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Moving from Sveasoft to Tomato

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by f11music.com, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    After having a 8km link for 8 years with sveasoft, it appears they are not supporting it anymore so I did some searching and found Tomato. I've got RAF1.28.121006 installed on a WRT54GL1.1 and need some help configuring it. I need the link to be encrypted but it only seems to allow that in AP mode. In sveasoft I set to AP mode and then enabled WDS but when I do that in AP it complains about not allowing a password except in AP mode. So how can I do this?

    Also is it possible to set up one first with Tomato and then the other? Would it connect with the Sveasoft until I switch it's firmware? I guess if it doesn't work I will have to go to the remote site anyway but I was hoping to avoid that if possible. I noticed when I updated a router here, that it retained all my sveasoft settings.
     
  2. mvsgeek

    mvsgeek Addicted to LI Member

    I upgraded a similar setup from Sveasoft to Toastman Tomato a couple of years ago, although my links are a lot shorter than 8km - anywhere from 200 to 500 yards. At that time all routers (main + 7 AP's) were WRT54GL's (I've since replaced main + 1 AP with RT-N16's).

    I would not recommend simply installing Tomato over Sveasoft...much safer to do a 30-30-30 reset and a 'thorough' erase of nvram before configuring Tomato. You'll need to visit your remote site to do this, but it will almost certainly be worth it in the long term.

    All routers (main + AP's) are set to :
    Wireless Mode = Access point + WDS
    Security = WPA Personal
    Encryption = AES

    If you don't have wireless clients connecting directly to 'main', you could set it to WDS only.

    Prior to replacing the 'main' WRT54GL with the RT-N16, I used WPA2 security, but the disparate hardware & firmware apparently caused connectivity issues, which were resolved by reverting to WPA.

    Per Toastman's recommendation for WDS reliability, I'm running Tomato Firmware v1.28.7483.2 MIPSR2-Toastman-RT K26 Std on 'main'. AP's are either Tomato Firmware v1.28.7625 -Toastman-ND ND STD or Tomato Firmware v1.28.7633 .3-Toastman-IPT-ND ND Std.
     
  3. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    Where do I get this firmware? Here: http://www.polarcloud.com/firmware

    On my setup, one router is 8km away and is connected to the WAN and the other is at my location. Neither one will have local wireless clients so would it be best to use the v1.28.7483.2 MIPSR2-Toastman-RT K26 Std on each end?
     
  4. darksky

    darksky Networkin' Nut Member

  5. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    I've also been thinking about upgrading the hardware. Really I'm not getting all I could out of the link. I keep it set to 5.5 because it doesn't hold at 11. I just have an apartment building in between and both ends are high off the ground. WAN is 6 floors up on a roof and my end is on the peak of a mountain 250 meters and 5 meters off the ground. I'm using 24dbi grid antennas. I keep about a -80 rssi. Do you think changing to the RT-N16 could improve that?
     
  6. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

  7. mvsgeek

    mvsgeek Addicted to LI Member


    7483.2 is a 2.6 kernel version, so is not recommended for WRT54 series routers. If you're going to stick with the WRT54GL's, then 7633.2 should do the trick. Upgrading to a RT-N16 will give you a lot more CPU power, but the signal strength will be dependent on your antennas and Transmit Power (in advanced wireless settings). Mine is set to 60mW. I also have Transmission Rate set to 'Auto' (the default), so it varies between 1 and 54 depending on interference and other factors. My network is G only.
     
  8. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    Is 4shared the only place I can download these? I just get to a page that says I have to wait 0 seconds or sometimes it says 20 seconds but in any case nothing gets downloaded. Is it on an ftp site?
     
  9. darksky

    darksky Networkin' Nut Member

    4shared is not optimal but it does work. To my knowledge they are not mirrored elsewhere. What I would really like to see a a more robust fileserver for toastman's releases and one that allows the publishing of md5sums for each image. This is a key safeguard that is currently lacking.
     
  10. mvsgeek

    mvsgeek Addicted to LI Member

    The 20 second wait is for a free download, 0 seconds for premium. Either way, you have to create an account. It's a minor inconvenience considering the cost of the firmware:)
     
  11. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    I got the download but got stuck on the 30/30/30 reset. I did it like they describe here:
    http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=51486
    but now when I try to connect to it at 192.168.1.1 it's not responding. I set my computers IP to .8 and router set to 192.168.1.1. I also tried setting my computer to DHCP but it's not getting an IP. Only gets 169.254.139.222.

    I had sveasoft firmware on it. Is it possible I bricked it? I did another 30/30/30 reset but still can't connect to it. Doesn't this process change the IP back to 192.168.1.1?
     
  12. mvsgeek

    mvsgeek Addicted to LI Member


    I'm assuming this is your local router, and that your PC is running Windows...

