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Cannot make my Atheros based card to work as access point

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Cannot make my Atheros based card to work as access point

Владимир Р
have Linksys WMP300N card based on Atheros AR5416 chipset. I am running BackTrack 3 Beta LiveCD.
It works fine in station and monitor mode. But when I try to use in in ap mode,
configuring as described on Madwifi Wiki, in simple unencrypted way,
I can see my access point from PocketPC, with 100% signal level.
PocketPC could connect to ap, even obtains IP from DHCP, but got disconnected every 5 seconds!
Trying using WEP has same effect. Here are some lines from logs.
Jun 28 16:10:44 (none) kernel: Linux version 2.6.21.5 (root@bt) (gcc version 4.1.2)
Jun 28 16:10:44 (none) kernel: ath_hal: 0.10.2.2-ATHEROS (AR5210, AR5211, AR5212, AR5416, RF5111, RF5112, RF2413, RF5413, RF2133, RF2425)
Jun 28 16:10:44 (none) kernel: wlan: 0.8.4.2 (svn r2834)
Jun 28 16:10:44 (none) kernel: ath_pci: 0.9.4.5 (svn r2834)
Jun 28 16:10:44 (none) kernel: ath_pci: switching rfkill capability off
Jun 28 16:10:44 (none) kernel: ath_rate_sample: 1.2 (svn r2834)
Jun 28 16:10:44 (none) kernel: ath_pci: switching per-packet transmit power control off
...............
ath_hal: module license 'Proprietary' taints kernel.
ath_hal: 0.10.2.2-ATHEROS (AR5210, AR5211, AR5212, AR5416, RF5111, RF5112, RF2413, RF5413, RF2133, RF2425)
Linux video capture interface: v2.00
wlan: 0.8.4.2 (svn r2834)
ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:02:0a.0[A] -> GSI 22 (level, low) -> IRQ 19
ath_pci: 0.9.4.5 (svn r2834)
bttv: driver version 0.9.17 loaded
bttv: using 8 buffers with 2080k (520 pages) each for capture
ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:02:02.1[A] -> GSI 22 (level, low) -> IRQ 19
ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:02:03.0[A] -> GSI 16 (level, low) -> IRQ 20
ath_pci: switching rfkill capability off
ath_rate_sample: 1.2 (svn r2834)
ath_pci: switching per-packet transmit power control off
wifi0: 11b rates: 1Mbps 2Mbps 5.5Mbps 11Mbps
wifi0: 11g rates: 1Mbps 2Mbps 5.5Mbps 11Mbps 6Mbps 9Mbps 12Mbps 18Mbps 24Mbps 36Mbps 48Mbps 54Mbps
wifi0: turboG rates: 6Mbps 9Mbps 12Mbps 18Mbps 24Mbps 36Mbps 48Mbps 54Mbps
wifi0: H/W encryption support: WEP AES AES_CCM TKIP
wifi0: mac 13.10 phy 8.1 radio 13.0
wifi0: Use hw queue 1 for WME_AC_BE traffic
wifi0: Use hw queue 0 for WME_AC_BK traffic
wifi0: Use hw queue 2 for WME_AC_VI traffic
wifi0: Use hw queue 3 for WME_AC_VO traffic
wifi0: Use hw queue 8 for CAB traffic
wifi0: Use hw queue 9 for beacons
wifi0: Atheros 5416: mem=0xe2000000, irq=20

I did try to enable debugging, but could not seen in logs none exept some reports about client disconnections. With other access points my PocketPC works fine and remains connected for hours.




