5GHz wifi not working with 160MHz width

Hi all,

Long time OpenWrt user here, first time in the forums though. I wanted to see if someone can provide an explanation for a strange problem I'm facing.

I have a Netgear Nighthawk R7800 X4S router which I bought recently, and I am using it only as a dumb AP for the time being (as my main router/firewall is a pfSense box).

Here's what's puzzling me: When I select 160MHz as the channel width, then no matter which channel I have selected (be it "auto" or any other channel except for 50-144), the 5GHz interface freaks out and throws all kinds of errors and ends up failing to start.

If I select 40 or 80MHz as the channel width, then there is no problem at all.

Here's the log, when I select 160MHz width:

Fri Aug  9 10:33:36 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: wlan0: interface state ENABLED->DISABLED
Fri Aug  9 10:33:36 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: wlan0: AP-STA-DISCONNECTED f4:f5:d8:c5:9f:de
Fri Aug  9 10:33:36 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: wlan0: AP-DISABLED
Fri Aug  9 10:33:36 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: wlan0: CTRL-EVENT-TERMINATING
Fri Aug  9 10:33:36 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: nl80211: deinit ifname=wlan0 disabled_11b_rates=0
Fri Aug  9 10:33:36 2019 daemon.notice netifd: Network device 'wlan0' link is down
Fri Aug  9 10:33:36 2019 kern.info kernel: [45396.434836] device wlan0 left promiscuous mode
Fri Aug  9 10:33:36 2019 kern.info kernel: [45396.434935] br-lan: port 3(wlan0) entered disabled state
Fri Aug  9 10:33:36 2019 kern.warn kernel: [45396.476529] ath10k_pci 0000:01:00.0: peer-unmap-event: unknown peer id 1
Fri Aug  9 10:33:36 2019 kern.warn kernel: [45396.476686] ath10k_pci 0000:01:00.0: peer-unmap-event: unknown peer id 1
Fri Aug  9 10:33:36 2019 user.notice mac80211: Failed command: iw phy phy0 set antenna all all
Fri Aug  9 10:33:36 2019 daemon.notice netifd: radio0 (2762): command failed: Not supported (-95)
Fri Aug  9 10:33:36 2019 user.notice mac80211: Failed command: iw phy phy0 set distance 0
Fri Aug  9 10:33:37 2019 daemon.err hostapd: Configuration file: /var/run/hostapd-phy0.conf
Fri Aug  9 10:33:43 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: nl80211: nl80211_recv_beacons->nl_recvmsgs failed: -5
Fri Aug  9 10:33:43 2019 kern.info kernel: [45403.187112] IPv6: ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlan0: link is not ready
Fri Aug  9 10:33:43 2019 kern.info kernel: [45403.193311] br-lan: port 3(wlan0) entered blocking state
Fri Aug  9 10:33:43 2019 kern.info kernel: [45403.193366] br-lan: port 3(wlan0) entered disabled state
Fri Aug  9 10:33:43 2019 kern.info kernel: [45403.198307] device wlan0 entered promiscuous mode
Fri Aug  9 10:33:43 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: wlan0: interface state UNINITIALIZED->COUNTRY_UPDATE
Fri Aug  9 10:33:43 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: wlan0: interface state COUNTRY_UPDATE->HT_SCAN
Fri Aug  9 10:33:43 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: wlan0: interface state HT_SCAN->DFS
Fri Aug  9 10:33:43 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: wlan0: DFS-CAC-START freq=5200 chan=40 sec_chan=-1, width=2, seg0=50, seg1=0, cac_time=60s
Fri Aug  9 10:33:43 2019 daemon.err hostapd: DFS start_dfs_cac() failed, -1
Fri Aug  9 10:33:43 2019 daemon.err hostapd: Interface initialization failed
Fri Aug  9 10:33:43 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: wlan0: interface state DFS->DISABLED
Fri Aug  9 10:33:43 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: wlan0: AP-DISABLED
Fri Aug  9 10:33:43 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: wlan0: interface state DISABLED->DISABLED
Fri Aug  9 10:33:43 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: wlan0: AP-DISABLED
Fri Aug  9 10:33:43 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: wlan0: CTRL-EVENT-TERMINATING
Fri Aug  9 10:33:43 2019 daemon.err hostapd: hostapd_free_hapd_data: Interface wlan0 wasn't started
Fri Aug  9 10:33:43 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: nl80211: deinit ifname=wlan0 disabled_11b_rates=0
