Frequent disconnections of wireless streaming client

  • I'm using pfsense on Alix 2D3 with a wireless MiniPCI-NIC from Gigabyte (atheros based chip) and I'm really satisfied with this router!

    Some weeks ago I connected a streaming client and internet radio (Denon CEOL) to the WLAN and since then I'm struggeling with random disconnects of this device. Even if the server (minidlna) is located in the same LAN (running on a Linux-box), the client disconnects after a few minutes. If connected via cable or to an AVM Fritzbox, operated as access point only on the same LAN,  everything is running flawlessly. So the problem seems to be the WLAN on the Alix/pfsense side.

    What I've tried:

    • set to a fixed channel with low traffic (there at least 16 other wlans around)
    • allow / disallow BSS intra
    • switched WME on/off
    • set to 54g only
    • tried different OFMD protection modes
    • replaced the network card (Wistron CM9, atheros based)
    • removed the wlan-lan bridge and configured the wlan as a separate network
    • started with a fresh configuration from scratch

    The connection holds for a few minutes (about 300 to 600 kbps only, depending on the source) and then suddenly drops. Then the client doesn't even respond to a ping for a few seconds to minutes which could mean, that it is disconnected completely, and not only the stream is interrupted. Unfortunately, neither the logfiles nor dmesg on pfsense shows anything which could help to further isolate the problem. I've checked the wireless throughput with other devices and the WLAN seems to be almost stable, with transfer rates up to 36mbit, with some drops in the speed now and then, but no disconnections or interruption.

    Security is WPA/Preshared key, key rotation is already increased to 14400/86400.

    Does someone has an idea how to solve the problem?
    Thank you for your time!

  • Finally, after some months, I've found a solution:
    The tick 'Persist common settings' in the WLAN-settings should be checked…

    Haven't found any explanation what this setting really does, but it solved the problem.
    Since then, the Denon client runs flawlessly.

    I've observed with tcpdump (listening on ath0_wlan0 interface of the pfsense), that now the size of the IP packages is variable, before it was always 1460...

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