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robertEIT
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Mikrotik incompatible with Intel 2915ABG wifi card?

Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:45 pm

Hi,
I have two Panasonic CF29s wich both have old Intel 2915abg cards with the latest 9.0.4.39 drivers and a RB951ui2Hnd + a hAP Lite with Wireless set as AP Bridge on channels 1 and 11, B\G\N, security WPA2 and WPA1 AES only and I can't connect to the wifi with these two laptops. The log shows repeating "connecting; connected; disconnecting; disconnected; errors. Are these cards incompatible with the current release of ROS? I searched the forums and found some threads about incompatibility with some Intel ABG cards, but that was in 2006 and ROS version 2.

Or are there some "compatibility" settings I should do?

Thanks
 
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AlainCasault
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Re: Mikrotik incompatible with Intel 2915ABG wifi card?

Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:50 pm

Hello,
It has nothing to do with ROS compatibility as Mikrotik and your laptops follow 802.11 standards. Probably a config issue. Check if they can connect to other APs.

Regards

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Re: Mikrotik incompatible with Intel 2915ABG wifi card?

Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:51 pm

Add. And if other clients connect to the RB.

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robertEIT
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Re: Mikrotik incompatible with Intel 2915ABG wifi card?

Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:02 pm

Hello,
It has nothing to do with ROS compatibility as Mikrotik and your laptops follow 802.11 standards. Probably a config issue. Check if they can connect to other APs.

Regards

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Yes, multiple other clients are connected just fine, including other Intel WiFi cards (HP and Dell laptops), everything is ok.
Yes, the Panasonics do connect to my Blackberry Dtek50 mobile hotspot.
Yes, the Panasonics did work just fine on the old TP-Link router I removed.

+ The Panasonics run Windows XP.
 
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Re: Mikrotik incompatible with Intel 2915ABG wifi card?

Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:08 pm

Hmmm. Gotta love those issues. Dumb question: have you set the AP to 11n only???

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robertEIT
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Re: RE: Re: Mikrotik incompatible with Intel 2915ABG wifi card?

Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:10 pm

Hmmm. Gotta love those issues. Dumb question: have you set the AP to 11n only???

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That was the first thing I checked, it's B/G/N.

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Re: Mikrotik incompatible with Intel 2915ABG wifi card?

Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:56 pm

Does having 20/40 MHz width selected in wireless settings and manual channel affect G protocol? Isn't 40 MHz used only by N devices?
 
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Re: Mikrotik incompatible with Intel 2915ABG wifi card?

Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:57 pm

Indeed, 40MHz is for 11n (and 11ac) only. It has no effect for a/b/g.

This being said, I would not recommend using 40MHz in your network unless you live deep in the woods by yourself with no competing wifi networks. The 802.11 standard states that in case of interference between two 11n wifi network, a 40MHz AP WILL revert to 20MHz. Although the higher speeds can be appealing, the troubles aren't. Also, by using 40MHz, you loose a channel, so when you need to deploy multiple APs, you're limited to two channels (1 and 11). Even though 40MHz doesn't do anything for B/G, it's still in the same frequency space. As you build your network, you'll have to consider all clients and their supported protocols and the amount of channels you can use. In 2.4GHz, you need all three!

As I was working on a setup for an MTCWE lab, my (lab) wifi network (using 40MHz) would become horribly slow when running speed tests. Of course, my house has many APs with a couple of SSIDs. And then, there are neighbors! The clients would go down and unregister. That's because the AP would revert to 20MHz, kicking out the STAs and forcing them to register again. As the link was unstable, registering was problematic at best. Also, good pratices indicate that you should put more APs at lower output powers. In 2.4GHz at 20MHz, you'll have your 3 channels.

I've made a decision to NOT use B/G at home, having a greenfield environment of 802.11n ONLY. So older clients can't use wifi anymore. But that's my decision. As you may know, a legacy environment (support for older clients) will force your APs to work in protected mode, which will slow your network down. Also, older protocols mean slower speeds, which translates into more airtime for those older clients, leaving less airtime for the newer ones (which get slowed down). Other reasons to drop older protocols if you can do it.

As for auto channels, I'm personaly against anything I don't control. If you have a large setup, one AP might notice a neighbor on channel 6 and switch over to channel 4, for example. Now you have 1 and 4 overlapping, causing interference between each other. You can't add a layer of metal that's grounded on your house ;) so stick with 1-6-11 and plan around that. If your neighbor has an AP on channel 6, put channel 11 on yours. Also, play with power output. Stronger is NOT always better!