Fri Aug  9 10:33:43 2019 kern.info kernel: [45403.585084] device wlan0 left promiscuous mode
Fri Aug  9 10:33:43 2019 kern.info kernel: [45403.585300] br-lan: port 3(wlan0) entered disabled state
Fri Aug  9 10:33:43 2019 kern.warn kernel: [45403.635298] ath10k_pci 0000:01:00.0: peer-unmap-event: unknown peer id 1
Fri Aug  9 10:33:43 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: ELOOP: remaining socket: sock=22 eloop_data=0xb6e6a810 user_data=0 handler=0x37654
Fri Aug  9 10:33:43 2019 daemon.notice netifd: radio0 (2762): WARNING (wireless_add_process): executable path /usr/sbin/wpad does not match process 2623 path ()
Fri Aug  9 10:33:49 2019 kern.info kernel: [45409.915123] IPv6: ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlan0: link is not ready
Fri Aug  9 10:34:00 2019 kern.warn kernel: [45420.059085] ath10k_pci 0000:01:00.0: peer-unmap-event: unknown peer id 1
Fri Aug  9 10:34:00 2019 user.notice mac80211: Failed command: iw phy phy0 set antenna all all
Fri Aug  9 10:34:00 2019 daemon.notice netifd: radio0 (2938): command failed: Not supported (-95)
Fri Aug  9 10:34:00 2019 user.notice mac80211: Failed command: iw phy phy0 set distance 0
Fri Aug  9 10:34:00 2019 daemon.err hostapd: Configuration file: /var/run/hostapd-phy0.conf
Fri Aug  9 10:34:06 2019 kern.info kernel: [45426.615680] IPv6: ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlan0: link is not ready
Fri Aug  9 10:34:06 2019 kern.info kernel: [45426.631876] br-lan: port 3(wlan0) entered blocking state
Fri Aug  9 10:34:06 2019 kern.info kernel: [45426.631904] br-lan: port 3(wlan0) entered disabled state
Fri Aug  9 10:34:06 2019 kern.info kernel: [45426.636528] device wlan0 entered promiscuous mode
Fri Aug  9 10:34:06 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: wlan0: interface state UNINITIALIZED->COUNTRY_UPDATE
Fri Aug  9 10:34:06 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: wlan0: interface state COUNTRY_UPDATE->HT_SCAN
Fri Aug  9 10:34:06 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: wlan0: interface state HT_SCAN->DFS
Fri Aug  9 10:34:06 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: wlan0: DFS-CAC-START freq=5200 chan=40 sec_chan=-1, width=2, seg0=50, seg1=0, cac_time=60s
Fri Aug  9 10:34:06 2019 daemon.err hostapd: DFS start_dfs_cac() failed, -1
Fri Aug  9 10:34:06 2019 daemon.err hostapd: Interface initialization failed
Fri Aug  9 10:34:06 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: wlan0: interface state DFS->DISABLED
Fri Aug  9 10:34:06 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: wlan0: AP-DISABLED
Fri Aug  9 10:34:06 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: wlan0: interface state DISABLED->DISABLED
Fri Aug  9 10:34:06 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: wlan0: AP-DISABLED
Fri Aug  9 10:34:06 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: wlan0: CTRL-EVENT-TERMINATING
Fri Aug  9 10:34:06 2019 daemon.err hostapd: hostapd_free_hapd_data: Interface wlan0 wasn't started
Fri Aug  9 10:34:06 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: nl80211: deinit ifname=wlan0 disabled_11b_rates=0
Fri Aug  9 10:34:07 2019 kern.info kernel: [45427.014998] device wlan0 left promiscuous mode
Fri Aug  9 10:34:07 2019 kern.info kernel: [45427.015177] br-lan: port 3(wlan0) entered disabled state
Fri Aug  9 10:34:07 2019 kern.warn kernel: [45427.055652] ath10k_pci 0000:01:00.0: peer-unmap-event: unknown peer id 1
Fri Aug  9 10:34:07 2019 daemon.notice hostapd: ELOOP: remaining socket: sock=22 eloop_data=0xb6ee7810 user_data=0 handler=0x37654
Fri Aug  9 10:34:07 2019 daemon.notice netifd: radio0 (2938): WARNING (wireless_add_process): executable path /usr/sbin/wpad does not match process 2623 path ()
Fri Aug  9 10:34:13 2019 kern.info kernel: [45433.261164] IPv6: ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlan0: link is not ready

Any thoughts on why that happens? Any particular reason why I should definitely favor the broader channel width in general?

Many thanks in advance!

What is your country setting?

Do you see this capability available when checking with iw list?

