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Old 04-28-2005, 03:18 PM   #1
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Germany
Distribution: Slackware, Gentoo, Fedora
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WLAN has very short range

Hello everyone,
I recently got myself a shiney new laptop (ECS A532) and installed linux on it. Luckily it wasn't very hard to set up given the usual problems many people tend to experience.

Anyway, the thing that bothers me is the very short range my wireless card (a Ralink RT2500 using the rt2x00 linx drivers) has. That's a real problem as I have to use WLAN at university to get internet access.
When I am very close (maybe 10 meters (that's approx. 30 feet if I am not mistaken)) and have a clear line of sight to an access point, the connection can be established nicely (using 'ifup ra0'). If I then wander off some place else (where most other students don''t have trouble establishing a connection) the connection usually holds. Also, when the first connection attempt fails (because stupid me tried to connect under less than ideal circumstances) most of the times any subsequent one fails as well, regardless of how strong the signal is this time (ifup-/down-ing every configured interface doesn't help). Next time I start the computer I get another chance to succesfully establish the connection.

Unfortunatelly I don't have any experience setting up and using a wireless network. Do any of you have experience with this card? Is this behavior normal? Is it a hardware problem maybe? Do you know of a workaround to the connect-only-once-every-session problem?

Sorry about the many questions. I'd be very grateful for any help.
Thank you for your help,
- drowstar
Old 04-28-2005, 05:05 PM   #2
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Registered: Nov 2004
Location: San Jose, CA
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This could be a hardware problem. Additionally, you could try disabling and re-enabling the radio on the card using iwconfig. I've seen similar problems with other cards and many times it was just a hardware firmware issue (read: cheap chipset).
Old 04-28-2005, 05:31 PM   #3
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Registered: Jan 2003
Location: Seymour, Indiana
Distribution: Distribution: RHEL 5 with Pieces of this and that. Kernel, KDE 3.5.8 and KDE 4.0 beta, Plu
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I would give this a try. Edit /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifg-eth*. Put a ' # ' symbol infron of misc items. Example of mine. I do this so I can swap cards with no issues or settings needed. Just a thought.
# Please read /usr/share/doc/initscripts-*/sysconfig.txt
# for the documentation of these parameters.
# HWADDR=00:04:5a:cc:ad:6e
# MODE=Managed
# RATE=11Mb/s

Google the Linux way at ' '
Old 04-28-2005, 09:56 PM   #4
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Registered: Sep 2001
Location: Montreal, Canada
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some card allow you to upload a newer firmware, this sometime fix strange problem like this. My own card is unable to change rate if I use the default firmware, mean my range is really smaller that way.
You might want to do some search about your card to find out if you can change firmware.


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