As for the original question for your Panasonics, I just don't get it. Old unsupported options??? But you say your drivers have been updated. I have an old Dell Inspiron 15, and it would connect "WHEN" I offered B/G. Have you disabled lower speeds (basic and supported rates)?

Let me know if you put your finger on it.

Regards,
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robertEIT
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Re: Mikrotik incompatible with Intel 2915ABG wifi card?

Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:04 pm

Indeed, 40MHz is for 11n (and 11ac) only. It has no effect for a/b/g.

This being said, I would not recommend using 40MHz in your network unless you live deep in the woods by yourself with no competing wifi networks. The 802.11 standard states that in case of interference between two 11n wifi network, a 40MHz AP WILL revert to 20MHz. Although the higher speeds can be appealing, the troubles aren't. Also, by using 40MHz, you loose a channel, so when you need to deploy multiple APs, you're limited to two channels (1 and 11). Even though 40MHz doesn't do anything for B/G, it's still in the same frequency space. As you build your network, you'll have to consider all clients and their supported protocols and the amount of channels you can use. In 2.4GHz, you need all three!

As I was working on a setup for an MTCWE lab, my (lab) wifi network (using 40MHz) would become horribly slow when running speed tests. Of course, my house has many APs with a couple of SSIDs. And then, there are neighbors! The clients would go down and unregister. That's because the AP would revert to 20MHz, kicking out the STAs and forcing them to register again. As the link was unstable, registering was problematic at best. Also, good pratices indicate that you should put more APs at lower output powers. In 2.4GHz at 20MHz, you'll have your 3 channels.

I've made a decision to NOT use B/G at home, having a greenfield environment of 802.11n ONLY. So older clients can't use wifi anymore. But that's my decision. As you may know, a legacy environment (support for older clients) will force your APs to work in protected mode, which will slow your network down. Also, older protocols mean slower speeds, which translates into more airtime for those older clients, leaving less airtime for the newer ones (which get slowed down). Other reasons to drop older protocols if you can do it.

As for auto channels, I'm personaly against anything I don't control. If you have a large setup, one AP might notice a neighbor on channel 6 and switch over to channel 4, for example. Now you have 1 and 4 overlapping, causing interference between each other. You can't add a layer of metal that's grounded on your house ;) so stick with 1-6-11 and plan around that. If your neighbor has an AP on channel 6, put channel 11 on yours. Also, play with power output. Stronger is NOT always better!

As for the original question for your Panasonics, I just don't get it. Old unsupported options??? But you say your drivers have been updated. I have an old Dell Inspiron 15, and it would connect "WHEN" I offered B/G. Have you disabled lower speeds (basic and supported rates)?

Let me know if you put your finger on it.

Regards,
Hi,
Hmm, indeed the location is filled with signals from other APs on almost all channels being a large courtyard with multiple businesses. Maybe the AP does revert back to 20Mhz when it detects interference and somehow affect the old B\G clients.

I do want stability over speed, so I will set the channel width to 20Mhz only and see if things change. I do use channel 1 manually set as it is the cleanest one in the location of the RB951.

This is my config
[admin@MikroTik] > interface wireless export
# jun/22/2017 12:33:13 by RouterOS 6.37.3
# software id = 5VJZ-GCIW
#
/interface wireless security-profiles
add authentication-types=wpa-psk,wpa2-psk eap-methods="" management-protection=\
allowed mode=dynamic-keys name="Wifi" supplicant-identity="" \
wpa-pre-shared-key=mypass wpa2-pre-shared-key=mypass
/interface wireless
set [ find default-name=wlan1 ] band=2ghz-b/g/n channel-width=20/40mhz-Ce \
disabled=no distance=indoors mode=ap-bridge security-profile="Wifi" \
ssid=Garage wireless-protocol=802.11 wps-mode=disabled
add disabled=no keepalive-frames=disabled mac-address=E6:00:00:00:00:CC \
master-interface=wlan1 mode=ap-bridge multicast-buffering=disabled name=\
wlan2 ssid="Hotspot" wds-cost-range=0 wds-default-cost=0 \
wps-mode=disabled
I haven't touched the rates tab.

I did enable wireless debug in logging and watched what happened when trying to connect with the Panasonics. I will attach a printscreen.

Does ROS tell if it reverts to 20Mhz channel width in logs? What Windows tool do you recommend for wifi information, I used wavemon on Linux but I can't find a good one for Windows?
 
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Re: Mikrotik incompatible with Intel 2915ABG wifi card?

Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:39 am

# jun/22/2017 12:33:13 by RouterOS 6.37.3
I'd possibly try a later version of RouterOS. 6.37.5 included the below:
*) wireless - improved compatibility with Intel 2200BG wireless card;
Not the same card I know. But the same generation so worth a try I'd say.
 
