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WRT54GX4 SRX400 - wireless network disappears

Discussion in 'Networking Issues' started by aspicer, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. aspicer

    aspicer Network Guru Member

    We seem to be having problems with several WRT54GX4's. We're installing 2 of them on a yacht with different network SSIDs and they are within about 20 - 30 feet of each other. They are on different channels (one on CH #1, one on CH#11).

    After some time between around 2 and 4 hours one SSID will disappear altogether. You refresh View all Wireless Networks in Windows XP on a laptop and you do not see the one that goes out at all. Bring the laptop right up to the access point and you do not see the SSID in the list even refreshing the list.

    I haven't tried just connecting to it without seeing the SSID because we pretty much rely on the SSID broadcast to find it.

    Unplugging the SRX400 that's having the problem and thus power cycle rebooting it, and it comes right back.

    Has anyone seen this happen with WRT54GX4 SRX400 routers? We're pretty much just using them for wireless and using the wired switch ports to connect to the wired connection and a PC which will use ICS to share an Internet connection.

    We need 2 seperate ones because there are 2 different Internet Connections shared by two seperate PCs. One is for general use and is inexpensive Internet (Verizon Broadband Wireless Card), and another is a much more expensive Satellite based Internet connection.

    Someone that I work with seems to think it has to do with the Verizon card in the PC that is wired network connected to the SRX400, as it seems like that is the more likely one to fail. But I can't see any relationship between that and the SSID to stop broadcasting (or the SRX400 to die altogether as far as wireless?).

    Alan Spicer
  2. HaloXgamer

    HaloXgamer Network Guru Member

    you need to upgrade your firmware to 1.00.13 which is stable or try 1.00.15
  3. HaloXgamer

    HaloXgamer Network Guru Member

    Its a router problem not a wireless card problem. Think about it the SSID disappears until you reset the router.
  4. aspicer

    aspicer Network Guru Member

    So you've seen this happen? And the firmware fixes it?
  5. aspicer

    aspicer Network Guru Member

    Yah, I have been thinking about it. And it gets even better. The wireless card is not even 802.11 it's CDMA 1xEVDO/1xRTT. But my brilliant side kick says it's a pattern ... that sharing that EVDO connection over the wireless is the only common thing when it occurs. (Although someone else on the boat says they had it happen with a Sony GSM/GPRS card as well being shared.)

    Yes I know that whatever is on the Internet side of Windows Internet Connection Sharing shouldn't have anything to do with the SRX400 stopping to transmit. Honestly I was leaning towards there being an Electrical Power problem on the boat that causes the SRX400's to fail. (But one's been on a UPS. So what I say that's not an "active" UPS it's one that only becomes an Inverter when the power fails... other than that you're still on the boats 110vAC power directly.) The boat crew seems to think they've got pretty clean AC power. But I'm not so sure about that.

    We haven't been having the problem on other boats and when we take the SRX400's off the boat they run for 24 hours without a problem.

    Would I be barking up the wrong tree, if I asked ... could anything like this be triggered by the Two access points being in such close proximity (less than 30 feet apart) ? They are on widely seperated channels ... 1 and 11. Even with the SRX400's taking another channel for the faster speed, these two channels and the ACE channels should be seperated just fine.

    * I wouldn't think "anything" would make them stop transmitting altogether... even firmware version.

    The only COMMON thing I see is this boat, since it doesn't happen off the boat. One crew member also mentioned Friday that they supposedly had problems before with "Linksys Routers" failing whereas the "Linksys Access Points" did not. To me that makes no sense either. We're just using the Switch Ports and the Wireless - that fact that it has an Internet/WAN port as well that we don't use shouldn't cause it to fail like this.
  6. aspicer

    aspicer Network Guru Member

    New SRX400 comes with Firmware Version: 1.00.13

    * A new SRX400 purchased today at Best Buy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida comes with Firmware Version: 1.00.13.
  7. jgutz20

    jgutz20 Network Guru Member

    maybe its not so much the router as it is the radio equipment on the yaht. Im assuming its a rather large yaht if you have 2 SRX 400's, do you notice the errors coinciding with turning on any particular piece of equipment on the yaht? (like radar or anything else?)
  8. jgutz20

    jgutz20 Network Guru Member

    if they are in fact running 24hrs when not on the yaht anyway!
  9. aspicer

    aspicer Network Guru Member

    Large, yes, a bit over 100 feet - full crew. The two SRX 400's are in the Wheel House or Bridge and are in close proximity to other marine electronics of all sorts. Most of it would be off since they are in the yard with extensive overhaul and painting going on. It could be other RF interference but wondering what would be bad enough to make and SRX stop transmitting altogether. I'm running one here now in a house with two other 802.11 G access points less than 3 feet from it. They don't seem to be able to kill it. I did see one DHCP anomoly where the other two AP networks were still letting me get DHCP from my Windows XP running ICS. A look at Ethereal and DHCP ACK replies from Windows didn't seem to be getting back over the SRX to the wireless client. Switching wireless networks to either of the other 2 AP's and DHCP was still working.

    But as far as SSID broadcast and associating with it, the SRX has been working. It got one power cycle reboot when the DHCP stopped passing over it at about 8 hours uptime.

    I wish I had a spectrum analyzer to test on the yacht. We've got over half a dozen yachts with these same units and noone reporting this type of problem.
  10. aspicer

    aspicer Network Guru Member

    A theory on the cause of the SRX 400 failures on yacht

    * I have a theory on the failures of SRX 400 when used in the possibly more electrically hostile yacht environment...

    Is there any difference between an Linksys AP's power adaptor and a Linksys AP/Router's power adaptor? Looking here both WRT54G and WRT54GX4 seem to specifically require 120vAC 60 Hz, whereas a Dlink Access Point allows a range of vAC input (100 - 120 vAC) and also a range of power line frequency (50 - 60 Hz or Cycles Per Second).

    I can't know for sure, but this might be the hidden clue as to why Linksys WAP's seem to work reliably on this yacht, but Linksys WRT's do not. The power supply flexibility of a range of voltage as well as frequency might be allowing them to survive fluctuations of one or both of these parameters on the yacht.

    When we test these WRT's off the yacht these fluctuations probably much less likely to occur. These possible fluctuations can even possibly be triggered by some APPLIANCE or EQUIPMENT "event" onboard the yacht. Say some motor or air conditioner or refrigeration device kicking on causing a change in AC Power onboard.

    (so ends theory...)

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