Transmit power limited to 14 dBm on TL-WR1043NDv2/v3

Greetings! This is my first post here, since so far I've been able to more or less solve any issue I had with openwrt with just searching the wiki/forums.

I currently have two routers running custom images of OpenWrt 19.07.7. They're far enough away to not interfere with each other and there is generally no other interference present since this setup is in a very rural part of the country.

A few days ago I noticed that the wifi coverage is lower than it used to be. I checked the settings and this is what I saw:


14 dBm (25 mV) seems pretty low, even for my usecase (I've had both routers running at just 16 and 18 dBm respectively before just fine).
I've read -- but even this page only mentions "The reg domain allow 23 dBm (correctly set) while I'm unable to go above 16 dBm" as a common issue, but 14 dBm seems far too low to be normal.

I checked iw reg get. For some reason two country codes are listed but the "global" one seems to be applied at the UI, since the max transmit power is correctly listed at 20 dBm.

root@OpenWrt-TL1:~#  iw reg get
country HU: DFS-ETSI
        (2400 - 2483 @ 40), (N/A, 20), (N/A)
        (5150 - 5250 @ 80), (N/A, 23), (N/A), NO-OUTDOOR, AUTO-BW
        (5250 - 5350 @ 80), (N/A, 20), (0 ms), NO-OUTDOOR, DFS, AUTO-BW
        (5470 - 5725 @ 160), (N/A, 26), (0 ms), DFS
        (5725 - 5875 @ 80), (N/A, 13), (N/A)
        (57000 - 66000 @ 2160), (N/A, 40), (N/A)

country US: DFS-FCC
        (2400 - 2472 @ 40), (N/A, 30), (N/A)
        (5150 - 5250 @ 80), (N/A, 23), (N/A), AUTO-BW
        (5250 - 5350 @ 80), (N/A, 23), (0 ms), DFS, AUTO-BW
        (5470 - 5730 @ 160), (N/A, 23), (0 ms), DFS
        (5730 - 5850 @ 80), (N/A, 30), (N/A)
        (57240 - 71000 @ 2160), (N/A, 40), (N/A)

I did some tests with my older router which I was using as the second AP in this setup before, a TL-WR841NDv9 with OpenWrt 19.07.6. There still seems to be a difference between max and current transmit power if I try to set it to 20 dBm, but it has an upper limit of 16 dBm.

All routers have the correct country code set to "HU - Hungary". I also tested country code set to "Driver Default" (doesn't change anything) and "00 - World" (same result). Setting it to US (the other code listed by iw) let's me set it to 18 dBm (and higher), but this isn't really a solution.

I tried a factory reset. I haven't tried using just the default firmware builds, since I'd like to long-term keep my custom images. If it helps, I can post the manifest for my custom image.

1 Like

How you resolve this problem?

Silly. I have identically the same here, on an EAP600 which allows for 25/28 dBm.
I tried all I could think of, like above, setting transmit power. It never complains, and it never goes beyond (nor below) 14 dBm.
Running the latest 23.05.
I thought, it might automatically increase when i move further away, but it simply drops the connection and still stands on 14 dBm.

For the sake of trying, I put Country Code BR, and still the same. To me it looks like a bug.

Okay, last resort before flashing back the ancient Engenius firmware:
Complete reset, factory reset, and configuring from scratch suddenly permits me to modify the transmit power.
I guess some remnants of the previous software from which I upgraded to 23.05 might have blocked the reconfiguration.

[Should I put "Solved" into the title; or does it work in OpenWRT?]