Please consider ath10k (non-ct) drivers instead of ct

Hi,

I've now waited a long time to observe why my Archer C7 v2 and v5 units got bad performance on 2.4 GHz and sometimes complete crash of the WiFi drivers while the LAN interfaces are still working.

It all seems to boil down to OpenWrt's decision to include ath10k-ct drivers instead of ath10k (non-ct) drivers since 19.07.x releases.

Since then, many users including me according to the below referenced topics have the same issues, e.g.:

  • 2.4 GHz download speed is capped around 10 MBit/sec.
  • ath10k driver crashes, requiring "rmmod ath10k-pci; sleep 10; insmod ath10k-pci;" or "reboot" to make the router work again.
  • 5 GHz max bandwidth is a lot slower than with non-ct drivers, but still okay
  • the feeling "of less WiFi range", because devices that are further away seem to have trouble connecting at 1st try. For me, standing at the exact same distance, I've observed my devices connecting fine.

It's a "mysterious" story since then, because I've read a lot of threads here (and participated myself), I feel like 80% of the feedback I got for my "ath10 non-ct builds" was "hey, my WiFi problems with the Archver C7's were solved thank you." and the rest like "not sure - or it's the same like with ct drivers".

This leads me to kindly ask you to consider including ath10k (non-ct) drivers in the next upcoming major OpenWrt releases. It would save me and other people the effort to build a new OpenWrt image ourselves whenever a new official stable commit is available as release. I'd hope to use the official built images again in the future and also advise other people to use them. You are really doing great work on OpenWrt!

Thank you.

Kind regards,

Catfriend1

References:

2 Likes

well, for sure this is not something strictly linked with the C7, but to be honest it is a mistery also for me the decision to switch to CT drivers..
in my case (i have a R7800) now and then i try again the CT version, but finally i end up always installing back the non-ct because something doesn't work.
Some month ago, i could not get my IOT devices based on espressif chip to work.
Now they seem to work, but my xiaomi phone (bought in 2020!) has ping in the order of SECONDS, i can't even use whatsapp web.
i assume there is something both of us are missing for the usage of CT drivers, i just hope i'll be able to build with non-ct version also in the future..

PS: on the other side, CT drivers are way faster with 160MHz channel width..

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In my DAP-2610 CT drivers working fine, no issues so far running:

  • 4 mobiles (2 Samsung + 1 Oppo + 1 Cubot)
  • 3 Tablets (2 Samsung / 1 Huawei)
  • 2 TV's (LG / Samsung)
  • 1 Nintendo Switch
  • 1 Ps4 Pro
  • 1 Laptop (HP)
  • 1 Desktop (Lenovo)
  • I miss some device I can't remember now...

Some time ago I had problems with Ps4 Pro, but were solved.

For a long time until i find the Catfriend1 Firmware, which i am using these days and my 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz is rock solid stable, i had maximum of 48h stable operation and after i need restart my router.

I had a lot of issues with version 18 and 19 at my Archer C7 V2 EU and this was the reason that lead me to go for Gargoyle (which is base on OpenWRT).

So i can confirm that Gargoyle Firmware and Catfriend1 is stable without crashing.
For Gargoyle i can confirm of 2 years stable operation, for Catfriend1 a week and still continue.

Home Setup
At 5 GHz: NUC10, Smart TV, Game Console and Smartphone
At 2.4 Ghz: a lot of IoT devices (about 20)

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Archer C7 v5

For me default -ct drivers are just working fine and stable for months now. No speed caps or connection issues. I tried non-ct as well back in first I was diagnosing problems (stated below) and they also work OK.

I had problems like client-steering, client-disconnections on both bands and I solved them by utilizing custom scripts and Wi-Fi config, hostapd.sh settings. I just never had speed issues though.

The speed issues could be reproduced with Intel 8260 based wifi adapters on 2.4ghz. Plus, non-ct drivers support IBSS and wpa3-sae encrypted 802.11s mesh which I could not get running with ct drivers.

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Exact same reason, why I also use the non-ct drivers on the deployed archer units. Missing support (iwlwifi), or unstable operation (mt7xxx) for encrypted 802.11s mesh and RSN-IBSS on 5Ghz is my greatest annoyance in the Wifi landscape

IMO you should ask this on the OpenWrt devel mailing list, in order to reach the desired audience.

Oh, never was part of a mailing list yet. Can you please give me the pointer where to mail to?

See https://openwrt.org/contact#mailing_lists

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@tmomas I've followed your advice, thanks.

I use the CT-drivers on my r7800 with mesh/batman-adv. The trick on the R7800, at least on this particular router, is to disable powermanagement on the cpu. Very stable. Without this it’s a crashing mess.

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The reason for the CT variant of drivers is because this is the open-source version prepared by Candela Technologies

you can read about it here

Despite some issues with specific versions of their drivers, and missing features....there is also a vast amount of bugs fixed that are still in the original non-CT variant, so there is a lot of variables here that can result in bad performance.

It seems to me that this is device / chip specific issues, so I think a good solution would be to only use non-ct drivers for some devices and only on the stable release branch...

or maybe consider two sets of image for some boards...

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"powermanagement on the cpu."? or you mean power saving of the Wi-Fi chip? If its former, I wonder if C7 v5 also has that option to disable.

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no the r7800 has a completely different SOC (IPQ806x)

sounds like in that case that the wifi driver is not the cause of the problem

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I screwed up my device last night by updating some packages, good thing I had backup though. Installed latest snapshot and this time I decided to use non-ct driver/fw.

I must say it feels like same before, rock solid good. Maybe ct/non-ct is more like feature-wise problematic for some users.

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On my device I installed the non-ct drivers. When my kids started their online meetings, the ap got reset/restarted, no crash in the log. Just activated WPA2 with Dawn and fast roaming. This happened twice within 2 min. I did one more test, starting a download and it reseted again. So I got rid of the non-ct drivers and since I have the ct drivers, all is good.