How we got an Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro to work with Tomato

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by ceomrman, May 18, 2010.

  1. ceomrman

    ceomrman Guest

    Hey guys, sorry if this has been covered. I wanted to post it somewhere because we were pulling our hair out trying to figure out how to get the house's Apple notebooks to connect to my newly tomato v1.27 equipped WRT54GL v1.1.

    Rest assured, its easy and our two Apples worked right out of the box with tomato v1.27 on a linksys wrt54gl revision 1.1. I just didn't know that and I pre-tweaked several settings on Tomato, thus making it incompatible with the Macs.

    The problem: After updating the firmware of a stock WRT54gl and tweaking the settings according to some forum posting I found, my Vista x64 system with an RTL8187 usb wan card connected perfectly using WPA2 Personal and AES encryption. Two other XP machines connected, too, but both the house's Apple notebooks didn't work. They just said "connection timeout" no matter what I changed. I changed the channel, dropped special characters from the password, tried other security settings, and I even changed the fragmentation settings and ID signal delays and all that stuff. Nothing worked. Both Apples worked when plugged into the ethernet port of the WRT54gl directly. The Macbook was running OS-X 10.5.8 and the MacBook Pro had 10.6.
    We of course did the standard reset of the cable modem and router and computers. Thinking it might be a dumb apple-specific issue, I called both AppleCare and my ISP. They were unsurprisingly clueless - beyond suggesting I reboot everything, they had nothing.

    The forums were filled with BS about interference and channels and plugging the notebook into the router and then resetting, and how Macs can't use WPA2, etc.
    Nothing like that made any sense because there was no trouble with the PC's or with the Macs before the flash to Tomato. It would just be dumb for Apple not to support WPA2.

    This is what fixed it: I had changed the "No ACK" setting in the Advanced>Wireless settings from the default "Disabled" to "Enabled" when I copied someone's recommended settings. I didn't think to reset them because everything worked so nicely for the PC's that I thought the custom settings couldn't have been the problem. Plus, I had painstakingly manually entered a long list of QoS rules and I REALLY didn't want to re-do that. When we finally sat down and reset the Tomato's advanced settings to the defaults, lo and behold, everything worked. Then we went down the list one by one, flipping features on and off to see what broke the Mac's ability to connect to the network.

    The Apples had no trouble with Afterburner, Long/Short preamble lengths, different transmission wattages, etc. WMM wasn't a problem. Long passwords were no problem (though it could have choked on the special characters I had in the password at first, but I doubt it). The only thing that broke it was the "No ACK" setting associated with WMM. Seeing as it was really not necessary in our setup, I left it disabled. Everything is great.

    So word to the wise - if you want macbooks running 10.5.8 or 10.6.x to work, leave ACK disabled!

    Thanks to everyone for participating in this useful forum!
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