Linksys WRT54GS owners, using 3rd party firmware?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by edesignuk, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #1
    Just picked up one of these today as my ~5yr old Linksys wired only router seems to have given up the ghost. Very impressed so far with the WRT54GS, it's wireless strength seems substantially better to my AirPort Extreme straight out of the box, and that's before 3rd party firmware magic! :D

    This seems to be a VERY popular router, so I'm sure there are many of you with them. So do you use a 3rd party firmware? Which one?

    I have loaded HyperWRT, not only does it have more features, but it takes the transmit power to 84mW from 28mW(!!!!) :D

    I'm really after anyone using the Sveasoft as they claim to be able to take the Transmit power up to 251mW for a mere $20 (£11.48!). Do you have it? Worth paying for?
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #2
    I'm using White Russian RC4 from http://openwrt.org on my WRT54G V4.

    Sveasoft seems to have a pretty bad rep thanks to their closed ways, and repeated mis-use of GPL software.

    B
     
  3. edesignuk thread starter Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #3
    I'll check that out.

    btw, I'm not much of a wifi guru, so if boosting the transmit power by too much is actually a bad idea, please yell at me and tell me to stop pissing around with perfectly good hardware! :eek: ;)
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    Location:
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    #4
    I'm no wifi guru either, but I do know something about wireless in general.

    The software power limits that are imposed on these units comes from one of two sources. Regulatory, i.e. what you are legally allowed to use in those frequency bands without a license, or performance, this mainly has to do with the power amp used in the transmitter which can start creating more interference when it is used at higher power levels, so you might get longer range, but a degraded quality link when operating outside "normal" parameters. The added transmit power may also affect your reception capabilities (shouldn't be an issue for wifi, but it could be).

    You also need to maintain a balanced link, adding power only to the transmitter doesn't help at all you if the mobiles don't have enough power to talk back to the WRT54GS.

    Now as usual with any system, you may find that some systems are perfectly capable of running outside the specs (chipping your ECU or overclocking your CPU) but other individual units may not have quite as much headroom. In general you can also reduce the unit's lifetime by exceeding specs.

    If all you need is extended range, consider using an Airport Express or a second WRT54GS as a range extender using WDS. Or you may even be able to make hay with using a more directional antenna depending on where your WRT is located and where the mobiles are used. (This will enhance both directions of the link).

    One last thing: I love this site! http://www.linksysinfo.org/

    EDIT: Yikes! The story on Sveasoft is worse than I remember. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sveasoft

    B
     
  5. edesignuk thread starter Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    Location:
    London, England
    #5
    I've been trying to get my AirPort Extreme and the Linksys to work together in WDS mode, TOTAL NIGHTMARE. Settled on having two separate networks and switching from one to the other on the rare occasion I actually need to.

    So far as the power boost goes, I've been reading up too. It does seem that huge power boosts aren't really as good as they seem. 70mW seems to be a good setting for the Linksys.
     
  6. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #6
    That's a project I intend to tackle this weekend, so I'll let you kow if I get it to work.

    B
     
  7. edesignuk thread starter Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #7
    If you do get it working PLEASE let me know how!

    I tried everything, once it seemed to be working I could no longer configure the AP, just got an error when trying saying something about not being able to read config file. I was just going to leave it, but I was seeing a lot of data being received for no apparent reason constantly, even on a machine wired in to the network (talking 50KB/sec down) plus a process eating up a lot of CPU. I can't remember the name of the process now, but I looked it up and it was something to do with routing.

    So basically, a complete balls up :rolleyes:
     
  8. ethen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    #8
    have anyone find openwrt unstable over longer distance data burst?
     
  9. ITASOR macrumors 601

    ITASOR

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Oneida, NY
    #9
    I think I remember reading that that is one of the downsides to using such a configurations. However, that may be with using an Express with the WRT54G, not the other way around with an Airport Extreme.
     
  10. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    #10
    Well here's where I plan to start this wekend.

    http://www.aandcp.com/blog/index.php?op=ViewArticle&articleId=9&blogId=1

    My Airport Express is currently set up to be a client using the same SSID and WEP key I migrated from the Westell to the Linksys. Ultimately I want to move to WPA, but baby steps is the best way to go...

    My house is (relatively small) so I haven't seen any issues instability with long range or bursts, signal strength is much better now, and I attribute that mainly to the two antennas on the WRT over the Westell.

    B
     
  11. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    sitting on your shoulder
    #11
    I'm using Sveasoft's Alchemy on my WRT54G (either v1 or v2, I'm not sure which). I like being able to adjust the power, but that's really the only thing I use that's special. I might change to another one some time in the future, but it would have to be stable.
     
  12. w_parietti22 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #12
    I was able to setup my Airport Express to extend the range of my Linksys WRT54G but I forget where I got my instrustions and Im not sure if they were just for the Express or both the Express and the Extreme. I remember it being fairly easy w/ the instructions though.
     
  13. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #13
    No joy

    The Airport express works fine as a client on the WLAN, but as soon as I enable WDS on the WRT54G and enter the Airport's MAC address I can no longer configure the Airport, when WDS is off on the WRT I can't access the WDS settings tab on the Airport to turn it on (greyed out or inaccessible).

    Sounds like where you got to E. :(

    I upgraded the airport's firmware to 6.3 and tried to configure it from both the iBook and my PC. I tried both the web based admin util and the command line.

    No joy (yet).

    My next try is to wipe the config on the Airport before I try again...

    B
     
  14. edesignuk thread starter Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
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    Location:
    London, England
    #14
    Yup, sounds pretty much the same. I'm trying to get an Extreme to work where as you're trying to get an Express, but that's the only difference, and it seems there's not actually much between them in terms of how the set up *should* work.
     
  15. hcuar macrumors 65816

    hcuar

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    Dallas
  16. edesignuk thread starter Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    London, England
  17. dcv macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    #17
    Ok email me tonight as I think I might have some bookmarks on my PowerBook relating to this stuff! ;)
     
  18. edesignuk thread starter Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    Mar 25, 2002
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    #18
    Hoorah! :D We shall see, bet you a fiver it doesn't work though, I'm cursed.
     
  19. dcv macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    #19
    Well the instructions were for the Express not Extreme so it may not work, but worth a try anyway...

    of course if it does work then you owe me a JD
     
  20. edesignuk thread starter Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #20
    I've probably already tried the instructions you're on about then, but if it does work...

    You've got a deal!
     
  21. dcv macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    #21
    Well I'm home and just checked my bookmarks. I found this link although it looks the same as one of the links in jsw's post, so I guess you've tried it already. I thought I had more info but the other bookmarks are just Airport Express related stuff, which won't be relevant to you. sowwy :eek:
     
  22. edesignuk thread starter Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #22
    Oh well, never mind. I'm up and running as two split WiFi spots which is actually OK.

    No JD n coke for you :p
     

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