Unreliable/intermittent WiFi Connection

What is the problem?

I've been using a Pi4 with my printer for a year or so and it's been working great but since upgrading to OctoPi 1.0.0 it's having wifi trouble and is pretty much unusable.

It will connect to the wifi network sometimes, but it takes a while and it won't stay up very long. Sometimes not even long enough to go through the initial Octoprint setup.

A few times I caught it on my LAN monitor connected to my router but with an out of network IP address, specifically My LAN is a standard 192.168... network. I can give it a fixed IP address through the router, which seems to keep it from using the out-of-network address but it doesn't help getting it connected or keeping it connected.

Apologies if this is a known problem and has been documented... I found lots of posts about similar problems but I didn't find this one.

What did you already try to solve it?

Tried re-loading the SD card from scratch (many times). Tried another PI. Put the PI right next to the router. Connected the Pi to the router with a cable. I do not have a keyboard and monitor to connect to it easily, but I could figure that out. My Linux knowledge isn't very good so I'd be struggling trying to do anything that way.

Have you tried running in safe mode?

Not yet

Did running in safe mode solve the problem?


Systeminfo Bundle

You can download this in OctoPrint's System Information dialog ... no bundle, no support!)

Get connect to it long enough to do anything like that.

Additional information about your setup

OctoPrint version, OctoPi version, printer, firmware, browser, operating system, ... as much data as possible

Latest OctoPrint/OctoPi (whatever is flashed with Raspberry Pi Imager as of today).

Some Raspberry Pi systems / operating systems have had problems connecting to and/or staying connected to some WiFi networks. Sometimes updating the operating system will include updated drivers for the WiFi hardware that will make things better but, of course, you need to be able to communicate with the RPi to update it and the updates come in over the network so...

Can you connect the RPi with an Ethernet wire? If so, then it will be possible to update the operating system and do some troubleshooting of the WiFi.

Thanks for the reply. As I was trying to make the direct Ethernet connection between Pi and computer the Pi came up on Wifi and after a couple freeze-ups and restarts I was able to SSH into it and run sudo apt update and sudo apt full-upgrade. It ran quite a lot of updating and stayed connected for the whole process. I have it hooked back up to my printer again and so far it seems happy. So fingers crossed, I may be back in business.

For future reference, if you have a chance -- I'd still like to know the answers to the questions I asked below.

Thank you again!

[here's the start of my initial reply]

I can make a direct connection from my computer to the Pi, but I'd need to know what IP address the Pi will come up at on that interface to talk to it. I tried the 169 address I mentioned in my initial post but that isn't it. If I did connect that way though, the Pi wouldn't have a route to the internet, correct? Only to my computer.

I can take the SD card out of the Pi to update it. Would that work?

The 169.254.x.x address is assigned when the dhcp client can't find a dhcp server. There is no route to the internet and since it isn't in the same netblock as your other systems, they can't route to it either. Google for "169.254" if you want more information.

The automated update (sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade) requires a network connection and updates the running system. The only manageable way to update the SD card offline would be to use it to boot another compatible system (probably another RPi) that does have a network connection and update it there. This can be more trouble than it's worth because the second RPi uses the first RPi's identity and that may confuse other systems in your network. You could update manually file by file but your chances of getting that right are slim to none.

One cause of WiFi issues on a RPi is interference from other WiFi networks in range. Google "wifi analyzer" and you should be able to find apps for your phone, tablet, or your desktop. If there are lots of other WiFi networks using the same channel as you are using, then move your WiFi network to a different channel. Note that there is a lot of overlap between adjacent channels but the analyzer should show you that. Pick a channel with the least number of competitors or one with the weakest signals.

Thank you again. I appreciate you taking the time to provide this information, it really helps.