Archer C50 v4 Mac80211 Looses Internet Access after 20'+ Away from Router But Maintains Connection

Using latest 19.07 snapshot (r12126) and default settings aside from Country Code CA has no positive results.
Same setting as above with Force 40Mhz setting as 1 does not produce any positive results.

Next up, trying bills888 19.07 rrc10269 snapshot.

bills888 19.07 rc10269 snapshot did not fix it either.

Thanks for testing. Does the problem affect more than one 2.4 GHz wifi device? (eg. phone, laptop etc)

It may be a good idea for you to raise a bug report if more than one device is affected.
https://bugs.openwrt.org/

I have the same problem and it affects multiple devices. I manged to improve it a bit by setting "Advanced Settings" > "Distance Optimization" to 15 under the connection settings, greater values didn't improve it any more.
The signal range was not a problem before flashing OpenWRT, but since the LAN and WAN ports are not working I'm now better off than before.

Did OP open a bug report already?

The issue isn’t isolated to a single device in my experience (android and iOS phone + laptop)

I’ve yet to properly submit a bug report. Feel free to submit one ahead of me. Please reply with a link if you do and I’ll do the same (if one hasn’t been submitted)

I can confirm that I am seeing the same symptoms on my Archer C50 v4.1 EU. If I place it 5 metres away from the laptop in the same room, I can't really connect to it any more on 2.4GHz. Changing the channel to 40MHz does seem to improve things, and I can now connect from the next room through one wall - but it is still not working at full power.

I have another TP-Link TL-WR841N with OpenWRT in the same position - and the 841N is showing 94% signal, while the C50 is showing only 72% signal - so something is definitely not working properly. On top of that, the C50 is the more modern device, with better hardware - so it should have even better signal than the 841N.

The C50 is on the 19.07.0 sysupgrade image.

Bug 2781 report created.

I am also seeing something like this, however I am hesitant to join the pool of people reporting this issue, as I'm using a C50 v5 US router. (I just got one of those, opened it up, messed around with the console a bit, concluded that it is virtually identical as a v4, went ahead and flashed a v5 header+bootloader with a v4 OpenWRT image - works great except 2.4GHz)

However, my findings diverge a bit. I can get a signal on most of my devices, although not great. My main problem (and I had to revert to stock because of this) is that I have a bunch of ESP8266-based IoT stuff that literally does not want to connect to the 2.4G radio at all, even close up. Those devices operate poorly even with the stock firmware.

I'm just thinking that this Wi-Fi chipset is problematic and there's no way out. I've gone as far as getting a hold of one of the original v4 port images which is probably 1.5 years old, but still exhibits weird performance issues.

I read things like "try the newest version", however, if this is a new issue does anyone have any clue as to when this started, or has it just been like this forever?

Your problem with the V5 might be related. Take a look at the bug report, the problem might be with the driver mt76.

Oh, I am sure it is as it is the same hardware as far as i can tell (except for the PCB itself), I've seen the report and I'm following some issues directly at the mt76 development repository, however I'd like to try to pinpoint a report from someone that indicates when this all started

I opened a bug report on the kernel mail list: https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=206363
It really seems that it's a driver issue. The sotck firmware uses 2.6.36 but I don't know if it is the vanilla version or if it has patches.

All help is welcome. Everyone feel free to try to compile and test other kernel versions.

Forgot to meantion:
It would be great if someone with a JTAGed router or with experience in debricking could help test a possible kernel patch and/or other kernel versions. This is my first time using Open Wrt.

If you download the stock firmware source code, under the directory mtk_ApSoC_4320/linux-2.6.36.x/drivers/net/wireless/MT7612/mcu/bin/ there is a bunch of binary firmware files for which there seems to be no source. My guess is that putting one of those under /lib/firmware on the router might solve the problem. Specifically, the MT7610.bin, mt7612_patch_e1_hdr.bin and mt7612_patch_e1_hdr_0417.bin, perhaps changing the names a bit to match the files already present.

I think the firmware/eeprom might be the source of the problem because this recent kernel patch to a driver of the same family says that setting it through the eeprom might not be enough and that one might need to use firmware resources.

Unfortunately the ethernet ports on my router are fried, thus why I'm using Open Wrt. If it bricks I have no way of recovering it.
Could anyone please attempt that and see if it fixes the problem? Those firmwares are for 2.6.36 and we are dealing with 4.14.162 here, so it's a long shot.

I do realize I might be asking you to run proprietary software, but it is for debugging purposes.

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I can't post new replies so I will just append stuff here.

I just noticed that on LuCI radio1 (5GHz) is reported as MediaTek MT76x2E 802.11nacwhile radio0(2.4GHz) is Generic 802.11bgn. Anyone has any thoughts on this?

@zap

I’m not familiar with replacing bin files but I definitely give it a try ASAP on my unit. It looks straight forward to do though.

You just need to copy and paste the files. You can use scp (cp over ssh) to copy them.

EDIT: remeber to either reboot or reload the modules after doing the copy.

Trial #1
MT7610.bin rename dto mt7628.bin
mt7612_patch_e1_hdr.bin renamed to mt7628_e1.bin

Results:
Able to double the distance before i loose access to internet (wifi connection remains), speeds degrade the closer i reach the point where i loose internet access.

Trial #2
MT7610.bin rename dto mt7628.bin
mt7612_patch_e1_hdr_0417.bin renamed to mt7628_e1.bin

Results:
Same as above.

EDIT1: I wouldn't take the above as solid evidence that its the driver that improved 2.4Ghz wifi. Shortly after i finished testing, i noticed 19.07.1 service release was published. I factory rest my router and applied the sysupgrade then tested with same wifi config above, the results where somewhat the same. My conclusion is that my environment (out of my control) changed enough that the results where positive.

I upgraded to 19.07.1. I can now see the network from further(I think) distances but still cant connect.

I'm curious. If I had both a stock unit and a OpenWRT; has anyone performed an actual comparison of signal strength and connections on 2.4ghz? Is it possible that the stock TP-Link firmware is just as bad?

I'll be comparing a stock router and openwrt side-by-side as i have multiple sets in the next couple days.

I just finished testing on the latest Canadian stock TP-Link firmware and am able to get about 5.5 times the distance and access the internet (speed test).