Re: wireless-tools are unavailable when interface is down

From: Xam R. Time (
Date: 2002-04-13 15:29:24 UTC

On Sat, 13 Apr 2002, Jouni Malinen wrote:

> On Fri, Apr 05, 2002 at 01:44:27PM +0300, Jouni Malinen wrote:
> > 'iwconfig wlan0 nick' changes the RID FC0E (cnfOwnName), but as far as
> > I know, it is not used for anything..
> Little did I know..
> I was testing WEP with Lucent (it sends fragmented frames at least
> with Windows drivers) and happened to notice odd packets while
> sniffing frames. Lucent WaveLAN sent data packets in which LLC had OID
> 0x00601D and Prism2 card in Host AP mode replied to these packets with
> a frame containing text "Prism I". I haven't noticed these frames
> before, since station firmware does not let them through to the
> driver.
> I don't know of any public documentation for those frames, but since
> they are not passed to the driver, there is not much than can be done
> with them; apart from changing that identification text. cnfOwnName is
> indeed used for that, but a port reset is required after the change. I
> fixed that and the next version of the driver can be configured to
> display different name in these diagnostics frames.

Excellent! This would explain why the Lucent site survey tool shows "Prism 1" or "unknown" depending on what firmware I have on the prism2 card in question.

Note, in FreeBSD 'wicontrol' and 'ancontrol' both have methods to display to the user the name of the AP they've associated with. I wonder if on the right cards, having the AP answer something sane would provide the data they're looking for.

> ORiNOCO Client Manager's Link Test is showing invalid signal quality
> information for the AP side when the AP is Prism2 card in Host AP
> mode. I would assume that there is some incompatibility between the
> used diagnostics frames.

I would assume so as well, and I can confirm this. In my 'walk arround' tests, I often do use the lucent site survey tool in win32 (simply becuase it rocks so), and generally I see infinitley low noise floors reported from all the AP's, but somehow the survey tool DOES seem to get the signal quality number back from the AP; is this information distributed in the AP's beacons somehow? I can't understand how the survey tool would otherwise recieve this data back from the AP.

I wonder if it would pay to sniff a few of the frames the lucent AP sends a client card. Hopefully it contains the S/N and other quality data the AP is seeing from the client. Wish I had an RG-1000 lying arround to test on, or some compliant lucent AP.


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