Got some routers in, working GREAT, a few comments and ?s

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Wireless Routers' started by CookeSkyVista, Oct 22, 2005.

  1. CookeSkyVista

    CookeSkyVista Network Guru Member

    First let me say the info on this site is great. It seems to me that the Linksys routers have one of the srongest followings out there. The WRT54G with all its firmware options seems like a great choice.

    Here are my concerns/questions.

    With regard to updating the firmware on the routers are most of the updates strictly for the WRT54G or do they also work on the S,X,and X2? I realize the X and X2 are using MIMO technology so perhaps not.

    My next question involves the use of external antennas. I tried calling Linksys tech support with the question and they couldnt answer a thing. I have a hawkingtech router right now which I can unscrew the antenna on and run a cable outside and to an external, directional 14db gain antenna. It does the bridge job I need. Can you disconnect the antennas on any of these Linksys routers and add an external antenna and what is the connection?

    The main reason I want to switch routers is that I am not very happy with the performance or options on the Hawking router. Id like a few more firmware options like;

    the ability to control lease time
    control over allowed bandwidth per connection.
    Id also like to control power output
    Logs of who has connected and the bandwidth they have used, what they have done, etc.

    Im setting up a system in myotel. I dont want people getting on and transferring gb's worth of data. I will be using a higher end satellite connection.

    One good thing I will say about Hawking is their tech support. When Ive called Ive gotten someone who knew anything you could ask on the subject.

    I will attach a general idea of what I have in mind as a diagram. Its not set in stone and if anyone cares to comment on how I might improve it let me know. A few more changes I have in mind are maybe a few less routers and use some of the Belkin PreN or Linksys SRX routers for better penetration and distance. Also I may or may not go with that A bridge. My problem is a close by neighbor using a 19db Omni antenna high on his roof with a 1 watt amplifier. His signal on Channel 6 will cause interference with my bridge or any other AP I was to put on 6.
  2. CookeSkyVista

    CookeSkyVista Network Guru Member

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  3. vincentfox

    vincentfox Network Guru Member

    Stick with WRT54GS units. The antenna on SRX/MIMO/whatever routers are not changeable. Stay away from bleeding edge. You want better cover, think best AP placement and good antenna. Trickery to make up for poor choices in those things are too late.
  4. CookeSkyVista

    CookeSkyVista Network Guru Member

    Vincent thanks.

    That is kind of what I had in mind. What type of connection do the antennas make on the WRT54G/S models? The hawking reminds me of these in the sense that it does not rely on the new "trickery" for distance, instead you use good old fashioned antennas.

    Also Vincent does the WRT54GS model have the ability to run the firmware updates like DD-WRT or do they only run on WRT54G. This gets confusing :D
  5. CookeSkyVista

    CookeSkyVista Network Guru Member

    Ive read that with the DD-WRT firmware you can go up to 251mw in power (with cooling mods, 128 or so safely without) and you can choose to run just ONE antenna. What benefits would running just one antenna have. Does it focus all the power into one that way? Id like to do this option and run it outside to my directional.
  6. 4Access

    4Access Network Guru Member

    Actually the WRT54GX v2.0 do have removable antennas. (Just for clarity, note that the WRT54GX v2 is NOT the same thing as the WRT54GX2. BTW i'm not disagreeing with the recommendation given, just the antenna info. ;))
  7. 4Access

    4Access Network Guru Member

    Only one antenna is used at a time for TXing but by default you don't have control over which antenna is used. If you're using a hi-gain directional antenna for a long range link obviously you want all TX & RX to happen only on the directional antenna, right? ;)
  8. CookeSkyVista

    CookeSkyVista Network Guru Member


    So to get it straight, with the latest DD-WRT firmware, I can disconnect one antenna and attach an outdoor higain directional. I can also turn off the other stock stubby so the router ONLY uses the outdoor directional and itll put all its power through that one.

    Ok does the DD-WRT firmware work with GS or X v2.0 model routers or not? Im hoping it works with the GS at least.

    AND if the firmware does work with the GXv2.0 can I remove an antenna and connect ONE higain directional to it and receive the benefits of the extended range power that comes with SRX or does that not work because SRX "trickery" needs to use multiple antennas.

    Im thinking two GS models w/ higain directional antenna for bridge and then GXv2.0s as APs.
  9. 4Access

    4Access Network Guru Member


    DD-WRT does not work with the GX models. (In fact currently there is no custom firmware for the GX routers.)

    The latest stable version of DD-WRT ( supports the following models:
    CDF0 = WRT54G v1.0
    CDF1 = WRT54G v1.0
    CDF2 = WRT54G v1.1
    CDF3 = WRT54G v1.1
    CDF5 = WRT54G v2.0
    CDF7 = WRT54G v2.2
    CDF8 = WRT54G v3.0
    CDF9 = WRT54G v3.1

    CGN0 = WRT54GS v1.0
    CGN1 = WRT54GS v1.0
    CGN2 = WRT54GS v1.1
    CGN3 = WRT54GS v2.0
    CGN4 = WRT54GS v2.1

    v23beta additionally supports:
    CDFA = WRT54G v4.0

    CGN5 = WRT54GS v3.0
    CGN6 = WRT54GS v4.0

    Although note that v23 being a beta is still a bit buggy.

