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Please help with signal strength problem.

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by clump, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. clump

    clump Addicted to LI Member

    I am new to 3rd party wireless router firmware. I decided to purchase two WRT54GL wireless routers to meet my home networking needs. After several days of research, I made my mind up to go with Tomato over DD-WRT. When I received my new routers from Newegg, I immediately flashed them both with Tomato 1.21. No problems. I then proceeded to set one up as an Access Point and the other as a Wireless Ethernet Bridge. I have two laptops and one desktop. The AP is in my living room with the DSL modem while the Bridge is in the study with the desktop computer. The Bridge is maybe 100-150 feet away from the AP on the same floor. The problem I am having is the Bridge is receiving a terribly low signal (hovers around 30). Both of my laptops receive an excellent (close to 100%) signal from within the same room where the Bridged router is. What could be going on? I can barely surf the net on the desktop. I made sure the settings on both routers match (except one is set to AP and the other to Wireless Ethernet Bridge). Is there a known issue with either Tomato or the WRT54GL routers in Bridge mode?

    I hope someone can help me because this sucks...
     
  2. SgtPepperKSU

    SgtPepperKSU Network Guru Member

    The 30 value you are reading is not comparable (they don't mean the same thing) to the percentages you read on your laptops. I recently gave away one of my routers, so I can't check, but my memory tells me that 30 is a pretty respectable value for that distance.

    Is there a reason you think the signal is "horribly low"? Are you getting drop outs or lowered bandwidth?
     
  3. clump

    clump Addicted to LI Member

    I guess I should have rephrased it a bit. My laptops are getting full signal strength while the bridged router is getting less than 50% signal strength. Also, there is a small strength bar graph next to the numerical value on the Overview page in Tomato and it's in the red and only getting a couple of bars. I believe it is dropping-out because most of the time I cannot even get Google to load. When I was able to get a connection, I quickly ran a speedtest via Speakeasy's site and my usual bandwidth was there.

    I did try something else at lunch today: I moved the bridged router into the room with the AP and the signal strength only improved marginally. Maybe 10% or so. I am beginning to wonder if there is something wrong with the router that I have set to bridge...:confused:
     
  4. HennieM

    HennieM Network Guru Member

    Have you reset to defaults before and after loading Tomato?

    Also, these percentages are very misleading. (For the record, there's no such thing as % absolute signal). Look for a dBm value somewhere. On the AP router you should see the signal WET->AP under Device List as RSSI in dBm. On the WET router I don't know where you see the AP->WET signal, but also look for RSSI and a value in dBm.

    An RSSI of about -65dBm (given that noise is around -98dBm) should give you full 54Mbit connectivity. Anything better than -65dBm (and note, -60 is better than -65) is a better signal, but it does not improve your speed/quality.

    If your signal strengths are fine, you probably have other problems. Maybe IP address conflicts, wireless security mismatches, or even routing/subnet issues.
     
  5. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    If it helps you at all, most of my users can get around 5-10mbit/s or so with one bar, you seem to have something odd happening!
     
  6. clump

    clump Addicted to LI Member

    I have an RSSI of about -75dBm and a noise floor of about -98dBm...
     
  7. HennieM

    HennieM Network Guru Member

    I take it the
    is what you see on the WET, i.e. AP->WET. What signal do you see on the AP coming from the WET? You should see more or less the same value. If not, something is wrong somewhere - most likely with the receive setup on the WET.
     

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