Multiple WRT54GL units

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Wireless Routers' started by ernst.conradie, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. ernst.conradie

    ernst.conradie LI Guru Member

    Hi Toxic,

    I bought three units marked as ver 1.1.
    I love your tutorial and will try to get them going together.
    I use one unit at home with PCI cards in the PCs and my notebook.
    I will now try to get the two rooters to talk to each other and then add the third one afterwords.
    I have a big warehouse that I want to cover in Cape Town South Africa and think that this is the cost effective way to do it.
    I have seen that you need to change the firmware to do this.
    What software is available that is easy to setup?:confused:

    I am a bit of an idiot with WIFI and am learning everyday!!!!!:)
    Old idiots do learn, it just takes longer!!!!!!:biggrin:

    Thanks for a great tutorial.

  2. ifican

    ifican Network Guru Member

    ahhhh give yourself a little more credit than that, Thibors firmware looks alot like the linksys firmware you have now, so you will be very comfortable moving around. Tomato is also very good but is different though user friendly as well. DD-wrt is not for the feint of heart.
  3. Toxic

    Toxic Administrator Staff Member

    yep i would go with that recomendation. Thibor, tomato, then ddwrt depending on knowledge and ease of use.
  4. ernst.conradie

    ernst.conradie LI Guru Member

    Thank you very much for the info and all your help Toxic.
    I will be starting today and will post the progress.
    Ifican you dont know me yet, I open boxes install equipment, throw the paperwork in the bin and then try and make it work. Real "amateur"!!!!!
    I must say that I have learnt more this way than following the books and not trying other methods.
  5. HennieM

    HennieM Network Guru Member

    Ernst, I don't buy this "idiot" bit; for starters, you bought WRT54GLs - the idiot would never have checked the web and gotten V8 WRT54Gs or something.

    What tutorial are you referring to? Toxic has now posted over 5000 posts here...
  6. ernst.conradie

    ernst.conradie LI Guru Member

    Hi HennieM,
    Firstly, Nice to see another SA on the forum.
    Secondly Yes I have got knowledge of the units via somebody from Nokia and the guys doing wireless networks in Bellville CPT. This is where I saw the units the first time and got interested.
    I searched the net and have been reading the messages on the sites for the last two months to build up my knowledge and confidence to join this site.
    It is not my fault that PCMall only have the V1.1 units available. I am now very happy that they do and that they still have some stock available.
  7. ifican

    ifican Network Guru Member

    I can take this one step further, i usually by used equipment with no instructions that i have no idea how to work and have no idea if it works correctly, then i try to make it work like i think it should. Now who do you think needs medication? :biggrin:
  8. ernst.conradie

    ernst.conradie LI Guru Member

    Hi Ifican,

    Yes that sounds right to me as well. It is the best way to learn and I never forget if I struggle it through.

    I think I found somebody on this site that thinks like me!!!!!!!!!
  9. ernst.conradie

    ernst.conradie LI Guru Member

    I did not get a chance to start setting up anything yet as I moved offices yesterday and today.
    I will be finishing tomorrow and then start testing and PLAYING until I get it up and going.
    They did not install our telephone lines yet and that is a bummer!!!!

    HennieM I am straight forward and if you do not like the following comment please say so and we can discuss it.

    I do not like the tone of your message as it makes out that I am a liar!!
    The tutorial that I refer to is regarding the full set of tutorials that is available on this site and written by TOXIC.

    He was GOOD enough to help me get on this site after sending a message.
    I do not need to explain this any more just to say that I did not know how to start a thread
  10. ernst.conradie

    ernst.conradie LI Guru Member

    HennieM - I see you are in South Africa????????

    Where in SA.
  11. HennieM

    HennieM Network Guru Member


    Never intended any disrespect. Quite the opposite: Toxic has posted so many messages on this site, many of which can be classified as a tutorial, that I was wondering - in trying to understand what you are trying to do - if it's a tutorial on WDS, on Wireless Tweaks, the Autopsy, the WRT54 V5,V6,V7 Warning, the DDWRT Wiki, etc., etc.

    You never mentioned in your post what you are trying to do. Is it WDS?

    I'm in Middelburg, MP.
  12. ernst.conradie

    ernst.conradie LI Guru Member

    Hi HennieM,

    No problem. Sorry for not being explicit in my message. I have worked through so many of the tuts that I can't point to a specific tut, but yes the one on WDS was very important to me.

    I have an exsisting network that I am moving from Goodwood to Paarl. I am moving my business and will be in a building 5 times the size. The cabling will cost a fortune to install, even if I do it myself. I have desided to go the wireless root and extend the coverage to ensure that we can use our notebooks and computers everywhere in the warehouse area and offices.

    I have the original switch - the firewall PC is connected to it. The printer/copier is also connected to the switch. I have one Desktop that runs tracking software for my trucks, that I will keep connected to the switch. The run is only 4meters.

    All the other machines will be running wireless.

    As I understand it, not one of the three rooters will be used to connect a modem. This is a waste but I did not know of any other models when I decided to go wireless.

    The first WRT54GL v1.1 unit will be connected to the switch and setup to distribute for the offices. The offices are all in a straight line approx. 15meters in total length. I will place the WRT54GL v1.1 in the middle to get the best signal strength. I don't know if I will need external antennas yet and will check tomorrow.

    The second unit will be placed approx. 35-40 yards away in a storage area. The signal should be good as the area in between is open. There is only one wall with windows and doors in it between the two WRT54GLs. In this area there will be one Desktop and a Notebook using the system at all times.

    The third unit will be placed approx. 40-45 yards away from the first unit at an angle of about 45deg from unit two. I am not sure if this unit will work through the second unit to the first or direct to the first????????? I will have two PCs connecting to this unit at all times.

    The three areas should cover the whole warehouse and allow people to work anywhere on the premises with their Notebooks. All PCs use dynamic IP adds. The IE and email are being distributed via the switch. As I understand, it should go via the wireless without any problems.

    This is what I want to do and hopefully it will work fine!!!!!

    I am still checking if there isn't any other models available that will do this without having to waste the WRT54GLs!!!!!!!


  13. HennieM

    HennieM Network Guru Member

    Thanks, much clearer now.

    A WRT54GL is never wasted - Think of it this way: It is the cheapest AP you'll find in South Africa (to the best of my knowledge). It just has, in addition to being an AP/Client/WDS, routing capabilities plus a 4/5 port switch that other APs do not have.

    Your setup may work with the central GL router only. This GL can replace your current switch, do the routing to the internet, AND do the wireless stuff.

    If you go the way you intend, with 3 WRT54GLs, a semi-redundant solution would be to enable WDS on all 3, thus make all 3 talk to one another, but DO enable Spanning Tree Protocol (SPT) on all 3. This way your 2 remote APs will connect via the strongest signal to the central AP.
    The downside is that WDS will have a 1/2 x performance penalty for every WDS-AP it traverses, and all clients effectively share the same bandwidth. If speed is important, rather look at running only the central AP with a strongish antenna if needed. (Check out Don't expect wired speeds from the wireless system in either case though, as it will never get close to a wired 100Mbit connection.

    Further, if you place your APs so that they can "see" one another via a window or a non-metal wall, you should have excellent signal strength over 50m with standard antennas. If your warehouse has metal sides/roof it should make for an even better signal (as long as your wireless clients stay inside).
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