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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware » Networking » Wireless
Netgear N150 Wireless USB Adapter - How?!?!?
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tempestuous

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 5285
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon 08 Aug 2011, 04:15    Post subject:  

Lotica wrote:
Now what variants of Linux has a more recent kernel than Puppy 5.2.x?

You need a minimum kernel version of 2.6.36, and there are very few Puppy derivatives which meet this requirement.
You should probably browse the "Puppy Derivatives" section of the forum. There are two I know of -

Puppy Lupen
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=67910

Midnight Sun Pup 003
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=69353

Whether these derivatives were actually compiled with the ath9k_htc driver (and the necessary firmware) is another question.
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tempestuous

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Posts: 5285
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon 08 Aug 2011, 04:21    Post subject:  

aarf wrote:
is there anything that would explain why my D-Link DWA 140 wireless N is not enhancing my distance and speed compared to my internal wireless G?

Several possible reasons, but first we need to fix your basic setup -
aarf wrote:
Code:
#lsmod
usbcore                91279  9 rt2870sta,rt2800usb,...

That's bad - it looks like both the rt2870sta module and rt2800usb module are loaded at the same time. These two drivers will compete for your device, and although I can't definitely say what the result of this will be, it's not good, and should be fixed.
I think we have discussed this before, but what you should do is go to
Menu > System > BootManager configure bootup > Give preference to one module over another:
and add this line -
Code:
rt2800usb:rt2870sta

then reboot.
If the line is there already, it probably means that Puppy's modules-preference udev configuration is failing, and you should report this to Barry (and rerwin) on the Developer Blog.
In the meantime, you can probably just blacklist it -
Menu > System > BootManager configure bootup > Click here to 'blacklist' a module:

Once you have a situation where the rt2800usb module is not loaded, we can move on to the question of N-mode.
I preface my comments by saying that I have only tested wifi drivers in Linux, myself, in B-mode and G-mode. But I have read that N-mode wifi routers fall back to G-mode whenever a G-mode client tries to connect. In such cases, all N-mode clients are forced to communicate at the slower G-mode speed.
Is it feasible that you have some other wifi client in your house that is G-mode ... like a wireless music or TV streaming renderer, for example?

Also, the default mode setting of Ralink N-mode wifi adapters is a/b/g/n-mixed (I will tell you how to change this later).
So it's feasible (??) that your wifi router may be mistaking your Ralink wifi device as being a G-mode client, and then dropping back to G-mode to accommodate what it thinks is correct.

So suggestion 1)
Get into your wifi router's configuration settings (you usually need a wired ethernet connection to do this) and see if you can fix the wifi mode to N-only.

Suggestion 2)
Set your (rt2870sta) Ralink wifi driver into N-mode-only. Here's how to do it - open /lib/firmware/RT2870STA.dat in Geany, and find the line "WirelessMode=.." You will see that the default value is "5" which represents a/b/g/n-mixed. Change this value to "6" which represents N-only, save, then reboot.
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aarf

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PostPosted: Mon 08 Aug 2011, 06:26    Post subject:  

thanks for the clarification tempestous
seems i had a basic misunderstanding of what my N would achieve.
i was under the false impression i would receive G transmissions that were in N range or improve the distance of G signals. but i now understand, hopefully correctly, that if the wifi signal is being sent only as G, my N receiver is not going to be of any additional help in connecting to the G signal? mostly i dont know where the wifi signals i connect to are coming from or they are in house at the endless array of cheap hotels i inhabit. so in all likely hood they are not N signal.

anyhow following the instruction for future eventualities.

luci268.
the code line wasn't there so added new line
rt2800usb:rt2870sta
rebooted and no change, same lsmod as before,
BK needs to betold will do.
so blacklisted rt2800usb
and then lsmod gives
usbcore 91279 7 uvcvideo,rt2870sta,usbhid,usb_storage,uhci_hcd,ehci_hcd

Simple Network Setup then told me (attached) didnt retry.
Network Wizard connected.
is there any way to tell if the signal is N and not G without setting the "Ralink wifi driver into N-mode-only"? perhaps network wizard can be modified to do that.
will the network scans show both G and N at the same time?
ok did the N modification =6 to the file and rebooted. all original previous networks showed in the network scan and i connected. whether it is N is still to be determined.
havent got any fragile networks to test better connection at present only have good signal strength signals..
edit BK advise at BK blog.
edit reerwin PMed
image-1g.jpg
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tempestuous

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
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Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon 08 Aug 2011, 07:29    Post subject:  

aarf wrote:
i now understand, hopefully correctly, that if the wifi signal is being sent only as G, my N receiver is not going to be of any additional help in connecting to the G signal?