@Pilot6 It's US - United States

@AndrewZ You mean the 160MHz capability? Looks like it's listed under "VHT Capabilities" as:

Supported Channel Width: 160 MHz, 80+80 MHz

Here's the output of iw list

root@openwrt:~# iw list
Wiphy phy1
        max # scan SSIDs: 16
        max scan IEs length: 209 bytes
        max # sched scan SSIDs: 0
        max # match sets: 0
        max # scan plans: 1
        max scan plan interval: -1
        max scan plan iterations: 0
        Retry short limit: 7
        Retry long limit: 4
        Coverage class: 0 (up to 0m)
        Device supports AP-side u-APSD.
        Available Antennas: TX 0xf RX 0xf
        Configured Antennas: TX 0xf RX 0xf
        Supported interface modes:
                 * managed
                 * AP
                 * AP/VLAN
                 * monitor
                 * mesh point
        Band 1:
                Capabilities: 0x19ef
                        RX LDPC
                        HT20/HT40
                        SM Power Save disabled
                        RX HT20 SGI
                        RX HT40 SGI
                        TX STBC
                        RX STBC 1-stream
                        Max AMSDU length: 7935 bytes
                        DSSS/CCK HT40
                Maximum RX AMPDU length 65535 bytes (exponent: 0x003)
                Minimum RX AMPDU time spacing: 8 usec (0x06)
                HT TX/RX MCS rate indexes supported: 0-31
                Frequencies:
                        * 2412 MHz [1] (30.0 dBm)
                        * 2417 MHz [2] (30.0 dBm)
                        * 2422 MHz [3] (30.0 dBm)
                        * 2427 MHz [4] (30.0 dBm)
                        * 2432 MHz [5] (30.0 dBm)
                        * 2437 MHz [6] (30.0 dBm)
                        * 2442 MHz [7] (30.0 dBm)
                        * 2447 MHz [8] (30.0 dBm)
                        * 2452 MHz [9] (30.0 dBm)
                        * 2457 MHz [10] (30.0 dBm)
                        * 2462 MHz [11] (30.0 dBm)
                        * 2467 MHz [12] (disabled)
                        * 2472 MHz [13] (disabled)
                        * 2484 MHz [14] (disabled)
        valid interface combinations:
                 * #{ managed } <= 1, #{ AP, mesh point } <= 16,
                   total <= 16, #channels <= 1, STA/AP BI must match, radar detect widths: { 20 MHz (no HT), 20 MHz, 40 MHz, 80 MHz }

        HT Capability overrides:
                 * MCS: ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff
                 * maximum A-MSDU length
                 * supported channel width
                 * short GI for 40 MHz
                 * max A-MPDU length exponent
                 * min MPDU start spacing
        Device supports VHT-IBSS.
Wiphy phy0
        max # scan SSIDs: 16
        max scan IEs length: 199 bytes
        max # sched scan SSIDs: 0
        max # match sets: 0
        max # scan plans: 1
        max scan plan interval: -1
        max scan plan iterations: 0
        Retry short limit: 7
        Retry long limit: 4
        Coverage class: 0 (up to 0m)
        Device supports AP-side u-APSD.
        Available Antennas: TX 0xf RX 0xf
        Configured Antennas: TX 0xf RX 0xf
        Supported interface modes:
                 * managed
                 * AP
                 * AP/VLAN
                 * monitor
                 * mesh point
        Band 2:
                Capabilities: 0x19ef
                        RX LDPC
                        HT20/HT40
                        SM Power Save disabled
                        RX HT20 SGI
                        RX HT40 SGI
                        TX STBC
                        RX STBC 1-stream
                        Max AMSDU length: 7935 bytes
                        DSSS/CCK HT40
                Maximum RX AMPDU length 65535 bytes (exponent: 0x003)
                Minimum RX AMPDU time spacing: 8 usec (0x06)
                HT TX/RX MCS rate indexes supported: 0-31
                VHT Capabilities (0x339b79fa):
                        Max MPDU length: 11454
                        Supported Channel Width: 160 MHz, 80+80 MHz
                        RX LDPC
                        short GI (80 MHz)
                        short GI (160/80+80 MHz)
                        TX STBC
                        SU Beamformer
                        SU Beamformee
                        MU Beamformer
                        MU Beamformee
                        RX antenna pattern consistency
                        TX antenna pattern consistency
                VHT RX MCS set:
                        1 streams: MCS 0-9
                        2 streams: MCS 0-9
                        3 streams: MCS 0-9
                        4 streams: MCS 0-9
                        5 streams: not supported
                        6 streams: not supported
                        7 streams: not supported
                        8 streams: not supported
                VHT RX highest supported: 1560 Mbps
                VHT TX MCS set:
                        1 streams: MCS 0-9
                        2 streams: MCS 0-9
                        3 streams: MCS 0-9
                        4 streams: MCS 0-9
                        5 streams: not supported
                        6 streams: not supported
                        7 streams: not supported
                        8 streams: not supported
                VHT TX highest supported: 1560 Mbps
                Frequencies:
                        * 5180 MHz [36] (23.0 dBm)
                        * 5200 MHz [40] (23.0 dBm)
                        * 5220 MHz [44] (23.0 dBm)
                        * 5240 MHz [48] (23.0 dBm)
                        * 5260 MHz [52] (23.0 dBm) (radar detection)
                        * 5280 MHz [56] (23.0 dBm) (radar detection)
                        * 5300 MHz [60] (23.0 dBm) (radar detection)
                        * 5320 MHz [64] (23.0 dBm) (radar detection)
                        * 5500 MHz [100] (23.0 dBm) (radar detection)
                        * 5520 MHz [104] (23.0 dBm) (radar detection)
                        * 5540 MHz [108] (23.0 dBm) (radar detection)
                        * 5560 MHz [112] (23.0 dBm) (radar detection)
                        * 5580 MHz [116] (23.0 dBm) (radar detection)
                        * 5600 MHz [120] (23.0 dBm) (radar detection)
                        * 5620 MHz [124] (23.0 dBm) (radar detection)
                        * 5640 MHz [128] (23.0 dBm) (radar detection)
                        * 5660 MHz [132] (23.0 dBm) (radar detection)
                        * 5680 MHz [136] (23.0 dBm) (radar detection)
                        * 5700 MHz [140] (23.0 dBm) (radar detection)
                        * 5720 MHz [144] (23.0 dBm) (radar detection)
                        * 5745 MHz [149] (30.0 dBm)
                        * 5765 MHz [153] (30.0 dBm)
                        * 5785 MHz [157] (30.0 dBm)
                        * 5805 MHz [161] (30.0 dBm)
                        * 5825 MHz [165] (30.0 dBm)
                        * 5845 MHz [169] (disabled)
        valid interface combinations:
                 * #{ managed } <= 1, #{ AP, mesh point } <= 16,
                   total <= 16, #channels <= 1, STA/AP BI must match, radar detect widths: { 20 MHz (no HT), 20 MHz, 40 MHz, 80 MHz }

