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Thread: Intermittent wireless

  1. #1
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    Intermittent wireless

    When I first started using Ubuntu on my macbook 8,1, the wireless card was not supported. I had to compile and patch the driver for the broadcom 4331 chip. It works well and I've been using it for almost a year now. The module that needs loaded is b43 and I have set it up so system stuff like suspend doesn't mess with it. But sometimes just while I'm on the computer the module needs to be reloaded because I lose internet connectivity. The network is still connected, but no access to internet. so
    Code:
    sudo modprobe -r b43
    sudo modprobe b43
    Then the connection will be repaired. I do this 1-3 times a day.

    I also noticed now, that jockey-gtk (additional driver) has started showing me a broadcom STA driver for their hardware, but I don't see my chip listed there. And I feel like I read somewhere that the STA driver is not very good.

    Should I just stick to my current setup or try the STA driver?

    Thank you,

    Kopkins
    Last edited by Kopkins; March 15th, 2013 at 03:17 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Module b43 inconsistent

    Does anyone know if the STA driver is good?

  3. #3
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    Re: Module b43 inconsistent

    I have the same issue, my system will drop off the network and become unable to connect again until I reload the module, and even then it doesn't always work, or if it does it doesn't work for long. I'm coming to the conclusion that the driver just kind of sucks, and bug reports need to be submitted, then we either have to wait and hope or figure out how to fix the driver ourselves. :\

  4. #4
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    Re: Module b43 inconsistent

    Are you using the STA driver? Or did you compile it yourself?

    b43 has been for me lately, I've reloaded 6 times today, and two of the times I didn't have to enter my password for sudo because they were so frequent.

    Even if we file bugs, the more people affected, the faster the fix. Since this doesn't affect many people it would be a long time before anything got done, even then the STA driver is from broadcom and it would require them to fix it because it is proprietary.

    I just realized the STA driver does not support my wireless card, even though it is shown in additional drivers.
    Last edited by Kopkins; March 15th, 2013 at 03:17 PM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Intermittent wireless

    This is driving me crazy, does anyone have any ideas?
    I can barely use my computer sometimes because I have to reload b43 for every new webpage i visit.

  6. #6
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    Re: Intermittent wireless

    Quote Originally Posted by Kopkins View Post
    This is driving me crazy, does anyone have any ideas?
    I can barely use my computer sometimes because I have to reload b43 for every new webpage i visit.
    Please follow the 'Wireless Script' link in my signature, follow the instructions in the linked post and post back the contents of "netinfo.txt" file here so we can see what is going on.

    Broadcom drivers are usually stable once working.
    Varun
    Help others by marking threads as [SOLVED], if they are. (See how)
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    Am I not replying you? Perhaps this is why.

  7. #7
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    Re: Intermittent wireless

    It was considerably long, I find it nicer to use pastebin for stuff like this. I hope you don't mind.

    http://pastebin.com/AxXDXD6E

    Thank you for your help, Varun.

    Kopkins

  8. #8
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    Re: Intermittent wireless

    Quote Originally Posted by Kopkins View Post
    It was considerably long, I find it nicer to use pastebin for stuff like this.
    A wise decision indeed

    However, I couldn't find anything substantial in it except a long series of these -
    [27387.734095] wlan0: authenticate with <MAC address removed> (try 1)
    [27387.748253] wlan0: authenticated
    [27387.748757] wlan0: associate with <MAC address removed> (try 1)
    [27387.752570] wlan0: RX ReassocResp from <MAC address removed> (capab=0x421 status=0 aid=1)
    [27387.752579] wlan0: associated
    [27421.429683] wlan0: deauthenticating from <MAC address removed> by local choice (reason=3)
    [27422.985563] b43-phy1: Broadcom 4331 WLAN found (core revision 29)
    [27423.195556] b43-phy1: Loading firmware version 666.2 (2011-02-23 01:15:07)
    The last two lines are generated, I assume, when you unload/load the module again.

    I suspect it is the result of a known bug in Network Manager where it keeps hopping from one access point to another when there are so many of them with same ESSID (DCCC in your case).

    If so, the MAC addresses in the series of these messages will be different almost everytime the message appears in dmesg. In that case, I can think of two possible solutions/workarounds.

    1)
    Create different profiles (with different names) associated with different access points (Same ESSID, but different MAC addresses) and bind each with a specific MAC Id. Then you should be able to manually connect to one which seems to have strongest signal where you are. Since the profile is bound to a specific MAC address, it shouldn't try roaming across a different one.

    But this is just my assumption, I haven't ever tried using multiple profiles with same ESSID myself, so can't assure if it'll work as I expect.

    2)
    Try wicd instead of Network Manager. It is known to work better in this situation.
    Varun
    Help others by marking threads as [SOLVED], if they are. (See how)
    Wireless Script | Use Code Tags
    Am I not replying you? Perhaps this is why.

  9. #9
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    Re: Intermittent wireless

    I was just pointed by my good friend Hadaka to a Solved thread addressing similar problem : http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...hlight=BCM4331

    You might wish to try that before dumping NM.

    I can't say for sure but I assume (by it's name) that the 'qos' parameter to b43 driver does just what NM is infamous for in this situation - always 'hop' to the better one. So maybe disabling that option (setting qos=0), as the post suggests, can help ?
    Varun
    Help others by marking threads as [SOLVED], if they are. (See how)
    Wireless Script | Use Code Tags
    Am I not replying you? Perhaps this is why.

  10. #10
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    Re: Intermittent wireless

    I did switch over to wcid and whitelisted it's systray icon. I haven't had any issues with it yet, so I'll see how it goes. I'll try the info in that thread at some point. I did lose connectivity with wicd briefly, but it put the interface back up pretty quickly. I'm switching back to nm now to try passing those options. Hopefully it works. If not wicd seems to work pretty well.

    Edit: enabled b43 with options using nw-manager. It's still too early to tell if it works. But wicd DOES lose connectivity intermittently, but is DOES reconnect better where nm seems to get confused about reconnecting(at least before I added the options to b43).

    Thanks again.
    Last edited by Kopkins; March 15th, 2013 at 05:02 PM.

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