Can't hotplug device; don't know how to determine s/n ratio quickly
I've been messing with a rtl8187 USB adapter and pfsense and have a couple nagging issues.
The device needs to be connected at boot and never disconnected, or else a reboot is required. The module seems to load just fine, but pfsense doesn't appear to be smart enough to reconfigure the device. The urtw0_wlan0 interface isn't created, either, IIRC.
This is a problem mostly because I use the same adapter with other machines to do things like reposition the antenna if the signal drops. It would help if I could get the signal info easily. Thus far, not being familiar with FreeBSD, the only method I know is:
ifconfig urtw0_wlan0 scan
which channel hops and is atrociously slow.
In Linux I just use iwconfig when in managed mode (or better yet airodump in monitor mode) and I quickly get those stats.
If you are on pfSense 1.2.3, there is no _wlan0 interface - that is on 2.0 (FreeBSD 8.x based).
Either way, in the GUI, Status > Wireless should show signal strengths and I think there should be a wireless graph under the RRD graphs as well.
The signal strength stats aren't updated when one reloads the page. They're the same stats as the scan command. It's worthless for my purposes.
I'm looking for a method to check the signal of a particular essid (or at least channel) live. I do not need a web interface for it.
I'm not aware of any other way to check signal levels under FreeBSD than via ifconfig. I don't think wlandebug helps at all with signal strengths, and I don't think any of the driver sysctls do either.