Troubleshooting a disabled radio on an OpenWRT router

I’ve been tinkering with a Linksys router running OpenWRT, and noticed that by default, only the 2.4 GHz radio was active. It’s funny how much I’ve taken dual-band routers for granted, because the wireless was slow and unusable in that state.

Creating a seperate SSID to test the 5 GHz band proved to be unsuccessful, prompting status messages like “Wireless is not associated” and presenting the radio in question (“radio1”) as if it had been disabled, with only a non-functional “Restart” option.

So I searched around and found a functional workaround. First, SSH into the box, and then choose your adventure:

If the wifi command is available (Source)

1. Run wifi status to see what’s going on:

$ wifi status

{
  "radio0": {
    "up": true,
    "pending": false
    ...
  },
  "radio1": {
    "up": false,
    "pending": false
    ...
  }
}

2. In my case, “radio1” is the 5 GHz radio, so let’s turn it on:

$ wifi up radio1

3. Now wifi status reports radio1’s status as “pending”.

$ wifi status

{
  ...
  "radio1": {
    "up": false,
    "pending": true
    ...
  }
}

4. Reboot the hardware to turn that “pending” status into an “up” status.

$ wifi status

{
  ...
  "radio1": {
    "up": true,
    "pending": false
    ...
  }
}

Plan B: Reload the networking service

Learned from migrc on the RaspPi Stack Exchange:

$ /etc/init.d/network restart

I hope this helps!

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