    1. Connect PC via cat5 cable to any LAN port on router
    2. Set PC's IP to 192.168.1.xxx, subnet mask to 255.255.255.0, default gateway to 192.168.1.1 (don't use DHCP)
    3. 30-30-30 reset router
    4. When the router's power light stops blinking, you should be able to ping 192.168.1.1

    Apologies if I'm stating the obvious, but I'm not exactly clear about your environment.
     
  13. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    That is basically what I did except I'm on a mac and I did the 30-30-30 reset before step 2. Not sure how that would make a difference though. After the reset (prior it was on 192.168.5.1) I set my network settings like you show above and then tried with my browser to connect to 192.168.1.1 but no response. Then I tried DHCP just to see if it was on a different subnet but still nothing. I always that a reset would put it on 192.168.1.1. I've done resets before by just holding for 30 seconds and remember it would go back to 192.168.1.1 but this is the first time I did a 30-30-30 reset.
     
  14. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    Also I'm not able to see it's wireless network. Shouldn't that be active after a 30-30-30 reset? The sveasoft firmware has to still be on there so it should give an ssid of sveasoft. The router seems to boot ok and it was working before the 30-30-30 reset. I've tried the 30-30-30 reset a few times but still no luck :-(
     
  15. kthaddock

    kthaddock Network Guru Member

    Have you tried instead of a 30-30-30 do NVRAM erase from Administation => Configuration => Restore Default Configuration => Erase all data in NVRAM memory (thorough) ? 30-30-30 isn't a proper way to erase nvram parameters.
     
  16. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    But I can't connect to it so no way to do that. I've never done a 30-30-30 reset before so never had this problem before.
     
  17. mvsgeek

    mvsgeek Addicted to LI Member

    Try this :

    1. Unplug power from router
    2. Connect Mac via cat5 cable to any LAN port on router
    3. Set Mac's IP to 192.168.1.xxx, subnet mask to 255.255.255.0, default gateway to 192.168.1.1 (don't use DHCP)
    4. Open the Mac equivalent of a command window, and start a continuous ping to 192.168.1.1
    5. Apply power to router and observe the ping results

    As the router is rebooting, you should see 3 ping responses with TTL=100, followed by an interval of timeouts, followed by continuous responses with TTL=64, indicating a successful reboot.

    You say you're not seeing the 'sveasoft' ssid, but do you see any new ssid's after rebooting?
     
  18. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    That is what I was doing earlier. I just did it again and here are the results. I'm not seeing any SSID being broadcasted. It finished booting at icml_seq 13. I plugged it in quickly which is when it started _seq 0.



    Steves-iMac:~ steve$ ping 192.168.1.1
    PING 192.168.1.1 (192.168.1.1): 56 data bytes
    ping: sendto: No route to host
    ping: sendto: No route to host
    Request timeout for icmp_seq 0
    ping: sendto: No route to host
    Request timeout for icmp_seq 1
    ping: sendto: No route to host
    Request timeout for icmp_seq 2
    ping: sendto: No route to host
    Request timeout for icmp_seq 3
    ping: sendto: No route to host
    Request timeout for icmp_seq 4
    Request timeout for icmp_seq 5
    Request timeout for icmp_seq 6
    Request timeout for icmp_seq 7
    Request timeout for icmp_seq 8
    Request timeout for icmp_seq 9
    ping: sendto: No route to host
    Request timeout for icmp_seq 10
    ping: sendto: Host is down
    Request timeout for icmp_seq 11
    ping: sendto: Host is down
    Request timeout for icmp_seq 12
    ping: sendto: Host is down
    Request timeout for icmp_seq 13
    ping: sendto: Host is down
    Request timeout for icmp_seq 14
    ping: sendto: Host is down
     
  19. Monk E. Boy

    Monk E. Boy Network Guru Member

    If you plugged it in quickly then you didn't have it plugged in before power was applied to the router.

    How did you measure the 30 second intervals? Did you use a stopwatch or a similar real-world timer, or did you guesstimate?

    Its very important that you follow directions precisely, approximations of equivalent steps aren't actually equivalent steps.
     
  20. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    I just used my system clock and did about 31 seconds on each step. When I said I plugged in quickly, I'm talking about plugging in the power to the router. I did the steps exactly as you outlined. What could I be doing wrong that would make it not respond to a ping? I know it's not on the old IP because I tried pinging that also.
     
  21. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    OK I got it working. I did the 35-35-35 reset which worked a lot better! :) Now the rest should be easy.
     
