Wi-Fi connection stalls out on PowerBook A1138
  • Just looking around
    Posts: 3 from 2022/10/31
    Hi,

    Some time ago my Powerbook G4 (5,8 AKA A1138) started acting up after not having used it for a while. It would simply freeze while using either MorphOS or MacOS. Some troubleshooting later it turned out the RAM seemed to be OK and I found out PRAM battery issues could cause all kinds of other strangeness. After charging the laptop without battery overnight and resetting PRAM, the machine actually started to work fine in Leopard, but when I would reboot into MorphOS 3.9 (yes, it'd been a while) it would simply freeze after a while.

    I managed to install MorphOS 3.17 which actually solved the freezing issues so far. However, at first networking didn't really work at all untill I read a thread on here about disabling, enabling loopback device and rebooting. That got networking running for a little while, but generally just a tiny bit. Enough to partially connect to IRC or perhaps load part of a webpage. I've tried to ping DNS servers without luck. I've tried moving physically closer to Wi-Fi AP with no effect.

    The little indicator next to the wireless network changes between green, black, orange and red from time to time. I can do some testing with ethernet if it's relevant, but for the machine to have practical use for me, I need Wi-Fi to work.

    I also tried booting from the iso via USB, setting up networking and trying from there, but I had the same issue. Is there anything obvious, I've failed to test here?
  • »31.10.22 - 18:50
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  • Moderator
    Kronos
    Posts: 2099 from 2003/2/24
    Few ideas:

    - the wifi antenna sits in the display and the cable has to through the hinge which might cause problems
    - the rest of your problems sound like an overheating issue or a failing PCB/broken solder point

    Would I would d is open the PB and:

    - remove the PRAM battery if still there, the main battery will do the same job and nothing serious gets lost when that goes down. Having a slight undervolt in the PRAM battery on the other hand can lead to corrupted data
    - check the cables in the hinge and see if moving them just a little bit makes a difference
    - clean the fan and apply new thermal paste (if you want to go down that deep).


    Another question is, what kind of HD are you running? I have had 2 cases were the old original ones were on the brink of dying causing all kind of havoc on the MorphOS side while seeming o.k. in OSX.
  • »31.10.22 - 19:11
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  • Just looking around
    Posts: 3 from 2022/10/31
    Thank you. Interesting.

    Removing the PRAM should be simple enough, but I guess checking the antenna is a logical first step - however, it does seem to work fine in Leopard.

    I'll have to check the HD tomorrow, but I suspect it is the original drive (I received this machine second hand).
  • »31.10.22 - 19:22
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  • Paladin of the Pegasos
    Paladin of the Pegasos
    Amigaharry2
    Posts: 1052 from 2010/1/6
    From: EU-Austria (Wien)
    It is known that MorphOS seems to have some issues with Airport. It works, but in some cases not stable (weak or looses signal)
    Same problems occour more ore less on all Macs with Airport. E.g. Envoy won't run stable on any Airport-MAC.
    In my case (PB, Mini), I use a Atheros WLAN-PC-Card, which works flawless or connect them via LAN-cable to a WLAN bridge or repeater.

    [ Editiert durch Amigaharry2 31.10.2022 - 20:36 ]
    Peg2, 3xPowerMac G5, 2xPowerbookG4, 2x MacMiniG4, Efika (again), A3000T and life is never boring.....
  • »31.10.22 - 19:35
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  • Just looking around
    Posts: 3 from 2022/10/31
    I'm not running Airport any more. I have some WiFi 6 gear from ASUS in Mesh configuration. I think I may still have a pcmcia card somewhere that I used before the built-in Wi-Fi was supported. I'll have to see if I can find that and see if it makes a difference.
  • »01.11.22 - 16:10
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  • Order of the Butterfly
    Order of the Butterfly
    matt3
    Posts: 481 from 2004/2/10
    FYI, You may not get good results.

    I have a PB 1.67 17 and I have never got really usable wifi from it. Here is what I have tried:
    1. Fixed wifi channel on 1 and 6.
    2. Tried PCMCIA Ethernet.
    3. Tried playing with buffer settings to increase performance.

    At the end of the day, with either wifi adapter (internal or pcmcia) with different channels and other settings the Wifi sucks. You absolutely have to run it in the same room as the wifi device to have a chance of stability and speed, even if you go just one room over it will stall constantly. Obviously other equipment works as expected on the same wifi device.

    Seems like others have had good luck, not me...

    So good luck but don't expect much...



    Quote:

    Reenact wrote:
    I'm not running Airport any more. I have some WiFi 6 gear from ASUS in Mesh configuration. I think I may still have a pcmcia card somewhere that I used before the built-in Wi-Fi was supported. I'll have to see if I can find that and see if it makes a difference.




    [ Edited by matt3 01.11.2022 - 11:35 ]
  • »01.11.22 - 16:26
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  • Yokemate of Keyboards
    Yokemate of Keyboards
    Andreas_Wolf
    Posts: 11720 from 2003/5/22
    From: Germany
    >> MorphOS seems to have some issues with Airport. [...]
    >> Same problems occour more ore less on all Macs with Airport.

    > I'm not running Airport any more. I have some WiFi 6 gear
    > from ASUS in Mesh configuration.

    "AirPort" in this case means the AirPort (Extreme) cards installed inside the PowerBook, Mac mini etc., not the AirPort (Extreme) routers.
  • »01.11.22 - 16:54
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  • Paladin of the Pegasos
    Paladin of the Pegasos
    Amigaharry2
    Posts: 1052 from 2010/1/6
    From: EU-Austria (Wien)
    Quote:

    Reenact schrieb:
    I'm not running Airport any more. I have some WiFi 6 gear from ASUS in Mesh configuration. I think I may still have a pcmcia card somewhere that I used before the built-in Wi-Fi was supported. I'll have to see if I can find that and see if it makes a difference.


    As Andreas mentioned: Apples internal Airport-Cards are the problem. Useing a (MOS supported!) card at PC-Card-Port will fix this in any case......
    .
    Peg2, 3xPowerMac G5, 2xPowerbookG4, 2x MacMiniG4, Efika (again), A3000T and life is never boring.....
  • »01.11.22 - 17:35
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  • Order of the Butterfly
    Order of the Butterfly
    matt3
    Posts: 481 from 2004/2/10
    Quote:

    Amigaharry2 wrote:
    Quote:

    Reenact schrieb:
    I'm not running Airport any more. I have some WiFi 6 gear from ASUS in Mesh configuration. I think I may still have a pcmcia card somewhere that I used before the built-in Wi-Fi was supported. I'll have to see if I can find that and see if it makes a difference.


    As Andreas mentioned: Apples internal Airport-Cards are the problem. Useing a (MOS supported!) card at PC-Card-Port will fix this in any case......
    .


    Perhaps my PCMICIA card is funky then. I'm using a Cisco Aironet 802.11 a/b/g card.

    What is the best/fastest one you can use with MOS and the PB?
  • »01.11.22 - 21:01
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  • Paladin of the Pegasos
    Paladin of the Pegasos
    Amigaharry2
    Posts: 1052 from 2010/1/6
    From: EU-Austria (Wien)
    Netgear Wireless WG511T works perfect for me (both PB 1,67GHz).
    It provides an Atheros chip-set, which is well supported by MOS.

    But there are also other useable cards (chip-sets) and it makes sense to have a look on MorphOS-Hardware-compatibility page: https://www.morphos-team.net/hardware
    Peg2, 3xPowerMac G5, 2xPowerbookG4, 2x MacMiniG4, Efika (again), A3000T and life is never boring.....
  • »01.11.22 - 21:49
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  • Order of the Butterfly
    Order of the Butterfly
    matt3
    Posts: 481 from 2004/2/10
    Quote:

    Amigaharry2 wrote:
    Netgear Wireless WG511T works perfect for me (both PB 1,67GHz).
    It provides an Atheros chip-set, which is well supported by MOS.

    But there are also other useable cards (chip-sets) and it makes sense to have a look on MorphOS-Hardware-compatibility page: https://www.morphos-team.net/hardware



    Pulled trigger on D-Link DWA-642 RangeBooster, looks like it is compatible... Thanks for the help.
  • »01.11.22 - 22:13
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  • Priest of the Order of the Butterfly
    Priest of the Order of the Butterfly
    KennyR
    Posts: 835 from 2003/3/4
    From: #AmigaZeux, Gu...
    Quote:

    Reenact wrote:
    I'm not running Airport any more. I have some WiFi 6 gear from ASUS in Mesh configuration. I think I may still have a pcmcia card somewhere that I used before the built-in Wi-Fi was supported. I'll have to see if I can find that and see if it makes a difference.


