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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware » Networking » Wireless
Slow wifi: Minatar PCI card downloads 40MB in 10 min
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Shep

Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 880
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sat 30 Jan 2016, 07:45    Post subject:  Slow wifi: Minatar PCI card downloads 40MB in 10 min  

I have a 4G phablet and find it provides a good wifi hotspot for other tablets, so I thought I'd try a wifi card in my Puppy desktop. I dug up 3 wifi cards: net gear, linksys, and minatar, and tried these with 3 different pups I have lying around, Lxtahr, Wary, and Slacko.

The only combination where the card was recognized as a network adapter was the Minitar card with Slacko 5.3.1 and it loads the b43 driver and lspci reports it as Broadcom BCM4306 802.11b/g wireless LAN controller.

All good, I thought. But it is slow, reminiscent of a dialup modem. To update FireFox the download was under 50 MB and this took around 10 mins. Crying or Very sad It follows that browsing is also slow.

The Mnitar web site shows the latest drivers are dated around 2004 so there's nothing to update there. http://minitar.com/downloads.html

Any suggestions for me to try?
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Semme

Joined: 07 Aug 2011
Posts: 6542
Location: World_Hub

PostPosted: Sat 30 Jan 2016, 08:23    Post subject:  

Hello Shep,

5.31's the box. Are the cards all PCI?

Here's the Broadcom page >> https://wikidevi.com/wiki/Broadcom

How does Pup see each one?
This one for the Minitar:
Code:
lspci -nk | grep -i network

The others:
Code:
lspci -nn | grep -i network

If USB:
Code:
lsusb -v

Could be the others need a driver that 5.31 doesn't supply OOTB..
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Shep

Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 880
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb 2016, 08:31    Post subject:  

Thanks Semme. I'll stick with the one card to start with, they are very difficult to insert. They are PCI.

# lspci -nk | grep -i network
# lspci -nn | grep -i network
02:07.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4306 802.11b/g Wireless LAN Controller [14e4:4320] (rev 03)

speedtest.net says
ping:31ms download:1.5Mbps upload: 0.0Mbps
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Semme

Joined: 07 Aug 2011
Posts: 6542
Location: World_Hub

PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb 2016, 08:53    Post subject:  

In PupScan, which driver/module does it say your card is using?
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Shep

Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 880
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb 2016, 10:09    Post subject:  

KERNEL DRIVER (builtin): b43-pci-bridge
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Semme

Joined: 07 Aug 2011
Posts: 6542
Location: World_Hub

PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb 2016, 11:00    Post subject:  

Hmm, I wonder if you need the firmware or "phy" type driver?

BCM4306/3 = PHY version "G (r2)"

Maybe you can make heads or tails of the info on this page.

==
Quote:
Install the appropriate firmware installer package:

For devices with a BCM4306 revision 3, BCM4311, BCM4318, BCM4321 or BCM4322 chip, install..

https://wiki.debian.org/bcm43xx

It's possible hw support improves by moving to a pup with a more recent kernel.

I'll leave the door open for someone more in the know..

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Shep

Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 880
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue 02 Feb 2016, 03:21    Post subject:  

Wow! Shocked They don't make it easy, do they? Thanks for the trouble you went to researching that.

Maybe I'll try and wrench that board out, and try the net gear.
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Shep

Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 880
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Thu 04 Feb 2016, 02:52    Post subject:  

I booted afresh with puppy pfix=ram

The netgear isn't recognized, so I tried the Linksys. It is not seen as a network adapter by Puppy Network Wizard, but Pupscan says:

Network Controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4306 802.11b/g
Vendor: 14e4 Device: 4320
Kernel Driver (builtin): b43-pci-bridge

Very strange, as that's what it said for the Minatar card!

lspci -nn lists identically, too, including the (rev 03)

So I replaced the card with the Minitar because it at least gives net access, albeit slow. Then I downloaded and clicked on the firmware installer you referred to, viz.,firmware-b43-installer_4.150.10.5-4_all.deb

Overall, I don't know whether it made any difference. The speed is still close to glacial, though with patience it's useable.
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Semme

Joined: 07 Aug 2011
Posts: 6542
Location: World_Hub

PostPosted: Thu 04 Feb 2016, 08:36    Post subject:  

No, that firmware was merely for reference.

The package your 531 might need should probably be extracted from a Broadcom pkg direct. Notes here.

Not saying the other card couldn't have the same chip, but it sounds as though something should have been reset in BIOS before the OS can properly ID the card. This you'd have to research on your own.

Then, it's probably easier to go with a card *known* to offer good performance aboard Linux.

Perhaps one of "The MEN" steps in with their advice..

==

And don't forget..
Quote:
It's possible hw support improves by moving to a pup with a more recent kernel.
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Shep

Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 880
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue 09 Feb 2016, 12:36    Post subject:  

I'm puzzled by these speed tests, the more it is repeated, the faster the figures. One night after 5 or 6 runs in succession I got the download/upload at speedtest to be 6Mbps and 2Mbps.

Tonight I realized I've not tried the 4G phone's speed by itself, so ran it and got download 2Mbps and upload 0.5Mbps! So much for fast wireless broadband!

So it looks like puppy and wifi card might actually be working properly, and are being held back by an oversubscribed 4G network. So I'm calling a halt to further tinkering with puppy; there is likely nothing wrong!

Thanks Semme. That firmware stuff I downloaded and ran must have been just what it needed.
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8Geee


Joined: 12 May 2008
Posts: 776
Location: N.E. USA

PostPosted: Tue 09 Feb 2016, 19:01    Post subject:  

I am wondering if this presumed old card can even recognize a 4G cnxn. By the Subject Title, the card is reading about 80kbps equivilent to a basic Telephone-Line ADSL cnxn. That makes me ask what is your cnxn speed when on 4G?
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Shep

Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 880
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sat 20 Feb 2016, 07:54    Post subject:  

I've had to move to a more recent Puppy because I kept getting corrupted savefiles I in old Slacko 5.3.1

So now using josejp2424's Slackware Shiba Inu. http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=105358

Initially, speedtest gave 1.7Mb DOWN and 0.00Mb UP.

So I ran that firmware-b43-installer and tried speedtest again. Now, 6Mb DOWN and 2Mb UP. Tried again, this time 2.0Mb DOWN and 3.0Mb UP.

I'm content with these figures.
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8Geee


Joined: 12 May 2008
Posts: 776
Location: N.E. USA

PostPosted: Sat 20 Feb 2016, 12:50    Post subject:  

Ahhh, thanks for that. I guess you are using ext2 for the save-file.

As time hass progressed new USB sticks can handle ext3 better if one turns off saves, but save on shutdown, or after X amount of time without mouse move (usually 30 minutes).

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