Wireless connectivity lost after HF exposure [Solved]

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Wireless connectivity lost after HF exposure [Solved]

Postby George Cline » Wed Jul 07, 2010 23:45

I exposed my HP Pavilion 6810 to a wide range of Amateur Radio HF during a recent emergency communications contest. (It was not used in the contest). When I booted a couple of hours later, wireless connections were gone. Wired connections were OK.

I got the error message that wicd was missing. I equo install wicd; equo config update; rc-update add wicd default; then, rc-update del networkmanager default; but nothing works.

I manually put in pertinent IPs, MACs and other addresses, and still Sabayon 5.3 cannot detect a wireless network even though another laptop sitting next to it has no problem connecting. I have been using this laptop with wireless connections for over 1 year and keep all OS updates current.

Can anyone help? Thanks
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Re: Wireless connectivity lost after HF exposure

Postby Azerthoth » Thu Jul 08, 2010 15:41

George, Not knowing the frequency range exposed it's kind of hard to say, but even just HF if close enough can do horrible things to any transceiver even though wireless frequencies are up in the S band. If you have a USB dongle you can plug into it to test I would try that. Otherwise it is not impossible that you have managed to burn out you transceiver.
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Re: Wireless connectivity lost after HF exposure

Postby Fitzcarraldo » Thu Jul 08, 2010 15:57

Another test would be to boot up a LiveDVD and see if WiFi works under that. If it doesn't then...
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Re: Wireless connectivity lost after HF exposure

Postby George Cline » Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:55

I thank each responder and will summarize my efforts to follow up on each of your suggestions.

First, RF from transmissions of 7.08 to 7.250 MHz have had a history of knocking my broadband (BB) radio on the tower off line. BB comes in at 5.8 GHz and gets transmitted from my router at 2.412 GHz. I could always get my BB radio back working by power cycling it for a minute or two. My router is located about 1 meter from my ham radio and has never been affected by RF. I now ave a different model of BB radio and have no problems.

At the time my HP laptop computer was apparently affected by RF, it was probably in the search mode by being away from my router. It is unlikely that any odd harmonic from a 21.5 +/- MHz transmission being used at the time would be strong enough otherwise to damage the wireless chip in my computer. Even with a mistuned transmission system, transmitters use a "fold back" circuit to reduce 100 watts down to just a few watts, or nothing, to save damaging the finals.

Second, I have tried to get wireless working by using several different Live CDs/DVDs, as suggested. I have never had any success with either SL-5.0 or SL-5.3 Live versions but have found that wireless could be set up once the OSs were installed. They did not work this time either.

In the past, I have been able to set up and use wireless from Live versions of: Puppy Linux; PCLOS; Ultimate Linux; and MEPIS. These systems all seemed to be working again, -they all detected my wireless system, but none of them could complete the connection. Wireless remains disconnected with all OSs tried. Is it the wireless chip that is bad? How can I test it?

I have reinstalled the kernal module (Ath5K) several times to no avail.

Thank you for your suggestions. I hope that you now have more.

(I have a question: What is the difference between DNS Domain and, Search Domain?)

George
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Re: Wireless connectivity lost after HF exposure

Postby Azerthoth » Sun Jul 11, 2010 5:12

Until such time as you can find a connection that works the chip must remain suspect. Was working, was exposed to RF it was not designed to handle, now can't connect. Open your network up as a test, no encryption to make it as easy as possible to connect. Run through your various distro tests again, if you can get connection, great we have a starting point, if you cant then the card comes in as an even stronger contender as the point of failure.

As to the second question, can you define what you mean by search domain?

DNS Domain is otherwise known as an FQDN or Fully Qualified Domain Name, the long way to say a domain name, such as sabayon.org.

Search Domain is a semantic null.
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Re: Wireless connectivity lost after HF exposure

Postby George Cline » Mon Jul 26, 2010 0:56

[Solved] I could never find out where the problem was with the laptop nor now to fix it. However, it got fixed automatically with a recent download of 383 files as a system update. When I rebooted after the download, my wireless problem was fixed and I have been able to use wireless ever since. What a relief!

I would like to thank everyone who made suggestions as to how to test and possibly fix it. If it was HF that caused the problem, I will never know how it did it.

George
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