Does pfSense support Atheros AR928x now?



  • Hi, guys, I'm thinking to DIY a pfSense wirless router, but hesitating for what wirless card I should have. Described by this page: (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AojFUXcbH0ROdHgwYkFHbkRUdV9hVWljVWl5SXkxbFE&hl=en#gid=0) the Atheros looks like has the best supported, but AR521x is too old to be found from market. I'm thinking to have a AR928x, which is supported by FreeBSD from 9.0(https://wiki.freebsd.org/dev/ath_hal(4)/HardwareSupport). But I also saw some people had complained it hasn't been fully supported, especially for n mode, from this discussion: (https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=47103.0) Now I'm very confused is it a good idea to have an AR928x? Or if it doesn't work, what is the correct one?



  • Not really a development issue. Anyway, I have been using an AR928x card successfully for a year or so. It's a half mini-PCIe card. It doesn't run in N-mode, but it should when pfSense 2.2 is released.

    Plenty of other people use them too, if you search the forums.



  • would workaround like this http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2032357 done on Ubuntu be possible with FreeBSD?

    Or this patch (https://dev.openwrt.org/export/32952/trunk/package/mac80211/patches/403-ath_regd_optional.patch) is "linux-only"?

    If not, could you patch the pfSense Atheros driver with it?



  • What issues are you seeing shaqan? As I said, I've been successfully using AR9280 for quite some time now and others do too.

    Once pfSense 2.2 is released, expect much better support too, given all the work that has gone into FreeBSD 10 Atheros support.



  • for one, I would like to use "N". That band is not so utterly occupied as "G" in city conditions.
    Chip does support it. Pic made in linux

    Never had any luck running "N" with pfSense.

    Other issue is "beacon stuck" error messages spamming syslog and box eventually becoming unresponsive with pfSense 2.1.x

    Solutions offered here, did not have any positive effect. At the moment running Ubuntu (Zentyal) because pfSense lacks "N" and does not remain stable with WLAN working in AP mode.

    Tried to get pfSense sources (so I could put together my own, not-so-stripped-down solution) from git.pfsense.org but ran into errors even after ssh seemed to authenticate me. So I gave up and went back to linux. I don't much like it, Zentyal's WebUI is quite horrible compared to pfSense's but the box stays up.



  • pfSense 2.2 will have support for 802.11n.

    I also had the stuck beacon thing, but it's (mostly) resolved now. I forget how I did it, but changing some of the interface settings and maybe some system tunables did it. It happens very occasionally but not enough to be a problem.

    802.11g is fine for me but I'm not in a super busy area and only have less than 10 devices connecting at one time.

    Rather than go to the effort of trying to shoehorn 802.11n into existing pfSense, wait for 2.2. It shouldn't be too long.



  • 2.2 is not even out of "Alpha" stage yet. So it's still going to be quite a waiting ahead of us. But glad to hear that it's going to support 802.11n

    I got the beacon issue "mostly resolved" too. Instead of crashing the box in every 5-6h, it would stay up couple of days. It's still imperfect :(


  • Netgate Administrator

    Stuck beacon log spamming can be greatly reduced by setting the sysctl hw.ath.bstuck to something higher. I have it set to 8 in the System: Advanced: System Tunables: table. This is much less of a problem now that wireless have their own logs though.

    Steve