Troubleshooting tips?

Brad Smith usernamenumber at gmail.com
Thu May 21 13:32:49 EDT 2015


Hello all,

I'm in the US, working remotely with a tech school in Kenya to provision a
micro PC as a hostapd-powered wireless access point that provides net
access when available (bandwidth can get pretty flaky out there), and
locally hosts offline versions of resources like wikipedia, MOOCs, etc
regardless.

I tested everything at home and had five or six devices of various types
all streaming video from it with no problems, but now they're testing it in
the field and reporting that they start having connectivity problems after
one or two devices.

I'm a Linux/dev guy so I can handle technical docs and whatnot if people
have something to link me to, but I have almost no experience with this
level of wireless networking, so I'm hoping someone here would be willing
to help me out to further a good cause by offering some tips on how to
troubleshoot this sort of problem.

Here's what we know:

   - Problems don't appear to be associated with any particular client
   device or class of devices (laptops, phones, etc).
   - Problems are intermittent, so a machine will fail to connect to the
   WAP for a while, but then 30 minutes later will work fine... until it
   doesn't any more.
   - There are other WAPs in the area, but they're far enough away that
   ours is by far the strongest signal.
   - Hardware-wise, we're using a cubietruck
   <http://docs.cubieboard.org/tutorials/cubietruck/start>. It's actually a
   bit unclear exactly what wifi hardware is in there, but a user wiki says:

   There is an AMPAK AP6210 Wifi+BT chip on board with PCB antenna, but it
   is not clear what exactly is inside:
   - Broadcom BCM43362 + BCM20710
      - Broadcom BCM4330 / BCM40183 Based Chipset
      - Cubietech says it is BCM4329/BCM40181
   - We're using the bcmdhd driver with op_mode=2 on Ubuntu Trusty (ARM)
   - Our hostapd.conf is pretty basic:

ssid=x2go
interface=wlan0
ctrl_interface=/var/run/hostapd
channel=1


   - I think they may have added lines to enable WAP as well. I'll ask for
   a copy of what exactly they're using.

Does anyone have suggestions for where to start in troubleshooting this?

Thanks!
--Brad
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