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Re: Mikrotik incompatible with Intel 2915ABG wifi card?

Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:11 pm

Yes, it's worth a shot. It's always good to keep current as bugs are fixed and functionalities added.

I'd have to do more reading, but when they talk about hardware compatibility, I think they mean within ROS, for extra hardware support for the X86 plateform (as a router).

I took a look at your config and it's as straightforward as you can find it.
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Re: Mikrotik incompatible with Intel 2915ABG wifi card?

Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:15 pm

Does ROS tell if it reverts to 20Mhz channel width in logs? What Windows tool do you recommend for wifi information, I used wavemon on Linux but I can't find a good one for Windows?
[admin@MikroAC03] /interface wireless> monitor wlan1
                     ;;; 2.4GHz
                 status: running-ap
                channel: 2412/20/gn(11dBm)
      wireless-protocol: 802.11
            noise-floor: -100dBm
         overall-tx-ccq: 86%
From this, I can tell that wlan1 is running at 20MHz bandwidth. I can also see that the noise floor is very low, which is good. With what you told me about your Wi-Fi neighborhood, check that value!!

[admin@MikroAC03] /interface wireless> monitor wlan2
                     ;;; 5GHz
                 status: running-ap
                channel: 5240/20-eeeC/ac(28dBm)
      wireless-protocol: 802.11
            noise-floor: -101dBm
         overall-tx-ccq: 90%
 
From this, I can tell that wlan2 is running at 80MHz bandwidth. The noise floor is just as low here.

As for tools, I use Netspot which you can get for free with limited functionalities. But it's good enough for my immediate needs. And it runs well on my Lenovo M300 Windows 10 tablet. I've used it to do a heat map of my neighborhood.

I also bought Acrylic Wi-Fi Professional. Its interface is very good and shows you bandwidth, security parameters and other important details. It's not that expensive (can't remember what I paid but I think it's under $100CDN). Things is, you need a very specific NIC with specific firmware version if you want to don packet sniffing and capture. Maybe that's changed now.

If you have MONEY$$$, check out AirMagnet and related products. Extremely good, used by pros for commercial jobs.
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Re: Mikrotik incompatible with Intel 2915ABG wifi card?

Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:32 pm

Yes, it's worth a shot. It's always good to keep current as bugs are fixed and functionalities added.

I'd have to do more reading, but when they talk about hardware compatibility, I think they mean within ROS, for extra hardware support for the X86 plateform (as a router).
From recollection it was a client side issue introduced in 6.37.x:

viewtopic.php?f=21&t=115220&p=574661&hi ... BG#p574661
 
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Re: Mikrotik incompatible with Intel 2915ABG wifi card?

Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:32 pm

Yes, it's worth a shot. It's always good to keep current as bugs are fixed and functionalities added.

I'd have to do more reading, but when they talk about hardware compatibility, I think they mean within ROS, for extra hardware support for the X86 plateform (as a router).
From recollection it was a client side issue introduced in 6.37.x:

viewtopic.php?f=21&t=115220&p=574661&hi ... BG#p574661

Thanks for the post! I'll go to sleep tonight more knowledgable.
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robertEIT
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Re: Mikrotik incompatible with Intel 2915ABG wifi card?

Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:51 am

I'll go to the location on monday and will check and do updates for ROS and routerboard.
I'll also check the monitor commands and see what they output.

Meanwhile, I have a screenshot of the log while the Panasonics were trying to connect.

I'll get a new one on monday with wireless debug enabled in logging.
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robertEIT
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Re: Mikrotik incompatible with Intel 2915ABG wifi card?

Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:15 pm

Ok, I've updated to the latest ROS version, and after rebooting it seems to work. Interesting!

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robertEIT
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Re: Mikrotik incompatible with Intel 2915ABG wifi card?

Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:58 am

Ok so this is after updating to 6.39.2 and routerboard firmware 3.33, the log is very active and I see some "banned....?" messages there.

See attached screenshots of the log

I just set 20Mhz width right now and will check the log tomorrow ,
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Re: Mikrotik incompatible with Intel 2915ABG wifi card?

Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:08 pm

Ok, I'm back with more info regarding issues with ABG wireless cards. It seems that updating to latest version of routeros and setting 20Mhz channel width does fix some issues. I also noticed one of the more modern laptops, a HP EliteBook with Intel N wifi card was disconnecting every few seconds, so setting channel width to 20/40Mhz even if environment allows causes issues with many wireless devices including N cards.

I've set the channel width to 20 Mhz, updated routeros and the rebooted. After that, no more errors and all devices, old and new seems to work.

I'll get back with more info soon.

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