Mailing List Archived Message #347

From: "Lewis G Rosenthal" <> Full Headers
Undecoded message
Subject: Re: [eCS T60/T61] 'Rapid Flashing' WiFi LED indicator on TPad T60
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 18:49:11 -0500
To: eCS ThinkPad T60/61 Mailing List <>

On 02/24/09 11:49 am, Carl Gehr thus wrote :
I sent the following a few days ago to the OS/2 Wireless list.  But,
only received one response.  
Mea culpa... :-)
IBM/Lenovo has replaced the WiFi card, but
the 'rapid flashing' has not stopped.

Interesting. When I get back up to NY (or maybe sooner), I'll have Diane boot to eCS and see what she gets on the T61. She's been using XP of late, if only for the consistent audio & Flash 10. <sigh> Naturally, I had to disinfect the stupid thing a couple weekends ago, as the spyware was beyond reason (my fault for not fortifying it before I turned her loose in Wintendo-land...

Anyway, back to your problem (I'm tired from the drive down last night, and just babbling...feel free to skip every other paragraph or so...):
I have a TPad T60 with the integrated WiFi adapter described by PCI.Exe
Vendor 8086h Intel Corporation
Device 4227h PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection

After the system has been running a while [no consistent time interval]
the WiFi indicator light on the panel under the screen will begin to
'flash' or 'beacon' at a very rapid rate of several times per second.

This is surely *not* consistent with the T43, where the Wi-Fi indicator is *off* when the radio is turned off and *on* when the radio is on (and it does blink from time to time when the radio is on, but it doesn't flicker or beacon regularly).
There is nothing consistent about the environment other than the
hardware.  I have seen this:
*  Connected to various different Access Points in different
*  With eCS V2.0 RC2
*  With Ubuntu Linux [V810]

it does not seem to actually be stopping the transmission of data. And, usually, sliding the switch under the lower-left of the
keyboard OFF/ON will turn the light back on solid for some
indefinite period.  But, then it starts again after a while.

This sounds like a problem exposed by ACPI, perhaps, and not necessarily anything wrong with the ACPI driver (for eCS *or* Ubuntu).
The connection between xWLAN and the adapter is failing more often.
And, now, turning the 'radio switch' OFF/ON has not actually turned
the light off.  It either keeps flashing or stays on solid with
the switch in the OFF position.  When this occurs, only a reboot,
and sometimes a power OFF/ON of the whole system is required to
make the WiFi operational again.

[REVISED]: Therefore, I attributed the problem to the hardware.  As I mentioned the adapter has been replaced.  And, now, a new system
board has been ordered.  Presumably it will arrive to be installed
tomorrow.  I would just like to confirm if anyone else has seen
anything like this.  IBM/Lenovo has been trying the typical 'fix'
of "...reinstall the drivers to see if that changes anything..."
Obviously, if the 'flashing' occurs with Linux also, it is not
a software problem.

I would suspect system firmware and/or embedded controller firmware. Do you get the same behavior docked and undocked? On battery vs AC adapter? (Yes, there is a difference between the docked power and the jack in the back of the machine).

I'm thinking that this may be a low voltage condition of some sort. The hardware switch is not actually hardwired directly to the Wi-Fi card, but instead, should be connected to the system board. Thus, an errant circuit on the board (even something as mundane as a bridge rectifier, or a hairline crack in the board) could cause odd behavior like this.

Just some random thoughts. Looking at the hardware manual, I can't see anything specific (in fact, it appears that the Wi-Fi switch is actually part of the system board assembly, as there are no directions to disconnect it when removing the "base cover" (isn't that an oxymoron?). I wonder if indeed it is simply a bad switch, which is resisting (or not, in your more recent experience) current...

Lewis G Rosenthal, CNA, CLP, CLE
Rosenthal & Rosenthal, LLC      
Need a managed Wi-Fi hotspot?      
Treasurer, Warpstock Corporation  

Subscribe: Feed, Digest, Index.
Mail to ListMaster