It had been a while since I had messed with wireless. But since I just brought a fancy new antenna, it was time to investigate some exciting new stuff. Well, as with most things I find exciting they usually end up costing me heaps of time .
Once I had setup the new antenna I wanted to have a look at the performance difference, which is a bit flaky from the network manager. But I noticed as I started messing with some commands something happened which was unexpected. I started getting the dreaded “wireless dropout” that occurs infrequently at about 20 second intervals just to piss me off. I tried to retrace my steps to find out what I had changed and ended up spending a whole day looking for the solution. It turns out that with the “cool” new commands that I had learned to do things like:
- restart the network interfaces
- lift the interfaces up and down
- list other networks in my area and
- finally, one to show the status of my own network
Even though it was nice to be able to type a few words and have the interfaces restart afresh I was leaning toward this being the problem. Then, I remembered that orignally when I was having these sorts of problems in the begining, I downloaded an app called Wicd! This was the solution for my problems orignally and funnily enough did the same again 😉 .
Well, there were some good things to come from this “journey”?? Not sure what they were, but here is a list of the commands that I found and are pretty handy! Also, remember Wicd might also be a simple solution for you?
Show status of “my” wireless interface: ‘iwconfig ath0‘
xxxxxxxx@HAL:~$ iwconfig ath0 ath0 IEEE 802.11g ESSID:"xxxxx" Nickname:"" Mode:Managed Frequency:2.442 GHz Access Point: 00:xx:xx:xx:xx:8B Bit Rate:36 Mb/s Tx-Power:18 dBm Sensitivity=1/1 Retry:off RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off Power Management:off Link Quality=58/70 Signal level=-36 dBm Noise level=-94 dBm Rx invalid nwid:52311 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0 Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:0 Missed beacon:0
Show list of all wireless broadcasts within range: ‘iwlist ath0 scan‘
xxxxxxxx@HAL:~$ iwlist ath0 scan ath0 Scan completed : Cell 01 - Address: 00:xx:xx:xx:xx:8B ESSID:"xxxxx" Mode:Master Frequency:2.442 GHz (Channel 7) Quality=59/70 Signal level=-36 dBm Noise level=-95 dBm Encryption key:on Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 6 Mb/s 9 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s; 24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s 48 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s Extra:bcn_int=100 IE: IEEE 802.11i/Encryption here Group Cipher : TKIP Pairwise Ciphers (1) : TKIP Authentication Suites (1) : PSK Cell 02 - Address: 00:xx:xx:xx:xx:78 ESSID:"xxxxx" Mode:Master Frequency:2.442 GHz (Channel 7) Quality=28/70 Signal level=-67 dBm Noise level=-95 dBm Encryption key:on Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 6 Mb/s 9 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s; 24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s 48 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s Extra:bcn_int=100 IE: IEEE 802.11i/Encryption here Group Cipher : TKIP Pairwise Ciphers (1) : TKIP Authentication Suites (1) : PSK
Restart all network interfaces
xxxxxxxx@HAL:~$ sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart