Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Friday, 19 January 2007

Linksys WMP300N further issues / 34k miles / ADSL Pipex speeds

Wireless N issues continued
Ok to recap I bought
Linksys WAG300N-UK ADSL Router
and the
Linksys WMP300N-UK PCI Adapter.

Disabled some devices , updated the driver and changed settings which appeared to work [see my last Blog entry].......

Alas it did not.......

1. Moved house (the reason I went wireless) and could not get a signal at all! Or even worse the router would appear at full signal strength but as soon as I tried to connect it took ages , then it disappeared.
Eventually I brought the router upstairs and placed it on the desk next to the pci antenna.
Unbelievably it still couldnt connect!!!!!!!! WTF
With them almost touching it worked , isnt wireless great???
Anyway long story short I think its the DECT (Phillips) phone that was causing the issue. Changing to a much lower frequency seemed to fix it.

Ok so now its back and running but.........

2. I got at least 3 further BSOD over a period of 4 days. Not to mention the fact the mouse hesitated every 10 seconds (arghhh!) while the CPU usage went 100%
At this point my PC become a waste of money and unusable , enough was enough.
I downloaded a program called ProcessExplorer to troubleshoot.
It seems as if there are way too many Deferred Procedure Calls (DPC's) causing the issue.
Which of course as far as I can fathom is down to the Linksys WMP300N driver (ar5418.sys from memory).

At this point I had wasted far too many hours on this , so 99.9% sure its the PCI driver I decided to uninstall the driver and disable the card.......
and wait for it....
Buy a Belkin G+ MIMO USB Adapter (one of the slower than N spec devices)

The N spec router is compatible with G (and seems to work well) so I kept that , and both support WPA2 128bit.

2 minutes to install and I'm up and running at 54Mbps (300Mbps for the WMP300N, but no good if I cant use it!)
and the machine is back to normal . Hurray :-) , oh but its another 25 quid.
Signal strength is same as N at 'Excellent' , now thats a result......

So in summary

1. Linksys WAG300N-UK ADSL Router. Nice piece of kit. Id buy it.

2. Linksys WMP300N-UK PCI Adapter. Probably good hardware (look at that antenna!) , however let down by a totally unworkable driver (and wireless utility program , if you dont use windows own zero config program)


The driver version I had was 26thOct2006 I think.

Hopefully I can go back to using it again once a new version of the driver is released.

E46 M3
Oh and 34k miles on the BMW :-)

ADSL Speedtest results
Moved to new address so Ive been testing the bandwidth using

Given the results there must be plenty of people sharing my dsl 'group'
(Contention Ratio I think its called)
Check out the difference between 9.30 pm and 3 hrs later.
Upload speed seems stable but download is over 10x faster after most folk have gone to bed LOL

Day Time Download Upload Latency Server Distance
1/18/2007 9:29 PM GMT 449 kb/s 373 kb/s 59 ms London ~ 50 mi
1/19/2007 12:18 AM GMT 6700 kb/s 377 kb/s 35 ms London ~ 50 mi

Thursday, 4 January 2007

Linksys WAG300N-UK ADSL Router and WMP300N-UK PCI wireless issues

As posted on linksys forums to help others who have difficulty........

First off thankyou to all the people who have posted suggestions and help on this board. Its at least been a help to see Im not the only one to have had issues.
In short its taken me at least 7 hrs to get a working connection between card and router.

I hope to post some of my experience here to help others. Many of the suggestions are from other posters....

I bought a
Linksys WAG300N-UK ADSL Router
and the
Linksys WMP300N-UK PCI Adapter recently.

Router setup went fine using a std network cable.
All hell broke loose when I installed the PCI software and card , BSOD , hangs etc but then we all know that :-)

My PC spec

AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4200+
Marvell Yukon 88E8001/8003/8010 PCI Gigabit Ethernet Controller
Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600] SP2 up to date

This worked for me........

