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Old 08-24-2012, 11:13 PM
Deniz Akcal
 
Default Bug#586383: Relatively minor Atheros AR242x wireless card light flickering issue with Linux kernel 2.6.32 to 3.5.2 (ath5k driver)

Hello. This is a continuation of the Debian bug #586383 (*http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=586383*) filed long ago.*As
a test run I booted into my system with the latest Linux 3.5.2
kernel. Upon booting, the network activity light is orange only.
After selecting the 3.5.2 kernel, while loading, the light remained
orange. I think the first moment I noticed that it turned blue was when the udev daemon loaded (this was from looking at what the screen said when the system was
loading at the moment I noticed the colour change). After this, I
noticed minor flickering and then the light was completely orange again.
When gdm3 (the GNOME display manager) started, the light became blue
again and stayed blue for a while. Right after logging in, the light
turned orange again but perhaps it’s because I wasn’t connected
to the Internet. Once I connected to my network, the light flickered
at a faster, medium pace and occasionally stayed blue for a long-ish
while (many minutes). I think the pattern is that when the data
transfers through the wireless card (such as by going to the
internet), it activates the flicker when the colour is blue for a
long time and if it’s already flickering then, it increases the
rate of the flickering.





This
issue was present for a long time. I remember having it since Debian
5.0 Lenny (with the 2.6.32 kernel) but I’m not sure if that’s
when the issue was introduced since, if I recall correctly, I didn’t
have this hardware before then. It probably was the first kernel
which supported this wireless card since I had upgraded the kernel
just for the wireless network and I vaguely remember something of the sort being the case so the issue may have been there from
the start of the ath5k driver’s integration to the kernel.







This
is my wireless card (which is inside the HP G50 laptop) from lscpi:


02:00.0
Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR242x / AR542x
Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) (rev 01)
 
Old 08-24-2012, 11:36 PM
Jonathan Nieder
 
Default Bug#586383: Relatively minor Atheros AR242x wireless card light flickering issue with Linux kernel 2.6.32 to 3.5.2 (ath5k driver)

Hi again,

Deniz Akcal wrote:

> I think the pattern is that when the data
> transfers through the wireless card (such as by going to the
> internet), it activates the flicker when the colour is blue for a
> long time and if it’s already flickering then, it increases the
> rate of the flickering.

Thanks. Quick questions:

Is this behavior expected or unexpected? What led you to report it as
a bug? Is it desirable or undesirable? Have you been having other
problems with the ath5k driver?

In principle an LED indicating the rx/tx rate could be a nice thing,
but if it is distracting or counterintuitive or related to other
problems then not so much. Hence the question.

Hope that helps,
Jonathan


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Old 08-25-2012, 11:23 AM
Adrian Chadd
 
Default Bug#586383: Relatively minor Atheros AR242x wireless card light flickering issue with Linux kernel 2.6.32 to 3.5.2 (ath5k driver)

Hi,

So there's a hardware MAC LED blink thing that can be done. You may be
seeing that enabled by default.



Adrian


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Old 08-25-2012, 10:35 PM
Deniz Akcal
 
Default Bug#586383: Relatively minor Atheros AR242x wireless card light flickering issue with Linux kernel 2.6.32 to 3.5.2 (ath5k driver)

Hi
Jonathan.





The
behaviour is unexpected and it is undesirable because I believe the
light should be orange only when pressing the button which disables
the device. In the past, the ath5k driver worked at a rate of 1 Mb/s
rather than the 54 Mb/s that it’s working at now (as mentioned
previously) according to gnome’s network manager applet but I have
never noticed anything qualitatively wrong other than the light
flicker. Most importantly, long ago, prior to removing the
pre-installed copy of Windows Vista, I recall the hardware not
behaving like this (and the light was a constant blue when the
network was enabled and orange when it was disabled).
 

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