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Re: Cannot make my Atheros based card to work as access point

Pavel Roskin
On Sat, 2008-07-05 at 19:04 +0400, Владимир Р wrote:

> have Linksys WMP300N card based on Atheros AR5416 chipset. I am running BackTrack 3 Beta LiveCD.
> It works fine in station and monitor mode. But when I try to use in in ap mode,
> configuring as described on Madwifi Wiki, in simple unencrypted way,
> I can see my access point from PocketPC, with 100% signal level.
> PocketPC could connect to ap, even obtains IP from DHCP, but got disconnected every 5 seconds!
> Trying using WEP has same effect. Here are some lines from logs.
> Jun 28 16:10:44 (none) kernel: Linux version 2.6.21.5 (root@bt) (gcc version 4.1.2)
> Jun 28 16:10:44 (none) kernel: ath_hal: 0.10.2.2-ATHEROS (AR5210, AR5211, AR5212, AR5416, RF5111, RF5112, RF2413, RF5413, RF2133, RF2425)

That's an old revision with an unofficial HAL provided by some Atheros
employee.  I'm sorry, but I don't think anyone here has time and desire
to work around bugs in obsolete software.

> wifi0: mac 13.10 phy 8.1 radio 13.0

This should work with the current MadWifi snapshot from subversion.

And by the way, the final BackTrack 3 release provides a much newer
revision 3726 with HAL 0.10.5.6.  It may work better.

Make sure you set the channel when configuring the AP.

--
Regards,
Pavel Roskin

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Re: Cannot make my Atheros based card to work as access point

Владимир Р
In reply to this post by Владимир Р
Thanks to Pavel Roskin for quick replay.
He wrote:
>This should work with the current MadWifi snapshot from subversion.
>And by the way, the final BackTrack 3 release provides a much newer
>revision 3726 with HAL 0.10.5.6.  It may work better.
>Make sure you set the channel when configuring the AP.

OK, I downloaded final BackTrack 3 release and tried to make AP mode working.
But now I cannot see my AP at all! There is no signal.
So in ad-hoc mode. No errors in logs.
Monitor and station modes works OK.  
wlan: svn r3726
ath_pci: svn r3726
ath_hal: 0.10.5.6
wifi0: ath_announce: Driver has Karma 1.1 patches by Robin Wood <[hidden email]>
wifi0: ath_announce: Driver has managed mode injection patches by Jeff <[hidden email]>
wifi0: ath_announce: Driver mods are maintained by H D Moore <[hidden email]>
The wifi0 interface has input and output, but ath0 seems to be down.
bt ~ # ifconfig wifi0
wifi0     Link encap:UNSPEC  HWaddr 00-1C-10-E7-57-E5-58-90-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00
          UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:45901 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:11722
          TX packets:3248 errors:1427 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:280
          RX bytes:4835499 (4.6 MiB)  TX bytes:651410 (636.1 KiB)
          Interrupt:21

ath0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 06:1C:10:E7:57:E5
          inet addr:192.168.123.1  Bcast:192.168.123.255  Mask:255.255.255.0
          UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
          RX bytes:0 (0.0 b)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 b)
bt ~ # iwconfig ath0
ath0      IEEE 802.11g  ESSID:"mytestap"  Nickname:""
          Mode:Master  Frequency:2.437 GHz  Access Point: 06:1C:10:E7:57:E5
          Bit Rate:0 kb/s   Tx-Power:15 dBm   Sensitivity=1/1
          Retry:off   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Encryption key:off
          Power Management:off
          Link Quality=0/70  Signal level=-96 dBm  Noise level=-96 dBm
          Rx invalid nwid:4359  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0

 

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Re: Cannot make my Atheros based card to work as access point

Pavel Roskin
Quoting Vladimir R <[hidden email]>:

> Thanks to Pavel Roskin for quick replay.
> He wrote:
>> This should work with the current MadWifi snapshot from subversion.
>> And by the way, the final BackTrack 3 release provides a much newer
>> revision 3726 with HAL 0.10.5.6.  It may work better.
>> Make sure you set the channel when configuring the AP.
>
> OK, I downloaded final BackTrack 3 release and tried to make AP mode working.
> But now I cannot see my AP at all! There is no signal.
> So in ad-hoc mode. No errors in logs.
> Monitor and station modes works OK.
> wlan: svn r3726
> ath_pci: svn r3726
> ath_hal: 0.10.5.6
> wifi0: ath_announce: Driver has Karma 1.1 patches by Robin Wood  
> <[hidden email]>
> wifi0: ath_announce: Driver has managed mode injection patches by  
> Jeff <[hidden email]>
> wifi0: ath_announce: Driver mods are maintained by H D Moore  
> <[hidden email]>

That alone can be a problem.  I don't think makers of those patches  
were caring about the normal AP mode.  The first patch is to act as a  
rogue AP and lure clients away from their real APs.  The second patch  
is to crack WEP as a client.

