racpi
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pi 3 wifi range

Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:34 am

I fired up my new pi 3 today , very disappointed in wifi range . it starts to get patchy at 10m and drops out completely shortly there after. every other wifi gadget I have including pi's with a wifi dongle can double or triple that range at least .
its not what I expected :(

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leol
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Location: Haute-Vienne, France

Re: pi 3 wifi range

Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:08 pm

Not my experience.

Pithagoros
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Re: pi 3 wifi range

Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:08 pm

I will see if I can test the range more precisely, buy my Pi is working on a desk in an upstairs room definitely more than 10 metres away from the WiFi AP which is downstairs. Shows 3 out of the 3 radial bars on the indicator.

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GTR2Fan
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Re: pi 3 wifi range

Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:52 pm

3 out of 3? Are you running Raspbian Jessie? There are 4 on mine.
Pi2B Mini-PC/Media Centre: ARM=1GHz (+3), Core=500MHz, v3d=500MHz, h264=333MHz, RAM=DDR2-1200 (+6/+4/+4+schmoo). Sandisk Ultra HC-I 32GB microSD card on '50=100' OCed slot (42MB/s read) running Raspbian/KODI16, Seagate 3.5" 1.5TB HDD mass storage.

rob2222
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Re: pi 3 wifi range

Sat Mar 12, 2016 5:21 pm

I've hit the same issue with my new pi3 running jessie. I can only get about 6 meters from the router before the signal drops out.

No signal through a brick wall either.

With my old pi b and pi 2 using various WiFi dongles, i get a good 30 meters.

Any help would be much appreciated. Are there any flags to increase the power?

Thanks
Rob

clivem
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Re: pi 3 wifi range

Sat Mar 12, 2016 7:02 pm

Like most things, especially in the Pi universe, you really do get what you pay for, and that's certainly the case with the Pi3B wifi....

For a start, on paper you are limited to single channel (20MHz) width 'n', so 72Mbps. In reality, with it connected to a dedicated AP, only a few metres distance away, you be lucky to get 30Mbps throughput. The 'throughput' and 'range' from the on-board ceramic chip antenna and this Broadcom BCM43xx series chipset, can be bettered by every $2-$3 micro/nano USB dongle I own.

Most people upgrading from a Pi2, would be better off blacklisting the brcmfmac driver for the Pi3B on-board Broadcom wifi and plugging-in whatever dongle they used to use with earlier hardware, IMHO. YMMV.

Energia
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Re: pi 3 wifi range

Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:22 am

This solved WiFi problems for me:
sudo iwconfig wlan0 power off

I added that line to /etc/rc.local (before "exit 0") so that it would get executed on startup.

(I also upgraded the software:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
)

jamesh
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Re: pi 3 wifi range

Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:21 pm

clivem wrote:Like most things, especially in the Pi universe, you really do get what you pay for, and that's certainly the case with the Pi3B wifi....

For a start, on paper you are limited to single channel (20MHz) width 'n', so 72Mbps. In reality, with it connected to a dedicated AP, only a few metres distance away, you be lucky to get 30Mbps throughput. The 'throughput' and 'range' from the on-board ceramic chip antenna and this Broadcom BCM43xx series chipset, can be bettered by every $2-$3 micro/nano USB dongle I own.

Most people upgrading from a Pi2, would be better off blacklisting the brcmfmac driver for the Pi3B on-board Broadcom wifi and plugging-in whatever dongle they used to use with earlier hardware, IMHO. YMMV.
I think you meant IMO, not IMHO.
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lb
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Re: pi 3 wifi range

Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:46 pm

WIth the power management issues sorted out, the range seems to be comparable to the "nano" USB dongles and similar, maybe even a bit better.

