Update: Which atheros based mini PCIe card?



  • Update: Looking for mini pcie instead of pcie.

    Which atheros based mini PCIe card can you guys recommend? Card should be well available and of course as cheap as possible ;-) the linked spreadsheet in the wiki only includes one concrete and also quite expensive d-link card. thanks for any hint :-)



  • Just installed a Atheros AR5B95 in the firewall today. No problems being recognized and seems to be working fine in 2.1. I bought from Ebay.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/400518805326?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649



  • Thanks, I meanwhile got one based on 9280 / AR5BHB92, which is recognized as ath0. Yet didn't have the chance to test further.



  • I also have a AR5BHB92/AR9280 mini pcie card, it has been working fine. Aside from being stuck in g mode… But I don't depend on wireless much, so the 54mb is not a big issue.



  • Update: I had some problems with the 9280, especially when running as AP and in infrastructure mode at once. Switched to 9287, everything working fine now. Would have expected the 9287 to be newer (maybe it also is) and therefore less good supported, but it's the opposite. I don't have the link at hand, but on the freebsd ath driver page, one can see that for the 9287 support is stable, for 9280 it's only something like  good or so.



  • @srynoname:

    Update: I had some problems with the 9280, especially when running as AP and in infrastructure mode at once.

    I am not sure if this thread is still alive but would like to contribute anyway. I am runing an Ubiquiti SR71-E in a Soekris with pfSense 2.0.3. The card is based on an Atheros AR9280 chip:
    http://www.mini-tft.de/xtc-neu/media/products/145956_sr71_e_ds.pdf

    Even in boot log an AR99280 chip is noticed  while there are datasheets denoting the card based on an AR9220 chip:
    http://varia-store.com/media/products/0367208001348726908.pdf

    It's working fine in access point mode - of course currently at a/g speed only. This card, however, does not belong to the cheapest available.

    Regards,
    Peter



  • thanks for bumping this up ;-)

    For the records, I also have to stress on one thing: I have 2 pfsense 2.1 systems, each running a 9280. One only as AP, the other one as AP + station. Running only as AP is not a problem. Running AP + station at once is a problem, as well as running only in station is a problem. So one can conclude: AP is not a problem, station is, often ending up with ath0: device timeout.
    I'd also like to update, that with 9287 I have the same problem (only tested as station).

    I replaced the card intended for station by an external router, but I am not really glad with that solution. I opened a bounty on http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,68227.0.html

    Update: BTW I got my AR9280 from ebay for 22 EUR (http://www.ebay.de/itm/Qualcomm-Atheros-AR9280-802-11-a-b-g-n-Dual-WLAN-mPCIe-AR5BHB92-Linux-Neu-OVP-/121169489864?pt=DE_Computing_Interne_Netzwerkkarten&hash=item1c3643afc8).



  • @srynoname:

    For the records, I also have to stress on one thing: I have 2 pfsense 2.1 systems, each running a 9280. One only as AP, the other one as AP + station. Running only as AP is not a problem. Running AP + station at once is a problem, as well as running only in station is a problem. So one can conclude: AP is not a problem, station is, often ending up with ath0: device timeout.
    I'd also like to update, that with 9287 I have the same problem (only tested as station).

    Well, up to now I've no experience with station mode with any of my cards. Interesting to me is that you're running the cards (AR5413) under pfSense 2.1. I'm having strange problems with another Atheros based card on an Alix: Even on a freshly flashed compact flash card I have following symptoms under pfSense 2.1 that I do not have under pfSense 2.0.3:

    1.) Access point (AP)  appears as unencrypted to usual sniffers though having activated authentication against a radius server (IEEE802.1X Authentication). However, radius authentication seems to work leaving me in a situation where I no longer fully trust my AP.

    2.) The card does not write any logging information anymore to /var/log/wireless.log making it hard to find any error.

    3.) Any configuration change is leaving the AP as "down" which can be activated only after a reboot (warm boot is sufficient).

    I suspect these symtoms may be related to the fact that I operating the Wifi card in cloned mode giving two interfaces: One AP has IEEE802.1X Authentication while the other one is operating unencrypted with authentication against a captive portal.

    @srynoname:

    I replaced the card intended for station by an external router, but I am not really glad with that solution. I opened a bounty on http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,68227.0.html

    Wow, the bounty is very current - from yesterday :). I'll try to keep track on it.

