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Old 05-12-2008, 04:36 PM
Alan McKinnon
 
Default advice for a wireless antenna?

On Monday 12 May 2008, Grant Edwards wrote:
> > As modified by the firmware in the device. OK, it's not the
> > driver per se, but it's certainly not the hardware either
>
> Sorry, I don't see how firmware can affect sensitivity. I've
> been involved in writing firmware for RF data communications
> stuff for a long time, and I've certainly never been able to
> affect sensitivity.

Well, I don't write firmware for a living, but I do know electronics and
I do know the stated reason for having these firmware blobs at all - to
comply with legislation in the respective countries where the device is
sold.

The RF front end consists of amplifier and filter stages and possibly
other stuff. The gain of the amplifier stages can easily be made
adjustable under CPU control, so if a designer plans to do that, it
would be trivial. Whether they currently actually DO that as opposed to
it merely being easily possible is a question for someone else to
answer.

If that person is you and you know for a fact it is not done that way,
then I shall stand corrected.

--
Alan McKinnon
alan dot mckinnon at gmail dot com

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gentoo-user@lists.gentoo.org mailing list
 
Old 05-12-2008, 06:09 PM
Grant
 
Default advice for a wireless antenna?

> >> What do you mean by "outperform"? I can see how drivers can
> >> affect throughput. The Windows drivers for my Laptop's WiFi
> >> chipset (Intel Pro-something) only get about 1/4 of the
> >> bandwidth that the Linux drivers do.
> >>
> >> But, I don't understand how the driver can affect receiver
> >> sensitivity. That's purely a function of the design of the RF
> >> frontend.
> >
> > As modified by the firmware in the device. OK, it's not the
> > driver per se, but it's certainly not the hardware either
>
> Sorry, I don't see how firmware can affect sensitivity. I've
> been involved in writing firmware for RF data communications
> stuff for a long time, and I've certainly never been able to
> affect sensitivity.

I can say that I was really struggling to get a reliable wireless
connection with the rt2x00 device and Hawking external antenna
anywhere in my garage. I tried the madwifi device attached to the
same Hawking antenna and the difference was ridiculous. I got a
perfectly reliable signal from the back of the garage, the point
furthest from the signal's source.

Now that I think about it, I could have enabled outdoor mode for
madwifi, but I can't check it right now. Could that account for the
difference?

- Grant
--
gentoo-user@lists.gentoo.org mailing list
 
Old 05-12-2008, 06:38 PM
"b.n."
 
Default advice for a wireless antenna?

Grant ha scritto:

Sorry, I don't see how firmware can affect sensitivity. I've
been involved in writing firmware for RF data communications
stuff for a long time, and I've certainly never been able to
affect sensitivity.


I can say that I was really struggling to get a reliable wireless
connection with the rt2x00 device and Hawking external antenna
anywhere in my garage. I tried the madwifi device attached to the
same Hawking antenna and the difference was ridiculous. I got a
perfectly reliable signal from the back of the garage, the point
furthest from the signal's source.

Now that I think about it, I could have enabled outdoor mode for
madwifi, but I can't check it right now. Could that account for the
difference?


What's madwifi outdoor mode? I googled but I can't find some readable
information.


m.
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Old 05-13-2008, 10:30 AM
Grant
 
Default advice for a wireless antenna?

> > > Sorry, I don't see how firmware can affect sensitivity. I've
> > > been involved in writing firmware for RF data communications
> > > stuff for a long time, and I've certainly never been able to
> > > affect sensitivity.
> > >
> >
> > I can say that I was really struggling to get a reliable wireless
> > connection with the rt2x00 device and Hawking external antenna
> > anywhere in my garage. I tried the madwifi device attached to the
> > same Hawking antenna and the difference was ridiculous. I got a
> > perfectly reliable signal from the back of the garage, the point
> > furthest from the signal's source.
> >
> > Now that I think about it, I could have enabled outdoor mode for
> > madwifi, but I can't check it right now. Could that account for the
> > difference?
> >
>
> What's madwifi outdoor mode? I googled but I can't find some readable
> information.

The only "info" I have is from /etc/conf.d/ath_pci:

# outdoor: Enable/disable outdoor use
# countrycode: Override default country code
options ath_pci outdoor=1 countrycode=0

Now that I look at that, the sensitivity difference could also be due
to my unsetting the country code.

- Grant
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