    Toxic likes this.
  22. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    Haven't had a chance to test the link but so far I'm loving Tomato! The interface is so much cleaner than sveasoft and it looks like it has a few more features that I didn't see in the version of Sveasoft-Talisman I was using. Thanks for all the help mvsgeek, darksky, kthaddock and especially Monk E. Boy for making me think that 30 seconds might be better to be 35 seconds :)
     
    Toxic likes this.
  23. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    I'm getting ready to do another upgrade to tomato for the other WRT54GL1.1 and it's one that has never been upgraded from the original linksys firmware v4.30.14. I've read that the 30-30-30 reset can sometimes brick these. Is it necessary to do the 30-30-30 on this one or is it better to flash the tomato firmware first and then do a 30-30-30 reset?
     
  24. Monk E. Boy

    Monk E. Boy Network Guru Member

    I've worked with a fair number of WRT-54GLs and never experience a bricking issue that wasn't caused by a flash failure or failure to erase NVRAM (the latter of which is what a 30-30-30 is intended to perform). You could try issuing an nvram reset from a telnet or ssh session instead of 30-30-30 prior to attempting the upgrade, that would probably be safest if 30-30-30 causes bricks on GLs (which is news to me).

    Note that after issuing the reset you should immediately reboot the router and after booting all settings should end up at factory values. After upgrading to Tomato you then need to reset the NVRAM values again since the values vary depending on which firmware you're using (even between flavors of Tomato - e.g. Toastman, Shibby, Teddy). Safest is probably to do it from telnet/ssh but I normally just use the website to perform a long NVRAM erase.

    Unfortunately the exact command to issue from telnet/ssh escapes me right now...
     
  25. mito

    mito LI Guru Member

    Hi f11music: for your next 54gl upgrade with original Linksys firm, first yo have to upgrade it with a small dd-wrt mini generic.bin firm a then you can go with Tomato any flavor(in the first one you already had sveasoft before Tomato)
    Before upgrading do a full erase Ram not a 30-30-30 because that is for dd-wrt and is not proven to be true or better than full erase Ram, at least on Tomato.
    stock firmware from Linksys on the WRT54GL won't accept a firmware image over 3MB in size (you will get the error: "Upgrade are failed! [sic]" if you try). So you will need to flash the mini versions of DD-WRT onto the router BEFORE flashing the standard versions.
    be sure to hard reset your router to restore firmware defaults both BEFORE AND AFTER you upgrade even to the micro or mini DD-WRT. remember that dd-wrt user is "root" and password "admin" no quotes.
    don't hurry up, let the router do his job at least 5 minutes after flash ends.
    just my 2 cts. ;)
     
  26. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    mito, I followed your instructions but got stuck after the generic.bin upgrade. That went fine and I did a 'restore factory defaults' before and after. Then I tried to upload the same tomato file that I uploaded on the sveasoft one and the WRT complains it's not the right type of image file. Did I miss something? It's not a bin file but I don't recall sveasoft complaining about it. tomato-ND-1-2.28.7633.2-Toastman-IPT-ND-Std.trx

    I thought maybe the mini version wouldn't upload that type of file so I upgraded to the dd-wrt.v24_std_generic.bin but it also didn't want to upload the Tomato.
     
  27. mito

    mito LI Guru Member

    strange, never happened to me, dd-wrt always accepts Tomato on 54gl, try changing the .trx and rename the firm as .bin and upload again. also check that your tomato firm is K24.
     
  28. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    Changing it to .bin worked. How do I know it's K24? It just says: tomato-ND-1-2.28.7633.2-Toastman-IPT-ND-Std
     
  29. Victek

    Victek Network Guru Member

    Enter in the gui and check about section.. or just log messages in Status section, then you can read the linux kernel used.
     
  30. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    Mine says:
    Tomato Firmware v1.28.7633 .2-Toastman-IPT-ND ND Std
    - Linux kernel 2.4.37.11 and Broadcom Wireless Driver 4.150.10.29 updates
    - Support for additional router models, dual-band and Wireless-N mode.
     
  31. Victek

    Victek Network Guru Member

    OK, you know it. About change to wl channel 13, select country allowing ch13, Japan I think...
     
    mito likes this.
  32. mito

    mito LI Guru Member

    f11music, ok you got it:)
    Victek thanks a lot:D
     
  33. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    Almost… :) Where is a good manual for Tomato? I found this but it's missing some pages. The only question I have now is what address to put in to make a WDS connection. It says wireless MAC which makes sense but both of my routers have the same wireless MAC address? I'm guessing it's done in the firmware but with sveasoft they were always different. Would I just make them the same in each others WDS setup even though it's the same number?
     
  34. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    I wasn't able to get WDS working by entering in the MAC addresses so I tried it on automatic but it's still not connecting. What I did was set them up both the same but with router A (WAN) has it's static public IP and router B has WAN disabled and WDS is set up the same on both. They are just not connecting. Is there something else I need to setup besides these sections?

