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-   -   Broadcom PCI Wlan card on Alix board (

lopster 11-20-2010 05:29 AM

Broadcom PCI Wlan card on Alix board

Seems like a nice forum, first post here :)

I'm having trouble setting up new Alix ( system with a wireless card. I got the card from an old working Buffalo AirStation router. The card is a WLI-MPCI-G54 and is using Broadcom BCM4306 chip. I've installed Debian on the system.


boat:~# uname -a
Linux boat 2.6.26-2-486 #1 Thu Sep 16 18:43:30 UTC 2010 i586 GNU/Linux

My goal is to make a wireless access point by using hostapd authentication service. I thought it might be a good idea to verify that the wlan-card is working properly first, but it can't seem to detect my local wlan.

iwlist wlan0 scan: wlan0 No scan results

The systems seems to detect the Broadcom chip and uses the b43 driver for it. I've istalled the b43-fwcutter in order to get the firmware


boat:/lib/firmware# ls b43
a0g0bsinitvals4.fw  a0g1initvals5.fw    lp0bsinitvals13.fw  pcm5.fw
a0g0bsinitvals5.fw  a0g1initvals9.fw    lp0bsinitvals14.fw  ucode11.fw
a0g0bsinitvals9.fw  b0g0bsinitvals13.fw  lp0bsinitvals15.fw  ucode13.fw
a0g0initvals4.fw    b0g0bsinitvals4.fw  lp0initvals13.fw    ucode14.fw
a0g0initvals5.fw    b0g0bsinitvals5.fw  lp0initvals14.fw    ucode15.fw
a0g0initvals9.fw    b0g0bsinitvals9.fw  lp0initvals15.fw    ucode4.fw
a0g1bsinitvals13.fw  b0g0initvals13.fw    n0absinitvals11.fw  ucode5.fw
a0g1bsinitvals5.fw  b0g0initvals4.fw    n0bsinitvals11.fw  ucode9.fw
a0g1bsinitvals9.fw  b0g0initvals5.fw    n0initvals11.fw
a0g1initvals13.fw    b0g0initvals9.fw    pcm4.fw

I've set the interfaces file to


boat:/etc/network# cat interfaces
# This file describes the network interfaces available on your system
# and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).

# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

auto eth0 wlan0

# The primary network interface
allow-hotplug eth0
iface eth0 inet static

iface wlan0 inet dhcp

I've also installed the wireless-tools package to get the iwconfig and iwlist commands.


boat:/etc/network# iwconfig
lo        no wireless extensions.

eth0      no wireless extensions.

eth1      no wireless extensions.

wmaster0  no wireless extensions.

wlan0    IEEE 802.11  ESSID:""
          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.412 GHz  Access Point: Not-Associated
          Tx-Power=20 dBm
          Retry min limit:7  RTS thr:off  Fragment thr=2352 B
          Encryption key:off
          Link Quality:0  Signal level:0  Noise level:0
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0  Missed beacon:0

The last lines outputted by dmesg are


[  14.710180] b43-phy0: Broadcom 4306 WLAN found
[  14.758931] input: PC Speaker as /class/input/input0
[  14.774812] phy0: Selected rate control algorithm 'pid'
[  14.817042] PCSP: Timer resolution is not sufficient (4000250nS)
[  14.823082] PCSP: Make sure you have HPET and ACPI enabled.
[  14.828685] PC-Speaker initialization failed.
[  14.853216] pcspkr: probe of pcspkr failed with error -5
[  15.010537] AMD Geode RNG detected
[  15.131595] Error: Driver 'pcspkr' is already registered, aborting...
[  16.101869] Broadcom 43xx driver loaded [ Features: PMLR, Firmware-ID: FW13 ]
[  16.602118] Adding 96380k swap on /dev/hda2.  Priority:-1 extents:1 across:96380k
[  17.338626] loop: module loaded
[  18.428574] eth0: link up, 100Mbps, full-duplex, lpa 0x4DE1
[  18.731268] input: b43-phy0 as /class/input/input1
[  18.804103] firmware: requesting b43/ucode5.fw
[  18.872339] firmware: requesting b43/pcm5.fw
[  18.949062] firmware: requesting b43/b0g0initvals5.fw
[  19.052153] firmware: requesting b43/b0g0bsinitvals5.fw
[  19.251803] b43-phy0: Loading firmware version 410.2160 (2007-05-26 15:32:10)
[  20.601158] Registered led device: b43-phy0::tx
[  20.605829] Registered led device: b43-phy0::rx
[  20.610466] Registered led device: b43-phy0::radio
[  62.077532] NET: Registered protocol family 10
[  62.086649] lo: Disabled Privacy Extensions
[  62.098648] ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlan0: link is not ready

And if i do ifconfig wlan0 down i can se a 0,6W drop in power consumption, so the card seems to be working.

What could the problem be? (ie. i cannot se my wlan network by scanning for it (iwlist wlan0 scan)).

lopster 11-20-2010 10:16 AM

It seems to be the encryption. If I change the encryption to WEP on my wlan router, my alix can see my wlan and connect to. But not if there is no encryption on, or WPA2.

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