Step 1 : Upgrade Firmware of Router to Version: 1.01.01

downloaded from linksys website
Run UpgradeUtility.exe (router connected via a cable)

Step 2 : if PCI card installed then uninstall it via device manager
download STA_WMP300N_EU_1 1 from linksys website
extract to directory of your choice
reboot pc
should show new hardware detected
select advanced option , and point at the Drivers directory of the software you just unzipped.
DO NOT INSTALL THE LINKSYS SOFTWARE under any circumstances.

Step 3 : Change settings of router to following

Network Name (SSID) : yourSSID (you pick this but dont leave it as 'linksys')
Radio Band : Wide - 40MHz Channel
Wide Channel : 9
Standard Channel : 11 - 2.462GHz

Security Mode : PSK2-Personal
Encryption : AES TKIP or AES
Pre-shared Key : myvalidk (you pick this)
Key Renewal : 3600 seconds

Save changes to router

(Additional step that may help any conflicts)
Step 4 :
Disable current network card (and disconnect the cable) you used to setup router (right click 'disable')
It can be turned back on at any time if you wish.

At this point you should try and connect using the wireless connection.
I could only achieve 300Mbps with no security or the settings above.
Changing to other security types showed a speed of 58Mbps
HOWEVER I have a sneaking suspicion that the displayed speed value isnt of any real use !

I still get the odd 2 sec temporary hang (which coincides with a 100% CPU spike ;-)) but no BSOD or total lockup.

Hopefully this is of use.
Previously I tried other drivers and fixes described on here but none got me a working / stable connection with no lockups and reboots reqd.

Remember this is for a UK card and Router.

For now its working 4 hrs uptime and stable.....will post again if it fails.
In fact if its doesnt work after this then its going back to the shop.


[UPDATE 6th Jan 2006]
Looked to be going so well then at 5hrs uptime the machine crashed!!!!

'IRQ NOT LESS OR EQUAL' (remember windows xp has various settings which you can toggle on how it deals with a major problem. The most useful thing to do is turn off the auto reboot so you can write down the error....)
(Found in My Computer , right click 'Properties' , Advanced tab , Startup and Recovery, uncheck 'Reboot Automatically')

Now Ive seen this before in XP so I had a look in Device Manager to see what IRQ 's were being used/shared
In fact my Linksys PCI card was sharing 16 with a 1394 (Firewire) chipset.
Now sharing IRQ's is something Windows XP does for you automatically (when ACPI is on) and usually its fine.(In fact the you cannot assign IRQ' manually I would have to move the card to another free PCI slot to get another IRQ)
Anyways Im not using the Firewire so I disabled it in Device Manager.

In summary , disabling devices is a workaround and NOT a long term solution , its quite clear that the Linksys stuff needs some further driver updates.
However , I no longer get any freeze ups (however short) , the connection is solid at 300Mbps and to date its been running a total of 24 hrs without a dropped connection or XP hang.

So fat so good , fingers tightly crossed........

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

if Santa rode a motorbike this would be it...Ducati 1098 / 33500 miles in M3

yellow , white , black are photoshops of colours that may at some point become available.

Red is the bike as available now ............

Power 160 hp @ 9750rpm
Torque 90 lb-ft @ 8000rpm

data logger , digital dash .......mmmmmmm
11 grand for the 'base' 1098 model LOL , and 14k for the 1098S (lighter wheels and diff shocks)

The perfect bike ? I think so , although its double the price of a GSXR750 !!!

Official DUCATI 1098 page

M3 now @ 33500 miles , averaging 330 miles to a tank.
Swapped from the ipod mini (4GB) , to an ipod video(80GB) I got for xmas which will now hold my entire music collection. It also still fits into the centre tray in the M3 (connects by cable to the non OEM kenwood 627DVD head unit)

Hope you all had a great Xmas and wishing you all a Happy New Year.
Make 2007 a year you'd always hoped for :-)