Can't get wireless to broadcast with OpenWRT as access point

I only just discovered and tried to use OpenWRT recently, so there's still a lot I don't know and I'm hoping more experience users on this forum can help me figure out how to accomplish what I want to do.

I would like to use OpenWRT to create a second wireless access point on my existing network that I can use to put several wireless devices on their own subnet. PFsense is my primary router and internet gateway, and OpenWRT would go behind just to connect this group of wireless devices, no need to manage any ethernet-based devices directly.

It's worth noting that both PFsense and OpenWRT are virtualized with a proxmox hypervisor and every device on my networked is associated with a VLAN bound to a specific virtual interface and subnet in PFsense. For now I have OpenWRT on my primary LAN, configured for DHCP so that it gets assigned an IP from PFsense and I can access the web configuration. My goal is to confirm I can get a wireless broadcast of an SSID bound to my LAN and connect a wireless device like a smartphone to it. Once I have that working i'll put OpenWRT's interface on it's own subnet so I apply firewall rules and isolated to my selected wireless devices.

I am using a GC-WBAX200 to broadcast a wireless signal. Running iw list seems to confirm that AP mode is supported on this device:

root@OpenWrt:~# iw list
Wiphy phy0
        wiphy index: 0
        max # scan SSIDs: 20
        max scan IEs length: 365 bytes
        max # sched scan SSIDs: 20
        max # match sets: 8
        Retry short limit: 7
        Retry long limit: 4
        Coverage class: 0 (up to 0m)
        Device supports AP-side u-APSD.
        Device supports T-DLS.
        Available Antennas: TX 0x3 RX 0x3
        Configured Antennas: TX 0x3 RX 0x3
        Supported interface modes:
                 * IBSS
                 * managed
                 * AP
                 * AP/VLAN
                 * monitor
                 * P2P-client
                 * P2P-GO
                 * P2P-device

I've installed the kmod-iwlwifi and iwlwifi-firmware-ax200 packages, and OpenWRT does see and recognize the device. Here is my wireless config file:

config wifi-device 'radio0'
	option type 'mac80211'
	option path 'pci0000:00/0000:00:10.0'
	option band '5g'
	option country 'US'
	option cell_density '0'
	option channel '52'
	option htmode 'VHT80'
	option txpower '22'

config wifi-iface 'default_radio0'
	option device 'radio0'
	option network 'lan'
	option mode 'ap'
	option ssid 'OpenWrt'
	option encryption 'psk2'
	option key '<key>'

AFAIK looking through setup guides and other suggestions I've been able to Google the WiFi should be up, but the WebGUI shows no signal:

And running ip a in the CLI confirms the WLAN is in a down state:

root@OpenWrt:~# ip a
1: lo: <LOOPBACK,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 65536 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN qlen 1000
    link/loopback 00:00:00:00:00:00 brd 00:00:00:00:00:00
    inet scope host lo
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
    inet6 ::1/128 scope host
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
2: eth0: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc fq_codel master br-lan state UP qlen 1000
    link/ether <MAC> brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
4: br-lan: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc noqueue state UP qlen 1000
    link/ether <MAC> brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
    inet brd scope global br-lan
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
    inet6 fe80::b448:efff:fef2:3ce5/64 scope link
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
5: wlan0: <NO-CARRIER,BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP> mtu 1500 qdisc noqueue master br-lan state DOWN qlen 1000
    link/ether <MAC> brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff

At this point I'm not sure what else to try to get this to work, any suggestions based on my configurations or errors I've made?

Intel wifi devices do no support AP mode.

Get a Qualcomm or mediatek card.


AP may work only on 2 GHz on some Intel chips (thus technically making the list as a supported mode) but none support AP on 5.

1 Like

I've replaced it with an mediatek wireless USB device but i'm still getting the same problem of WiFi not broadcasting.

Mt7612 should work, have you installed the required kmods?

I messed around with more last night and got it working. Needed to have it broadcasting on a higher channel as the one I was using wasn't working for my country code.

EDIT: I just noticed I am getting this error, though I can still connect to and use the wireless.