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Old 07-17-2008, 12:36 PM
"Michael Simpson"
 
Default bcm43xx CentOS5

Hi there,
i am looking for a bit of advice on how to proceed with a wee problem
that i am having.
I have a BCM4306 pcmcia card (one of the later revisions) that i use
to connect to my wpa2 wireless network.
This is running on an old Dell Latitude (circa 1999).
I used to use fedora (7,8 and then 9) on this but 2.6.23 and 2.6.25
stopped populating various bits of /proc/acpi with the relevant
information for the cpu temp sensor to be read accurately (lm_sensors
doesn't detect any sensors either in 2.x or 3.x) so i am reliant on
the kernel to do the necessary magic.
I had been using bcm43xx then b43 to access the card with the 4.x
firmware from openwrt and all was good - speedy responsive etc

Got fed up with kernel updates attempting to fry the laptop as i after
2.6.23 i had to replace the mobo (opened bugzilla report, no action
taken, not complaining coz hey it's a 440BX-M so is fairly unimportant
in the overall scheme of things)

So, as every other box in the house now runs CentOS i installed that instead.
dl'd the bcm43xx-fwcutter from Karanbir (thanks btw!) cut out the bits
from the 3.x firmware from the link on linuxwireless.org, altered
modprobe.conf etc.

Wireless now works but is *real slow* just for internet access (like
minutes for pages to load). ssh, ping etc all good and quick

I am wondering if it is because of the old version of BCM43xx that is
in the 2.6.18 kernel (never liked softMAC much) or if something else
is going on.
top occasionally shows me that Xorg is sometimes going to 70-80% of cpu useage.

The desktop is always really responsive and apart from the browsing
issue which is upsetting my partner loads then CentOS sems ideal for
this laptop.

I really don't want to go back to using ndiswrapper and wondered if
anyone had any pointers other than using another box with which to ssh
-Y firefox &

Am away from the laptop atm but if any further info is needed, dmesg,
lspci etc then i will be able to provide them when i am home this
evening (about 5hrs hence)


Thanks in advance

mike
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:05 PM
"Bart Schaefer"
 
Default bcm43xx CentOS5

On Thu, Jul 17, 2008 at 5:36 AM, Michael Simpson
<mikie.simpson@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi there,
> I have a BCM4306 pcmcia card (one of the later revisions) that i use
> to connect to my wpa2 wireless network.
>
> Wireless now works but is *real slow* just for internet access (like
> minutes for pages to load). ssh, ping etc all good and quick

I fear I can contribute more commiseration than assistance. I have an
HP laptop with builtin Broadcom wireless. I initially got CentOS 5
working with ndiswrapper, but had to change my access point from
shared to open authentication (WEP) and found that ndiswrapper fails
to authtenticate in the latter configuration. The default bcm43xx
module handles the open authentication OK, but I experience a lot of
lost and duplicated packets -- experiments with ping show up to 30%
failure some of the time. (I should update the HP ze5300 wiki page
with this info.) I have to plug in to a wired net to do package
updates.

I have other wireless devices using the same AP with no problems, and
the same laptop performs well when booted into Windows, so this
appears to be a problem with the bcm43xx drivers. I keep hoping that
each kernel update will improve the situation, but so far in vain.
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:23 PM
"Michael Simpson"
 
Default bcm43xx CentOS5

> I have other wireless devices using the same AP with no problems, and
> the same laptop performs well when booted into Windows, so this
> appears to be a problem with the bcm43xx drivers. I keep hoping that
> each kernel update will improve the situation, but so far in vain.

b43 is great with the 4.x drivers from openwrt in 2.6.24+ on fedora.
however i did more tinkering yesterday.
Turns out the problem is with my isp - sometimes i hate being in the uk.
Tried ssh -Y on another local machine with different public ip address
and had the same problem
so it isn't the laptop.
i then set up an instance of CentOS5 on amazon's ec2 service (love that btw)
i then ssh -Y firefox using that instead
Even with the trans-atlantic roundtrip and through the
encryption/decryption it was nice and responsive compared to a local
copy.
Partner now happy as she can browse next store online without getting upset.
:-)

Time to change providers, thinking of zen adsl or andrews and arnold.

wpa_supplicant seems to work well for me using WPA2-personal

sorry for the noise

mike
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