    Enable Wireless
    MAC Address 00:90:4C:5F:00:2A
    Wireless Mode WDS
    Wireless Network Mode B Only
    SSID storre
    Broadcast
    Channel 14 - 2.484 GHz

    Security WPA2 Personal
    Encryption TKIP / AES
    Shared Key
    Group Key Renewal (seconds)

    WDS
    Link With...Automatic

    Enable Wireless
    MAC Address 00:18:39:CF:DF:2F
    Wireless Mode WDS
    Wireless Network Mode B Only
    SSID storre
    Broadcast
    Channel 14 - 2.484 GHz

    Security WPA2 Personal
    Encryption TKIP / AES
    Shared Key
    Group Key Renewal (seconds)

    WDS
    Link With...Automatic
     
  35. mito

    mito LI Guru Member

  36. Marcel Tunks

    Marcel Tunks Networkin' Nut Member

    Sometimes it's an issue of timing. If you can get both "Basic" settings pages open at the same time, click Save on both pages at the same time and wait a few minutes. That sometimes allows them to connect. Simultaneously restarting the radios sometimes works too, e.g. checking the noise floor on both routers simultaneously. Most guides say to set up the host followed by the client, but simultaneous connection seems to work more consistently.

    If you cut and paste your MAC addresses, make sure you right click and choose "paste as plain text" or enter the MAC manually.
     
  37. mvsgeek

    mvsgeek Addicted to LI Member


    The 00:90:4C:5F:00:2A MAC address is a default which gets set by a 30-30-30 (or 35-35-35;)) reset. I believe it's hard-coded in cfe.bin. Advanced --> MAC Address --> Wireless Interface --> Default --> Save will set it to the correct value, which can then be used in configuring WDS.


    I've never used the 'Automatic' WDS link option, so can't comment on its reliability or otherwise.
    Have you tried connecting with security disabled? If that works, you could experiment with different encryption schemes. As previously mentioned, I've had connection issues with WPA2, so I'm using WPA Personal with AES.
     
  38. Victek

    Victek Network Guru Member

    f11music.com, two question:

    *- Both router are Tomato firmware? ..
    *- IF Y/N then establish link first without encryption to check if works and as mvsgeek said, enter other side MAC instead of Automatic association, sometimes it loops seeking the partner, ELSE change to another Tomato version.. just to try.

    WDS it's useful if you plan to jump to other nodes, if not use Wireless bridge and you will be always in the same net and one DHCP server, it's a more reliable connection when WDS systems are not compatible.
     
  39. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    I was wondering if wireless bridge would be the best option but just started setting it up as WDS instead since that was the only option I had with sveasoft. I will set it up as wireless bridge since I don't need to jump nodes ever. Yes both routers are Tomato. Thanks for the tip on setting the wireless interface MAC.
     
  40. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    Trying to get the ethernet bridge working but must be doing something wrong. Here is my setup. I have router 192.168.5.201 which is my WAN connection at the remote end and 192.168.5.202 which is at my place. I don't have them in their final place now because I want to get them working before I replace the 2 that are now running sveasoft and providing WDS link. The only information I found on setting up Tomato with Ethernet Bridge was this:
    http://www.linksysinfo.org/index.php?threads/can-i.30332/

    I wasn't sure what to put in the WAN side LAN Gateway so left it 0.0.0.0
    What I do to test it is unplug the ethernet cable that is connecting 201 to 202. My local net is connected to 202 by ethernet. When I disconnect 201 from 202 I can't reach 201 anymore.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  41. mvsgeek

    mvsgeek Addicted to LI Member

    201 should not be set to "Wireless ethernet bridge". Set it to "Access Point".
     
  42. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    That was it! Thanks! I think I'm all set to replace the main link. Now to improve my antenna :) I've got 2 24dbi grids positioned horizontally but I'm thinking to try a helical to maybe help get through the interference from other 2.4GHz traffic. I have a clear LOS so 8km should be very doable. Not sure what rate I can get but anything is better than the 5.5MB I'm set to now.
     
  43. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    What should this be set to on 201 WAN

    Route Modem IP (must be in different subnet to router, 0.0.0.0 to disable)
     
  44. mvsgeek

    mvsgeek Addicted to LI Member


    You could try setting mode to 'Auto' or 'G' on both routers. I don't know if G speeds are feasible over 8km, but it might be worth a shot.

    Tools --> Wireless Survey and Status --> Device List are rather useful features of Tomato in this case.

    Edit : I've always left 'Route Modem IP' at 0.0.0.0 in both WDS and WET setups, because I have no idea what it means:D.
     
  45. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    Haha I got stumped by that also :confused:

    I've tried going to 11 with B on sveasoft but it was unusable. Maybe my antenna alignment is better now so I will try it again when I get these new routers up. I know when I had them pointed vertically, I had connection problems even at 5.5. I'm hoping helical will give me better interference rejection. I'm thinking to construct this one:
    http://www.safe-pc.net/helical.html
     
  46. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    Been browsing through the settings to see what Tomato has that sveasoft didn't and noticed CPU Frequency. How safe is it to up that and would I notice anything with the ethernet bridge? The AP on the WAN side is only serving me so it's not like either router gets overworked. They are both set to 200 now.
     
