RPi 3 and Wifi problems

I updated from a RPi2 to a RPi 3 - doing a fresh install for the latter. One main reason I tried this was to use wifi with osmc/kodi.

Whenever I use wifi (the built-in module), the entire box frequently freezes. It will occasionally run for a few seconds, but then freeze again, sometimes for more than 5 minutes. This is not just with osmc/kodi. If I try to ssh into the box, it may take up to several minutes to get the prompt, but then it freezes, and I have to wait several minutes again for it to run a command, even an empty command (just a return). I also can watch db connections on my mysql server, and they will sleep for just as long.

In the logs, about the only error I see is about a db connection lost.

If I switch to running on the wired connection, then everything runs (very) fast - no freezes.

I have other devices using the same wifi router, and none of them have any connection or performance problems.

Any help greatly appreciated.



Debug logs greatly appreciated.

Other than that what power supply are you using? Have you ever seen the rainbow coloured square in top right corner.

Yes, you are quite right. Will upload when I can reboot using wifi. But as I mentioned, the only anomaly I noticed was the “db connection lost” errors.

Power supply is okay (same as one for RPi2). No rainbows.

Well that doesn’t have to mean anything:

  1. The power requirements increase from time to time
  2. Power Supplies can degrade over time

Okay, got it now. You were right - I say humbly - that it is the power supply, sort of. It appears that my PSU is just borderline for the 3. When I did the install, I had a keyboard and mouse connected to the USB, which apparently pushed the power usage of the PSU over its limit. With no USB devices connected, it runs fine.

But I’m not sure about PSU’s degrading over time, at least relative to your basic hi-tech device - as opposed to geological time. There’s just not much in them that can significantly degrade, with normal use. It might get toasted with a lot of voltage spikes, perhaps. But not really degrade.

(I really don’t want to continue any arguments about the above topic here. Start a new thread if you want.)


Power supplies definitely can degrade and they do. That’s why when you build a PC if you use certain tools to calculate PSU requirements, they always factor in some overhead, because actual power output drops overtime.

I would suggest reviewing your power supply every 12 months or so.

Buy a known good power supply and you will not have any problems.


Still having wifi problems.

I have a new power supply: 2.2ma. Also, I have no other USB devices connected (kybd, mouse). I have wireshark running on my network server that holds both media files and also mysql.

When using the internal wifi, I see a lot of tcp retransmissions from the server to osmc. Much of the traffic is for mysql, but I think that is only because mysql is the first network access by osmc (as opposed to NFS). osmc sends out a login request, the server responds “ok”, but there is no ack from osmc; so the server retransmits several more times, then stops. The logs show only that osmc can’t connect to “MyVideoXX db” and “MyMusicXX db”. I’ll note, FWIW, that the green led does continue to blink, so I guess it is still reading the sd card.

Now, if I use an external wifi dongle, connected to the same access point, same IP, etc., everything works perfect . I have also tried another wifi dongle, and that works as well.

So is the internal wifi damaged? Or perhaps something else on the board?

I wouldn’t object to getting another RPi3, but only if I knew that this one is damaged, and a new one would not have the same problems.

I can upload any logs needed. But, as I said, from the kodi.log - with the internal wifi - the only errors were not being able to connect to the video or music db’s.

MINIMUM power requirements for an Rpi3 is 2.5A

Okay, I got that. Although, somewhere I read that the RPi2B power supply would work.

But, now I am curious as to why the RPi3, with the 2.2A power supply, will work with a wifi dongle, plus a USB keyboard and mouse? And the internal wifi without any USB devices won’t. Does the wifi draw that much more power?

I don’t know the internals, but I was hoping that the internal wifi would be a bit better than the dongle, since I still get a little stuttering with the dongle now and then.


PS: as always, thanks for the (quick) response!

From that article you links it says a 2.5A power supply is “Recommended” and not “Minimum”. Also from the article, the second table clearly indicates that “under max stress” connecting RPi3 with HDMI, USB keyboard and mouse, and wireless connection, it uses only 1.34Amps. So the 2.2Amps power supply OP has should be more than good enough in the scenario described. Also the fact that it runs a wireless dongle flawlessly indicate it’s not a power supply problem.

I would say this is a sign of a defective wireless chip on OP’s RPi.

I think dongles (that aren’t these tiny nano ones) will fare better, because there is a larger antenna.

You can purchase a new Pi, hook up the same equipment and very quickly assess whether your other Pi 3 is indeed faulty. I suspect that it won’t be. If you get the same issue, then chances are it’s whatever you’re connecting to the device. If you only get the issue on the old one, then you can RMA the old one, provided that you have not voided the warranty bit (caused by certain overclocking conditions)


If it is just a matter of the size of the antenna with wifi performance (on the RPi3), then whether to use internal or dongle wifi is pretty much moot for me.

Basically I just have HDMI connected - no other devices.

I’ll keep that in mind if I do decide to get another.

One thing I did notice: when osmc would make mysql calls, at the same time it was reading/writing to the sd card, both actions would freeze. As a test, I tried to copy many files from one directory to another (on the sd card), while also making mysql queries. mysql network accesses (as seen by wireshark) would stop for a few seconds, as well as the copying. Then a bunch of TCP retransmits would get sent, and both actions continued. This was with the wifi dongle. The same sort of thing seems to happen using the internal wifi, although the pauses are much longer (a minute or more sometimes), and the mysql calls usually end up aborted due to timeouts. Maybe a sd card/wifi interaction problem?

This was not a very scientific study, but just a simple observation. For now, I’ll just run osmc with the wifi dongle since it works fairly well.


This sounds like a potential issue with your peripherals. I think we would see more reports on the forum if this was commonplace. With that said – I said that about the Kodi freezes on Pi 1 that plagued some users, so I’m happy to keep an open mind.

WiFi/BT module is hooked up via SDIO though… I don’t know enough about the SDHost driver to comment, but @pelwell or @popcornmix may be able to share some insight.

You can probably improve Wireless reception by soldering an antenna to J13. Probably violates FCC/CE/Ofcom regulations.

Some logs (system journal would be most useful) may yield some insight.