Re: Change wireless interface "sens" value how?

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On Mon, Feb 14, 2011 at 6:47 PM, John W. Linville <[email protected]> wrote:

> Obviously wireless users like to be able to roam.  I certainly do it
> around the house, etc.  Are you saying that your ath5k device somehow
> refuses to disconnect even after you are out of range of the old AP?
> That would be rather strange.

Well in the house at the furthest position downstairs diagonally away
from the upstairs AP the signal is really weak and iffy and sometimes
it throws the connection off. The downstairs AP is about 20 feet from
that location but the wireless wants to hang on to the weak signal
from upstairs instead of switching to the really good one nearby!  I
can force it to do so by removing the existing connection and
restarting NM - but that is not ideal! I am not sure I can get to a
really zero signal position from the upstairs AP - maybe I can take
the laptop down the road for a walk and then when I come back it will
try the nearest one? (OK tongue out of cheek!)

> Yes, I remember that thread.  I'm still not sure I understand why
> you care which AP you connect to, so long as the connection works.
> In any case, if you are using NetworkManager then the decision for
> which AP to use will lie somewhere between NM and wpa_supplicant.
> I'm sorry, but I don't know the details to go beyond that.

The reason is as for my previous paragraph!

> The driver will only make an association when directed to do so from
> userland.  If you are using very basic tools (like iwconfig) then there
> is some minimal suppot in the kernel for scanning and finding an AP.

I guess iwlist wlan0 scan - which does work - but maybe there are
other tools to make NM or rather the supplicant switch connections?

> If you use wpa_supplicant, it will control the scanning for APs and
> choosing one as it sees fit.  NetworkManager uses wpa_supplicant,
> but NM exerts some control over the wpa_supplicant configuration and
> I'm not fluent on those details.

Ahh OK - maybe I should reread some wpa_supplicant docs - in the old
days I used to configure it manually before NM became workable.

> If a connection is lost, the kernel will make no effort to reconnect
> by itself.  If you are using iwconfig, you will need to trigger the
> reconnection manually.  wpa_supplicant will reconnect automatically,
> possibly to a new AP if the old one is no longer available.

Thanks for your input John - the problem is that there is just enough
residual signal that it must believe it has not completely gone away!
I don't know what would happen if I covered it in baking foil and
block out the signal for a few seconds and then see what happens when
I unblocked it.....

There are a few other people who seem to have these issues too but
like me I guess they just to the manual changes and "make" it work....

One reason I was asking about it is because I have two new linux
convertees, and gave them a laptop and they bumped into the same issue
when visiting - but being new they were not in a position to run
commands from the CLI to get into fiddling with the wireless
connection and expected it to just work whatever part of the house
they were in - which is perhaps not unreasonable!

I'll keep reading but in the meantime I guess it will be manual poking
to get things to go from the different positions of the machine.

mike c
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