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help with using my wrt54g as a bridge...

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by TheHumpinator, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. TheHumpinator

    TheHumpinator LI Guru Member


    I have two WRT54G's. One has DD-wrt 23 sp2 on it. I use it with mac address filtering to keep the riff raff out of the network. I have three pc's on the network and all three mac addresses are allowed on the wireless network.

    One of my computers will lose signal when there is bad atmospheric conditions. I lose signal strength. I have two 12db external antennas. The primary router has the transmit strength up to 225 in the firmware.

    I am thinking that if I add a wireless bridge, I will be able to boost the transmit strength of the single computer and that my problem will be solved. This should be true since the wireless card only transmits at the lower rate...correct?

    I have the newest version of the tomato firmware on the secondary router and am unsure exactly what steps I need to do to link to the other primary router.

    I have changed the ssid to the same name as the primary router. I have also changed IP to an IP other than the primary.

    Thanks for any help here.
  2. GeeTek

    GeeTek Guest

    If the Tomato router is closer to the problem PC then you will benefit by bridging your 2 radios. WDS bridging works fine between DD-WRT and Tomato. There are a lot of pre-made tutorials on setting up WDS bridging. Holler back if you need more help. On your DD-WRT router you should limit the output to 125 mW, the Tomato router you should run at a max of 84 mW. This will also improve stability. Be sure to set both firwares to use only the 12 dB antenna for TX and RX. If you upgrade the primary router to Tomato you will probably solve the disconnect problem anyway.
  3. HennieM

    HennieM Network Guru Member

    Not sure what you mean by "bridge". Here's what I can think of:

    Put one of the external antennas on the primary router. Put the other external antenna on the secondary router (so the antennas face one another). Now turn your 2nd (Tomato) router into a client, and connect your signal-losing-PC to this router via wire. The 2nd router thus effectively becomes the wireless card of the PC.

    Be sure to check that your EIRPs are within legal limits for your area/country.

    Experts say that taking the Tx power of a WRT beyond 100mW induces a lot of noise, which in turn decreases the effectiveness of the signal, so it's not much use. (I forget where I read that - it may be the Wireless Tweaks on this site).

    A wireless card can transmit at the same-, a lower, or a higher level (mW) than an AP. However, wireless cards usually have crappy antennas, which makes for a weak effective signal, even if it is at high transmit power (mW).

    When 2 wireless devices communicate, it's a 2-way street, with 4 end points:
    1) The effective Tx'd signal from device 1
    2) The effective Rx'd signal on device 2

    3) The effective Tx'd signal from device 2
    4) The effective Rx'd signal on device 1

    Boosting the Tx signal of one device gains nothing.
    Boosting the Tx signal of both devices gains a little.

    A strong antenna on one side however, increases both the Tx- and Rx- effectiveness of that device - i.e. it multiplies the effectiveness of the signal in both directions.
    A strong antenna also on the other side doubles the signal multiplication.
  4. TheHumpinator

    TheHumpinator LI Guru Member

    I would appreciate any guides that may help me with this issue.

    I have tomato wires to the problem computer and am trying to connect to the base or main router wireless.

    I have changed the signal strengths per the above message and am still unsure how to make the secondary router act as a wireless bridge for this segment to the internet.

    Thanks for the replies.
  5. GeeTek

    GeeTek Guest

    Do you want the Tomato router to also supply wireless service or will the Tomato router only supply service to the computer hooked to the LAN port ?
  6. TheHumpinator

    TheHumpinator LI Guru Member

    Probably wouldnt be a bad idea to keep that option open. I have a surveillance DVR that I could probably get wireless with the secondary router and have it out there to see if needed on the web.

    Is that a problem?
  7. GeeTek

    GeeTek Guest

  8. TheHumpinator

    TheHumpinator LI Guru Member

    The polarcloud link was the stuff....I did it and it worked first try.

    Thanks for the help. I will try this at like a million places now.
  9. TheHumpinator

    TheHumpinator LI Guru Member

    I am just curious now...would it be possible to do remote router admin from outside the network? I am sure the first router would work fine, I was just curious about the second router.

    If so, what address would I put in the URL?

    Thanks in advance.
  10. HennieM

    HennieM Network Guru Member

    On the 1st (internet connected) router, set up a port forward rule that would forward connections on port A, to IP-of-2nd-router:HTTP-port

    e.g. port forward (on 1st router) port 8082 to IP-of-2nd-router:80

    From the internet, when you connect to 1st-router:8082, you will be connected to the web interface of your 2nd router.

    You may also have to juggle your firewall on the 1st router a bit to allow that.
  11. TheHumpinator

    TheHumpinator LI Guru Member

    Thanks for the help. This firmware gets better and better.

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