Need Help with Weak WiFi Signal on Fedora with Qualcomm Atheros Card


I hope you’re all doing well. I’m currently facing a frustrating issue with my Fedora installation, specifically related to the WiFi signal strength on my Qualcomm Atheros wireless card. I’m experiencing a significant drop in internet speed on my Linux computer compared to all my other devices. This issue has been driving me crazy, and I’m hoping that someone in the community could provide some guidance or solutions.

Problem Description:
My Fedora machine’s WiFi signal strength seems to be much weaker than it should be. This is resulting in a noticeable decrease in internet speed, with my Linux computer getting only about 10% of the speed that my other devices achieve.

System Info:

  • Distro: Fedora 38 - XFCE
  • Linux version: Linux 6.4.9-200.fc38.x86_64 x86_64
  • WiFi Card: Qualcomm Atheros AR9485


~ % lspci | grep -i network 
03:00.0 Network controller: Qualcomm Atheros AR9485 Wireless Network Adapter (rev 01)
~ % lspci -nnk | grep -A2 0280
03:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Qualcomm Atheros AR9485 Wireless Network Adapter [168c:0032] (rev 01)
	Subsystem: AzureWave AW-NE186H [1a3b:1186]
	Kernel driver in use: ath9k

Additional Information:

  • I have already tried rebooting both my computer and the router, but the issue persists.
  • The WiFi signal strength is significantly weaker even when I’m in close proximity to the router.
  • I haven’t noticed similar WiFi issues on other devices, so I believe this is specific to my Fedora installation.


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how did you measure the speed ?

find out the device name with command “ifconfig” and then

iw  <device name here> link

look at the “rx bitrate”.
please measure two times (near the router and where you usually be)

you device is somewhat old and could do only wifi 2.4 Ghz (b,g,n) what translates to max speed of 150 Mbps (brutto).
try to exchange the card with something more modern

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I had a fairly new qualcom wifi adapter that seemed to just fail (about the time the 6.4 kernel came out). It would connect and then disconnect and reconnect intermittently but frequently. I finally wound up just replacing it with an intel adapter to solve the issue. Don’t know if it was kernel related or hardware related but the price was less than the headache of frequent crashes that were being caused by the card.

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if you want to buy a new Intel card:
be aware there are cards offered which support “CNVi”.
these CNVI*-cards only activates the WIFI already in the chipset on specific mainboards, etc

I guess they won’t play in your box !

so, check your device manual/spec’s before buying !

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