Tomato--Signal Strength Low--Any Ideas?

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by ewiz06, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. ewiz06

    ewiz06 Networkin' Nut Member

    I have a Linksys E2000 router and I just converted from DD-WRT on Saturday. I have found that when testing the wireless signal on my PS3 that the signal strength is definitely not as strong as it was when I had DD-WRT firmware. With the DD-WRT my signal strength always ranged between 72-80%. With Tomato, my signal strength ranges from 47-60% (sometimes 65%). I have adjusted the TX power from the default 42 to 90, but have not seen a significant difference.

    Does anyone have any idea how I can increase my signal strength, i.e. settings to change. I'm really not sure of the optimal Tomato settings since I am brand new to this firmware.

  2. rs232

    rs232 Network Guru Member

    May be not totally relevant (may be!) but have you specified to erase the the NVRAM after the tomato installation?
  3. ewiz06

    ewiz06 Networkin' Nut Member

    Yes--I did a 30/30/30 reset, as well as logging into the Tomato interface and erasing the NVRAM after the Tomato install.

    I would like to increase my signal strength in order to avoid disconnects. I checked again this morning and my readings again ranged from 47 to 60%.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  4. FattysGoneWild

    FattysGoneWild LI Guru Member

  5. Jones69

    Jones69 Networkin' Nut Member

    Yes, it is still the same for the E2000. I am running V1.28.9001 from Voctec and, no matter what settings I change, the signal stays always the same, which is surprisingly low. Especially for such a strong router as the E1000/2000/3000. Even my old Speedport router has a better signal strength.
  6. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    Linksys E3000 Transmit power versus RSSI

    I just did some tests on the Linksys E3000 following many reports from people in the forums that changing power doesn't do anything. There are many reports that the E3000 is very poor in signal strength. This puzzled me and still does, you'll see why ….

    I tested modes G, and N on 2.4GHz. Country set to Singapore, channel 9, Lower sideband, 40MHz. Firmware was Toastman 1.28.7475.2 MIPSR2 USB Ext build. Wireless Driver 5.10.147.

    Here is the graph of the results:


    As you can see, the power control produced the usual 12 dB or so variation. The maximum output power was reached at a setting of 60. This remained the same on all modes and on all channels. It is absolutely identical with that of the RT-N16.

    I was going to list the settings I used, but there's no point because none of those setting stopped the power being adjustable.

    The Japan setting limited the power output on all channels to a level approximately 3dB below maximum power.

    One interesting observation - the E3000 consistently gives far better 2.4GHz readings on the Wireless Survey than my other routers, a very large difference in fact - often 20 dB or more. This would imply the receiver is far more sensitive than the other routers, but in fact it quite obviously isn't. It's about the same. There's just something weird with the RSSI indicator.

    My recommendations, after trying all countries over a long period of time, is that the Singapore settings are the most useful - they allow channels 1 to 13 and also maximum power on all of those channels.

    At the time of this test, I continually downloaded a HD video. The throughput did not change significantly at any setting.

    How did this perform in practice? I walked around my apartment block with a laptop using InSSider. The E3000 gave approximately the same readings as a WRT54GL and an ASUS RT-N16 sitting on the same table in my apartment, all three routers are broadly similar in strength. I could connect at 54Mbps on all three 20m away through three steel rebar reinforced concrete walls. I could still connect to the E3000 and surf the web 60m away, inside another concrete building. Outside in the car park I could walk about 80m away without losing connection.

    I can't test 5GHz - no client radio.
  7. Jacques

    Jacques LI Guru Member

    Tomato Firmware v1.28.7475 MIPSR2-Toastman-RT K26 USB VPN on E3000 as TX and second Tomato Firmware v1.28.7475 MIPSR2-Toastman-RT K26 USB VPN on E3000 as RX with WiFi 2.4 and 5 gHz tx switch off.
    Wireless Site Survey result for 2.4gHz
    Tx power....RSSI.......noise
    2 mW.........63dBm....92dBm
    6 mW.........61dBm....92dBm
    24 mW.......54dBm....92dBm
    100 mW......53dBm....92dBm
    400 mW......53dBm....92dBm
    Wireless Site Survey result for 5gHz
    Tx power....RSSI.......noise
    2 mW.........71dBm....92dBm
    6 mW.........74dBm....92dBm
    24 mW.......67dBm....92dBm
    100 mW......67dBm....92dBm
    400 mW......67dBm....92dBm
    Test make inside my house tx on first floor
    rx on the ground floor distance in a straight line 10 meters.
    distance was small that is reason has not reached the 73 dbm on 2.4gHz like Toastman.
  8. TexasFlood

    TexasFlood Network Guru Member

    Jacques, just curious, what is your country setting?
  9. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    The 2.4GHz results look pretty much the same as mine bearing in mind we used different receive clients, approximately 10dB change, and the power has reached it's maximum at well below the 100 setting.

