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Tomato firmware for E4200 V1 with 5GHz support

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by nirajshah7, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. nirajshah7

    nirajshah7 Reformed Router Member

    Guys.. I am newbie in router firmware flashing and have a question... I am looking to flash my E4200 V1 with Tomato firmware which has 5 GHz support.. does anyone have link to firmware and instructions how to flash... I am looking for firmware which has USB support...

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Marcel Tunks

    Marcel Tunks Networkin' Nut Member

    Firmware from Toastman, Shibby, and Victek are all excellent. They are more stable than stock despite the extra features. Which one to choose depends on the application. What do you need the router to do that the stock firmware can't handle? Or is it just for fun?
  3. nirajshah7

    nirajshah7 Reformed Router Member

    I am looking to bridge this with my WNDR3700 router.. also I have read than transfer speeds is better in Tomato which I need for streaming my 1080p movies... and bandwidth graph would be added advantage... what would you recommend?
  4. Marcel Tunks

    Marcel Tunks Networkin' Nut Member

    If your WNDR3700 is your gateway to the WAN, and the E4200 is just a WET bridge device, then any of the three will be fine. Victek actually uses an E4200, while the others seem to prefer more recent ASUS devices. On the other hand, I've been using E4200 builds from Toastman and Shibby with months of uptime. A non-VLAN version would be easier for a newbie in case you later decide to implement WDS. (WET is preferred for your application for several reasons, but there are some devices and situations where WDS is needed. Whether you can do a WDS between those two routers depends on the revision of the WNDR3700.)

    Whether you'll actually be able to stream 1080p over 5Ghz depends on the physical layout (obstacles and distance between routers). A single layer of wood or drywall can drastically cut throughput. It's also not free of interference.

    There are flashing instructions in the Wiki pages, or you can follow the instructions on the dd-WRT E4200 wiki site, substituting the Tomato firmware of your choice instead of the dd-WRT "mini" build. You do not need to install dd-WRT first. In fact, you should flash directly to Tomato to avoid password issues. I suggest a 30-30-30 reset before flashing. After flashing Tomato, wait 5 minutes before touching anything, then go to the Admin tab, find the backup section, and thoroughly clear NVRAM.

    There are plenty of instructions out there on setting up WET or client bridges. Basically you need to change the client's IP address to one that's different from the host and on the same subnet, but outside the DHCP range of the host router (e.g. Set the Default Gateway to the host router's IP, disable DHCP on the client, and switch the routing mode from Gateway to Router. Make sure that you are using the same SSID and WPA2/AES password, and that both routers' 5Ghz channel widths are 40MHz.

    dd-WRT has a couple of options for the E4200 that are stable and feature-rich (e.g. 18777 and the Kong mods), but WET and WDS don't as well as Tomato and the UI is very annoying.

    Links to the Tomato firmwares and FAQs are in the sticky posts at the top of the Tomato forum.

    Depending on the revision, there are some interesting firmware options for the WNDR3700, but that's a different topic for a different forum...

    Good luck!
  5. Marcel Tunks

    Marcel Tunks Networkin' Nut Member

    Forgot to mention transmit power: Under Advanced > Wireless, set 5GHz (eth2) power to 80. Higher values don't seem to make a difference with the current drivers. The 2.4GHz antenna should be turned off in Basic settings if you're using a 5GHz WET bridge.
  6. occamsrazor

    occamsrazor Network Guru Member

    Hi, sorry to hijack the thread but do you happen to know if that is applicable to E3000 also? What's your basis for saying power 80 on 5Ghz, was there some previous discussion on this? I've always used power 60 for 2.4Ghz following some discussion on that subject, but always left 5Ghz as 0 just because I've never seen anything about 5Ghz power.
  7. Marcel Tunks

    Marcel Tunks Networkin' Nut Member

    It's on the basis of incrementally adjusting the settings until the signal-noise ratio stopped increasing, measured using the routers themselves and a laptop with inSSIDer. Happens to be the same SNR as default (setting it to 0) for the firmware I'm using, but I don't know if that will be the case for different versions with different drivers. Testing is always best. There's a lot of misinformation out there.

    I don't have an E3000 to test. I read an old post from Toastman somewhere in this forum that made reference to transmit power using older and newer drivers from dd-WRT and Tomato that indicated some differences. There may be an older E3000 firmware where you could go higher than default by providing a specific setting rather than 0.

