1 mW transmit power is enough?

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by chadrew, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. chadrew

    chadrew LI Guru Member

    I've never used wireless up till now despite happily using my WRT54GL for years... But now I'm having a guest over who has a laptop so I fired up the wireless. Anyway my question was about the transmit power setting. I've heard more than once about people having to increase it to get a good signal, etc. However I set it to 1 mW just for the heck of it and it works! It's a fairly small apartment and my room with the router in it is in the middle. Still, it seems to work fine behind 1 wall in another room. Is that normal? Can I be sure the transmit power setting is actually accurate and it's not the router setting it to higher automatically? I'm totally weirded out that it would work at 1 mW.

    Here's a screenshot of my settings:


    Edit: I've tried at 1 mW, 18 mW and 42 mW and looked at the RSSI in the device list - it's always the same at around -50 dBm. Do I maybe need to reconnect with the laptop for it to update or is it normal that it would show same thing despite changing the transmit power?
  2. forkicks

    forkicks Addicted to LI Member

    I would love to know if that is accurate or not. i have reduced mine alot (have it at 13), and i wonder if that reflects the actual power output, or the driver just maps it to a default value. Although i see -some- difference on the furthest away rooms, it doesn't really follow the square fall-off of the transmit power.
  3. chadrew

    chadrew LI Guru Member

    Well, I did a nvram dump and looked over the settings. There's wl0_txpwr and wl_txpwr which change according to what I enter in Tomato settings. But there's also txpwr which seems to be constantly set at 42. I tried setting all of them to 1 but there doesn't seem to be much of an effect. I can still connect anywhere in the flat even though it shouldn't be possible with a 1 mW signal.

    I used wl curpower via telnet and here are the readings:

    What's "Last A phy est. power" and why is it so high?
  4. premudriy

    premudriy LI Guru Member

    Chadrew, did you run "wl curpower" on wrt54gl? I have wrt54gl and "wl curpower" says "unsupported".
  5. chadrew

    chadrew LI Guru Member

    Yeah, WRT54GL with Tomato 1.27. It's weird that it would say unsupported.

    Anyway, regarding lowering the signal - it seems it doesn't want to go below ~10 dBm or so (if wl curpower info is correct) so setting it below 10 mW will probably have no effect.
  6. landa

    landa LI Guru Member

    On Victek RAF ND mod (1.25 & 1.28), wl curpower is not supported.
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