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Raspberry Pi Zero WH with fresh copy of latest Raspberry Pi OS Lite. It is running Rhasspy voice assistant, which has a web interface. I have keyboard and HDMI connected, but wanting to run headless, so setup Wi-Fi country, SSID and password, and SSH in the raspi imager. Router assigns a predetermined DHCP address.

RasPi boots correctly and I can use Remmina (remote desktop client on my Ubuntu PC) to establish SSH connection, and use the Rhasspy web interface. It works well – except the SSH session disconnects at random, and the web interface is also unreachable for the duration.

After researching, I have disabled Power management on wlan0 by adding “iwconfig wlan0 power off” near end of /etc/rc.local, rebooted and checked that it is now off:

pi@RasPiZero-Sat-2:~ $ iwconfig

lo        no wireless extensions.

wlan0     IEEE 802.11  ESSID:"erykah"  
          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.412 GHz  Access Point: 18:D6:C7:56:D5:64   
          Bit Rate=72.2 Mb/s   Tx-Power=31 dBm   
          Retry short limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Power Management:off
          Link Quality=43/70  Signal level=-67 dBm  
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:248  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0

pi@RasPiZero-Sat-2:~ $ ifconfig
lo: flags=73<UP,LOOPBACK,RUNNING>  mtu 65536
        inet 127.0.0.1  netmask 255.0.0.0
        inet6 ::1  prefixlen 128  scopeid 0x10<host>
        loop  txqueuelen 1000  (Local Loopback)
        RX packets 37099  bytes 77394239 (73.8 MiB)
        RX errors 0  dropped 0  overruns 0  frame 0
        TX packets 37099  bytes 77394239 (73.8 MiB)
        TX errors 0  dropped 0 overruns 0  carrier 0  collisions 0

wlan0: flags=4163<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST>  mtu 1500
        inet 192.168.1.93  netmask 255.255.255.0  broadcast 192.168.1.255
        inet6 fe80::8394:f1eb:ae7e:b5df  prefixlen 64  scopeid 0x20<link>
        ether b8:27:eb:f8:53:31  txqueuelen 1000  (Ethernet)
        RX packets 20104  bytes 16367517 (15.6 MiB)
        RX errors 0  dropped 0  overruns 0  frame 0
        TX packets 14443  bytes 2470192 (2.3 MiB)
        TX errors 0  dropped 0 overruns 0  carrier 0  collisions 0

pi@RasPiZero-Sat-2:~ $ 

It works well, in that the Wi-Fi disconnects much less frequently. Usually this is after I haven’t used the SSH session or website for a while – but sometimes it disconnects while I am active using it. Remmina and browser are unable to reconnect for a random time … and then it can connect again.

The RasPi Zero continues running, and ifconfig and iwconfig on the console show the same results. What other command can I give to check the current Wi-Fi status ?

When disconnected, remmina reports “Could not start SSH session. No route to host.”

Doing a ping to the RassPi Zero returns:

don@raspi3:~ $ ping 192.168.1.93 
PING 192.168.1.93 (192.168.1.93) 56(84) bytes of data. 
From 192.168.1.94 icmp_seq=1 Destination Host Unreachable 
From 192.168.1.94 icmp_seq=2 Destination Host Unreachable 
From 192.168.1.94 icmp_seq=3 Destination Host Unreachable 
From 192.168.1.94 icmp_seq=4 Destination Host Unreachable 
From 192.168.1.94 icmp_seq=5 Destination Host Unreachable 
From 192.168.1.94 icmp_seq=6 Destination Host Unreachable 
^C
--- 192.168.1.93 ping statistics ---
 7 packets transmitted, 0 received, +6 errors, 100% packet loss, time 218ms pipe 4 
don@raspi3:~ $

Doing a ping from the RasPi Zero returns:

pi@RasPiZero-Sat-2:~ $  ping 192.168.1.99
PING 192.168.1.99 (192.168.1.99) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from 192.168.1.99: icmp_seq=4 ttl=64 time=1931 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.99: icmp_seq=5 ttl=64 time=893 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.99: icmp_seq=6 ttl=64 time=8.12 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.99: icmp_seq=7 ttl=64 time=7.60 ms
^C
pi@RasPiZero-Sat-2:~ $ 

… and then the Wi-Fi connection operates both ways again. The loss of icmp packets 1-3 and the massive time for the first two results suggests that the RasPi Zero is waking up the Wi-Fi connection.

Yes, I could setup a never-ending ping from the RasPi Zero – but I would rather fix the cause and prevent the Wi-Fi from going to sleep, than saturating my Wi-Fi with extra packets.

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