  47. Marcel Tunks

    Marcel Tunks Networkin' Nut Member

    Overclock not needed on the bridge router - the bottleneck is the wireless link rather than the CPU.

    Overclock on the WAN side may help if your ISP bandwidth is more than around 8 megabits /sec (I'm assuming that router is your gateway - if it's just an AP then overclock is definitely not needed.

    Overclock up to 250 is usually safe, but do it only if needed.

    Route modem IP is for accessing the modem. It's not needed to set up your router.
     
  48. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    Thanks Marcel. Both routers are only for my traffic and not sure what the speed is on the WAN but I think it's 100MB at least. Probably no reason to overclock it.
     
  49. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    I finally got this link up the other day. I've got the wan side set up as AP and my remote side as Wireless Ethernet Bridge. I have it set to 5.5Mbps which is the highest rate it will hold. My link is 6km. I'm using 24dbi grid antennas. My speedtest are good on download but very slow on upload.
    http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/3045758648

    Does that indicate one of the antennas is out of alignment? I know at the wan side I have at least 20Mbps up and down.
    Or could it be something set wrong in the router that would cause it to have slow upload performance?
    I have the power levels now set to 150mW but I have the same quality connection down to 80mW. Not sure which is better.
    I know the antenna on the remote side is aligned well because we have a good view of the area below where the other antenna is located on a 4 story roof. The only thing blocking LOS is some apartment buildings near the WAN side.
     
  50. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    Here are the stats on the remote side (wireless ethernet bridge)

    Tomato v1.28.7633 .2-Toastman-IPT-ND ND Std

    root@unknown:/tmp/home/root# ifconfig eth1

    eth1 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:18:39:CF:DF:2F

    UP BROADCAST RUNNING ALLMULTI MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1

    RX packets:1106174 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:804516

    TX packets:1410595 errors:16952 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0

    collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000

    RX bytes:768544535 (732.9 MiB) TX bytes:272295552 (259.6 MiB)

    Interrupt:13 Base address:0x5000


    and here is the WAN side:

    root@unknown:/tmp/home/root# ifconfig eth1

    eth1 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 58:6D:8F:C1:CE:62

    UP BROADCAST RUNNING ALLMULTI MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1

    RX packets:1393149 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:8575898

    TX packets:1492557 errors:1917 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0

    collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000

    RX bytes:193505088 (184.5 MiB) TX bytes:858354710 (818.5 MiB)

    Interrupt:13 Base address:0x5000
     
  51. rs232

    rs232 Network Guru Member

    Can you post the screenshot of the advanced/wireless page?
     
  52. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    Here is the Ethernet Bridge router. The other has the same settings.
     

    Attached Files:

  53. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

  54. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    Now I raised the Tx to 251mW and CPU to 250 which improved things a little but still have a problem on the upload. Would that mean the WAN side (remote to me) antenna is not aimed well? Or would it mean I just have more interference on the WAN side. Since I'm so remote I think it's more likely the WAN side in the city has more interference possibility.
    http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/3047357811
     
  55. rs232

    rs232 Network Guru Member

    I suggest you set Distance/ ACK timing to be the maximum value. AFAIK the reference distance in meters counts the round trip distance.

    Use channel 1 unless there's a reason not to (lower frequency is better in your case)

    Give it a go with WLAN interface mitigation it might or might not help

    If you don't send latency sensistive traffic across the link (e.g. VoIP) I would disable WMM. But if you do need it at least I would set WMM no ACK to the default "disabled"

    Do not use Afterburner AND frame burst together. Use either or, possibly even better in your case: none

    Last resort: Only if nothing else worked I would try to reduce the RTS threshold, but don't go too low (never below 784 bytes per say)

    Out of curiosity what is the signal strength you get right now?

    Expect great variation in signal quality based on a multitude of factors first of all weather.



    Can you ping from LAN1 into LAN2 sending 1000 packets and let us know the success/failure ratio together with the latency values recorded?
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  56. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    Another tip - older "B" wifi running at low speeds gets a hell of a long way, and on a 15km link I tried once it worked really well and reliably.
     