    @srynoname:

    Update: BTW I got my AR9280 from ebay for 22 EUR (http://www.ebay.de/itm/Qualcomm-Atheros-AR9280-802-11-a-b-g-n-Dual-WLAN-mPCIe-AR5BHB92-Linux-Neu-OVP-/121169489864?pt=DE_Computing_Interne_Netzwerkkarten&hash=item1c3643afc8).

    Your offer is half the price of the Ubiquiti  :)

    Originally I've intended to post this issue to a new pfSense 2.1 related thread but now I feel it's as well positioned in the wireless subforum. I've partly described this issue besides others yesterday under http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,66592.msg373349.html#msg373349.
    Have you found any wireless isues after upgrading to version 2.1?

    Regards,
    Peter



  • @pvoigt:

    Interesting to me is that you're running the cards (AR5413) under pfSense 2.1.

    Hmm, where does the AR5413 suddenly come from?

    @pvoigt:

    2.) The card does not write any logging information anymore to /var/log/wireless.log making it hard to find any error.

    I just checked this and do not have this problem (for my AP mode only pfsense).

    @pvoigt:

    3.) Any configuration change is leaving the AP as "down" which can be activated only after a reboot (warm boot is sufficient).

    had the same problem. check if your common wireless settings are the same as the ones for your AP. I think I had this problem when common settings had explicitely b mode and the concrete AP settings had explicitely g mode. make sure both settings match. also monitor the console output.

    @pvoigt:

    I suspect these symtoms may be related to the fact that I operating the Wifi card in cloned mode giving two interfaces: One AP has IEEE802.1X Authentication while the other one is operating unencrypted with authentication against a captive portal.

    Possible. I feel that the driver support isn't really good for more complex things like cloned interfaces, or stations etc ):

    @srynoname:

    Update: BTW I got my AR9280 from ebay for 22 EUR (http://www.ebay.de/itm/Qualcomm-Atheros-AR9280-802-11-a-b-g-n-Dual-WLAN-mPCIe-AR5BHB92-Linux-Neu-OVP-/121169489864?pt=DE_Computing_Interne_Netzwerkkarten&hash=item1c3643afc8).

    @pvoigt:

    Your offer is half the price of the Ubiquiti  :)

    I didn't check the specs, but yours is marketed with a high transmit power. But that's probably the only difference, so depending on the use case, one might actually really save some money :-)

    @pvoigt:

    Have you found any wireless isues after upgrading to version 2.1?

    I think I started using wireless directly with 2.1. I had prolbems updating to 2.0.3 in general though and therefore used 2.1 with a replaced configuration file (like done in http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,1998.0.html).



  • @srynoname:

    Hmm, where does the AR5413 suddenly come from?

    Sorry, my post is really confusing. I mean I have a second backup and test pfSense machine which is Alix based with an Atheros AR5413 chip based wifi card. This card is a miniPCI card and not a miniPCIe one - therefore slightly off-topic. My pfSense 2.1 experiences are restricted to this system only. After many problems with upgrading on this system I'm currently not yet willing to upgrade my Soekris/Atheros AR9280 system.

    @srynoname:

    had the same problem. check if your common wireless settings are the same as the ones for your AP. I think I had this problem when common settings had explicitely b mode and the concrete AP settings had explicitely g mode. make sure both settings match. also monitor the console output.

    Yes, common settings are exactly the same on both clones. According to my experiences it is not possible to apply different settings, e.g. modes on both clones at all. I have to investigate this in more detail. It's a pity as my configuration is working fine under 2.0.3. It's so time consuming to analyse such kind of erros. Nevertheless, I'm going to study console output when these errors  happen. Currently I can state only that there are no wireless related errors when booting.

    @srynoname:

    Possible. I feel that the driver support isn't really good for more complex things like cloned interfaces, or stations etc ):

    I share this feeling. And even worse: Wireless stability seems to have decreased with version 2.1. I'm still hoping my feeling will turn out to be wrong :)

    @srynoname:

    I think I started using wireless directly with 2.1. I had prolbems updating to 2.0.3 in general though and therefore used 2.1 with a replaced configuration file (like done in http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,1998.0.html).

    Interesting link and tricky. However, you will just end with a 2.1 and an imported configuration of a previous release. Why did you not boot a fresh 2.1 image and import the old settings? On what version is your config based that you have incorporated into the 2.1 image? Did I get something wrong?

    Regards,
    Peter



  • @pvoigt:

    Yes, common settings are exactly the same on both clones.

