Low transmit power Netgear WAC124

I recently installed OpenWrt 22.03.3 on a Netgear WAC124. So far the experience has been great and everything has been working fine, apart from the fact that I also seem to be suffering from a similar issue as has been reported by multiple Netgear users, namely that the transmit power of the 5 GHz band is limited to 6 dBm. See https://forum.openwrt.org/t/netgear-r6850-very-low-transmit-power-on-5ghz/90984, https://forum.openwrt.org/t/installing-openwrt-on-a-netgear-wac124/141521 for some examples of related topics.

Since I live in a tiny apartment it's not such a big issue for me since even with 6 dBm transmit power I have decent WiFi pretty much everywhere. Nevertheless, it would be nice if the problem would be fixed at some point. My question is, how could I check if I my problem is indeed the same as for the users (caused by bad blocks)? And if so, are there any plans for the patches (or something similar) that were proposed in these topics to be included in the release builds of OpenWrt at some point? For ease of maintenance I would prefer not to have to run custom, self-built images on my device.

I'm not sure if there is an easy way to check for bad blocks in current OpenWrt 22.03, as the driver was changed to skip checking for bad blocks (so the "Bad eraseblock" messages are no longer in the kernel log).

But the partition table patch is now in the master branch, so you could just try a snapshot build to see if it helps.

1 Like

Thanks for your suggestion! Once I have some time I will give it a try.

Hi, I just saw that a new service release was announced 1.5 weeks ago. I looked through the changelog but it doesn't seem that this partition table patch was included in this release, is that correct?

I also had another question about the partition table patch: how self-contained is it? I found this commit https://git.openwrt.org/?p=openwrt/openwrt.git;a=commit;h=c46584ab302f0dd9b472aef77c2af163f9719379 that seems to contain a fix for a partition table bug. Does this commit contain everything for the fix to work? I.e., could one theoretically apply this commit to the latest stable service release branch and build to get an image that contains the fix but is still very close to a stable release? Or does the partition table fix depend on other changes in master that have been made since it deviated from the latest stable release branch?

The partition parser itself is not yet included in the 22.03 branch, so you would need to add it.

This is the relevant commit:

The kernel config also needs to be changed, like in this commit (enable CONFIG_MTD_SERCOMM_PARTS):

Okay, thanks!

Would you also be able to say which approach has the best probability of giving a stable(like) experience until a new stable release that includes the partition table patch?
(a) Using a (particular) snapshot build of the master branch
(b) Including the partition table patch in the latest stable release by applying the relevant commit/changes on top of the latest stable release branch

Or if it's not possible to say which has the highest probability of a stable experience, which approach would you try first?

Using a snapshot build is probably a bit easier as you don't have to build it yourself. Maybe just try it out. If there is any issue you can still build your own image. Just be aware that you'll need to install the LuCI web interface yourself for snapshot builds (and current packages from the repositories may not be compatible with older snapshot images, so install what you need right away).

Thanks for the advice! I'll give it a try

@janh I installed a snapshot image and now I can set the WiFi transmit power much higher than 6 dBm! So it appears that the partition table patch also fixes my problem :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the help!

This topic was automatically closed 10 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.