Correct. N-mode communication is only possible between router and client when both are in N-mode. And as I understand it, a router cannot operate simultaneously in N-mode and G-mode, so if a G-mode client connects, the whole connection falls back to G-mode.


aarf wrote:
is there any way to tell if the signal is N and not G without setting the "Ralink wifi driver into N-mode-only"?

Probably, but I don't actually know. I suspect that once your wifi device has connected to an Access Point, you could probably run one of the wifi utilities to determine the mode. I suspect this command might do it -
Code:
iwlist wlan0 rate

... or it might be iwconfig, iwpriv, or iw.
Unfortunately the developer of Puppy's Network Wizard is no longer active on the forum, so it's difficult to add new features.

But jemimah is still actively developing her "frisbee" network manager, so you may be able to attract her attention on the Fluppy 013 thread -
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=56156
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aarf

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Posts: 3620
Location: around the bend

PostPosted: Mon 08 Aug 2011, 11:21    Post subject:  

preliminary investigation show that the N modifications above have worked and am now able to use faster wifi N.

Code:
sh-4.1# iwlist wlan0 rate
wlan0     unknown bit-rate information.
          Current Bit Rate=18 Mb/s

sh-4.1#  iwconfig
lo        no wireless extensions.

wlan0     Ralink STA  ESSID:"Grotty HOTEL"  Nickname:"RT2870STA"
          Mode:Managed  Frequency=2.412 GHz  Access Point: 00:67:0E:42:90:5E   
          Bit Rate=24 Mb/s   
          RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Encryption key:off
          Link Quality=80/100  Signal level:-81 dBm  Noise level:-91 dBm
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0

sh-4.1# iw
sh: iw: command not found
sh-4.1# iwpriv
lo        no private ioctls.

wlan0     no private ioctls.

sh-4.1#
* names and numbers have been changed to protect the innocent.

the same Grotty Hotel signal in puppee without wifi N usb dongle connected, gave a different output after wlan0 which identied it as wifi b/g. and speed was 11 Mb/sec.
later am going to go 150 meters away and see if i can still connect.

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aarf

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Posts: 3620
Location: around the bend

PostPosted: Mon 08 Aug 2011, 11:30    Post subject:  

BarryK replies:
Quote:
Re driver preference
Regarding the preference "rt2800usb:rt2870sta", I rewrote the code that handles that in Woof, but Lucid is built with an old version of Woof prior to that rewrite.

You might want to inform tempestuous that Drake Puppy 0.3 has the 2.6.39.3 kernel. Search my blog for "drake" to learn more.

pemasu has also built some puppies with the 2.6.39.3 kernel.

Drake is built from a very recent Woof, and I expect that the driver preferences mechanism is working.


have drake03 and will test later.

rerwin replys:

Quote:
aarf,
Thanks for contacting me. Could you make a run as you did originally (without the preference and blacklisting) and run pmodemdiag to capture the situation. Then I might be able to see something that has not been considered. The fact that the preference did not seem to work suggests there could be two wifi devices, USB and PCI, that take similar drivers. At least the diag file would let us rule out that possibility.

Thanks.
Richard

am changing the names and numbers in the output to protect the innocent.. still not finished . although wlan was disabled in the bios when running the test and the blue wifi indicator light on the eeepc was not on, i have a sneeking suspicion that these drivers have by- passed that disable and are also using my on board wifi as well as the usb dongle. we shall see..

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aarf

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PostPosted: Mon 08 Aug 2011, 13:22    Post subject:  

may have been a little hasty attributing the fasterspeed and name change to the N modifications
below is when using pfix=ram for doing rerwins request.
Code:
sh-4.1# iwconfig
lo        no wireless extensions.

wlan0     Ralink STA  ESSID:"Grotty HOTEL"  Nickname:"RT2870STA"
          Mode:Managed  Frequency=2.412 GHz  Access Point: 00:67:0E:42:90:5E 
          Bit Rate=18 Mb/s   
          RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Encryption key:off
          Link Quality=76/100  Signal level:-83 dBm  Noise level:-91 dBm
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0

sh-4.1# lsmod
<snip>
 usbcore    91279  9 rt2870sta,rt2800usb,rt2x00usb,uvcvideo,usbhid,usb_storage,uhci_hcd,ehci_hcd
may have been ok all along. but i didnt know how to test what wifi it was using.