    Stability is not an issue on the E4200 with any transmit power in Tomato. E3000 should be the same in that regard.
  8. nirajshah7

    nirajshah7 Reformed Router Member

    Guys.. can anyone help me revert back from tomato to stock on E4200 V1?
  9. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    @Marcel... I thought I'd add something of general interest. This applies to 2.4GHz (I don't have any 5GHz stuff to test that is capable of running Tomato).

    Over the years, people have always said that DD-WRT gives a stronger signal than Tomato, and tests I did before confirmed that. However, I had noticed when using DD-WRT on a WRT54GL to test, that the signal wasn't stable. It would keep disappearing and reappearing at intervals (I published a screenshot of that).

    Several months ago, following some correspondence with Klaus in Germany who said that using DD-WRT for all of his AP's resulting in huge signal strength and speed benefits for his clients, I decided to do an experiment to lay this to rest. I flashed DD-WRT on all 28 access points here with transmit power set to 150, and waited to see if there were any comments.

    Indeed there were, after a few hours there were dozens of complaints about slow internet, disconnections, poor throughput. I had been hoping for dramatic improvements after Klaus's comments, but I quickly returned things to normal by reinstating Tomato.
  10. Victek

    Victek Network Guru Member

    And I add ... as usual RF-Power (RSSI or RCPI in 802.11) is the equivalent of a mathematics formula; the voltage applied to the RF amplifier x the signal applied to the input of the amplifier measured at the preamble stage of the radio circuitry in the receiving unit.

    The signal at the entrance is limited by software depending of the driver and country legislation for Radio frequencies and ERP allowed. If you force the signal level at the entrance of the radio amplifier you will saturate the output and will deliver a distorted RSSI/RCPI signal. Since dd-wrt and tomato are using 'black box' proprietary drivers you can't expect major differences in Quality at the same RSSI/RCPI level.

    But 'Power' doesn't mean 'Quality' of the signal and here you find the differences when you force values over the saturation point of the RF signal, then a diversity of behavior may happen, high power but low transfer speeds, disconnections, signal level variations... and to make the situation more confuse depending of the connected client using diverse hardware and drivers you found better-worst experience.

    Only the addition of well coupled external antennas can contribute to increase the final RSSI signal represented by the EIRP value and improve the coverage ... if the client (your PC or Smartphone) is able also to increase the power signal level to maintain an outbound decent speed rate, it's a two players game ;) and till now it seems that all complaints are focused to the router as the 'mad of the movie' .. not true.
  11. Elfew

    Elfew Addicted to LI Member

    So new better antennas should help? Replace stock ones on rt-16n by 3 new 5dbi antennas from tplink?

    I had 2 of them at home (from another device from tplink), I need one more and I can test it and provide results...
  12. Marcel Tunks

    Marcel Tunks Networkin' Nut Member

    Thanks Toastman and Victek, you are sensible and helpful as always. My usual policy is to not believe anything anyone says, but in your cases I make an exception!

    Sorry for the dd-WRTism (30-30-30) on the first page - I've learned a lot since then.

    As for the antenna issue, my understanding is that bigger or specially shaped antennas provide different patterns of radiation (stronger signal in some directions, weaker in others) but do not increase transmission power. Reception of both signal and noise can also increase with different antenna designs along with being more directional.
  13. Victek

    Victek Network Guru Member

    Just replace the two corner antennas, the center antenna is 90ยบ phase signal shift versus the two corner antennas streams and don't help too much. In reality RT-N16U is a 'main two streams with one artificial third stream (coupled by capacitor and coil for a phase shift) without control', solution used by many manufacturers ....

    The antenna gain contributes to increase the EIRP signal, then.. the coverage and consequently the RF Power, independently of the antenna type or shape.
    Elfew and Marcel Tunks like this.
  14. Elfew

    Elfew Addicted to LI Member

    OK, I will test it this week. But I think the results will be almost same...

    And what about MIMO technology?
  15. Victek

    Victek Network Guru Member

    MIMO and Beamforming are adaptative technologies that implies a capable client hard-soft able to dialog and answer the embedded information for correction, so, as I said.. is a couple of two parties...

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