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Thread: Weak Wireless Signal

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Weak Wireless Signal

    I have a very weak 1 bar wireless signal. The same laptop has a strong wireless signal in Windows 8. Other laptops and phones in the exact same location will also have a strong wireless signal.

    For the above reason, I'm pretty sure it's Ubuntu-related with the wireless driver, but not sure how to proceed.

    Here is the output of iwconfig. Would appreciate any help getting this fixed. Roommates named our network CIA

    Code:
    eth0      no wireless extensions.
    
    
    lo        no wireless extensions.
    
    
    wlan0     IEEE 802.11bgn  ESSID:"CIA"  
              Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.462 GHz  Access Point: 30:46:9A:67:E9:D7   
              Bit Rate=18 Mb/s   Tx-Power=16 dBm   
              Retry  long limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
              Power Management:off
              Link Quality=31/70  Signal level=-79 dBm  
              Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
              Tx excessive retries:18  Invalid misc:855   Missed beacon:0
    Laptop model: Asus S400CA
    Last edited by the_hawk22; March 26th, 2013 at 05:41 PM. Reason: Added laptop model

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Re: Weak Wireless Signal

    It is probably something to do with the drivers.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Re: Weak Wireless Signal

    Obviously...

    Code:
    lspci -nn:
    02:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Atheros Communications Inc. AR9485 Wireless Network Adapter [168c:0032] (rev 01)

    168c:0032 is not found on http://cateee.net/lkddb/web-lkddb/PCI.html

    Searching just "168c" at the above link does show ath9k driver supports older versions of this wireless card, if I understand correctly.

    Can anyone with the expertise confirm that I'm understanding correctly so that I can move on?

  4. #4
    ahallubuntu is offline Chocolate-Covered Ubuntu Beans
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    Re: Weak Wireless Signal

    ~
    Last edited by ahallubuntu; June 27th, 2013 at 03:30 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Re: Weak Wireless Signal

    In addition to what ahallubuntu suggested, what is the status of your power management? You can tell by running "iwconfig":
    ...........
    long limit:7 RTS thr Off Fragment thr Off
    Power Management:Off
    Link Quality=31/70 Signal level=-79 dBm
    If power management is on, some find it can reduce signal strength. Turning power management off can hurt battery life though. If your power management is on and you want to turn it off, you can do so via a terminal command:
    Code:
    sudo iwconfig wlanx power off
    where wlanx=wlan number from iwconfig, e.g. wlan0, wlan1 etc. Be aware that rebooting (logging out? dunno) will reset power state to the default.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Re: Weak Wireless Signal

    I've read on other threads to try disabling hardware encryption and it hasn't helped. I also have the same issue with power management on and off.

    I think I need to upgrade to the latest version of the ath9k driver. Does anyone know a straight forward way to do that? In windows, I would just download and double-click the driver, but it's not proving to be so simple in Ubuntu.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Re: Weak Wireless Signal

    So I updated to the latest ath9k driver and still no luck. Based on my conversation in the ath9k mailing list, there is a bug with this driver. I reported it here: https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=55901

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Re: Weak Wireless Signal

    The driver does not support some new feature in the hardware yet which is required for maximum performance. If the Windows drivers gives you full bars then use NDISwrapper to use the Windows driver which apparently has better support for the card (At least until a new Linux version comes out that fixes it).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NDISwrapper

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Re: Weak Wireless Signal

    This sounds like the right thing to do, but does ndiswrapper only work with Windows XP drivers or should it work for any Windows driver?

  10. #10
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    Re: Weak Wireless Signal

    XP only. I think some have gotten other Windows drivers to work but I sure wouldn't count on it.

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