Wifi Instability Issues on Tinker Board RTL8723BS
I got a fresh Tinker Board about 2 weeks ago and set it up with Armbian Next (4.4.23). I was able to connect to wifi with a single nmcli connect command and no problems. I've left it running mostly - I've done a lot of different installs but nothing outside of typical utilities and whatnot - the only networking software I have is the Hamachi client and I did also install Docker to experiement with.
I wanted to test the ability to connect to a different Wi-fi network. This is where the problems start. I'm unable to connect to another SSID. On fail it doesn't re-connect to the previous one. I try to issue nmcli con up 'myssid' and that doesn't work. I try to restart networking and network-manager. I try to deactivate the adapter and re-activate. Nothing works other than a reboot. But now when I leave it and come back an hour later it is continually back down. At times I'm not even able to do 'nwcli dev wifi list ' and get any results and I should be seeing a half-dozen SSIDs out there; two of which are mine and 90%+ signal strength so it seems like even the radio is dead... but then oddly enough sometimes I'll rescan and get ONE weak signal hanging out. I have also checked rfkill throughout the process and I've never seen any issue there with adapters being disconnected. I also tried removing (nmcli delete) of all wifi entries and then doing fresh connection commands. No matter what I do, it's broken. The only attempt I really made towards a fix was that I found https://github.com/hadess/rtl8723bs and here I ran the convert_firmware.c script and then replaced the .bin files in /lib/firmware/rtlwifi -- I got zero change in behavior other than some messages in syslog warning me that I was using a staging driver (I am not sure I did it right but it didn't seem to make anything worse off). Reboot, it's up. An hour later, or less, it's down and can't get the connection back up. I'll also add here that really the first thing I did out of the box was install the TinkerOS. I have to report that the Wifi kept dropping and since it has an Xterm I would get prompted for the wifi passkey. I didn't investigate much further on this; sometimes it would stay connected for a few minutes and then it might stay for an hour or two. I switched to Armbian - however I do still have that TinkerOS image on another SD card and I did double check that it's using the same driver.
I just tried installing Armbian (4.14.52) again fresh to a fresh SD Card. I ran my installers which included Hamachi as well and again I have the same problems. (Although I'm not sure if I'll have the stability problems but for certain I have the issues of not being able to change connections or re-activate a connection that is down.
Errors in syslog that stands out through all this: Association request to Driver failed
Activation: failed for connection 'mywifissid'
Activation: (wifi) Association took to long Failing
Policy: disabling autoconnect for connection 'mywfissid'
wlan: link is not ready
Another is that sometimes I get SSID Not found but then doing a rescan / list it's clearly available.
I'm worried - I was really loving this board for what I'm working on but this might be a deal breaker for me. Not sure if it's worth it to have to get USB Wifi on my devices in order to use these. They're going into headless, hard to reach places so I have to have a stable connection.