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chrisoh
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Re: pi 3 wifi range

Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:52 pm

lb wrote:WIth the power management issues sorted out, the range seems to be comparable to the "nano" USB dongles and similar, maybe even a bit better.
I've got 5 nano dongles and 2 regular dongles that would disagree with that. The onboard WiFi has a notably reduced range, it's not really surprising though.
Raspberry Pi 3 model B Idle @ 250mA
  • HDMI +200mA
  • Minecraft 1.9 Server +100mA
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rob2222
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Re: pi 3 wifi range

Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:39 pm

Energia wrote:This solved WiFi problems for me:
sudo iwconfig wlan0 power off

I added that line to /etc/rc.local (before "exit 0") so that it would get executed on startup.

(I also upgraded the software:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
)
Thanks Energia that worked for me too.
I had already tried adding "wireless-power off" to the "/etc/network/interfaces" with no joy. Your method works nicely :)

clivem
Posts: 79
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Re: pi 3 wifi range

Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:31 pm

jamesh wrote: I think you meant IMO, not IMHO.
No, definitely humbly suggesting that people upgrading from previous hardware, where they were using a USB wifi dongle, consider moving it to the Pi3B.

If I wasn't being humble, I'd have been recounting my experiences with other SBC's that made the mistake of using BCM43xx series hardware, (Wandboard and Cubietruck come immediately to mind), and wondering what on earth the person who "chose" this steaming pile of Broadcom doggy doo-doo, was thinking. Oh yes, to quote James Adams, "Eben managed to secure a good solution from Broadcom.....". LOL. I'll help with the translation for the gullible and fanboys, because that's the first time I have ever heard anyone use the word "good" when talking about the BCM43xx family of chips. Substitute the word "cheap" for "good".

rubikwizard
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Re: pi 3 wifi range

Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:32 pm

This might not be connected at all ....

But my Pi2 with an Edimax dongle works brilliantly all over the house. When I got my Pi3 it was struggling to connect to the (Sky) router only a metre or so away. I went into my router settings and changed the wifi channel number to 'auto' and now my Pi3 works as well as my Pi2+Dongle.

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DougieLawson
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Re: pi 3 wifi range

Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:20 am

If you're still suffering from WiFi problems with the RPI3B on-board WiFi try sudo rpi-update && sudo reboot (just don't get in a habit of running that).
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leggazoid
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Re: pi 3 wifi range

Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:04 am

[email protected] ~ $ sudo iwconfig wlan0
wlan0 IEEE 802.11bgn ESSID:"MyWiFi-2G"
Mode:Managed Frequency:2.417 GHz Access Point: xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx
Bit Rate=65 Mb/s Tx-Power=1496 dBm
Retry short limit:7 RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off
Encryption key:off
Power Management:off
Link Quality=54/70 Signal level=-56 dBm
Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0
Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:0 Missed beacon:0


This is about 25 feet from router thru a wall. I think this is very good.

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MarkHaysHarris777
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Re: pi 3 wifi range

Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:29 am

Just to post my 2 cents here (or is that tupence, or something else there, left pondia right pondia) cases and heat-sinks are an issue with the on-board wifi too. If you're overclocking and using metal heatsinks try using ceramic heatsinks. If you're using one of the classic metal cases find yourself a plastic case. And this last little tip is going to sound silly (like a propeller cap, or tinfoil helmet) but make yourself a foil lined back-board (manilla folder works well) and fold it --- then position it behind the RPI. Depending on where you place the foil back-board you can improve (or degrade) your wifi performance; experiment (YMWDV).
The more expensive option is to install range extenders throughout your home. We live in a multilevel colonial style and we get by with a range extender on each end of our home; both of them on the second level. If your location has lots of metal, brick, metal duct work, or steel | aluminum siding things can get screwy. Typically I try to place my RPIs in the same room as one of the range extenders :ugeek:
marcus
:ugeek:

dchao99
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Re: pi 3 wifi range

Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:27 pm

I am running a RPi3 as a NAS.

IME, the BRCM43430 is not very forgiving about the power supply. It would not run correctly from my 12W apple charger with a short 15cm USB cable. Since I only have the 10W RPi official power supply, I am using it to run my RPi3 until the new 12W one arrives. Even the 10W power supply is struggling when I have my external SSD connected via the USB port, the ping delay will reach 1000+ms with a lot of dropped packets. As soon as I disconnect the SSD, the WIFi goes back to normal. I've even tried to power the SSD from a it's own power supply, but it's still affecting the onboard WiFi performance.

