Strong wireless signal but intermittent drops

I'm having some weird flakiness issues with the Wireless interfaces that I can't seem to track down.

Laptops and phones/tablets (all Apple devices) seem to have full WiFi connection to the 5GHz channel and the speeds to match, but will also drop connection seemingly randomly across a day. This can happen anywhere from a couple to several times across a working day, which gets frustrating.

All the other main devices in the house that don't move (TV, desktop, console) are wired in and suffer no such connection drops - the speeds are consistent with what I would expect through the wire.

When the connection drops, the connection defaults back to the 5G that is available in the area and I'm able to force the device back onto the WiFi faster than it usually would by trying to access LuCI through the browser.

I have seen devices try to connect to what I think is the upstairs router first, because I see a single bar of WiFi before it fills all the way up again -- terrible explanation but I think that makes sense.


My setup consists of two R7800s, running identical firmwares; OpenWrt 21.02.3 r16554-1d4dea6d4f.

  • Main router sits on the ground floor, on 192.168.1.1, with Adguard Home (and a few DNS blocklists) running on top of it. 5GHz on 149 and 2.4GHz on 1
  • The second sits on the first floor, on 192.168.1.2 as the Dumb AP (following the wiki guide). 5GHz on 36 and 2.4GHz on 1.

It's worth noting at this point that there isn't much point in the 2.4 channel, since the 5 coverage is (usually) exceptionally good.

I did previously have a WRT3200ACM, but that seemed to be even more unstable, so I replaced that with the two R7800's.

I wanted to have 802.11r enabled on both channels, but did a bit of reading and basically came to the conclusion that it could be causing the problems I was seeing with iOS devices, so have disabled that again but to no avail.


I'm at a bit of a loss as I want to be sure to take advantage of the speeds that the line provides, but with the flakiness I can't have confidence in the connection the Wireless is throwing out.

I'm definitely not the most network-savvy, but more than happy to try and get down and dirty to diagnose this issue.

It's probably worth noting here that I live in an apartment complex, with multiple other WiFi networks in the immediate area. Which was one of the main reasons I went with the R7800s and OpenWRT in the first place.

Thanks in advance!

For 802.11r and Apple devices, please try this configuration and report back:

Also, if you haven't already done this, enable debug logging for your wifi-device configs:

option log_level '0'

I had issues with 5ghz drops - my syslog gave hints that my selected channel was being stepped on by radar; setting the channel to 'auto' solved my issue.

For 802.11r and Apple devices, please try this configuration and report back:

Will give this a go when I'm back home in a couple of days and will report back - I have it saved!

Also, if you haven't already done this, enable debug logging for your wifi-device configs:

I haven't done this, but will do as well

I believe they're both already on auto, and I was just reading the channels that they were on at the time of writing. However, once I've enabled logging I'll take a look and see if they're being stepped on.

Are the radios being switched off and come back by themselves?

I have something similar. Might be related to a bug in hostapd (something upstream). You can downgrade to 19.xx or try 22.xx.rc5. See
https://forum.openwrt.org/t/openwrt-21-02-3-third-service-release/125732/55?u=ramon

With this, do I apply it to just one or both of the devices? And if it's just one, which one (router or AP)?

I've had problems on my router where I can't seem to edit the config because there doesn't appear to be enough space to write the file, so I've gone back to a fresh flash for the time being to try and get to the bottom of this problem (no Adguard Home etc.).

Thanks for all the help so far!

Hmm this is concerning.

I'm going to have to monitor the logs to see if it is the actual radios being switched off (which it very well could be since the wireless completely disappears).

I am very much looking forward to seeing what 22.xx gives us!

A quick update;

I have applied the settings to both the router and the AP and it seems to have fixed the issue that I was seeing.

I'm going to continue to monitor it for at least the next week to confirm, but I haven't had any connection drops on any device, especially during video calls (FaceTime) and walking throughout the home.