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Old 01-04-2004, 03:16 PM   #1
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Wireless network connection instability

I recently started using a new DSL service (SBC Yahoo! DSL) and they provided me with a 2wire Wireless Router for my home. Because I just moved in here, and there isn't any Ethernet run through the house (urg) I decided to go the wireless route for my desktop as well as my laptops.

I picked up a Netgear MA311 Wireless network card (Prism 2.5 chipset) and tossed it in my Gentoo box. After about 30 minutes fooling around with the iwconfig tools and making sure I had the right modules in my 2.6 kernel I was up and running on the wireless network. iwconfig reported a 80/92 signal strength and 11 MBits speed on the network so I was pretty happy.

Then I ran into a problem. A friend of mine connected to my machine over ssh and started downloading a file (about 250MB) and all of a sudden my wireless signal strength went to 0 and I lost the connection. After fooling around with it for a while I realized that anytime I start sending large quantities of data my signal strength goes to nothing and the connection dies. This doesn't happen when I receive data. This also doesn't happen if I connect my machine to the router over Ethernet cable (which isn't a great solution cause my desktop isn't anywhere near a phone jack so I end up with wire all over the house).

I am stumped. Does anyone have any idea what could cause this to happen? As I said earlier, I am using a Harris Prism 2.5 chipset PCI wireless card (Netgear MA311). I am using the support for the card that is built into the 2.6.0 kernel and configuring the card using iwconfig. My OS is Gentoo 1.4 updated pretty much once a week and all the wireless tools, kernel, and such were downloaded and installed through the portage package system.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Old 01-05-2004, 12:46 AM   #2
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You can go ahead and mark this as a hardware problem on the part of a POS router from 2Wire. I actually got a tech. service guy from there on the phone earlier tonight. At first he dismissed the problem as a linux issue. But after I assured him my Powerbook AND my nieghbors IBM thinkpad with WinXP all had the same issue when transmitting lots of data over my wireless he decided to tell me they had been having trouble with some of there routers and would send me a new rev. to try out.

If that doesn't work I am going to simply plug another wireless router into the wired port on the home portal and use the other wireless router, which seams rediculous but will be worth it if the darn thing works right.

Last edited by jtshaw; 01-05-2004 at 12:47 AM.


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