    CDFB = WRT54G v5.0 currently is not supported by any custom firmware and likely will not have much support since it no longer runs linux and has reduced flash & RAM space.

    Even if the firmware suppored the GX you would lose most of the SRX (MIMO) advantages if you used only one antenna.

    Sounds like a good plan to me. Remember to set your bridges on one channel and AP's on another.
  10. vincentfox

    vincentfox Network Guru Member

    The connector is a RP-TNC connector, very common. Next most common type is RP-SMA. Hawking Tech antenna typically ship with the RP-SMA connector but supply in same box the adapter for RP-TNC.

    Yes you can run DD-WRT on GS units.

    Best solution is set TX and RX to the directional, but leave the stubby attached. I usually leave it there to provide sort of a protective cap if you want to think of it like that. Dual-diversity mode is to solve indoor multipath reflection issues and is not really of much use in outdoor point-to-point links where you can see the other end. Stick with one antenna, set all TX and RX to the one.

    You can do jobs with a good directional you cannot do with SRX units. Cover long-distances through interference zones things like that. A directional set to horizontal polarization should be somewhat "blind" to the interference source of your loud neighbor AP. An omni pointed up is set for vertical polarization easy to see. Not always so obvious which way is vertical and which horizontal for dish or panel antenna. I like hyperlinktech a lot for buying antenna.

    What the devil is he doing with a 1-Watt amp? Does he have 1-Watt client units?
  11. CookeSkyVista

    CookeSkyVista Network Guru Member

    He got a Vsat setup and he is trying to broadcast it out from his business and sell time on it. He is trying to set it up so people in my rooms or other hotels or restaurants that see it will be able to pay with a credit card to get access online.

    I also have a Vsat setup coming that I want to distribute to my guests, for free.

    His setup is a 19dbi omni with 1watt amp running off of a WRT54G I believe.
  12. CookeSkyVista

    CookeSkyVista Network Guru Member

    I am going to purchase the equipment ASAP. One more question. Is there any way to tell what version of routers I am buying if I buy them online, or am I pretty much out of luck and stuck with 5.0?[/quote]
  13. 4Access

    4Access Network Guru Member

    Buying online is usually tough. You have to get the seller to tell you the S/N and most retailers don't know.
  14. CookeSkyVista

    CookeSkyVista Network Guru Member

    Well the routers are slowly coming in. It seems that many of them were backordered. So far Ive got 2 WRT54GS routers and they are v2.0

    Ive also got a Hawking router and repeater which Ill probably use in some dark corner :).

    I also have one Belkin Pre-N router. I am very impressed with this router. I dont have Pre-N adapters but even with just using regular 802.11g adapters it has improved performance over standard routers. In the building south of the hwy on my diagram I have one WRT54GS acting as my main router. Its connected to the modem and hardwired to my MAC. The belkin sits next to it hardwired to it as well. The Belkin is on channel 1 while the Linksys is on channel 11. Also Ive removed one of the Linksys antennas and its connected to an external antenna on the outside of the building.

    Im waiting on more routers and my bulk cable to arrive to start setting up the network on that side.

    Anyway my point is that the Belkin Pre-n router covers that entire building and down into an apartment in the basement VERY well. It impressed me. Also the firmware on the Belkin is the smoothest and easiest out of the ones Ive seen so far. VERY easy to switch it into AP mode which is what Im using it for.

    Also on the WRT54GS it seems that I am only able to remove one of the antennas, the one on the right of the router. Is this correct? What good would an external antenna be with the stock firmware if the other little stubby was still operating? I realize I can switch it to DD-WRT

    edit: One more thing. With none of the routers did I even use the installation CD. I realize with the WRT54GS it probably eliminates the speedbooster or whatever but i have a Mac and it says only for Windows anyway. Also I hate all that extra software on my computers. So I just plug them in and go to the firmware in Safari and set them up. It seems to work just great this way. Did I waste time buying the GS models though or do they have some added hardware benefits?
  15. gaster

    gaster Network Guru Member

    GS v2.0 routers still had double the memory of the G so you got good hardware.

    Both antennas should come off. The outside black plastic piece on the antenna nearest the router itself might need to be pulled off more so you can get a better grip on the metal though. Then you should be able to unscrew it.

    The CD isn't needed for speedbooster, that's in hardware so you shouldn't be missing anything unless there is some free software or something on those CDs. I really don't know, I don't use them either.
  16. CookeSkyVista

    CookeSkyVista Network Guru Member

    got the antenna .. thanks... Now to load DD-WRT so I can turn off one antenna. Got to figure out that one.
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