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Thread: AWUS036H - Unable to connect when wifi is below -65dbm

  1. #1
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    Default AWUS036H - Really slow connection when wifi is below -65dbm

    Hi!

    I just recieved the Alfa AWUS036H, and after playing a bit around with it, i find that i am unable to get a proper connection if my WLAN has a signal lower than 60-70%. Sometimes i am not able to connect at all with this signal. I can easily crack the WEP at a lower signal, but i am unable to connect properly.
    EDIT: Actually, i get a connection, but the internet is superslow.

    Do anyone know why this is? I've also noticed that the device doesn't show networks that are below 50% - So i would've thought that it should easily connect to all the networks it see's.

    When i type iwconfig, it outputs that the transmit power is set to 27 dBm (500mw?), which i believe should be enough to transmit back to the AP... I am using the RTL8187 driver, and the WPA supplicant driver is set to "wext" in the Wicd manager - However, im not sure if this matters. I've tried to use "ralink legacy" instead, but this doesn't make a difference. I've read that the RTL8187 should be the best driver for normal internet use, and the R8187 is better when using the aircrack-suite. Still, maybe its worth a try to switch to the R8187 to see if this is better?

    Is the R8187 already installed in backtrack? Is the changing of driver just simply a matter of editing the blacklist-file? Do i need to reboot for the new driver to become active?

    Im grateful for all input on this
    Thank you!
    Last edited by Dishwasher; 03-24-2010 at 05:11 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: AWUS036H - Unable to connect when wifi is below -65dbm

    Hi I have ALFA AWUS036H 1000mw and it works well, no problems yet.

    One program that you may find interesting is wavemon.

    Is your problem only in your WLAN or with every WLANs

  3. #3
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    Default Re: AWUS036H - Unable to connect when wifi is below -65dbm

    Thank you for your response, i'll check it out I've tried with two different APs, and have the same problem with both

  4. #4
    Junior Member Lucifer's Avatar
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    Default Re: AWUS036H - Unable to connect when wifi is below -65dbm

    this is a strange problem indeed. try to connect to other AP's to see if the problem still excists.
    if it does, plug your device in a different pc and try again.
    if all fails, then maybe your device is DOA.
    I don't think switching drivers will help, but here's how I do it:
    modprobe -r rtl8187
    modprobe r8187
    I know you're supposed to blacklist the rt8187 driver when using r8187, but I never found any problems if I don't blacklist.
    the r8187 driver is standard included in bt4final.

    good luck
    Last edited by Lucifer; 03-24-2010 at 05:25 PM.

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    Default Re: AWUS036H - Unable to connect when wifi is below -65dbm

    Thanks for the feedback As i've mentioned, i tried with two different APs with same result. I don't think its DOA, cause i just tried it in Windows XP, and it works very well. I may have ****ed up my backtrack installation though, cause ive done some different things with it. Might try to do a fresh install tonight, and see if it works better then..

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    Default Re: AWUS036H - Unable to connect when wifi is below -65dbm

    Funny you say that as i experience the same problem sometimes,im running bt4 final(install) and have a alfa awus306h and when i connect to some networks that are well with in range the pages dont load at all,page will load up to about 75% status and hang then.

    I have yet to find a solution or reason why this happens,by the looks of it,its not a problem for some people.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: AWUS036H - Unable to connect when wifi is below -65dbm

    I don't think it's a strange problem at all but rather quite normal. You say that you are getting a signal lower that 60-70% but you don't say if this is line quality or power. It's common to have a strong signal and poor line quality especially in a multipath environment. You need to look carefully and specifically at the line quality of the connection. To do this type airmon-ng -c X wlan0 where X is the channel of the AP. Look at the line quality (RQX) of the BSSID and make sure it stays above 70% on a regular basis. If it does not, then you have identified the problem.

    The fact that you get a connection and it is super slow is, again, expected behavior when line quality is poor. That's what the protocol is designed to do, drop down in speed rather than lose the connection.

    I suspect that either having a stronger antenna or reposition the Alfa closer to the AP is going to solve all your problems.

  8. #8
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    Default

    Obviously the link quality is the problem just as you suggested. Sometimes the RQX goes down to 10% and rarely higher than 40%. I still think its a bit strange though - cause in Windows XP i can connect and browse normally with the Alfa in the same location. I've also installed the power driver in XP which displays the link quality, and this roams between 40% and 70% which clearly is sufficient as im having a fair connection, and pages loads normally..

    Found the solution! https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...ux/+bug/215802
    2nd post:
    Code:
    iwconfig wlan0 rate 11M
    I also think playing with a lower tx-power had some effect, but im not certain. It might just have been a placebo effect for my part
    Code:
    iwconfig wlan0 txpower (using a variable between 0 and 27)
    Thanks for all your feedback, it guided me in the right direction
    Last edited by lupin; 03-25-2010 at 10:06 AM. Reason: Merging...

  9. #9
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    Default Re: AWUS036H - Unable to connect when wifi is below -65dbm

    yeh I also was experiencing this as soon as i got my alfa....and soon figured out it was definitely line quality...I had walked up closer to the AP.If u use windows u will see the alfa application giving u two readings..One for signal strength and the other is line quality..Sometimes the Signal Strength is high and the Line quality is low but it's really the line quality that pulls the data in to browse smoothe...What I did that is an immediate solution is get a directional antenna for the alfa to really maximize it's capabilities...first off i built what u call an EZ-12..You can google it..it's a free do-it-yourself antenna u can build very easily..And mind u it really really works well...but i recommend u buy one of the better constructed directional antennas..I have ordered mine from wi-fi link technologies it should be here in 2 weeks..Might let u guys know how it's performing in another thread...peace.

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