  57. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    Thanks for all the helpful info rs232!! I'm doing a ping now from 202 (my location) to 201 (wan) before making your changes. I will change them one at a time to see which one has a greater effect. Right now I've got the link set to 2Mbps because it was getting unstable which is typical this time of day. I'm using ch14 because it's the only one I can hold a connection to. I found another open connection that I can connect to so it will be easier to experiment with other channels without risk of losing connection to 201. For now I have an assistant there but it's better if I can do myself. Would love to get a 11Mbps connection. Do you think that is possible with a 6km clear LOS connection. I guess it depends on local interference levels? I'm using 24dbi grid antennas.
    I'm doing these ping tests from my mac that is wired directly to 202. If you want it the other way around or directly from the router, I can do again by telnetting into them.

    rssi viewed on device list of .201wan is -78 dBm 21 quality 2/2
    rssi on .202mylocation is -78 dBm 7 quality 2/2

    BEFORE MAKING CHANGES from post 52 but with WMM turned off
    390 packets transmitted, 375 packets received, 3.8% packet loss
    round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 2.491/574.486/2453.035/645.518 ms

    AFTER CHANGING ACK TIMING FROM 6000 TO 12000
    503 packets transmitted, 484 packets received, 3.8% packet loss
    round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 2.490/53.674/1892.432/160.170 ms

    AFTER DISABLING AFTERBURNER
    616 packets transmitted, 608 packets received, 1.3% packet loss
    round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 2.495/11.981/666.014/43.784 ms

    AFTER DISABLING FRAME BURST
    700 packets transmitted, 689 packets received, 1.6% packet loss
    round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 2.492/14.288/1072.608/61.364 ms

    AFTER CHANGE RTS THRESHOLD FROM 2347 TO 1000
    888 packets transmitted, 876 packets received, 1.4% packet loss
    round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 2.487/12.381/779.306/42.940 ms

    What is the safest Interference Mitigation to enable? Yesterday I enabled one of them (don't remember which) and I lost connection.

    Should I try with a lower RTS Threshold? I just tried 1000. Now will do some telnet tests from each direction to see how it is.

    Here is the ifconfig after the tests. Not sure which time frame this references. This is from 202

    eth1 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:18:39:CF:DF:2F
    UP BROADCAST RUNNING ALLMULTI MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
    RX packets:660659 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:76645
    TX packets:680265 errors:1449 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
    collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
    RX bytes:567847569 (541.5 MiB) TX bytes:124360063 (118.5 MiB)
    Interrupt:13 Base address:0x5000

    and same from 201

    eth1 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 58:6D:8F:C1:CE:62
    UP BROADCAST RUNNING ALLMULTI MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
    RX packets:627464 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:1088898
    TX packets:684513 errors:291 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
    collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
    RX bytes:86651468 (82.6 MiB) TX bytes:581262390 (554.3 MiB)
    Interrupt:13 Base address:0x5000

    Now I will do some ping tests via telnet and post the results soon.
     
  58. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    Yes I only use B. Never been able to hold a G connection though I would like to try. My one way distance is less than 6km. I would at least like to get 11Mbps with B. It should be possible with clear LOS but I also have to deal with any local interference on the WAN side. If the interference is only on the WAN side is it necessary to only turn on Mitigation for that side or do both sides need to have the same Mitigation setting?
     
  59. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    Ping via telnet to 201wan pinging to 202mylocal. This is where I'm getting very bag ping results and why my upload speed is so slow.

    --- 192.168.5.202 ping statistics ---
    39 packets transmitted, 6 packets received, 84% packet loss
    round-trip min/avg/max = 2.580/3.813/6.873 ms

    --- 192.168.5.201 ping statistics ---
    1153 packets transmitted, 1118 packets received, 3% packet loss
    round-trip min/avg/max = 2.581/13.722/984.746 ms

    If I'm looking at this right, this indicates that the antenna at the wan location 201 is out of alignment. It tries to send 64bits which have a hard time arriving here because of poor alignment and then eventually gets a strong confirmation signal since my site is aimed better. Does that make sense or is it just interference at the wan side?

    I tried pinging again to 202 from 201 via telnet and it was even worse this time.

    --- 192.168.5.202 ping statistics ---
    131 packets transmitted, 2 packets received, 98% packet loss
    round-trip min/avg/max = 2.662/4.308/5.955 ms
     
  60. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    I thought of something as a temporary solution. What if I set 201wan to 1 Mbps and 202 to 5.5 Mbps. Since 201 is having more difficulty then at least it's acknowledgments (smaller packets) would get through more reliably.
     
  61. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    Well it didn't seem to help :-/

    --- 192.168.5.202 ping statistics ---
    34 packets transmitted, 3 packets received, 91% packet loss
    round-trip min/avg/max = 4.417/18.140/45.390 ms
     
  62. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    Toastman, I read in one of the other threads about the power being limited if you set country to Japan. I always set to Japan because it gives me ch14 which seemed to be the only channel I could hold a decent connection. Now I'm understanding it differently and maybe switching to ch1 and Singapore might work since it would really use my power setting which is 251. Is that how you see it?
     
  63. rs232

    rs232 Network Guru Member

    The tweaking of a long distance link can be tedious ad there are many factors involved. And these change at different time (interferences, weather, else)

    If you re-run all the tests today you're likely to get different results...