    Probably not related, but I got a Mesh-capable Archer router a couple of years back and I just couldn't use it. It's still in a box somewhere. 2.4GHz devices just kept dropping off the network like they couldn't get enough signal, even if just a couple of metres away. 5GHz was fine.
  • »03.11.22 - 21:07
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  • Order of the Butterfly
    Order of the Butterfly
    matt3
    Posts: 481 from 2004/2/10
    @KennyR

    Do you have 5G on your powerbook? If you do... how?

    I found out the Dlink I just bought doesn't work. So MOS stay clear of it. Was hoping to get N speeds, but if I can get 5G on the PB, I'm in...


    Quote:

    KennyR wrote:
    Quote:

    Reenact wrote:
    I'm not running Airport any more. I have some WiFi 6 gear from ASUS in Mesh configuration. I think I may still have a pcmcia card somewhere that I used before the built-in Wi-Fi was supported. I'll have to see if I can find that and see if it makes a difference.


    Probably not related, but I got a Mesh-capable Archer router a couple of years back and I just couldn't use it. It's still in a box somewhere. 2.4GHz devices just kept dropping off the network like they couldn't get enough signal, even if just a couple of metres away. 5GHz was fine.
  • »04.11.22 - 17:09
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  • Priest of the Order of the Butterfly
    Priest of the Order of the Butterfly
    KennyR
    Posts: 835 from 2003/3/4
    From: #AmigaZeux, Gu...
    Quote:

    matt3 wrote:
    @KennyR

    Do you have 5G on your powerbook? If you do... how?

    I found out the Dlink I just bought doesn't work. So MOS stay clear of it. Was hoping to get N speeds, but if I can get 5G on the PB, I'm in...


    No, the only thing I have that supports 5GHz is a desktop PC, an Amazon Fire TV stick that only works on one 5GHz channel making 5GHz support pointless, and a WiFi bridge. It's a little discouraging how few things moved to 5GHz, especially as I live in a flat and the 2.4 is really crowded.

    If you really want 5GHz, you can go the bridge way, something like [url=https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B094N8MYQM/[/url]. Unfortunately, even now they're a lot smaller than they used to be it's still inconvenient as hell having all that hanging off or glued onto a laptop.

    Edit: Changed bridge as first one I linked wasn't 5Ghz compat

    [ Edited by KennyR 05.11.2022 - 23:20 ]
  • »05.11.22 - 23:17
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  • Order of the Butterfly
    Order of the Butterfly
    matt3
    Posts: 481 from 2004/2/10
    I wonder if anyone has PCMCIA card that support N speeds? Clearly my dlink didn't work...

    Quote:

    KennyR wrote:
    Quote:

    matt3 wrote:
    @KennyR

    Do you have 5G on your powerbook? If you do... how?

    I found out the Dlink I just bought doesn't work. So MOS stay clear of it. Was hoping to get N speeds, but if I can get 5G on the PB, I'm in...


    No, the only thing I have that supports 5GHz is a desktop PC, an Amazon Fire TV stick that only works on one 5GHz channel making 5GHz support pointless, and a WiFi bridge. It's a little discouraging how few things moved to 5GHz, especially as I live in a flat and the 2.4 is really crowded.

    If you really want 5GHz, you can go the bridge way, something like [url=https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B094N8MYQM/[/url]. Unfortunately, even now they're a lot smaller than they used to be it's still inconvenient as hell having all that hanging off or glued onto a laptop.

    Edit: Changed bridge as first one I linked wasn't 5Ghz compat
  • »06.11.22 - 03:10
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  • Priest of the Order of the Butterfly
    Priest of the Order of the Butterfly
    KennyR
    Posts: 835 from 2003/3/4
    From: #AmigaZeux, Gu...
    What chipset did your dlink card use? You're looking for Broadcom B43 or Atheros 5000 devices.

    You can find a list of B43 chips that support wireless N here:

    https://wireless.wiki.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/b43#Supported_devices

    It's a matter of somehow finding PCMCIA cards that support said chipsets, though it's still not a guarantee they'll work unfortunately.

    None of the Atheros 5000 devices support N as far as I know.
  • »06.11.22 - 10:27
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