Asus Releases New Wireless Drivers for RT-N66U, Claim to Fix 5GHz Problem

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by hawkmat, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. hawkmat

    hawkmat LI Guru Member

    New RT-N66U Firmware today 07/22/2013
    Firmware Version
    Updated Broadcom driver and fixed Intel 4965 / 6300 5GHz 40MHz connection issue.

    Driver version appears to be the same model number. Asus has done this in the past. Change/Update the driver without changing the driver version.

    Dec 31 18:00:07 kernel: eth0: Broadcom BCM47XX 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet Controller
    Dec 31 18:00:07 kernel: wl_module_init: passivemode set to 0x0
    Dec 31 18:00:07 kernel: PCI: Enabling device 0000:01:01.0 (0000 -> 0002)
    Dec 31 18:00:07 kernel: eth1: Broadcom BCM4331 802.11 Wireless Controller
    Dec 31 18:00:07 kernel: PCI: Enabling device 0000:02:01.0 (0000 -> 0002)
    Dec 31 18:00:07 kernel: eth2: Broadcom BCM4331 802.11 Wireless Controller

    I'm just now starting to test this driver out.
  2. RMerlin

    RMerlin Network Guru Member

    The following will give you more details about the driver build:

    wl ver
  3. koitsu

    koitsu Network Guru Member

    Summary is misleading (implies there is something universally wrong with 5GHz support), so some clarification is needed:

    The issue sounds like an interoperability issue at the driver level between the Broadcom BCM4331 used in the RT-N66U (and possibly other chips -- at this time nobody knows, meaning what I say is speculative) and Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN and Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 chips, only when using 5GHz and 40MHz (and most people shouldn't be using 40MHz anyway given its negative side effects).
  4. hawkmat

    hawkmat LI Guru Member

    Koitsu, Broadcom and Asus released driver for the RT-N66U several months ago. Many current Tomato builds use Broadcom/Asus wireless drivers. So far has been plagued with the problem of not connecting with many different Intel wireless cards while using the 5GHz band at 40MHz. Switch to 20 MHz and the Intel wireless cards will work. Shibby has released experimental builds with the new driver which suffers the same 5 Ghz/40Mhz problem. Asus introduced a newly altered driver today claiming to fix the problem. I can see this as the next Tomato wireless driver once Broadcom/Asus work out the bugs.
  5. koitsu

    koitsu Network Guru Member

    Right, I understand -- my point is that folks shouldn't be using 40MHz anyway, unless they're in an extremely unpopulated area (I'm talking maybe 2-3 other APs seen across all channels). Use of 40MHz in medium or high AP population area will make everyone else's wireless worse given how it works. If you want me to dig up past threads/posts about this problem (it's not specific to any router, it's part of how the technology works), specifically a site that outlined/documented the problems (graphs and all), I can do so.

    We really need to see the output from wl ver on a router using this "newly altered" driver (dmesg is not sufficient), as well as output from md5 /lib/modules/ (assuming Asus's firmware keeps the wl driver as a kernel module at that location) and ls -l for the same file; but overall wl ver will be of more use.

    Finally: it's important that readers understand that every single time the wireless driver has been changed/upgraded in Tomato firmwares, there are a slew of people who show up reporting problems which go away when rolling back -- and just as many people who show up reporting the driver improves/fixes things. wl.ko is one of those things that the firmware maintainers generally do not like to play around with. More importantly: there is never any guarantee that a changed/modified wl.ko (on Asus or anyone else's part) will work with a different firmware; driver vs. kernel ABI semantics may change. These are all things to keep that in mind. :)
  6. RMerlin

    RMerlin Network Guru Member

    There is no reason at this point not to use 40 Mhz on the 5 GHz band. The shorter range and the fact it's not as popular yet means that it's unlikely that your router at home will interfere with anyone else on that band. Plus, there's little electronics in your house that interfere in that range, unlike the 2.4 GHz that has to compete with cordless phones, microwave ovens, baby monitors, bluetooth, and so on.

    The driver in 372 is exactly the same, with the same md5 as in 372_1393. I suspect that they might have incorrectly compiled it and ended up reusing the wrong driver build - unless the real fix lies in how they initialize the wireless interface (a good portion of that is in the firmware itself). In any case, 1393 doesn't fix anything at all, so due to the fact the kernel module is totally unchanged from the previous release, I'm enclined to believe it wasn't properly compiled.
  7. hawkmat

    hawkmat LI Guru Member

    Hi Koitsu! RMerlin stated very well what I was going to say. From my home I see 36 2.4 GHz access points while I see zero 5GHz AP's. 40Mhz on the 2.4GHz band is usually a bad idea as it is neighbor unfriendly eating up 2/3 of the available spectrum. 40MHz on the 5GHz is acceptable in most cases as it much easier to avoid other users due to many more channel choices and 5GHz's lack of range to interfere. The new Asus driver is still a problem with Intel cards and will have to wait for a new release.
  8. Monk E. Boy

    Monk E. Boy Network Guru Member

    In the US there are basically 2 very different ranges for 5Ghz. The lower 8 channels are in a much lower frequency range than the upper channels, and travel much farther as a result. Not 2.4Ghz range, by any means, but they do go much farther.

    Even so, it's rare to see others on 5Ghz channels. The fact that the signals don't penetrate as far means they're much less likely to be seen and cause interference. Heck, if you don't mind the short range, crank yourself up to the highest channel. You can run 40Mhz on those two channels and unless your walls are made out of paper mache you're unlikely to see anyone on that channel. It should work fine for reasonably sized apartments, but YMMV.
  9. Malitiacurt

    Malitiacurt Networkin' Nut Member

  10. RMerlin

    RMerlin Network Guru Member

    Probably a mix of both, since Asus solved most of the Intel-related issue in a recent SDK5.110 update, however some other wireless adapters are still having issues with it.

    The 5.110 SDK is a deadend anyway. Asus will probably be switching to SDK6 in the future.
  11. RMerlin

    RMerlin Network Guru Member

    Looks like Asus did the switch earlier than I expected (they told me it would occur after they had completed some other thing). They released a new RT-N66U FW today which has switched to the SDK6 driver.

    Hopefully it will take care once and for all of all those recent connectivity headaches related to the 5.110 driver.
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