Trying to use 3 wap54g AP's with wds or repeater modes

Discussion in 'Other Linksys Equipment' started by mesu55, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. mesu55

    mesu55 Network Guru Member

    Hi all,

    Need serious help.

    I have need to connect 3 points of a triangle to a single network. NOT Internet.

    Point A (main site) has server and AP and LOS to point B only. (500m)
    Point B has LOS to point C (500m)and Point A (500m)
    Point C has LOS to point B only (500m)

    I currently have wrt54gsver 2.1 and (wet11 V2 with latest firmware.)

    I will have to purchase additional hardware.

    My desire in a perfect world. Have all points connected wirelessly to the network AND allow all three to be AP as well.

    IE: Point c AP with wds to B Point B with AP and connect to A and C

    Point A with AP able to connect through B to C and to B and all AP connections on same network.

    Both points B and C have a notebook computer that needs to connect to the AP in their area. The Antenna is about 50 feet from the notebook computer LOS.

    I know I will need directional antennas for C and B and hope to use OMNI antenna on A.

    Am I right in thinking that wap54g will function as both AP and bridge via WDS point to point and site B point to multipoint?

    Any help greatly appreciated. I have searched for 2 weeks and my brain is now mush.

    ALSO only one antenna on each unit so I hope to tell each to use the single external antenna.


  2. 4Access

    4Access Network Guru Member

    I'd suggest more WRT's instead of WAP54G's. With custom firmware such as DD-WRT they are much more flexible at a similar cost. At the very least a single WAP won't work for location B since the WAP only supports one repeating partner, as can be seen in the users's guide on page 37 (printed page 43 of 70). (When the WAP is in bridge mode wireless clients can not connect to it.)

    Also you'll need to investigate how practical it is in your situation to have a single device support local clients and a long range link. Supporting local clients is much more problematic when you start adding directional antennas. (And be careful not to assume that if you get a WRT which has two antennas that you can use one directional antenna & one omnidirection anennna. You can but it may not work quite as well as you'd hope. Try searching for "antenna diversity" and maybe something like "directional + omni" here & at the forums.)
  3. mesu55

    mesu55 Network Guru Member

    Thanks 4Acess.

    I have been looking more into the wrt54gs routers as they do the AP and LAN side well. I was afraid they would NOT do the p to multi p needed at site B.

    I may need to use the wrt AND somehow add an AP to it there with seperate antenna.

    Only need one client to connect at each on site B and C but the buildings they are in keep moving and will dissapear in a storm. I hope to make the Antenna site permanent so the building can be removed or adjusted 20 to 50 feet as is usual for them. They are only 6 x 6 huts for shade.

    I think you have pointed me in a direction I can at least start testing.

    From what I understand reading the manuals and adding what you have shared.

    Point A needs AP and the wrt54g will work for that And a 90 deg directional Ant. should link to site B P to P as well. This area will allow AP within the angle which is fine.

    Site B would need AP and P to multi P so maybe 2 devices and 2 antennas.

    CAN I add an AP to the LAN side port of the WRT54g if I can seperate antennas from intefearance? That is IF the AP will not operate if the WRT is set to p to multi P bridge.

    Site C uses the WRT as AP and bridge to point B via perhaps dir antrenna.

    Thanks so much for your assistance.

    Storm coming so I will be away for a couple days. I will follow up perhaps Fri. night or Sat if possible.

  4. 4Access

    4Access Network Guru Member

    They do this well. You can configure up to 10 WDS repeating partners from the web GUI as can be seen here (second picture from the bottom.)

    Sounds like quite the interesting location...! (Military?)

    I'm not clear on whether you will have wireless clients at site A but if so then you'll just need to make sure that the directional antenna is strong enough to reach site B while still providing a broad enough coverage zone to support any local clients there might be. Overall this sounds OK though.

    The farther apart the devices are the better it will be but if you have to setup two rounters in one area for different purposes just configure them to use different channels (1 & 11 would be ideal) and you shouldn't have too much trouble with interference between them.
    The number of repeating partners is not a problem. The WRT can function as an AP (ie allow wireless client to connect to it) while also communicating with up to 10 WDS repeating partners. (As shown in the screenshot mentioned above.) The LAN ports are also available for use.

