[ale] Wifi weirdness

Joe Knapka jknapka at kneuro.net
Thu Dec 23 14:07:16 EST 2004

This is driving me out of my mind.

I have two laptops, both alike in hardware, in fair El Paso where we
lay our scene. (They're Compaq Armada 1700s.)  I have also a NetGear
MA401 (Prism 2) PCMCIA 802.11b card, which works splendidly in laptop
A, but which completely fails to associate with the AP when used with
laptop B. I am configuring the card by hand using iwconfig in both
cases, so I have complete control of the wifi config; I'll worry about
automating this after I get the bloody thing working in both machines.

The major difference between the two laptops is that laptop A
(the one where the card works) is running RH8; laptop B is
running Fedora Core 3test2.

lsmod and /var/log/messages reveal that the OS is using the orinoco_cs
driver for this card in both cases.

After iwconfig'ing the card as similarly as I can, iwconfig reveals
that the card is configured identically in each case, except that the
"Frequency" is set to 2.437Ghz on laptop A, 2.422Ghz on laptop B. This
seems the only pertinent difference between the two cases, but
iwconfig cannot change the frequency in either case ("operation not
supported"). So I am confused as to (a) how and why the frequency
would be set differently on the two machines, (b) how to change this,
and (c) whether there is some underlying issue that I need to address.

All advice will be appreciated. Unless it's bad advice, natch.

(Hmm, I just noticed that FC3 uses kernel card services, whereas
RH8 uses the old userland cardmgr. I wonder if that's the root of
this evil? I'm going to blow away FC3 and install RH8 on that
machine, just to be sure.)


-- Joe Knapka

"Meet the new boss / Same as the old boss..." -- The Who
... Oh well, at least there's 2008.
pub  1024D/BA496D2B 2004-05-14 Joseph A Knapka
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If you really want to get my attention, send mail to
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