Ath picking random channels



  • from the config:
                            <if>ath0</if>
                            <wireless><standard>11g</standard>
                                    <mode>hostap</mode>
                                    <protmode>off</protmode>
                                    <ssid>Bad Nook</ssid>
                                    <channel>1</channel>

    from this boot:
            ssid "Bad Nook" channel 2 (2417 MHz 11g) bssid 00:0f:cb:af:eb:cf

    from last boot:
            ssid "Bad Nook" channel 13 (2472 MHz 11g) bssid 00:0f:cb:af:eb:cf

    uh. any hints?</wireless>



  • Is it possible that you have set the channel settings to auto in the interface config?



  • @UrbanSk:

    Is it possible that you have set the channel settings to auto in the interface config?

    it's set to channel 1, not auto (and that's reflected in the config snippet i included). i can screenshot if you'd like to see the GUI showing same, but, it should be 1, and instead it's…. picking random channels.

    if i make any change and "apply" it goes back to 1, but that's not very helpful.



  • related to persisting common wifi settings across interface changes?



  • still reproducible. i have "persist common settings" enabled.



  • just me, no one else seeing this?



  • still happening, and it's kind of maddening. is there a log i should be looking at of the config file parsing? simply reloading the config with no changes fixes the issue.


  • Netgate Administrator

    That's a bit odd. What wifi hardware are you running? Could it be a firmware problem? What snapshot are you running?
    My own ath adapter sticks stubbornly to channel 8. I'm running 13/05/2011 snapshot.

    [2.0-RC2][root@pfsense.fire.box]/root(4): sysctl dev.ath.0.%desc
    dev.ath.0.%desc: Atheros 2413
    
    

    Steve



  • @stephenw10:

    That's a bit odd. What wifi hardware are you running? Could it be a firmware problem? What snapshot are you running?
    My own ath adapter sticks stubbornly to channel 8. I'm running 13/05/2011 snapshot.

    [2.0-RC2][root@pfsense.fire.box]/root(4): sysctl dev.ath.0.%desc
    dev.ath.0.%desc: Atheros 2413
    
    

    Steve

    dev.ath.0.%desc: Atheros 5212

    this is 2.0-RC2 updated last week, however, it occurred with an april snapshot of some date before that as well.
    the kernel is no longer custom as the axe patch has again been integrated.


  • Netgate Administrator

    Hmmm, OK.
    Well I wonder what is causing it to change channel then? I certainly seems that an 'auto' setting somewhere is a likely culprit. What does it think it's set to at the CLI:

    [2.0-RC2][root@pfsense.fire.box]/root(3): ifconfig ath0_wlan0
    ath0_wlan0: flags=8843 <up,broadcast,running,simplex,multicast>metric 0 mtu 1500
            ether 00:11:f5:ee:41:8b
            inet6 fe80::211:f5ff:feee:418b%ath0_wlan0 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x11
            inet 192.168.10.1 netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast 192.168.10.255
            nd6 options=3 <performnud,accept_rtadv>media: IEEE 802.11 Wireless Ethernet autoselect mode 11g <hostap>status: running
            ssid Area51net channel 6 (2437 MHz 11g) bssid 00:11:f5:ee:41:8b
            regdomain ETSI country GB ecm authmode WPA1+WPA2/802.11i
            privacy MIXED deftxkey 3 AES-CCM 2:128-bit AES-CCM 3:128-bit
            txpower 30 scanvalid 60 protmode OFF burst -apbridge dtimperiod 1 -dfs</hostap></performnud,accept_rtadv></up,broadcast,running,simplex,multicast> 
    

    Steve



  • @stephenw10:

    Hmmm, OK.
    Well I wonder what is causing it to change channel then? I certainly seems that an 'auto' setting somewhere is a likely culprit. What does it think it's set to at the CLI:

