Gemtek WMIR-103G wireless card not working on x86

Hello :slight_smile:

I've recently installed OpenWrt 23.05.3 on my trusty old PC Engines ALIX 2D2. I've used Generic x86/Geode combined ext4 image as usual.

The OS itself obviously works but I wasn't able to make the wireless card work - it's Gemtek WMIR-103G using Ralink RT2560F chip. The lspci command detects it as following:

Network controller: Ralink corp. RT2500 Wireless 802.11bg (rev 01)

Trying to check its state using ifconfig wlan0 command produces the following error:

error fetching interface information: Device not found

I've of course installed kmod-rt2x00-pci, rt61-pci-firmware and wpad-basic-openssl with all their dependencies. Aforementioned firmware package is not explicitely required for this card as far as I know but I decided to try installing it anyway. I'm also 100% sure that my ALIX is perfectly functional as it works as expected with two different miniPCIe cards with Atheros chip manufactured by TP-Link.

How do I fix it? Thanks in advance for any answers.

First of all, don't expect much (anything) from this old chipset, it's support isn't great…

The correct driver would be kmod-rt2500-pci, which doesn't appear to be fully hooked up into the driver packaging, so you will have to build from source and apply some moderate packaging fixes.

1 Like

I bought this card solely because of its support of AP mode under NetBSD (it's basically only easily obtainable hardware that works) but wanted to try it under OpenWrt anyway.

Atheros AR5212 (kmod-ath5k) or AR9280 (kmod-ath9k) probably would have been a much better choice, even for NetBSD (disclaimer, not really using xBSD myself), rt2500-pci is not exactly great (even less when it comes to AP support).

Kernel support for rt2500-pci exists and works, the kernel modules for this chipset just aren't packaged up for OpenWrt (which should be a reasonably easy patch to add), because no one cared so far (no APs shipping with it, ancient and dog-slow chipset plagued with a number of issues, even in client-mode, before even thinking about AP mode).

1 Like

I have Atheros ath5k cards for use in 802.11a/g scenarios on OpenWrt (never really had issues with them) but sadly those cards have no AP mode support whatsoever under NetBSD :frowning: I guess I'll have to compile and/or downgrade OpenWrt for testing purposes or move directly to my target OS.

Adding the missing bits and pieces for rt2500-pci to OpenWrt should be reasonably easy (half of it is already there, just left dangling), just do the necessary packaging changes, build and test it - and file the PR to get your changes merged.