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I've got a Linksys WUSB54GC WLAN USB interface (Ralink chipset) and I'm running Debian GNU/Linux 6.0. The LED very often randomly blinks although there is no traffic in the network. I checked this with Wireshark. Sometimes, but rarely, the LED stops blinking.

The issue is present in Ubuntu and Fedora too. It was not present in Debian Lenny with Linux 2.6.28. I checked an old live cd with ubuntu 8.10 with kernel 2.6.27 and it was also OK. So I guess that's an issue with Linux kernel and its wireless driver or firmware.

Has anybody observed a similar thing? Does anybody know how to help this annoying blinking?
Thanks.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Feb 15 '11 at 20:54

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Please don't cross-post‌​. –  Dennis Williamson Feb 15 '11 at 21:18
    
Is it possible that it's seeing packets from another network and/or scanning for networks, looking at them, and being 'Oh, this isn't mine?' That might explain the lights but the lack of visible traffic. –  Shinrai Feb 15 '11 at 21:35
    
Are you sure that there is completely no traffic? Is it impossible that there are ping or availability tests on the network? –  Michael K Feb 15 '11 at 21:40

1 Answer 1

Wireless NICs using WPA(2) regularly renew their keys with the access point.

On top of that, no one really know why or what causes those lights to blink. There is no established standard for when a light on those things should blink. For all we know, as the voltage goes up, the blinking gets faster. It is arbitrary and I would not put use the blinking light as an authority on whether network traffic exists.

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