    I have one link not even close to 6Km and found myself changing one parameter only every few weeks until I found a stable(ish) config that works for me.

    Do not underestimate cable/connectors they do affect the performance! e.g. if you have a spare cable try to replace and see how it goes. How long are the cables between parabolic antenna and router and what are the cables HDF? 100/200/400?
    In general you may want to plug the router just behind the pigtail, at least as an initial test before plugging any extension and see if and how the connection improves.

    If you ask me AFTER DISABLING AFTERBURNER looks really good!

    6Km link with 1.3% packet loss and 14ms ping average? Where do I have to sign?

    P.S. you should consider switching to a device with built in amplifier or an external amplifier. I use Buffalo WHR-HP-54 and they come with built in amplifier, but there are other models out there of course (e.g. Asus RT-N12HP)
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  64. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    I've been considering changing the routers. Thanks for the suggestions! I'm pretty sure the remote side is not pointed well because my UP has always equaled my DOWN and when I try to ping from there to here, I get terrible results. The results I posted above are from here to the wan which is pinging good. The cable from the antenna is going straight to the router. I'm not using an extension other than the one hard wired to the boom. I'm not sure if that wire is 100/200 or 400. Then I have a converter plug to connect to my WRT54GL. Maybe it's time to get new antennas!

    What about the Tx power? Is it true setting it to Japan will limit the output power even if I have it set to 251mW? I that is the case, I can set it to Singapore and try another channel. With it set to Japan, I can ONLY connect on channel 14 which leads me to believe the power is limited and I only get a connection because ch14 has less interference here since it's not used much. I'm going to try to connect to the remote site today from another network so I can play with those settings.

    Also something I just thought of is maybe I assembled the antennas wrong. Should the boom be in the same polarization as the grid? I checked some pictures and the all seem to have vertical positioned booms and horizontal parabolic. Is that correct or should they be the same? I use to have the antennas parabolic vertically positioned years ago but then had to position them horizontal because of too much interference. I'm referring to the whole antenna. I never considered the boom in reference to the parabolic even though it can be mounted horizontal also. Here is a picture of my antenna at my end.
     

    Attached Files:

  65. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    It's been awhile since I used radio on a WRT but yes, Japan limits tx power severely. Try Singapore (up to ch. 13 I think it was) and also US Minor Outlying Islands is a nice one to play with.

    Horizontally polarized signal usually goes a bit further than vertical. Use it unless you find vertical better (e.g. maybe reduces interference)

    Re the antenna, let's start with definitions: The log periodic antenna pointing back at the dish - set the elements horizontal.

    The dish (parabolic reflector) is made up of wires that simulate a solid reflector, but with less wind resistance.

    Set the wires to match the antenna elements (horizontal). There may be little or no difference but it's the convention. But you need to try it for yourself.

    The "boom" is the tube used to support the log periodic antenna, it's probably round, and maybe plastic, and it shouldn't affect anything.
     
  66. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    OK that is all correct then. I do remember changing them to vertical because of interference but that was over 6 years ago. Maybe things have gotten better (or worse) since then. Today I was at the wan location to try and aim the antenna better and ran into an old friend that is sort of a network expert here in Brazil. He showed me one of the new 4G cell towers that just went up near where my antenna is. Literally the next block over. He also explained how Brazil has pretty lax regulations compared to the US and so they boost the power up quite a bit. Their 4G is also a problem because it's on 2.6Ghz which is too close to me and I'm pretty sure they are not using any filters so I probably am getting a lot of harmonic noise. To give you an idea of how much the boost the power. There is an even going on nearby that put up an AP with I'm sure an omni antenna and I'm actually able to connect to it 6km away! Sometimes it's signal is better than mine which is just a block away but with the parabolic pointed to me. His suggestion was to go to 5.8GHz. I know I would need new antennas for that.

    Are there any good, decent priced, 5.8GHz routers out there?
     
  67. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    Toastman, I tried channel 1-13 today while set to Singapore and could get a connection on some channels but not as good as I'm getting with 14/Japan. The pings where a lot worse. Do you know if there is another country setting that has ch14 that doesn't limit the power?

    If I go with 5.8Ghz I will end up making my own helical antennas. I have a lot of practice making those for my FPV copters :) I will probably make a 12 turn which should give me a good enough focus. Just need to know which router I should get for 5.8GHz.
     
  68. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    As far as I am aware Japan is the only country that allows that channel.

    You may well be correct about the cellphone tower. Such transmitters are normally very clean, otherwise they will not pass type approval, but that can't be guaranteed of course. The problem is rather, the rather simple receiver in home routers has little or no filtering and can overload easily.

    I rather doubt that 5 GHz will go as far, especially as you mentioned that you have some sort of building in the way. There's only one way to find out!
     
