[Solved] Atheros (ath9k) wireless connection problems...
I'm posting this more as a solution than a problem, hence the 'Solved' in the Title.
This should be of interest to anyone experiencing constantly dropped connections when using the native ath9k wireless module. I was moaning about this problem more than a year ago in this post, saying that the problem persisted even with kernels versions over 3.xx, but also happened when using Ndiswrapper and native-M$ drivers - which really mystified me!
A few months ago while playing with Ndiswrapper on my Ubuntu 10.04 laptop with AR-928x wireless, and having first downloaded & compiled the latest Ndiswrapper version (1.58) from source, I discovered that while the most recent Atheros driver versions did not work at all with it, version "xp3264-18.104.22.1683-whql.zip" worked perfectly. And almost 4 months on, I can say that I have never experienced a single dropped connection since my 'revelation'. :)
Note that this problem was not specific to a single chipset - I have AR-928x and AR-5008 Atheros cards and each performed equally abysmally when using native-linux ath9k drivers. As I also noted in the other thread, the Ndiswrapper M$-driver (version unknown) that I was using then also suffered similarly.
Putting 2 + 2 together, it appears to me that the Linux developers have incorporated whatever technical information/source-code Atheros had made available up to the 'version unknown' driver release and stopped further development at that, even with the newest kernels - at least up to Ubuntu 12.04, which I've tried - possibly 'cos these chipsets are considered too old now. Whereas a later release (xp3264-22.214.171.1243-whql.zip) works perfectly with Ndiswrapper and this infuriating bug has disappeared.