I think there is some local power issue on the brcm43430 chip. What do you think?

I the meantime, Does any know how to disable the onboard brcm43430 using the config.txt file?

Xavr
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Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 3:52 am

Re: pi 3 wifi range

Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:11 pm

I have the same problem. I'm about 8 meters from my router and I have almost no signal(doesn't change if I use my case or not). I cannot use a wifi dongle because my 4 usb ports are already in use. I have tried updating the pi but it doesn't fix my problem.

Anyone got luck ?

rob2222
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Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 5:08 pm

Re: pi 3 wifi range

Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:21 pm

Energia's solution worked for me. I get about 30 meters now. I don't know if this is related, but I had to change my router wifi channel too.

jahboater
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Re: pi 3 wifi range

Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:27 pm

If your WiFi signal is vertically polarised (which many are) then it may help if you position the Pi3 vertically rather than flat. It definitely helped mine.

racpi
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Location: australia

Re: pi 3 wifi range

Fri Mar 25, 2016 1:04 am

sudo rpi-update
DougieLawson's suggestion has worked for me , range is better and connection reliability much improved. thanks

dev2
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Re: pi 3 wifi range

Thu Apr 28, 2016 1:16 pm

I found that when I connect too many usb devices, wifi range dies. It recovers its self after some time.

For sure, the wifi range decreased in my case after installing 3g mobile internet modem.

rhester72
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Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:18 pm

Re: pi 3 wifi range

Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:25 pm

I believe the RPi 3's wifi issues come down entirely to transmit.

My Pi is roughly 20 feet of open air from a Google OnHub.

As a result of the wifi issues, I cabled it to Ethernet, but _did not disable wifi_.

I was doing mtr testing from another host on the LAN to both the wired and wifi interfaces on the Pi, and seeing excellent results on each, which surprised me. Of course, the routing table was causing asymmetric routing, so all packets entering the wifi interface were being responded to on the Ethernet interface.

Take a look at my stats (I disabled power management at the suggestion of an earlier post, which didn't help in my case):

Code: Select all

[email protected]:~ $ iwconfig wlan0
wlan0     IEEE 802.11bgn  ESSID:"inga-home-2g"
          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.462 GHz  Access Point: F4:F2:6D:62:46:B8
          Bit Rate=14 Mb/s   Tx-Power=1496 dBm
          Retry short limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Power Management:off
          Link Quality=63/70  Signal level=-47 dBm
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0
Note that from the RPi 3's perspective, I have a very good connection...receiving.

As soon as I disable Ethernet, packet loss goes through the roof, ping times approach 10 seconds (!), and the network is more-or-less useless. Re-enable Ethernet and ensure that transmit frames are transiting the wire, and all is well again.

Clearly, the RPi 3's wifi issues are NOT related to reception or received/perceived signal strength, but are entirely around the ceramic antenna's inability to generate enough signal strength...which rather sucks, because there's no workaround possible here.

Rodney

jahboater
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Re: pi 3 wifi range

Sat Apr 30, 2016 7:54 am

Have you tried positioning the Pi3 differently?
If the antenna on the router is vertical, try putting the Pi on edge, so the Pi's antenna is vertical too.

linux_author
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Location: Gulf of Mexico
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Re: pi 3 wifi range

Sat Apr 30, 2016 8:19 am

FWIW, i had considerable trouble with wifi range/dropouts on my RPI3s - and this was even after discovering that i had failed during an install to set the wifi Internationalization for my country's settings (dunno why this has to be done after selecting the correct time zone during an install?) - and the units were within 10 feet line-of-sight!

then i remembered that i had my router set to channel 11 ... now you'd think this wouldn't be a problem, but that was it... resetting to a middle channel ('6' - 2437MHz) solved the problem for me...

but yes, the RPi3 also seems sensitive to orientation in regards to signal strength, even within close range...

willie
on the wifi-saturated Gulf of Mexico

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