    [2.0-RC2][root@pfsense.fire.box]/root(3): ifconfig ath0_wlan0
    ath0_wlan0: flags=8843 <up,broadcast,running,simplex,multicast>metric 0 mtu 1500
            ether 00:11:f5:ee:41:8b
            inet6 fe80::211:f5ff:feee:418b%ath0_wlan0 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x11
            inet 192.168.10.1 netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast 192.168.10.255
            nd6 options=3 <performnud,accept_rtadv>media: IEEE 802.11 Wireless Ethernet autoselect mode 11g <hostap>status: running
            ssid Area51net channel 6 (2437 MHz 11g) bssid 00:11:f5:ee:41:8b
            regdomain ETSI country GB ecm authmode WPA1+WPA2/802.11i
            privacy MIXED deftxkey 3 AES-CCM 2:128-bit AES-CCM 3:128-bit
            txpower 30 scanvalid 60 protmode OFF burst -apbridge dtimperiod 1 -dfs</hostap></performnud,accept_rtadv></up,broadcast,running,simplex,multicast> 
    

    Steve

    on this boot it thought:
            ssid "Bad Nook" channel 13 (2472 MHz 11g) bssid 00:0f:cb:af:eb:cf

    i assume something is defaulting to auto, but that's not what the GUI shows, and it doesn't explain why just reloading the existing config with no changes fixes it.


  • Netgate Administrator

    Ah so if you backup and then restore your config.xml then it will stay on the correct channel?

    What snapshot are you running? It sounds like maybe a file permission problem.
    Could be worth reinstalling if you haven't tried that already and you haven't made any complex alterations.

    Steve



  • thing is, it happened with the last snapshot i had, too, several months earlier, so i can't imagine upgrading to a newer snapshot will fix it. but it's not immediately obvious how to get the snapshot date from the cli, and at the moment i can't access the gui.

    i could wipe and reinstall. but that's when this started; the previous (before the wipe) worked fine.


  • Netgate Administrator

    Hmm, OK I agree it's unlikely to help then.  :-
    For future reference:

    
    [2.0-RC2][root@pfsense.fire.box]/root(1): uname -a
    FreeBSD pfsense.fire.box 8.1-RELEASE-p3 FreeBSD 8.1-RELEASE-p3 #0: Fri May 13 23:16:51 EDT 2011     sullrich@FreeBSD_8.0_pfSense_2.0-snaps.pfsense.org:/usr/obj.pfSense/usr/pfSensesrc/src/sys/pfSense_wrap.8.i386  i386
    
    

    Steve



  • mine was from may 16, by the uname method, which i ha considered but wasn't certain of the veracity of.



  • @stephenw10:

    Ah so if you backup and then restore your config.xml then it will stay on the correct channel?

    oh, i missed this. i don't even need to restore. i can just go to the gui, make no change, "apply" and reloading the config that's already there will fix it.


  • Netgate Administrator

    Yet at boot time, when it presumably reads and applies that same config, it's coming up on a random channel.
    Are there any errors in the logs like it's failing to set the channel? Perhaps the wifi hardware is still initialising at that point and can't be set.  :-\

    Steve



  • well, i'd expect it to not have its SSID right either, in that case. but everything is right including the WEP key. just, and only, not the channel.

    the log shows that ath0 is the first interface loaded on the system, before either ethernet is. it is probed 29 seconds before the log shows:
    Jun 12 22:49:35 rtr check_reload_status: Reloading filter


  • Netgate Administrator

    This is now pure speculation….
    The ath driver supports many hardware configurations. Some are better supported than others. The ath driver provides an interface to setup the hardware that offers all the options available however because of hardware support some options may not be fully functional. For example there is an option to alter the regulatory domain of the radio but (as of 2006!) the code was not there for the 5212.

    Perhaps, since changing the channel is an actual hardware change, it is not able to set the channel correctly but does configure the ssid and security. You'd hope it would through up an error. You'd also expect other people to be having a problem.  :-\

    Steve



  • thing is, this ath hardware worked fine with every previous snapshot until i reinstalled in may. so unless upstream broke it, that seems unlikely.



  • @shadow:

    thing is, this ath hardware worked fine with every previous snapshot until i reinstalled in may. so unless upstream broke it, that seems unlikely.

    Nothing upstream has changed in ath since a year ago (RELENG_8_1 hasn't changed), and nothing in our wireless code has changed in months. But intermittent issues are the norm for some people with wireless for unknown reasons.



  • i don't suspect the wireless hardware; i suspect the config being written to it is wrong. i guess i need to modify the scripts to log what config is actually set to confirm that.


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