How's 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi Working for You?
#1
One thing I've noticed on my Pinebook Pro ever since launch is that the 2.4 GHz-band wireless networking appears to be very, very unreliable. It initially works on first connect, but then goes completely dead for long periods with only brief moments of functioning in between, leading to intermittent connections with lots of dropped packets. It feels almost like it's overheating, but I can't quite figure out how to test that. It happens pretty much regardless of signal strength, and on every network and access point I've tried. 5 GHz-band wireless works fine, and has no apparent reliability issues. Curiously, Bluetooth does not appear to have these issues either, despite using the same 2.4 GHz frequency band and presumably similar functionality on the same transceiver chip.

Are others having these 2.4 GHz-specific issues as well? Is anything known about what might be causing them?

Intuitively, I wonder if the antenna in use on the Pinebook Pro is just not well-matched for 2.4 GHz use, and as a result, transmitting on that band is causing the RF energy to mostly get dissipated as heat in the transceiver and cause problems, rather than being radiated. I don't really have much evidence for this, though, and Bluetooth seems to work a little too well for that to actually be the case. Hmm...
#2
Have you given this a read?

https://wiki.pine64.org/index.php/Pinebo...iFi_issues
--
Arwen Evenstar
Princess of Rivendale
#3
I have. It's pretty vague, and the link it provides to the 'latest' firmware blob is a repo that was last updated six months ago - surely Manjaro's wireless firmware is at least that new?

I have heard people talk of firmware updates regarding the way the wifi chip seems to have its data rate limited to 802.11a/b speeds at present, so maybe I just need to wait for developments on that.
#4
Code:
[ ID] Interval           Transfer     Bitrate         Retr  Cwnd
[  5]   0.00-1.00   sec  2.05 MBytes  17.2 Mbits/sec    0    103 KBytes      
[  5]   1.00-2.00   sec  1.35 MBytes  11.3 Mbits/sec    0    120 KBytes      
[  5]   2.00-3.00   sec  1.65 MBytes  13.9 Mbits/sec    0    158 KBytes      
[  5]   3.00-4.00   sec  0.00 Bytes  0.00 bits/sec    1   1.39 KBytes      
[  5]   4.00-5.00   sec  0.00 Bytes  0.00 bits/sec    1   1.39 KBytes      
[  5]   5.00-6.00   sec  0.00 Bytes  0.00 bits/sec    1   1.39 KBytes      
[  5]   6.00-7.00   sec  0.00 Bytes  0.00 bits/sec    0   1.39 KBytes      
[  5]   7.00-8.00   sec  0.00 Bytes  0.00 bits/sec    1   1.39 KBytes      
[  5]   8.00-9.00   sec  0.00 Bytes  0.00 bits/sec    0   1.39 KBytes  

A typical iperf test on a 2.4 GHz network with good signal looks like this. It works okay, and then it just stops.
This is also with bluetooth shut down, so if this is caused by the bluetooth coexistence firmware, it's definitely a bug.

I think I'll try to reproduce what I remember seeing on the original default Debian install sometime today - I remember getting full-speed 802.11ac working, though I don't remember if this 2.4 GHz issue was happening then.
#5
At the suggestion of fire219, I tried downgrading my wireless firmware (the ap6256-firmware package) from version 2020.02 to 2020.01. If you want to try this yourself, fetch the package from here:
http://ftp-nyc.osuosl.org/pub/manjaro-ar...pkg.tar.xz
http://ftp-nyc.osuosl.org/pub/manjaro-ar...tar.xz.sig
(If the repo should stop supplying this version, I've also attached it to this post. You should check the signature before installing packages from strange sources like this, though.)

The result:
- 5-GHz wifi is now reaching speeds characteristic of 802.11n (~100 Mbit/s), but only intermittently, and only in the downlink direction.
- 2.4-GHz wifi is still working pretty terribly.

Firmware is weird. So is Broadcom.  Undecided
#6
I have also noticed the same behavior, I'm usually connected on bluetooth as well so it didn't surprise me too much. I'll have to try without bluetooth
#7
have not actually had issues but i don't use bluetooth much
#8
(06-03-2020, 02:24 PM)diodelass Wrote: At the suggestion of fire219, I tried downgrading my wireless firmware (the ap6256-firmware package) from version 2020.02 to 2020.01. If you want to try this yourself, fetch the package from here:
http://ftp-nyc.osuosl.org/pub/manjaro-ar...pkg.tar.xz
http://ftp-nyc.osuosl.org/pub/manjaro-ar...tar.xz.sig
(If the repo should stop supplying this version, I've also attached it to this post. You should check the signature before installing packages from strange sources like this, though.)

The result:
- 5-GHz wifi is now reaching speeds characteristic of 802.11n (~100 Mbit/s), but only intermittently, and only in the downlink direction.
- 2.4-GHz wifi is still working pretty terribly.

Firmware is weird. So is Broadcom.  Undecided

Can confirm that downgrading the firmware restores 5ghz functionality.
#9
new firmware works on lower 5G channels for me.


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