Wi-fi drops, GameShell freezes 5-10 min after boot...almost unusable

Hi all,

I bought my GameShell a few months ago (hw rev with micro HDMI, etc) but have only recently had time to dig into the device. In general I’m super thrilled by its potential, but right now my experience is incredibly hindered by some kind of bug in the wireless driver/hardware/etc.

FYI I’m on 0.4, which I upgraded to from 0.3 hoping it would cure the issue. When I turn on my GameShell, I’m able to connect to my 2.4GHz/5GHz split home network and use TinyCloud, etc. normally. However, without fail, after 5-10 minutes of use, the whole device suddenly hangs for 10-15 seconds, then the wireless signal indicator turns black and shows an exclamation point. From this point onward, I can only interact with the device in 1-2 second bursts interrupted by 5-10 second freezing of the OS. I cannot re-connect to wifi or run any software until I power down and reboot the device.

I understand that wireless signal issues are a known concern, but I’ve even tried putting my GameShell directly next to the router, where it indicates 90-95% signal strength, and the problem still occurs after 5-10 minutes of use.

I’m a fairly experienced DIY-er and have a strong background in mobile electronics repair, so I’m pretty sure I didn’t mess anything up during assembly or software installation. I am a Linux/Debian/rpi novice, so there may well be some configuration thing I’m missing, but I experience this issue even on a fresh install of the OS.

Any advice on how to resolve the above would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance.

during the hangs/issues of GS, were you able to ssh into GS?
and ,everything is ok when you were in v0.3 os image?

Hard to say what is happening, but does that happen if Wifi is not activated?

WiFi is a notorious b*tch in term of compatibility and I’ve seen numerous time linux based devices that work with 95-98% of WiFi AP, and then for a really few, get some headache problem like not being able to connect, random freeze and other weird issues.

You should try to connect on the board hardware serial port and monitor what is happening, to see if it is just the WiFi that goes wrong, or the whole system freeze for some time.

If it is the whole system, yours may have a hardware issue.

Thanks for your quick reply @guu

I had the same issue on v0.3, which is why I updated to v0.4. Both OSes behave normally except for this issue.

I CANNOT ssh into the device while it hangs. Any process happening over the wireless connection hangs and fails.

in v0.4, usb ethernet is working
so you can ssh into GS over usb-etherenet, the ip address is

if you can not ssh into GS over usb-ethernet, then the last choice is the serial port on the back of GS

Thanks @Godzil

This is my fear; that there’s some hardware incompatibility between my devices. I have another Rpi 3 B+ with no connectivity issues on the same network, so it may be GameShell specific.

I’ll try connecting to the serial port to monitor what’s going on. The system seems to still be active during the freezes, but my input isn’t processed until the 5-10 second freeze ends. It’s like the wifi issue creates some sort of system-wide lag, then releases it, then freezes again, etc.

OK thanks @guu let me try that. As a short term fix is it possible to disable wi-fi entirely to prevent the issue from freezing my device?

Turn on the Air plane mode in Launcher-> Settings will do that

OK, I’ll experiment with wi-fi disabled and try to troubleshoot the issue. Normally my network is quite stable so I’m hoping this isn’t a hardware incompatibility.

don’t be worry, clockworkpi offers one year warranty

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Would there be a system log that might shed some light in the underlying issue? It sounds like a process is “spinning”, so if someone could point you to the right log, it could be helpful.

I would also try connecting to a different Wi-Fi network to see if the problem persists.

Thanks @wolo, a specific process to hunt for would be helpful.

Can confirm that the issue goes away completely if I turn on airplane mode.

USB ethernet connection working well @

Obviously fixing the wireless connection is preferable, but this does help isolate the issue somewhat!

This goes back a few years, but I remember tweaking a “key renewal interval” on my wireless router to isolate periodic disconnects.

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Old post about how to setup the Serial Port

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You could try this: How to disable wifi power save to prevent disconnects

Note: Since that post its added into the launcher. But you could try setting it manually and testing if there is a change in stability.

Otherwise: [USB-ETH] How to transfer files if you have unstable wifi
(also implemented in newer os, no need to do all that things just set the gateway from the launcher settings)

EDIT: I just remembered something, try to connect it with usb eth and ssh to check the processes with top when it freezes, I had this Upower hoarding 100% cpu happening to me in the past

I have the same problem but switching the launcher to go-launcher and back fixed the freezing for me.
But wifi doesnt work and i cant charge it also…

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you can email to help@clockworkpi.com for more supporting, warranty