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Using Wireless Client Tomato as standalone client?

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by Planiwa, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Planiwa

    Planiwa LI Guru Member

    I manage a Tomato Wifi network remotely. It has mysterious intermittent wireless problems. I have full access to the router, but it is hard to diagnose or even detect wireless problems from the router.

    So I would like to deploy a small wifi-connected host at the site. For this I'd like to use an old WRT54GL.

    I imagine that I can set it up in Wireless Client Mode.
    And that I can reach through the router like any other Wifi client.

    I imagine that most people use a "Wireless Client" as a wifi adaptor, rather than as a host.

    [1] Has anyone done what I plan to do?
    [2] Are there any glitches to look out for?
    [2] Which distro has the best set of Unix admin tools?
    (I like the K26 Mini, but I keep discovering missing functionality -- awk, arping, ...)
  2. rs232

    rs232 Network Guru Member

    Before anything else I would first try to change wireless channel on the access point.
    To decide what channel to use run a wireless survey (under tools) and choose a channel as far as possible from the others.
  3. mvsgeek

    mvsgeek Addicted to LI Member

    Cue the "Twilight Zone" theme music...my situation is almost identical. I bought an old cheap Dell Optiplex gx280 on eBay, and have it wired to my main router. Statistics are written to this "headless" device every 10 minutes, which I can access via Remote Desktop. Doesn't quite fulfill your requirements for data collection, and it's Windows vs. Unix. But I'll bet I could make it work with Ubuntu, with which I have some experience. Not to mention MVS...
  4. Planiwa

    Planiwa LI Guru Member

    @MVS You'll be amused to know that many years ago I took great delight in making TSO look and act like Unix. :)

    I'm happy to report that I tried it in a test setting, and it works as expected. There was a snag at first when I was unable to ping the client from the access point. But I was able to arping it (!). Just goes to show how bad it was to config arping out of Busybox for k26 Mini. (Would have been much better to leave out strings, I can fit a strings script into a twitter message. But not arping.)

    So, my plan is to hide the old WRT in the kitchen cupboard, above the fridge. It will monitor conditions from the inside and help me detect and diagnose problems. I can't wait to deploy it . . .

    UPDATE . . .

    Have now flashed Tomato v1.28.7633 .3-Toastman-IPT-ND ND Std

    It has awk, arping, and 8.8 MB free space + 450kB of JFFS2. It will be able to do all the client-side testing that I was never able to do before from the router. It will even be able to host a client-view web page, to complement the router-view web page that is there already, and gives the users up-to-date uptimes, latency, traffic, noise levels, interference, signal strengths, data rates, and even DSL line errors.

    I can now add LAN-to-WAN speed tests, but most important, if there is very little traffic, I will no longer have to wonder whether it is because LAN hosts were unable to connect or to have usable data rates. I will be able to test with a friendly and smart client on the LAN.
  5. Planiwa

    Planiwa LI Guru Member

    There is a difference in WL:

    Tomato v1.28.7633 .3-Toastman-IPT-ND ND Std
    wl0: Apr 10 2008 11:52:33 version

    Tomato v1.28.7821 MIPSR1-Toastman-ND K26 Mini
    wl0: Mar 4 2010 00:00:47 version

    Tomato v1.28.7494 MIPSR2-Toastman-VLAN-RT K26 USB VPN-NOCAT
    wl0: Mar 4 2010 00:00:47 version

    Since the Client Host is supposed to be like any other client, it shouldn't matter what WL driver it runs.

    OTOH, since it needs to assess the WL condition, it does matter what capabilities it has. Tough choice.


    Tomato v1.28.7633 .3-Toastman-IPT-ND ND Std
    BusyBox v1.18.5 (2012-03-23 13:36:33 ICT) multi-call binary.

    Tomato v1.28.7821 MIPSR1-Toastman-ND K26 Mini
    BusyBox v1.18.4 (2011-06-04 01:59:32 ICT) multi-call binary.

    Tomato v1.28.7494 MIPSR2-Toastman-VLAN-RT K26 USB VPN-NOCAT
    BusyBox v1.18.5 (2012-01-17 00:17:48 ICT) multi-call binary.
  6. Planiwa

    Planiwa LI Guru Member

    Raspberry Pi is now available for $35. It could be used as a host, connected to an old WRT54GL in "client" mode, to be a fully functioning (non-schizoid) client. Raspberry PI has USB ports as well as Ether. Lots of possibilities.

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