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Is this possible? Replacing USB network adapter with WRT54G

Discussion in 'Networking Issues' started by SoCalChris, Nov 19, 2006.

  1. SoCalChris

    SoCalChris Network Guru Member

    In a nutshell, here's my problem...

    I live in a rural area, and have only one choice for a non-dialup ISP. They only provide you with a Windows only, USB 802.11B network adapter.

    This adapter is an external antenna, connected to a Lucent Technologies 802.11B PCMCIA card, which is attached to a PCMCIA -> USB adapter, which plugs into the USB port on the computer. There are several reasons that I don't like this setup; mainly I don't like having my computer hooked directly to the internet, and I hate having to use Windows Internet Connection Sharing.

    They will not provide you with an ethernet adapter, unless you upgrade to a business class service, and pay a $150 "upgrade fee".

    I bought a connector off of ebay that will attach the external antenna to my WRT54G. Is it possible to have my router act as a gateway, instead of to PCMCIA card?

    I loaded the latest Sveasoft firmware on to the router, but haven't had any luck getting it to work.

    As far as I can see, the only authentication that they're using is based on the MAC address of the PCMCIA adapter they provided. I changed the router to spoof the PCMCIA card's MAC address, but still am not having any luck.

    Does anyone have any suggestions to help me get this working? Is it even possible? As you can probably tell, I'm far from a network expert, so any advice, no matter how small is appreciated.

  2. Toxic

    Toxic Administrator Staff Member

    did you put the router into CLIENT mode?
  3. trignet

    trignet LI Guru Member

    we had a ISP here in Michigan that did things similar from the sounds of it.
    They gave you an Orinoco pcmcia card that had a little cap on it that got connected to a parabolic mesh dish on the roof via some hefty cabling.
    for desktop machines, they used a pci-->pcmcia bridge card.
    To my knowlege, they filtered by mac address, but you had to statically assign the IP from their block.
    I would look at the network connection properties-->TCP/IP and check this info out. Can also be gotten from a cmd prompt--> ipconfig /all.
    if you look at the properties under tcp/ip you will see if its obtain automatically or specified. If gotten automatically, from a cmd prompt do a ipconfig /release before you go live with your router with cloned mac address.
    that way it will get its address via dhcp... might have been your only stumblig block in the first place.
    I f its assigned, you could plug this info into your router for the WAN connection information and clone the mac address as well and be set.
  4. SoCalChris

    SoCalChris Network Guru Member

    The connection is a static IP, so I set all of the IP, subnet, gateway & DNS information on the router. I also cloned the MAC address of the wireless card that the ISP gave me.

    So far, I'm still not having any luck, and the power light on my router just blinks.

    I'm using the latest Sveasoft firmware. (Alchemy-V1.0 v3.37.6.8sv) Is there a firmware that would work better for what I want to do?

    These are the settings that I entered...
    Wireless Setup:
    Internet IP Address: 172.0.xxx.xxx
    Subnet Mask:
    Gateway: 172.0.xxx.xxx
    Static DNS 1: 65.197.xxx.xxx
    Static DNS 2: 65.197.xxx.xxx
    Host Name: chris (This is what the ISP renamed my computer to when they set it up)
    Domain Name: MSHOME (This is the workgroup that the ISP assigned to my computer when they set it up)

    MAC Address clone is enabled, and set to what the wireless card from my ISP is

    Advanced Routing:
    Operating Mode: Gateway

    Wireless Mode: Client
    Wireless Name (SSID): Hope (This is the ISP's SSID)

    Security: Disabled

    Advanced Wireless:
    AP Isolation: Off
    Afterburner: Off

    Thanks for eveyone's help, I really appreciate it.
  5. trignet

    trignet LI Guru Member

    One more thing comes to mind, as I have stumbled over this one too.
    Most routers come set as G only for the wireless. My stepson has a PSP, and we plugged in everything we needed for its internet access only to find out that I needed to set the wireless mode to mixed. The PSP is wireless B, and your original post says your card is too.

    After rereading your followup post, I grabbed this detail
    So far, I'm still not having any luck, and the power light on my router just blinks.
    something's awry with your router... like its not booting properly.
    Seems like I played with that same firmware, and the same thing happened to mine. I ended up doing a tftp reflash original linksys firmware, and starting fresh with another distro.. I am curretnly using DD-WRT on mine and having nice results. I have seen other posts in this forum about your specific situation, I'll try digging up a link and post it for you.
  6. grcore

    grcore Network Guru Member

    First, sveasoft firmware is an insecure mess at best. You are better off with open-source firmware like hyperwrt15c, tomato or possibly ddwrt.
  7. SoCalChris

    SoCalChris Network Guru Member

    I'll try changing the firmware tonight. I had been using HyperWRT, but switched to the Sveasoft because I had seen that suggested somewhere for what I am trying to do.

    I did set the wireless mode to mixed, so I don't think that is it.

    Thanks again for the suggestions, I'll post later about if the other firmware worked.
  8. SoCalChris

    SoCalChris Network Guru Member

    I tried the Tomato firmware last night, and had more success than I was with the Sveasoft firmware.

    I can see the network now that I'm trying to connect to now, but I can't connect to it.

    In the wireless setting, where it asks for the network SSID, am I supposed to use the SSID of the network I'm connecting to?

    Does anyone have any other suggestions?

  9. SoCalChris

    SoCalChris Network Guru Member

    I finally got it working.

    The problem I was having is that I had set the SSID to "Hope". The SSID is supposed to be "HOPE", and that was all that was keeping it from working.

    Thanks for everyone's advice and help.

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