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niels@djurslands.net
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How to get 200mW performance on Senao Prism2 card?

Thu Jul 01, 2004 10:26 am

Hi,

I am using Senao mini-PCI Prism2 card, NL-2511MP PLUS.

I have installed MT v. 2.8.11 and applied the wireless alpha package. as before applying the nstreme alpha package, the tx-power settings may be set to a value between 0 and 23 or "default" - HOWEVER this has no effect whatsoever on measured output :-(

Printout from /interfaces/wireless is:

[admin@MikroTik] interface wireless> print
Flags: X - disabled, R - running
0 R name="wlan1" mtu=1500 mac-address=00:02:6F:09:9F:A3 arp=enabled disable-running-check=no interface-type=Prism prism-cardtype=200MW radio-name="00026F099FA3" mode=ap-bridge ssid="CampNet1" frequency=2452 band=2.4GHz-B scan-list=default-ism
supported-rates-b=1Mbps,2Mbps,5.5Mbps,11Mbps supported-rates-a/g="" basic-rates-b=1Mbps basic-rates-a/g="" max-station-count=2007 tx-power=default fast-frames=no dfs-mode=none antenna-mode=ant-a wds-mode=disabled wds-default-bridge=none
wds-ignore-ssid=no update-stats-interval=disabled default-authentication=yes default-forwarding=yes hide-ssid=no 802.1x-mode=none

Normally a setting to "auto" on the card would enable full throttle output but I seem unable to apply this setting.

I cannot enable nstreme (what ever this may be) on the card either:

[admin@MikroTik] interface wireless nstreme> pr
0 name="wlan1" enable-nstreme=no framer-policy=none framer-limit=3200
[admin@MikroTik] interface wireless nstreme> set 0 enable-nstreme=yes
ERROR: this device can not do nstreme

On all other OS's the card performs with 200mW but on the microtik I am only able to get 100mW performance.

Any advice and help is most welcome.

Niels Chr. Sorensen
DjurslandS.net - Denmark
 
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Eugene
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Fri Jul 02, 2004 12:18 pm

N-streme does not work on Prism-based cards, see:
http://www.mikrotik.com/Documentation/nstreme_spec.pdf
 
niels@djurslands.net
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Sat Jul 03, 2004 7:26 pm

Well - I still have not figured out what the Nstreme is since the pdf seem broken (maybe my connection is bad right now) - But really I do not really care either, since my problem is that performance on 200 mW Prism based cards like the Senao. I am simply unable to send the setting: "tx-power=auto" - that's all...

The Nstreme stuff was purely based on John Tully's remark in his posting: http://forum.mikrotik.com/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=95

There he writes:

"TX power settings for PRISM are back!!!

You will have to use the 'nstreme' testing package to get this feature (you can use the regular 802.11b protocol with the nstreme package loaded).

Write with any comments on how this works. "

However the topic is closed...

Comment is therefor: "It does not work, since you restrict the strings send to the card in the Mikrotik OS..."

Please please please allow "auto" to be send to my card...

/Niels - DjurslandS.net - Denmark
 
bino
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Wed Jul 14, 2004 1:47 am

Hmmm ...
it's july 14th 2004 ...
And seem still no further enlightment of this problem.

Sincerely
-bino-
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Wed Jul 14, 2004 3:09 am

Using nstreme package does not mean you should use nstreme protocol - configure the tx-power in /interface wireless . Nstreme protocol by itself is not supported on Prism, but this package enhances what you can do with this card even without especially enabling that protocol.
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bino
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Wed Jul 14, 2004 7:56 pm

So,
Is it confirmed that we can still use this card in it's full output power (23 dbm) in standard-AP mode and standard-Client mode ?

sincerely
-bino-
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niels@djurslands.net
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Tue Jul 20, 2004 1:02 pm

So,
Is it confirmed that we can still use this card in it's full output power (23 dbm) in standard-AP mode and standard-Client mode ?

sincerely
-bino-
Sorry but no - just spend another day trying to get the card to perform better without luck. Also the Mikrotik support does not react on this issue eventhough I send them the same description as posted here 20 days ago.

I am using the card in 4G Meshcubes (http://meshcube.org) - in linux using the opensource driver I may send the command "iwconfig wlanX txpower=auto" and thus enable the card to perform with 200mW as expected. HOWEVER the Mikrotik RouterOS does not allow this string to be processed to the card as I described in previous posting in this thread.

Using the HostAP (in the 4G meshcube) proves that the driver for the Senao is quite iregular in its powersettings and the only good setting for the card is "auto" thus this problem.

BTW it seems like the PCcards shipped for the Mikrotik Router is quite similar to Senao's own cards - maybe OEM or something like this...???

All I need is to be able to send the command: /interface wireless set wlanX tx-power=auto to the card and all the troubles would most likely be gone.

HOWEVER this is a classical example on the disadvantage of using propritarian SW distributions like MikroTik instead of opensource - there is always some constrain that wasn't thought off while evaluating values send to cards and stuff... This may only be solved by a solid support backup - in this case this seem to be a bigger problem then normal, in any case the silence from support is destroying my project and I am on the edge of giving up using Mikrotik with my 200mW card.

PLEASE ALLOW SENDING THE STRING "TXPOWER AUTO" TO PRISM-BASED CARDS!!!

Sincerly

Niels - DjurslandS.net
 
tully
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Tue Jul 20, 2004 1:22 pm

Hello Niels,

tx-power-default is the same thing as auto. In this case, no instructions or settings are give to the card for power -- the settings made by the manufacturer are used. The 'auto' means nothing -- it only means that there is no attempt to change the 'default/auto' of the card. How are you measuring the output?

John
 
niels@djurslands.net
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Wed Jul 21, 2004 3:08 pm

Hi John,

Nice to hear a reply :-) Thanks for that, it proves me wrong in my statement about lack of interest from support.

I am measuring the output using the following setup:

Soekris board with Mikrotik 2.1.11 flash image mounted with Senao 200mW MiniPCI -> pigtale -> 5dBi rubberduck whip antenna

Netstumbler and Kismet in a testsetup with 3 metres of direct sight.

Using same PCI card, same pigtail and same antenna on excactly same testspot in a 4G accesspoint i measure a difference on more than 30dBm

4G in the setting "auto" performs with -28dBm - using any other value makes it drop to various uncorrelated values. The scale uses 2-compliment values so the value 127 is max, 255 and 0 is minimum. This does not scale linear but some degree of reduction is measured. setting the value to ANYTHING but auto reduces performance to max. -40dBm

Measuring the performance on the mikrotik, any and all values including "default" result in -50 - -55dBm, this is what I would expect from a 100mW card.

Maybe the drivers differ?

Greetings from Denmark.

Niels
 
tully
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Wed Jul 21, 2004 3:44 pm

Those values can't be correct as the difference between 100mW and 200mW is 3dB.

When you do a test from 3m, anything can change the value of signal strength because of reflections -- where you are standing, anything that is moved. If you have a special radio frequency testing room, then you could use that and get good results.

We will look into this, but I would say that your test do not indicate any real conclusion.

Best would be to test on a long distance link where there are not things that make reflections (metal rooftops) and nothing is changed except the OS.

John

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