Bit Rate=18 Mb/s this has changes through 2 Mb/s to 24 Mb/s on sequential requests of iwconfig on the N modified luci268.

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aarf

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PostPosted: Mon 08 Aug 2011, 13:43    Post subject:  

rerwins requested info attached and PMed.
pmodemdiag-20110808.tar.gz
Description 
gz

 Download 
Filename  pmodemdiag-20110808.tar.gz 
Filesize  27.65 KB 
Downloaded  208 Time(s) 

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aarf

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PostPosted: Mon 08 Aug 2011, 14:15    Post subject:  

in puppeee with no usb wireless N dongle
Code:
# iwconfig
lo        no wireless extensions.

wlan0     IEEE 802.11bg  ESSID:"Grotty HOTEL" 
          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.412 GHz  Access Point: 00:67:0E:42:90:5E   
          Bit Rate=24 Mb/s   Tx-Power=20 dBm   
          Retry  long limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Encryption key:off
          Power Management:off
          Link Quality=32/70  Signal level=-78 dBm 
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0

#

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aarf

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PostPosted: Mon 08 Aug 2011, 14:42    Post subject:  

summary so far :we dont have a reliable way to test that it is connected to a N signal or even if an N signal exists. wlan0 name change in iwconfig may be wifi card name change.
cant be certain that WirelessMode=6 is actually doing anything at all.

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rerwin


Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 1540
Location: Maine, USA

PostPosted: Mon 08 Aug 2011, 15:46    Post subject:  

aarf,
Thanks for the diag file. Both the USB and STA drivers are indicated as supporting the USB device. The USB driver is the one chosen to be loaded, even without a preference. But the STA module somehow also gets loaded -- outside of the normal puppy module-loading process. I see no indication in modules.dep that there is a dependency relationship.

From your postings, I am not confident that you made a valid test of the blacklisting option. You say you blacklisted, but that lsmod still shows the STA module. You need to reboot for the blacklisting to take effect. Could you try it again? I have an idea of how to automate the blacklisting, so need to know whether that is effective. Does the STA module still get loaded even if blacklisted?

I also have a slightly different approach in mind. The attached dotpet package uses a modprobe configuration file to control the loading of rt2870sta when rt2800usb is already loaded. Please try it only after the blacklist test, since we need to establish whether this activity is beyond the control of blacklisting (as in loading as a dependency). The package can be uninstalled, if necessary. The file contains this install statement:
Code:
install rt2870sta sleep 1; /bin/lsmod | /bin/grep -q '^rt2800usb ' && /bin/true || /sbin/modprobe --ignore-install rt2870sta
Again, the evidence will be whether lsmod shows rt2870sta as loaded. But the main evidence is whether you get any better results with the device.
Richard
rt2800usb_test-1.pet
Description  disables rt2870sta if rt2800usb is loaded
pet

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Filename  rt2800usb_test-1.pet 
Filesize  435 Bytes 
Downloaded  224 Time(s) 
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aarf

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PostPosted: Tue 09 Aug 2011, 03:46    Post subject:  

test of grotty hotel wifi at 150 meters and 50 meters with N modified luci268 and dlink140 N booster usb dongle attached, both failed to produce any trace of the signal.
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Last edited by aarf on Tue 09 Aug 2011, 04:14; edited 1 time in total
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aarf

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PostPosted: Tue 09 Aug 2011, 03:48    Post subject:  

usb dongle not attached in lupu527. note that ath5k does not appear on the "usbcore" line
Code:
sh-4.1# lsmod
Module                  Size  Used by
iptable_mangle          1189  0
iptable_nat             2666  0
nf_nat                 10083  1 iptable_nat
ipt_REJECT              1485  1
nf_conntrack_ftp        4020  0
nf_conntrack_irc        2359  0
iptable_filter           958  1
xt_state                 895  4
nf_conntrack_ipv4       7063  7 iptable_nat,nf_nat
nf_conntrack           36999  6 iptable_nat,nf_nat,nf_conntrack_ftp,nf_conntrack_irc,xt_state,nf_conntrack_ipv4
nf_defrag_ipv4           755  1 nf_conntrack_ipv4
ip_tables               7321  3 iptable_mangle,iptable_nat,iptable_filter
i915                  183740  2
drm_kms_helper         17823  1 i915
drm                   106327  3 i915,drm_kms_helper
i2c_algo_bit            3539  1 i915
arc4                     962  2
ecb                     1377  2
snd_hda_codec_realtek   165209  1
snd_hda_intel          14978  0
snd_hda_codec          38539  2 snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_hda_intel
snd_pcm_oss            26845  0
snd_pcm                45385  3 snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,snd_pcm_oss
snd_mixer_oss           9963  1 snd_pcm_oss
snd_page_alloc          4645  2 snd_hda_intel,snd_pcm
snd_seq_dummy            907  0
snd_seq_oss            18888  0
snd_seq_midi            3156  0
snd_seq_midi_event      3592  2 snd_seq_oss,snd_seq_midi
snd_rawmidi            11924  1 snd_seq_midi
snd_seq                32379  6 snd_seq_dummy,snd_seq_oss,snd_seq_midi,snd_seq_midi_event
snd_seq_device          3601  5 snd_seq_dummy,snd_seq_oss,snd_seq_midi,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq
snd_timer              11986  2 snd_pcm,snd_seq
ath5k                 105381  0
uvcvideo               44782  0
snd                    30859  11 snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,snd_pcm_oss,snd_pcm,snd_mixer_oss,snd_seq_oss,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq,snd_seq_device,snd_timer
mac80211               99898  1 ath5k
videodev               27339  1 uvcvideo
ath                     6106  1 ath5k
soundcore               3403  1 snd
pcspkr                  1179  0
v4l1_compat             9930  2 uvcvideo,videodev
cfg80211               90319  3 ath5k,mac80211,ath
i2c_i801                6146  0
battery                 7164  0
i2c_core               11497  6 i915,drm_kms_helper,drm,i2c_algo_bit,videodev,i2c_i801
serio_raw               2928  0
shpchp                 21148  0
fbcon                  27736  69
bitblit                 3514  1 fbcon
softcursor               805  1 bitblit
tileblit                1509  1 fbcon
font                    6916  1 fbcon
intel_agp              19189  1
agpgart                18904  2 drm,intel_agp
sg                     19093  0
video                  14642  1 i915
output                  1120  1 video
thermal                 9263  0
evdev                   5517  0
button                  3522  1 i915
eeepc_laptop            9692  0
pci_hotplug            18286  2 shpchp,eeepc_laptop
led_class               1733  2 ath5k,eeepc_laptop
hwmon                    957  1 eeepc_laptop
sparse_keymap           1723  1 eeepc_laptop
processor              24987  1
ac                      2143  0
fuse                   42549  0
aufs                  110466  1
nls_iso8859_1           2937  0
nls_cp437               4465  0
usb_storage            29717  0
usbhid                 18009  0
squashfs               15984  1
uhci_hcd               15444  0
ehci_hcd               25830  0
usbcore                91279  6 uvcvideo,usb_storage,usbhid,uhci_hcd,ehci_hcd
sh-4.1#

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Last edited by aarf on Tue 09 Aug 2011, 04:10; edited 1 time in total
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aarf

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PostPosted: Tue 09 Aug 2011, 03:59    Post subject:  

clarify one step at a time
rerwin wrote:


From your postings, I am not confident that you made a valid test of the blacklisting option. You say you blacklisted, but that lsmod still shows the STA module. You need to reboot for the blacklisting to take effect. Could you try it again? I have an idea of how to automate the blacklisting, so need to know whether that is effective. Does the STA module still get loaded even if blacklisted?

my quote from above
Quote:


so blacklisted rt2800usb
and then lsmod gives
usbcore 91279 7 uvcvideo,rt2870sta,usbhid,usb_storage,uhci_hcd,ehci_hcd

i blacklisted only rt2800usb as tempestous suggested so that only the rt2870sta would load . i didnt blacklist rt2870sta. do i need to redo something? are you suggesting i use the rt2800usb and not the rt2870sta.

i currently dont have a valid and reliable means to measure "whether (I) get any better results with the device. "
ok i will try a backlist of rt2870sta and not rt2800usb but cannot be certain that i wiil know if the results are any better.

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tempestuous

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 5285
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue 09 Aug 2011, 04:42    Post subject:  

rerwin wrote:
I am not confident that you made a valid test of the blacklisting option. You say you blacklisted, but that lsmod still shows the STA module.

rerwin, just to make sure we're all on the same page here;
aarf's intention was that the rt2870sta module should load in preference to the rt2800usb module,
as confirmed by the modules-preference he set -
Code:
rt2800usb:rt2870sta

But upon reboot, in addition to the rt2870sta module, the rt2800usb module was also loaded.

Then he blacklisted the rt2800usb module.

My understanding is that the blacklisting function worked OK, but the modules-preference setting did not work.
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