddling is beyond me.  I guess I'll just wait for the 802.11N stuff to mature.  I follow the 1.2.1-RC updates waaaaaay too closely to be doing any custom work just for the sake of one card.

    Just for the record, I'm playing around with the Encore Wireless-N PCI card (RaLink RT2860 chipset) and the TP-Link Wireless-N PCI card (AR5416 chipset).  For that matter, I'm still play with, and customizing, an old WG x700 running 2.0-A-A.  And I'm having fun doing it.

    So here's my last question on the subject;  I've heard some chatter about HAL 0.9.30.3, as opposed to 0.9.20.3, which MAY work (and still be problematic) with some of the newer chipsets.  Anyone heard more on a newer version of HAL yet?

    Thanks.



  • funny I might know you…I used to run big.rubberchicken.net on freebsd. Also known as the left coast winamp mirror. This is way before winamp 4.x pre aol days. It was also all freebsd back than as well.



  • @Accounts:

    funny I might know you…I used to run big.rubberchicken.net on freebsd. Also known as the left coast winamp mirror. This is way before winamp 4.x pre aol days. It was also all freebsd back than as well.

    You have a PM.  Actually I was talking about FreeBSD 4.x,  My WinAmp days go waaaaaay back to '96, when Justin and Tom were still fartin' around.  Those were WinAmp PRE-1.x days.

    It doesn't surprise me though (big.rubberchicken.net, that is), Gnutella was hosted on hotpoop.firehose.net (melting down in the office next to me, I might add) when it was first slashdotted, so the naming conventions kind of ring true of something Tom would appreciate.  Llama tested, llama approved.



  • I loaded up "1.2.3-PRERELEASE-TESTING-VERSION built on Fri Feb 6 15:01:53 EST 2009" on Friday afternoon and was pleased to see my AR5416 chipset recognized;

    ath0: <atheros 5416="">mem 0xf0a00000-0xf0a0ffff irq 18 at device 9.0 on pci5
    ath0: [ITHREAD]
    ath0: WARNING: using obsoleted if_watchdog interface
    ath0: Ethernet address: 00:1d:0f:fe:bc:fb
    ath0: mac 13.10 phy 8.1 radio 13.0

    with no ath_hal listed in dmesg,
    using a TP-LINK TL-WN951N PCI Wireless Adapter (18 bucks on sale at NewEgg, MiMo capable),
    although my only option available on the interface is 802.11g ht.

    48 hours later the interface has minimal errors and its working great as a G access point.

    Thanks once again for moving up the FreeBSD tree.  I know the FreeBSD team is working hard on hardware interoperability.

    So, obviously, is the PFSense team.

    Props to both teams.</atheros>



  • Yep, and thanks to Sam Leffler to pointing us to the latest Atheros bits that he backported from FreeBSD HEAD. It definitely seems to be a considerable improvement thus far. We're actually running the Atheros code that will be in FreeBSD 8, back ported to 7.1. There are companies shipping commercial APs using the same code.



  • Oh sure.  Now I feel like a heel for not mentioning Sam.  He also rocks.

    For that matter, he must have a will of iron and the patience of a corpse in dealing with Atheros and their driver code.  The quality of his code was obvious in his sanitized ath_hal code of a couple of months ago.  The man is a wireless puppet master.


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