Anyway, please describe how you created the interface.  It may be an  
issue with the order of commands.  I've seen other people reporting  
similar problems, but I could not reproduce them.  And once they find  
out how to fix it, they disappear without giving any details.

> The wifi0 interface has input and output, but ath0 seems to be down.

I would not trust the stats to figure out which interface is "up",  
especially the data from ifconfig.

> bt ~ # iwconfig ath0
> ath0      IEEE 802.11g  ESSID:"mytestap"  Nickname:""
>           Mode:Master  Frequency:2.437 GHz  Access Point: 06:1C:10:E7:57:E5
>           Bit Rate:0 kb/s   Tx-Power:15 dBm   Sensitivity=1/1
>           Retry:off   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
>           Encryption key:off
>           Power Management:off
>           Link Quality=0/70  Signal level=-96 dBm  Noise level=-96 dBm
>           Rx invalid nwid:4359  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
>           Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0

Try setting the channel again.  Also try setting the bit rate to 1M,  
just to see if that's the problem.

--
Regards,
Pavel Roskin

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Re: Cannot make my Atheros based card to work as access point

Владимир Р
In reply to this post by Владимир Р
Pavel Roskin wrote:
>That alone can be a problem. I don't think makers of those patches
>were caring about the normal AP mode.
>The first patch is to act as a rogue AP and lure clients away from their real APs.
>The second patch is to crack WEP as a client.
>Anyway, please describe how you created the interface.
>It may be an issue with the order of commands.
>I've seen other people reporting similar problems, but I could not reproduce them.
>And once they find out how to fix it, they disappear without giving any details.

OK, I retained BackTrack beta disk image, so could compare the situation.
First, I loaded beta and run minimalistic set of commands to create AP:
bt ~ # wlanconfig ath0 destroy
bt ~ # wlanconfig ath0 create wlandev wifi0 wlanmode ap
ath0
bt ~ # iwconfig ath0 mode master
bt ~ # iwconfig ath0 channel 3
bt ~ # iwconfig ath0 essid mytestap
bt ~ # ifconfig ath0 inet 192.168.123.1 netmask 255.255.255.0 up
bt ~ #
After this commands I have connection icon displayed on Slax desktop,
and access point with name "mytestap" appeared on screen of my PocketPC.
As described in early messages, Pocket and AP keep connects and disconnects every 5 sec.
Second, I did shut down system and loaded it with BackTrack final.
Then I cut and paste exactly same set and order of commands, saved for this purpose.
Absolute failure, no icon, no access point appeared.
May be lost AP capability is the result of patches, but how it then can be used as a fake AP?
And can I somwhere download "right" madwifi modules, compiled for current BT3 kernel, in lzm?
Because I have no kernel and driver sources to compile it myself.


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Re: Cannot make my Atheros based card to work as access point

Pavel Roskin
On Fri, 2008-07-11 at 23:11 +0400, Vladimir R wrote:

> OK, I retained BackTrack beta disk image, so could compare the situation.
> First, I loaded beta and run minimalistic set of commands to create AP:
> bt ~ # wlanconfig ath0 destroy
> bt ~ # wlanconfig ath0 create wlandev wifi0 wlanmode ap
> ath0
> bt ~ # iwconfig ath0 mode master
> bt ~ # iwconfig ath0 channel 3
> bt ~ # iwconfig ath0 essid mytestap
> bt ~ # ifconfig ath0 inet 192.168.123.1 netmask 255.255.255.0 up
> bt ~ #

I just checked backtrack 3 final with the same commands, and a Linux
station connected automatically.  I could ping it would doing anything
else.  I think the software is OK on the AP side.  Please check
antennas.  Use packet sniffers like wireshark to see if the beacons are
sent.  Try capturing the whole association process.

--
Regards,
Pavel Roskin

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