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Woodsman 07-31-2013 05:25 PM

Keep losing wireless connection
 
Slackware 14.0. I'm using NetworkManager. Often I lose my wireless connection. Just gone. Dead. I have to reboot the laptop.

This is in my house, not some street corner chop shop. Signal strength is always 70/70 or thereabouts. I just now lost my connection and I have the laptop sitting about 4 feet from the router.

Yeah, I know about wicd. I just want to know whether there is a cure for NM. :-)

Thanks. :)

cwizardone 07-31-2013 06:38 PM

Interesting.
I've had the same problem, but with wicd.
Since I like the wicd GUI better than NetworkManager's in Xfce, I tried it again, recently, when I changed ISP. As in each time before, there were connnection problems and I went back to NetworkManager. This has been the case with two different boxes in 2 different locations with 3 different ISPs.
It has been my experience that NetworkManager does a better job of making the connection and holding on to it.

Woodsman 07-31-2013 06:44 PM

Hmm. My disconnection is right at the machine. When the disconnection occurs I can ping localhost but not my router or any other machine in the network, let alone access the web. One moment I'm connected and then I'm not. The results are much like with a cable and I pull the cable. I presume the cause is NM although I accept the cause could be the wireless drivers or the chip itself. Doesn't happen all the time but often enough to be a nuisance.

Kallaste 08-01-2013 12:06 AM

I've had the same problem with Network Manager several times on a few computers. Usually it was just NM being flukey. The last time, after weeks of dropping connections and blaming it on NM, I realized I had a bad router. I replaced it and started using wicd. Troubleshooting is a whole lot easier when you don't have multiple unstable variables. :)

Woodsman 08-01-2013 12:37 AM

The router could be part of the problem. I'm using DD-WRT. The laptop is the only wireless device on my network. If I had another wireless computer I could quickly test the second system every time the laptop dropped out. That would tend to confirm whether the router is at fault.

I agree, too many variables makes debugging more challenging.

hitest 08-01-2013 01:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Woodsman (Post 5000744)
I agree, too many variables makes debugging more challenging.

If you have a friend who has an ipod, tablet, smart phone, or laptop they could try connecting to your router. That may help you to determine if your router is having issues.

volkerdi 08-01-2013 03:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Woodsman (Post 5000744)
The router could be part of the problem. I'm using DD-WRT. The laptop is the only wireless device on my network. If I had another wireless computer I could quickly test the second system every time the laptop dropped out. That would tend to confirm whether the router is at fault.

DD-WRT was flaking on me all the time... or at least I had similar things happening here, and after switching to Tomato the problems went away.

H_TeXMeX_H 08-01-2013 05:15 AM

I agree that it might be dd-wrt. I stayed at a hotel where they used dd-wrt and the wifi connection was very unstable, exactly like you describe. I didn't know about Tomato, but it doesn't seem to work on as many devices.

I also know of:
http://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/start
that supports more routers.

mrclisdue 08-01-2013 06:19 AM

I went for over a year with a particular netbook's wireless randomly, but regularly dropping, and thus requiring a reboot - the wireless would shut right off; rfkill, etc wouldn't help. I switched from wicd to NM, and the connection *seemed* to be slightly more consistent, but it would still drop.

This was on an open network, wireless N.

And then I read somewhere amongst the hundreds of google snippets I had scoured over the months that wireless N *required* the use of wpa2 (sorry, can't provide exact links...) and since then the issue has vanished (12+ months.)

cheers,

bimboleum 08-01-2013 10:43 AM

Firmware??
 
Hey,
I had a similar problem with my W530 ... I too have a DD-WRT router/access point. I run multiple
laptops to this router with no problems. My W530 problem went away when I upgraded the firmware load
from the Intel site, so if you have an Intel wifi chip in there, you might try getting the latest firmware
from Intel ... by the by, I am running kernel 3.8.0 with Slackware 14.

cheers
pete

pete hilton
saruman@ruvolo-hilton.org

Woodsman 08-01-2013 03:21 PM

The router is a classic WRT54GL 1.1. I forget: Broadcom chip?

Quote:

DD-WRT was flaking on me all the time... or at least I had similar things happening here, and after switching to Tomato the problems went away.
I've read similar reports through the years. I've been loathe to switch to Tomato because of the work I did to customize DD-WRT the way I want. OTOH, I never had problems with wired. As this is my first laptop and wireless device, I admit the problem could be PEBKAC as much as anything. :)

Now that I wrote that, I seldom leave the router on 24/7, typically powering down everything at night. I suspect the daily "restart" keeps DD-WRT in line. I have of late left the router on for a day or two. I'll have to note whether the laptop signal loss occurs during those periods. If so then that might point fingers at the router.

Perhaps I ought to set a cron job to perform a reboot at 4AM or so.

Quote:

And then I read somewhere amongst the hundreds of google snippets I had scoured over the months that wireless N *required* the use of wpa2 (sorry, can't provide exact links...) and since then the issue has vanished (12+ months.)
Currently I'm not using any encryption at all because my location is far off the road and beaten path. Plus the router is in the basement, which means rapid signal deterioration outside the immediate house area. I'm not concerned with war driving because nobody can grab the signal unless they drive into the woods to the house. :)

mrclisdue 08-01-2013 04:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Woodsman (Post 5001139)
...Currently I'm not using any encryption at all because my location is far off the road and beaten path. Plus the router is in the basement, which means rapid signal deterioration outside the immediate house area. I'm not concerned with war driving because nobody can grab the signal unless they drive into the woods to the house....

Is it wireless N, tho'? Which leads to my point: I was running an open network for similar reasons (there's no one here but us...) but it wasn't until I used encryption (because I read somewhere that it was *necessary* with wireless N) that my wireless ceased its random droppings....

cheers,

cwizardone 08-01-2013 08:40 PM

It is a G band. http://support.linksys.com/en-us/sup...outers/WRT54GL

But, WPA2 encryption is still a very good idea.

I have the same router and have used dd-wrt and the linksys software and the signal quality is the same and the problems with wicd, described in an earlier post, above, are the same.

ReaperX7 08-01-2013 09:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Woodsman (Post 5001139)
The router is a classic WRT54GL 1.1. I forget: Broadcom chip?

Yeah the cause is DD-WRT. I had that same exact router and used DD-WRT with it, and that firmware, sadly though it is the best developed and supported, is next to useless for Wireless Routers. I also had a Netgear Wireless N router and it came with DD-WRT and it wouldn't even get a signal out past 10 feet.

Tomato is a much better firmware as Patrick pointed out. Heck, even the stock VxWorks based firmware that come with many routers works better.

Woodsman 08-01-2013 09:56 PM

Quote:

Yeah the cause is DD-WRT. I had that same exact router and used DD-WRT with it, and that firmware, sadly though it is the best developed and supported, is next to useless for Wireless Routers. I also had a Netgear Wireless N router and it came with DD-WRT and it wouldn't even get a signal out past 10 feet.
What hardware/firmware do you now use for wireless?

Maybe I need to get a newer router. I read some reviews a while back, maybe a year ago, and I seem to recall that many of the stock vendor firmwares got decent reviews.

Or perhaps keep the WRT54GL for all of my wired connections and add a new router that has excellent reviews for wireless.

Edit: I just thought about something. Not to discount the DD-WRT possibility, but I have two cell phones that connect to my home phone system via bluetooth (phone system is DECT 6.0 = 1.9 GHz). My HTPC uses a wireless keyboard and mouse. I have a microwave oven. I have a bluetooth dongle on my office computer. The linear distance among all of those devices is about 25 feet max. All are possible causes of interference.


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