Gutsy and Atheros wireless - my experience

Mike Leone turgon at
Sun Oct 28 22:45:29 UTC 2007

So I have an old P2-400 laptop, running edgy, that uses a Belkin FD7000
wirelss NIC. It's an Atheros-based card. Runs rock-solid; never drops a
signal. Been using it for well over a year.

So I decided to try out 7.10 (aka gutsy). I pulled out my HD, and put in
a different one. This way, I could always go back to my working edgy config.

The first thing I'll say is mostly just an annoyance - the install knew
I had an Atheros chipset (I saw the "ath0" nic), but it wouldn't come up
without my fiddling and telling it what it already knew (i.e., that I
was using a NIC with a chipset on it's restricted list). That seems
silly to me ... but whatever ...

I needed to install kwlan; that install wanted to dump
network-manager-kde. OK, fine. Since I use WPA-PSK for security, I had
to go find and install that, too (you'd think that would get installed
by default, just so that you'd have the tools to have a secure wireless
set up on your laptop, whether you activate the feature or no. But whatever.

I do all that; set passwords, etc, and now my card comes up and I'm good
to go.

Over the next 120 minutes, it dropped and reacquired signal 37 times. It
would disconnect, and then reconnect. Repeatedly.

Again, this is using exact same hardware (system, NIC, router) that
never once dropped a signal on edgy. Exact same settings, too. Yet it
got to the point that I was ready to rename the system "yo-yo", because
it went up and down so often.

And every time it lost the signal, it would interrupt my "aptitude
upgrade", forcing me to kill it, and restart it. For some reason,
aptitude did not pick up again, when the signal came back.

The long and short of it - I took that gutsy HD out, and put back my
edgy HD, and it's not gone down once. I have other things to spend my
time on. :-)

My conclusion - gutsy is not ready for me to try and use my Atheros
card. Nor will I go get another card, since this one works perfectly in
edgy (and a Windows laptop). Note that I'm not saying it's completely
b0rked for everyone, but the experience has certainly left a bad taste
in my mouth for 7.10 on a laptop.

I came across posts that say changing RTS settings on my wireless AP
would help. Fine ... except that I use a Belkin F5D7231-4 WAP, and you
can't change those settings ...

Anyone else having such problems?

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