    I see a potential problem with using two devices as you describe at site B though. If one router has a directional antenna aimed at site A and the other router is setup to support the local clients, what about site C?

    Since site B is the hub of your network maybe a better solution would be to setup a single router there with a high-gain omni-directional antenna. The high-gain omni should be able to service the local clients while also pulling in the signals from site A & C which would have high gain directional antennas aimed at B.


    Man I'd love to know where you are that you have to run for cover and lose access to the internet every time a storm comes!! 8O :grin:

    Good luck. :)
  5. mesu55

    mesu55 Network Guru Member

    Thanks 4access,

    After a few weeks of searching I believe I now have enough confidence to purchase the hardware that will do the job.

    This is a Antique Engine club with 2000 members worldwide. Average member Age starts at 65 and most are at least 70 years old. They own 240 acres in the South West Florida Seabring and Ft Meade area.

    This is where all three huricanes Charlie, Francis, and Jeanne decided to have their eyes park while they decided which way to go from there. We are 15 miles from closest town surrounded by orange trees and swamp. No DSL or cable possible for years to come. Cell phones seldom even connect out there.

    The storm I spoke of was Katrina as if it had entered Florida on a more direct approach the park would have gotten quite a breeze. Since I live 100 miles North I had to go there and make sure things were battened down. I trusted the weather during Charlie and paid heavily thanks in part to one of the tornadoes.

    The booths are portable at points B and C and are in place only from November to Feb. of each year.

    Because the people are of an elderly age, and because we have needed emergency ambulance in the past, and because with as many as 18,000 people there at one time it took way too long to pinpoint where the assistance was needed. SO, now they have agreed that perhaps a campground type software could map where people were camped and help could be directed faster.

    I am the only person stupi, , tech savy enough to even attempt to set up the network, software, and computers they will need by this November.

    These people hate computers. It took me 5 years to get permission to use a phone line to connect dialup for e-mail. Just got approved last week !
    I am computer savy, but as the neat stuff is coming out the past few years I am getting too close to the average members age and I guess CPM, MSDOS, and BASIC is not as useful as it once was. : ))

    Takes me a lot longer to see the picture in my mind of what I am reading and researching.

    Should you decide to check out their website, it is:

    Now, back on subject.

    Network only needs stable throughput of about 2 meg to serve our needs.

    Point C bottom left of triangle.

    WRT54G ver 2 unit.
    MAY just hardwire use an AP as client to unit on pole where unit is and use client setting for now. Will experiiment with directional ant. and allow AP on second stock antenna in future since only 1 or 2 users within 75 feet of unit who only watch the campsite data when they need to see it.

    PointB bottom Right of Triangle.
    WRT54G ver 2 unit.
    Use as AP and P to Multipoint
    90 deg dir antenna should cover points to A and C and the booth about 30 feet away. Angle from B to C and A is about 65 deg.

    Point A main site top of triangle.
    WRT54G with Omni 12 db antenna. This should allow site B to connect and cover the area with AP within a couple hundred feet. Including the campsite where I stay at so I can connect to assist in case of problems. I need this as it sometimes takes over 30 minutes to golfcart to either point B or C from point A if the park is busy.

    I will now look into the firmware stock verses "Alchemy-pre5.2.2 v2.09.1.8sv" and DD-WRT mentioned on the link you provided. The stock DOES NOT look like it will give me the options discussed here.

    Again thanks for your help,

  6. 4Access

    4Access Network Guru Member

    If you decide to go the Alchemy route I'd suggest using the final stable version of Alchemy instead of a beta version. link (Unless of course there's a bug in the final version that I don't know about)
  7. mesu55

    mesu55 Network Guru Member



    I loaded DDwrt22R2 on all three units. WRT54G V2.0, V2.2, and a V3.0 and all went perfectly.

    I did figure out to use the MAC shown in the STATUS window and NOT the one shown on the box for my WDS settings. Once I did that I now have:

    #1 gateway as an AP and lan wired to server, and lazy WDS enabled for #2 to connect.
    I will change LAZY to disabled now that I know what to do there.

    #2 wireless works as an AP and WDS to #1 and #3.
    #3 wireless works as an AP and WDS to #2.

    I tested with a notebook close to each unit and sent files back and forth to the server and vise versa. All SEEMS well.

    Thanks for the help.

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