ar928x and ath9k/ would like to receive mentoring if you knowwhere to direct me

jdow jdow at
Mon Apr 20 06:12:23 UTC 2009

Well, Martin, since you asked in private email, Karl's answer is not
all that unreasonable.

You say the range is not what it should be. That is pretty much governed
by antennas and the RF components on the board. Personally I have never
seen a wireless work to its rated range without very careful site setup
and walls that are more or less RF transparent. (Rock and lime mortar,
which is what I must work with here, is not very RF transparent. 60' is
marginal for 802.11b if it only has to make it through two of the interior
rock and lime mortar walls. If it has to go through more walls or my body,
as in sit with me between my laptop and the antenna, I can't even make
20' sometimes.)

Now, I do not find that alarming. My background, before I got into software
via firmware, is in RF design for things like GPS satellites and the like.
So I have a pretty good feel for RF. I face two problems in this house.
Both summarize to the same statement, rock and lime mortar walls are not
very RF transparent at for 802.11a,b or g. Getting RF through them is a
problem. And reflections from the walls are a secondary problem. And if
the signal strength drops from optimal the coding used must start including
more redundancy.

Now, if you compare the range between Linux and Windows for the precise
same positioning and setup parameters and see a dramatically different
value then please say so.

A good problem statement helps make a good problem solution. The first
trick would be to establish a good baseline performance. Then maybe you
can get involved with the developers, who are probably found where the
madwifi drivers are being developed, They have some
mailing lists, which would be a place to start.

I'd read their mailing list and scan the archives to see if there is any
word about a range problem. Note that the original drivers came from
Atheros itself for at least some of their chips.

{^_^}   Getting more specific with Ubuntu is not in the cards, from me.
        I've not installed it yet. I've just been scanning the list to
        see what the people are like and what the buzz about bugs is.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Martin Stephens" <exogenetic at>
Sent: Sunday, 2009/April/19 11:25

The range on the wireless is far less than it should be. Do you know who is 
working on these issues, and what help they want?

--- On Sun, 4/19/09, Karl F. Larsen <klarsen1 at> wrote:

From: Karl F. Larsen <klarsen1 at>
Subject: Re: ar928x and ath9k/ would like to receive mentoring if you know 
where to direct me
To: "Ubuntu user technical support, not for general discussions" 
<ubuntu-users at>
Date: Sunday, April 19, 2009, 1:17 PM

Martin Stephens wrote:
> [This email address is checked by its owner at least twice weekly.]
> Hello,
> I have an Asus N50vn laptop with bluetooth and atheros wifi. It seems 
> atheros is Linux friendly, and that from the related bug reports, one of 
> the main issues is that both services are running off the same chip. I 
> have been using Linux for about three years now, and I know the basic file 
> structure, and have fooled around with config files, terminal commands, 
> and the like. I am also taking a fundamental course on the C++ language, 
> with some background in C, noting differences in such matters as arrays.
> I'd like to get a little more involved, but the number of choices you 
> present are bewildering. Mentoring of some type would be nice, if you 
> could direct me to the correct choice.
> I'd like to set up a testing partition on my laptop to try out drivers and 
> fiddle with the hardware on the machine, both for my own self interest, 
> and the benefit of your community.
> I will donate one hour per week if I am busy, and considerably more if I 
> am not, on the quest to completely free myself of Microsoft products. I 
> recently had a rather disturbing experience that makes me want to
> completely shed my Vista partition. I'll describe it if anybody wants
> to know. I attempted to reproduce it, but to no avail. (Think about it, 
> after a year at the current US minimum wage, I'll have donated $340.60 of 
> labor to Ubuntu, that's more than a brand new copy of Windows 7 Ultimate.)
> My goals:
> #1 Make a better contribution to bug reports, and perhaps packaging or 
> helping track down the source of bugs in the implementation of the ath9k 
> driver on bluetooth enabled Asus N50 (and probably N70) series.
> #2 Help tweak, bug report, track problems and implement testing software 
> for any other device on the machine, except maybe the fingerprint reader. 
> (If a dishonest person got a hold of my password protected laptop, the 
> machine itself is worth far more than any data they would mine. The 
> fingerprint reader is just a bit silly.... Bond.... James Bond.)
> #3 Help package cutting edge, Debian Educational software, as well as 
> helping make it more user friendly. (I have no idea how to package 
> software, but maybe a gnome applet or something might be a nice pond to 
> wade in. I'LL TRY, OKAY? I'm motivated at least.)
> #4 Increase my understanding of Linux, Ubuntu and Debian, so that I might 
> go on to better things.
> #5 Get Asus to refund me for my Vista disk, or use it as an expensive 
> drink coaster.
This long message fails to tell what problem(s) you plan to solve. I
have a lap top which the kernels use the athro driver for WiFi and it
works perfect. There is no need to write code for the athro. As for
the Vista disk, you paid for the right to use it. You can't sell it back
to Asus.


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