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Best G adapter (stablty & strngth) 4 XP regardless of br

Discussion in 'Other Linksys Equipment' started by kcmark, Feb 23, 2005.

  1. kcmark

    kcmark Network Guru Member

    I recently upgraded my Linksys 802.11b wireless router to the WRT54G wireless router. I've tried both the WUSB54G and the WMP54G adapters on the other PC on my network and both have resulted in FREQUENT dropped connections. Signal strength is excellent (4 bars consistently) yet both adapters have dropped the connection pretty frequently. My hardwired PC and the wireless PC both are running XP with SP2. I've used WZC for both adapters and briefly tried using the Linksys WLAN utility with the WUSB54G but it was even worse. Both adapters had the most up to date drivers from Linksys website. Given the poor ratings for both of these adapters by users on Amazon and Cnet I'm left wondering.....is there ANY desktop adapter (PCI or USB) that is worth a hoot with the WRT54G router? Surely something will work well (ie - maintain a stable connection as long as a stable signal is maintained (which it is)) Thoughts? Suggestions? I've read a ton of posts of people complaining about this adapter and that adapter but there hasn't really been a thread where anyone says, "HERE IT IS, this is what works WELL!"
     
  2. Esquire

    Esquire Mesquire Staff Member Member

    My equivalent to "HERE IT IS, this is what works WELL!" : No problem with my WMP54G v.1 to date 8)

    There are other factors causing disconnection, so your adapter isn't necessarily the culprit. And don't forget a wireless network has at least 2 nodes - an adapter and an access point so changing the router's configuration may help. Try some of the changes suggested here: http://www.linksysinfo.org/modules.php?name=FAQ&file=index&myfaq=yes&id_cat=5

    I have also catalogued other suggestions and tips as and when I find them: http://esquire.spymac.net/faq/computer/wzcchk/chklist.htm.

    Hopefully something may help.


    Do bear in mind despite being a "new" technology, Wi-Fi is also based on an old technology: radio, and it is subject to many variables (re Physics 101) - on a bad day one'd be lucky to get a local signal without interference, and on an extremely good day the same radio signal can bounce between the atmosphere and the surface of the earth to circumnavigate half way round the world (say, from a transmitter on the island of Guam to the west side of Africa). Obviously not all radio signals do and can travel the distance, but hopefully you can see what everyone has to deal with :wink:
     
  3. kcmark

    kcmark Network Guru Member

    Thanks

    Thanks for the tips. I've gleaned some of those from reading other posts (such as changing the beacon interval from 100 to 50), but others I haven't tried yet but will. I'll let you know how it goes. (keeping my fingers crossed <grin>)
     
  4. kcmark

    kcmark Network Guru Member

    OK,

    My WMP54G is STILL dropping the connection after making the recommended changes. The PC is running XP w/ SP2 and using WZC to connect. Here is the set up of the router

    -DHCP enabled
    -64-bit WEP enabled
    -MAC filtering enabled with the proper MAC address for the client PC listed
    -authentication - AUTO
    -CTS disabled
    -Frame Burst enabled
    -Beacon set at 50ms
    -Frag Threshold of 2304
    -RTS Threshold of 2347
    -Transmit Power at 83% (67 mW)
    -SSID broadcast ON
    -Channel currently on 3, but I've tried 6, 11, and 1 without better results. (Live in the 'burbs and several neighbors are on 6 and a couple on channels 11 and 1.)

    According to WZC, signal strength is usually "very good" (4 bars) and occasionally just "good" (3 bars).

    Appx. every 45min-1 hour the wireless connection will be dropped and the icon in the system tray will say "wireless connection disconnected" If I goto the WZC window and click on "refresh" it will show my network with the halo around the antenna but it doesn't reconnect right away. It may take another 10-15 minutes to do so.

    I am wondering if I would be better off configuring the client PC with a static IP address rather than letting it be assigned by DHCP. Would this maybe help with the frequent disconnects and slow reconnects? If so, should I change the "starting IP address" from something other than 192.168.1.100? (wondering if this is too common and perhaps other neighbors are using IP's in that range as well) I may have other questions about setting up the static IP on the client pc (the pc with the WMP54g) but I'll hold off on asking until I know that this is a preferred way to go.

    Thanks again for the suggestions and advice. Since my wife and I both work from home it's causing a lot of stress with this not working consistently. This forum is an awesome resource. I wouldn't have started a new post but I couldn't find the answers I needed via the search engine. (as an aside, it might be helpful if there was a way to search just the subject headings vs. seaching the entire text of all posts. That might make it more likely for someone to find past posts relevant to their situation) Even without it, the site is great -- just a thought.

    Mark
    WRT54G vers. 2.2 (w/ latest HyperWRT firmware)
    WMP54g ver. 2
     
  5. Esquire

    Esquire Mesquire Staff Member Member

    I presume your SSID is unique and that you have removed the Linksys wireless connection manager (WCM)?

    How did you find out what your neighbours are using as WZC doesn't display channels of wireless networks it detects? How "good" are their signals?