    I didn't mean the same settings at both clones, but the common settings one can set for wireless in general and the one you set for each clone. make sure there are no differences between general settings and settings for the clones.

    @pvoigt:

    Interesting link and tricky. However, you will just end with a 2.1 and an imported configuration of a previous release. Why did you not boot a fresh 2.1 image and import the old settings? On what version is your config based that you have incorporated into the 2.1 image? Did I get something wrong?

    I wouldn't have had access to a fresh 2.1 installation due to my network configuration, so I decided to go this way. Also the "live update" made problems for me, so I had to flash a new image anyway, so I directly included the configuration. No, you did not get anything wrong. It should be the same as importing the exisiting configuration.



  • @srynoname:

    @pvoigt:

    Yes, common settings are exactly the same on both clones.

    I didn't mean the same settings at both clones, but the common settings one can set for wireless in general and the one you set for each clone. make sure there are no differences between general settings and settings for the clones.

    I suppose we mean the same: When I refer to "common settings" I refer to the section in pfSense 2.0.3 which is denoted as "Common wireless configuration - Settings apply to all wireless networks on ath0." Exactly this section is the same on both clones.

    @srynoname:

    @pvoigt:

    Interesting link and tricky. However, you will just end with a 2.1 and an imported configuration of a previous release. Why did you not boot a fresh 2.1 image and import the old settings? On what version is your config based that you have incorporated into the 2.1 image? Did I get something wrong?

    I wouldn't have had access to a fresh 2.1 installation due to my network configuration, so I decided to go this way. Also the "live update" made problems for me, so I had to flash a new image anyway, so I directly included the configuration. No, you did not get anything wrong. It should be the same as importing the exisiting configuration.

    Thanks for clarifying this. What pfSense version is your incorporated configuration based on?

    Regards,
    Peter



  • @pvoigt:

    Thanks for clarifying this. What pfSense version is your incorporated configuration based on?

    It was 2.0.3. As I remember I did all the wireless stuff after "upgrading" to 2.1.



  • @srynoname:

    @pvoigt:

    Thanks for clarifying this. What pfSense version is your incorporated configuration based on?

    It was 2.0.3. As I remember I did all the wireless stuff after "upgrading" to 2.1.

    Ah thanks. This means you did not have any wireless configuration under 2.0.3.

    My assumption is that conversion to new configuration format might have broken my wireless setup. As soon as I've some time left I will delete my wireless devices and recreate them under 2.1. Maybe that helps. I will post my experiences.

    Regards,
    Peter



  • Today I've deleted both wireless clones on my Alix running a fresh image of pfSense 2.1. My hope was to get my wireless setup running again as it is running under pfSense 2.0.3. As expected all firewall rules of the wireless clones have been deleted after deletion of the wireless interfaces.

    Subsequently I re-created two wireless clones ath0 and ath0_wlan1 with logical devices names WLAN and WLAN2, respectively. Surprisingly, both clones showed up immediately as expected for the first time under pfSense 2.1: WLAN with WPA2 Enterprise and WLAN2 unencrypted with authentication against captive portal. In a next step I imported all firewall rules from my 2.0.3 configuration to re-gain my wireless firewall rules. This step was also successful. Both wireless clones were still working as expected.

    And I could even start RDD and produce some data for the first time under pfSense 2.1. Even after a warm boot RDD did not show any boot errors and continued to produce data as expected. This is the same with the wireless setup.

    Then I halted the system to continue further testing in the evening. Unfortunately, after a cold reoot all previously described problems re-appeared. The wireless subsystem does not produce any logging data anymore, both access points appear an unencrypted to sniffers and connection with wireless clients is not possible. On the console there are no messages - nor errors neither anything else. Even several wam and cold reboots could not bring the wireless system up again. The interfaces remained in a state where they are found by sniffers but are unusable by wireless clients.

    In order to exclude any hardware errors I switched compact flash card and rebooted with pfSense 2.0.3. The wireless setup immediately worked again as expected.

    This whole process was time consuming with the frustrating result, that I cannot use my wireless card anymore with pfSense 2.1 which is working fine and very stable under pfSense 2.0.3. It's an Atheros AR5413.

    I' wondering if anybody has similar problems with wireless setup under pfSense 2.1. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

    Regards,
    Peter

    PS: Maybe it's becoming time to open a new thread as it's slowly driving off-topic.



  • I've just opened a new thread on all my pfSense 2.1 related issues:
    http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,68531.0.html


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