        HT Capability overrides:
                 * MCS: ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff
                 * maximum A-MSDU length
                 * supported channel width
                 * short GI for 40 MHz
                 * max A-MPDU length exponent
                 * min MPDU start spacing
        Device supports VHT-IBSS.

In US you can set 160 MHz only on 100-128 channels with DFS.
That means that Wi-Fi will work in a minute after it's enabled and if it doesn't detect weather radars.

You can check it by iw list command.

2 Likes

So set channel 100 and wait for a minute.

1 Like

iw reg get will show you frequencies.

1 Like

Ah I see -- thank you very much! That makes sense now.

According to this it may work on channels 36-64 as well.
I would try to set the bw manually by iw and check for errors.

But according to current regdb it's not.

country US: DFS-FCC
	(2402 - 2472 @ 40), (30)
	# 5.15 ~ 5.25 GHz: 30 dBm for master mode, 23 dBm for clients
	(5170 - 5250 @ 80), (23), AUTO-BW
	(5250 - 5330 @ 80), (23), DFS, AUTO-BW
	(5490 - 5730 @ 160), (23), DFS
	(5735 - 5835 @ 80), (30)
	# 60g band
	# reference: section IV-D https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-16-89A1.pdf
	# channels 1-6 EIRP=40dBm(43dBm peak)
	(57240 - 71000 @ 2160), (40)
1 Like

Maybe regdb is not 100% accurate, because regulation rules do change. But Openwrt uses it.

Either you're interpreting the reg rules too literally, or they are written in a stupid format.
If I have two contiguous 80 mhz sections in regdb why shouldn't I be allowed to use 160?

Additionally, the rules for AU are written very similar to US and I've been able to get 160mhz running on channel 36 for wrt32x, but not for R7800.
I've also shown recently that 80+80mhz width fails as soon as you put any section in a DFS area.

I believe the driver/firmware is a little quirky here.

I think i might understand why, just waiting for confirmation, otherwise i'll patch and test soon myself but hoping to not need to.

Same issue here on R7800. Setting 160MHz width results in DFS start_dfs_cac() failed, -1 error in the system log and wireless never comes up.

I still think this article https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-features/33212-160-mhz-wi-fi-channels-revisited is correct that 160 MHz channels on today's 802.11ac wave 2 hardware are rarely of a benefit.

Instead I would prefer to use three radio wireless routers like Linksys EA8300, to have two 80 MHz 802.11ac wireless networks working on separated channels, with full compatibility, no DFS problems and parallel transmissions. With this also 802.11ac wave 1 or 802.11n/11a clients could benefit from more bandwidth.

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