WPA Supplicant won't allow more distant OpenWRT clients to connect to AP

I have a multi subnet setup where one openwrt is the AP and the other is the client. Close clients can connect to the AP no problem, but when it's moved further away it seems to break. I'm using a hilink-hlk7688a. Here's what logread says on the AP:

Thu Aug  3 16:58:58 2023 kern.info kernel: [  653.274254] wlan0: RX AssocResp from 2a:e9:35:3d:78:ea (capab=0x431 status=0 aid=3)
Thu Aug  3 16:58:58 2023 kern.info kernel: [  653.289750] wlan0: associated
Thu Aug  3 16:58:58 2023 daemon.notice netifd: Network device 'wlan0' link is up
Thu Aug  3 16:58:58 2023 daemon.notice netifd: Interface 'wwan' has link connectivity
Thu Aug  3 16:58:58 2023 daemon.notice netifd: Interface 'wwan' is setting up now
Thu Aug  3 16:58:58 2023 daemon.notice wpa_supplicant[1253]: wlan0: Associated with 2a:e9:35:3d:78:ea
Thu Aug  3 16:58:58 2023 daemon.notice wpa_supplicant[1253]: wlan0: CTRL-EVENT-SUBNET-STATUS-UPDATE status=0
Thu Aug  3 16:58:58 2023 daemon.notice netifd: wwan (4049): udhcpc: started, v1.35.0
Thu Aug  3 16:58:59 2023 daemon.notice netifd: wwan (4049): udhcpc: broadcasting discover
Thu Aug  3 16:58:59 2023 daemon.notice wpa_supplicant[1253]: wlan0: WPA: Key negotiation completed with 2a:e9:35:3d:78:ea [PTK=CCMP GTK=CCMP]
Thu Aug  3 16:58:59 2023 daemon.notice wpa_supplicant[1253]: wlan0: CTRL-EVENT-CONNECTED - Connection to 2a:e9:35:3d:78:ea completed [id=0 id_str=]
Thu Aug  3 16:58:59 2023 kern.info kernel: [  654.265085] IPv6: ADDRCONF(NETDEV_CHANGE): wlan0: link becomes ready
Thu Aug  3 16:58:59 2023 kern.info kernel: [  654.304054] IPv6: ADDRCONF(NETDEV_CHANGE): wlan0-1: link becomes ready
Thu Aug  3 16:58:59 2023 kern.info kernel: [  654.317319] br-lan: port 2(wlan0-1) entered blocking state
Thu Aug  3 16:58:59 2023 kern.info kernel: [  654.328248] br-lan: port 2(wlan0-1) entered forwarding state
Thu Aug  3 16:58:59 2023 daemon.notice netifd: Network device 'wlan0-1' link is up
Thu Aug  3 16:58:59 2023 daemon.notice wpa_supplicant[1253]: wlan0: Unknown event 37
Thu Aug  3 16:58:59 2023 daemon.notice wpa_supplicant[1253]: wlan0: Unknown event 37
Thu Aug  3 16:58:59 2023 daemon.notice wpa_supplicant[1253]: wlan0: CTRL-EVENT-BEACON-LOSS
Thu Aug  3 16:58:59 2023 daemon.notice netifd: bridge 'br-lan' link is up
Thu Aug  3 16:58:59 2023 daemon.notice netifd: Interface 'lan' has link connectivity
Thu Aug  3 16:58:59 2023 kern.info kernel: [  654.411125] IPv6: ADDRCONF(NETDEV_CHANGE): br-lan: link becomes ready
Thu Aug  3 16:59:00 2023 daemon.err odhcpd[1424]: Failed to send to ff02::1%lan@br-lan (Address not available)
Thu Aug  3 16:59:02 2023 daemon.notice wpa_supplicant[1253]: wlan0: CTRL-EVENT-BEACON-LOSS
Thu Aug  3 16:59:02 2023 daemon.notice netifd: wwan (4049): udhcpc: broadcasting discover
Thu Aug  3 16:59:04 2023 daemon.notice wpa_supplicant[1253]: wlan0: CTRL-EVENT-BEACON-LOSS
Thu Aug  3 16:59:04 2023 daemon.info dnsmasq[1]: read /etc/hosts - 4 addresses
Thu Aug  3 16:59:04 2023 daemon.info dnsmasq[1]: read /tmp/hosts/dhcp.cfg01411c - 1 addresses
Thu Aug  3 16:59:04 2023 daemon.info dnsmasq-dhcp[1]: read /etc/ethers - 0 addresses
Thu Aug  3 16:59:05 2023 daemon.notice netifd: wwan (4049): udhcpc: broadcasting discover
Thu Aug  3 16:59:06 2023 daemon.notice wpa_supplicant[1253]: wlan0: CTRL-EVENT-BEACON-LOSS
Thu Aug  3 16:59:06 2023 daemon.notice wpa_supplicant[1253]: wlan0: CTRL-EVENT-DISCONNECTED bssid=2a:e9:35:3d:78:ea reason=4 locally_generated=1
Thu Aug  3 16:59:06 2023 daemon.notice netifd: Network device 'wlan0' link is down
Thu Aug  3 16:59:06 2023 daemon.notice netifd: Interface 'wwan' has link connectivity loss
Thu Aug  3 16:59:06 2023 daemon.notice netifd: wwan (4049): udhcpc: received SIGTERM
Thu Aug  3 16:59:06 2023 daemon.notice netifd: wwan (4049): udhcpc: entering released state
Thu Aug  3 16:59:06 2023 daemon.notice netifd: wwan (4049): Command failed: ubus call network.interface notify_proto { "action": 0, "link-up": false, "keep": false, "interface": "wwan" } (Permission denied)
Thu Aug  3 16:59:06 2023 daemon.notice netifd: Interface 'wwan' is now down
Thu Aug  3 16:59:06 2023 daemon.notice netifd: Interface 'wwan' is disabled
Thu Aug  3 16:59:06 2023 daemon.notice netifd: Interface 'wwan' is enabled
Thu Aug  3 16:59:07 2023 daemon.notice netifd: Network device 'wlan0-1' link is down

I have the full version of hostapd and wpa_supplicant installed on v22.03.5. What am I doing wrong?
Any help would be super appreciated

Sounds to me that this is a signal strength related issue. No amount of software (within reason) will overcome the physics of the situation if the signal is basically at the noise floor of the system.

How far away are these two devices and what are the physical conditions (i.e. line of sight, through trees, over a hill, through walls, etc.)? Are you using high gain directional antennas on the HLK7388a? What about on the AP (and what device is the AP)?

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The devices are about 15 feet away, with no obstructions. The AP is the same exact device. I'm also getting this error from the client device:

daemon.notice hostapd: handle_probe_req: send failed

These antennae have worked before at this distance, with an openwrt image built many months ago. That image builder directory has been lost, and I created a new one recently. I do have the same .config file and the same .dts file from the original builder, however. Could this be a wpa_supplicant bug?

Are both devices running OpenWrt? Is this an officially supported device (i.e. can you download and install a standard OpenWrt image from the firmware selector)?

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They are both running OpenWRT, I'm using the mt7628a. I could do that but I want to build my own image since I have custom scripts I'm including in it.

Since then I've figured out the issue. My .dts file when building my images was not configured correctly by default after pulling the image builder frrom git. I was using a default wireless driver instead of the specific one designed for my chipset. Using the default driver greatly damaged the wireless capabilities, but it was still somewhat usable.

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