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WRT54G WDS and antenna's

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Wireless Routers' started by kameleon, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. kameleon

    kameleon LI Guru Member

    Ok, I have already succesfully loaded my WRT54G v5 with the dd-wrt firmware. I have my v2.2 running hyperwrt also. Both of them are configured for WDS and my neighbor is connected to my wireless network. Here is my situation:

    I have a 2 story house. I have just the stock antenna's on both my WRT54G routers. The main one (v2.2) is upstairs in my office, while the secondary one is downstairs on my entertainment center for my ps2 to connect (wired to the v5 router). I need to find a way to increase signal strength to the neighbor. Right now they get approx. 40-50% signal running 802.11g. Not bad but I know I can get better. Are the 7db gain antenna's worth it? And can I just put one on each router or does both have to go on one router? I was also looking at purchasing another WRT54G and placing it in their house with a super "cantenna" on both their side and mine. Would I need 2 antenna's per router or just 1 suffice?

    And lastly, I could put a router in my attic (highest point of the house). But I would worry about the heat and cold. What would be the best way to do that? Leave the router in the house and just run cable to the antenna's?

    Also I have searched but have conflicting stories on the type of antenna connector on the WRT54G. What is that thing? r-tnc?

    Thanks in advance for the help.
  2. HennieM

    HennieM Network Guru Member

    Some answers (in no particular order):

    The WRT routers have an RP-TNC female connector, while the antennas have an RP-TNC male connector. The TNC is the type of connector, while RP means reverse polarity. Some people refer to it as just R-TNC. Because it's RP, your male connector has a little hole in the middle, while the female has a little pin.

    Is your neighbor connecting to your system with a PC-Card or other adapter with a built-in antenna? If so, you may find that (i) getting an external antenna for the card if possible, or (ii) getting him a WRT with stock antennas, or, (iii) if it's really YOUR signal that's weak, increasing your Tx power on both or one of your WRTs, may solve the problem. Remember though, that it's a 2-way street - signal must travel in both directions (WRT to card, and card to WRT).

    As for your 2 WDS linked WRTs: You can replace ONE antenna on each of them if necessary, but be sure to keep the antennas set to auto. The firmware will then sort out when to use which antenna. Also, if the signal between your 2 WRTs is fine, try and find out which one is stronger to your neighbor (Netstumbler), and just replace one antenna on that WRT.

    Cold is good, heat is not, nor is humidity. Long antenna cables looses a lot of gain.
  3. cvmiller

    cvmiller LI Guru Member


    I don't think the +7db antennas are worth it. I made an antenna out of a juice can which has +12db <http://www.makikiweb.com/wireless/cantenna/>

    If you don't want to mess around with soldering and R-TNC connectors, you can try a reflector for the stock linksys antenna <http://www.freeantennas.com/projects/template2/index.html> which works pretty well.

    I hope this helps,

  4. kameleon

    kameleon LI Guru Member

    thanks for the input guys. Yes I know it is a 2 way street. The card I have over there right now is a linksys pcmcia in a pcmcia-pci adapter. I am about to order them a normal pci 802.11g card that I can add an external antenna to. That should help some. I was mostly just wondering about the cantenna stuff. Undoubtedly it does work. :)

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