    Any reason for setting the Transmit Power to 67mW in particular?
     
  6. kcmark

    kcmark Network Guru Member

    Yes, the SSID is a unique alphanumeric 10-digit sequence. And the linksys software has been uninstalled. I discovered my neighbors channel settings when I had the Linksys WLAN utility installed while I was trying out the WUSB54G adapter. I took it back and uninstalled the software after seeing that it was much worse than the WMP54G in terms of consistent signal strength and a stable connection. I don't remember exact percentages but none of the neighbors signals were as strong as the signal from my WRT54G. All were at least 5-8 percentage points less in strength - some 15-20% less in strength. I increased the transmit power setting based upon comments on this forum that doing so would increase the signal strength, which would hopefully provide a more stable connection although I understand that the signal can also become "dirtier" as the power is increased.

    Any thoughts on setting up the client PC with a static IP address vs. letting it be assigned via DHCP? Would this possibly decrease the frequent dropped connections? If so, should I change the "starting IP address" from something other than 192.168.1.100? (wondering if this is too common and perhaps other neighbors are using IP's in that range as well)
     
  7. NemesisChild

    NemesisChild Network Guru Member

    Just a quick comment after reading this entire thread.
    Make sure CAM (constantly awake mode) is enabled on your network adapter.
    If it's disabled, it will shutdown (disconnect) periodically to save power.
     
  8. kcmark

    kcmark Network Guru Member

    I checked the properties advanced tab for the wireless adapter and the "Power Saving Mode" was set to "CAM" but the "CAM with AC Power" was disabled. I went ahead and enabled CAM with AC power. Do you think this could have been causing frequent disconnects even though the "Power Saving Mode" was set to CAM? Thanks for the reply, btw.
     
  9. NemesisChild

    NemesisChild Network Guru Member

    I just installed a Linksys WMP54G on my daughter's PC.
    It replaced a Microsoft wireless-G adapter that caused frequent lock-ups.
    I have yet to encounter any disconnects (or lock-ups) with this new adapter.
    My CAM is disabled with AC power, but enabled under power saving mode.
    IMO, you may be getting some serious signal interference.
    This could account for your WZC taking so long to find your signal.
    Try setting your power transmit back to 50% (for a cleaner signal).
    Also, I would suggest calling Linksys support, maybe they can help.
     
  10. NemesisChild

    NemesisChild Network Guru Member

    Sorry for the double post!
     
  11. kcmark

    kcmark Network Guru Member

    Was that last post a mistake NemChild? I didn't notice any additional comments?

    Is there a standard practice to manually configure the IP/gateway/DNS entries for the wireless adapter or is it always better to let them be autoconfigured by DHCP? Seems like it would make sense to just set them manually if you know what they are and they don't need to change. Thoughts?
     
  12. kcmark

    kcmark Network Guru Member

    I've considered signal interference as a cause but I unplugged our phones and took out their batteries and still experienced the problem. It seems to be better now that I've strayed from channels 6, 11 and 1 and set it on channel 3. I noticed that HyperWRT added channels 12 and 13 -- if I set my WRT54G to ch. 13 will the WMP54G pick it up automatically?
     
  13. linksysonline

    linksysonline Network Guru Member

    The added channels are actually for international use's. You would need international drivers for your wireless card to get them to see those channels.
     
  14. kcmark

    kcmark Network Guru Member

    Thanks. Just as I received an email about your post I found another post indicating that channels 12 and 13 are illegal in the U.S. Ahh well. I've read that only 1, 6 and 11 have no channel interference. However, if several other wireless networks in the area are on these channels does it make sense to go in between to a channel 3 or 8 or something? Despite reading that 1,6, and 11 are the only way to go other places online when I switched the router to ch. 3 it sure seemed to have a lot less disconnects. Hey, if it ain't broke don't fix it, right?
     
  15. linksysonline

    linksysonline Network Guru Member

    Yeah i would switch the channel to one of those if there were a lot of other signals you can see that are using those same channels. Not to mention a lot less disconnects. I'm sure you have checked if you have the latest firmware and drivers for your card.. and you have done the hard reset after upgrading your firmware correct?
     
  16. kcmark

    kcmark Network Guru Member

    When I flashed my WRT54G to HyperWRT 2.0 (v3.01.3) I hard reset the router but I haven't hard reset the adapter card after confirming it had the latest drivers and firmware. How would one hard reset a WMP54G adapter short of pulling it off the board and reinstalling it? Think that would make a difference?
     
  17. linksysonline

    linksysonline Network Guru Member

    No there is not need for a hard reset on the wireless card... I was just talking about the router.
     
  18. Esquire

    Esquire Mesquire Staff Member Member

    Just to clarify, only driver for adapter - no firmware.
     
  19. Esquire

    Esquire Mesquire Staff Member Member

    Let DHCP configure should work nicely, but you should limit the number of IPs it dishes out, e.g., I have 7 computers networked, so I set the max number of IP to 8 (7 computers, plus one extra for my occasional guests).

    Has changing the power save mode made an improvement to the problem?
     

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