  69. rs232

    rs232 Network Guru Member

    I agree with toastman, the lower the frequency the further it goes and the less it gets affected by interferences.

    What is the Noise Floor as displayed by tomato under device list?
    Also what is the RSSI/Quality on the very same page?

    Do try horizontal again! So many things change in 6 years
     
  70. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    What about going to a 2.4GHz helical? I know it has a wide frequency range that might subjective me to more interference? What about a high gain Yagi?

    Noise floor on 201wan (where the interference is) .81 dBm
    -76 dBm showing on same page TX/RX rate is 2/6

    Noise floor on 202lan is .87 dBm
    -77 dBm showing on same page, TX/RX rate is 6/2

    I will try horizontal but would better or different antennas help with the interference? My rssi seems pretty good?

    I'm looking into the WHR-HP-54 also. The amp should help penetrate the interference right?
     
  71. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    It is extremely difficult to build yagis at these frequencies that actually work. Helicals are easier but without the proper equipment to actually measure performance and SWR there is very little chance of any homebuilt antenna being very effective.

    Personally, I would try to use parabolic dishes, similar to satellite dishes, and up the size. A dish is frequency independant, and a feedhorn is somewhat simpler to make. Possibly you can buy something. But I have not researched what is available for the wifi band. Most of the "wifi" antennas I have been asked to look at have just "looked" good but never had any actual design input to work at wifi frequencies, and were about as much use as a chocolate teapot.

    When all is said and done, you had a pretty good run for 6 years, now that the whole wifi bands have exploded, it may not be possible to do this any more. It's basically dead in the water where I live, every channel has dozens of interfering signals on it now. Even 2 years ago, it was not like that.
     
  72. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    Do you think switching to the WHR-HP-54 and using it's built in amp would help? I will have to find an antenna store here to see what dish options they have. So any dish size would work, with larger being better and then I just need a 2.4GHz feedhorn?
     
  73. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    Higher power will help, also there are new routers coming out that claim to have increased sensitivity receivers too, as well as much higher power than is strictly legal in many countries. Again, I haven't researched it. Regarding feedhorn, these are relatively easy to make and apply to a dish, old sat dishes are good for this. If you can get arounf 10dB more gain, things will improve considerably as long as interference doesn't also increase.
     
  74. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    Something like these?
    http://www.l-com.com/wireless-antenna-24-ghz-dual-polarized-dpd-series-parabolic-dish-antennas

    Do you know the name of the new models with increased sensitivity? The problem the way I see it is the WAN side in the city is full of interference so I need to send the signal with a lot more power or have a more sensitive receiver or higher dBi antenna on the WAN side. On my side I'm completely free of RF so the signal gets here without a problem at 5.5MB.

    If I increase the sensitivity on the WAN side then I think I'm going to receive more interference also but if I transmit from my end with more power then it should get through the interference.

    Is there a type of inline amp I can put on the WRT54GL? That would be a quick way to test it.
     
  75. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

  76. rs232

    rs232 Network Guru Member

    2W is a *LOT* of power!! It should improve your situation but nobody can quantify the impact in an environment with interferences. The Buffalo I mentioned above if I remember has a 256mw built amplifier which takes it to 512mw

    I don't have experience with the dual polarised antennas. If you do go this way please let us know the results. I would imagine these to improve the transfer rate not so much the signal but this is a guess of mine.

    P.S. I never had good luck with the increased sensitivity receivers, from what I've experienced they actually reduce the signal
     
  77. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    I should be installing the 2W amp on Monday but the line started getting better by itself so I suspect the interference down there is transient.
    Another problem I'm having is some computers in a second location lose their connection in the middle of the night. Happens every night. What solves it right away is restarting one of the bridge routers. I have them set up like this:

    192.168.5.201 (this is the router on the WAN side that is set to AP mode)
    192.168.5.202 (this is set to bridge and connecting to .201)
    192.168.5.203 (this is an internal router that is set to AP to provide internet for another location)
    192.168.5.204 (this is set to bridge and connecting to .203)
    192.168.5.205 (this is wired by ethernet to .204)

    What happens is the computers that are connecting wirelessing and wired to 192.168.5.205 are losing connectivity during the night. What I do to solve it is restart 192.168.5.202.

    I have DHCP set up and the router it fills in is 192.168.5.201

    The main house is connecting to 192.168.5.202 by wired ethernet which goes to an airport extreme. Computers connected to wired and wirelessly and never lose connectivity.

    Also what Default Gateway should I have in all the routers LAN settings? Have them all set now to 192.168.5.201.

    Any clue what could be happening here?
     
  78. f11music.com

    f11music.com Serious Server Member

    Still having dropped connections every day with this firmware. Only with the computers connecting to .205. When I restart .202 problem goes away but I can't figure out what is causing it. Any ideas?
     

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