Wednesday, September 16, 2009

ath5k: now in Master mode !

This is a good news for those who have had big troubles with their Wireless drivers on the alix box.
Finally, from kernel 2.6.31, ath5k supports master mode !

At the time I am writing, kernel26 2.6.31 is not yet in the core repository for arch linux, thus you'll have to get it from the testing branch.

I did different tests with multiple computers/iPhone, this works amazingly well, I reach speeds like never before !

Before, I had ath_pci and ath5k cohabiting on the same system. ath5k was complaining about a noise calibration problem:

ath5k phy0: noise floor calibration timeout (2412MHz)

However, what was weird was that the connection between my laptop and the router was dramatically slowed down as well. As a remember, I was using ath_pci for the card that linked the router to my laptop and ath5k for the card that linked the router to the wireless access point. My conclusion was that ath5k and ath_pci work together somehow.
By removing ath_pci from my system, the messages disappeared and my connection became way better. Of course, I did not have access to the router anymore.

Now that ath5k provides master mode (through hostapd), everything is solved and I have very nice speeds between both links, ie laptop to router and router to ap.


  1. What type of chipset of your card?
    Can you show the output of:

    lspci | grep Atheros

  2. My box is currently under maintenance, the kernel panics and I did not invest time into that :/. I'll let you know when I'll repair it.

  3. Just tried with Ubuntu netbook edition running a 2.6.35 kernel, master mode still does not work at all.

  4. Really ? Hum... what do you mean by "does not work" ? Still getting the calibration crap ?