    His distance to the client was 30 feet, that's an operating radius of 60 feet at very good signal strength.

    The 5GHz settings imply the limit is reached at 24 or below, only 4dB change. Actually, I haven't looked at the P.A. chip specifications or the 5GHz country restrictions for these routers, maybe that's all they are capable of. Must take a look later to see if I can find anything resembling a data sheet!
  10. Jacques

    Jacques LI Guru Member

    Country / Region = EU
  11. jsmiddleton4

    jsmiddleton4 Network Guru Member

    I have 2 E3000's in WDS mode. Have my signal amplifier strength set at 100 for both 2.4 and 5 ghz on both routers. Am configured so that the two routers are talking to each other via 5 ghz channels. My signal strength between the two routers is -44dbm with a signal strength of 55.

    In other words, good strong signal.

    Set to US standard.
  12. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    Just to round off this post (and others) I wanted to add this.

    I've been testing my AP's and routers - in front of a complaining resident and the building's management - to prove to them once and for all that the majority of the people in these apartments who complain about failure to connect with wireless, dropped connections, usually have something wrong with their computers.

    I used 3 computers to demonstrate to them that I never suffer these problems. These were:

    1) my W7(64) i7 @4 GHz with 8GB RAM and Tenda "N" USB Wireless,
    2) my daughter's W7(32) E7400@4GHz with 4GB RAM and TP-Link USB Wireless,
    3) my wife's W7 DELL Latitude PP09S Notebook with 1.5GB RAM and Broadcom Wireless.

    All were set to ping the main router (W7 ping -t) once every second. All were connected via an AP using K24 Firmware v 1.28.7619 Wireless Driver with 150mW power setting (later tested with latest 7475.2 with identical results).

    I must also add that the whole system was online at the time with between 30 and 70 users connected at various times, with around 9 Mbps of traffic including P2p. All of us also used the PC's to surf the web and download via P2P at the same time, causing longer ping response times on occasions.

    All computers connected around midday. The complaining resident's PC's tried to refresh lease regularly, between every 5 and 10 minutes and out to half an hour, at which point many of them disconnected. None of mine did that.

    I used Ping Assist Light to give a warning of lost connections after 2 missed pings. The complaining client's computers fired the alarm regularly. None of mine triggered it even once, there never were two consecutive dropped packets.

    At 6 p.m I terminated the W7 ping sessions and obtained the packet loss figures. There were a few odd dropped packets but the statistics rounded these off to 0 %.

    Example (Tenda USB adapter, E3000, connected at 150Mbps)


    After the residents had gone away with food for thought, and the owners of the building suitably happy with the outcome, I repeated the test on the E3000 (running 7475.2). I did this for my own interest because of the large numbers of forum posts complaining about flaky wireless with this router. I ran ping sessions for 6 hours with the same results, NO wireless drops, NO disconnects, and the same "0%" packet loss.

    As once pointed out by Teddy Bear, for some reason we don't seem to see the connection problems reported by many users of Tomato.
  13. Jacques

    Jacques LI Guru Member

    This is my experience of losing the wifi.
    When i tested with different powers on wifi
    every time when i changed the tx power 400 to 100 to 25mW, etc,
    i rebooted the tomato by button reboot.
    After some time wifi disappeared several times then i decided to reboot by power switch on / off , and since then the wifi is working well.
    I do not know what is doing on in the tomato when we doing reboot by soft or by the power on/off.
    I wonder why after power reboot wifi worked without any problems as usual.

    I think I discovered why i lost the wifi...
    When I go to the Wireless Survey wifi stops working for my users is the proper behavior of my E3000 ?
  14. eviltone

    eviltone Network Guru Member

    using the wireless survey will possibly kick off the wireless client -- i remember there being a disclaimer at some point in time with that function....

    EDIT: if you look, in VERY SMALL FONT on the wireless survey it says : "Warning: Wireless connections to this router may be disrupted while using this tool."
  15. Jacques

    Jacques LI Guru Member

    Actually you're right.
    I have not noticed this information....
    Everything is clear now.
    Thank you.
  16. Rudi1

    Rudi1 Network Guru Member


    I have just the same situation with my Linksys wrt160n and I am use the Toastman tomato-K26USB-12874751MIPSR2 lite firmware.When I am change firmware from dd-wrt to Tomato with the same adapter the signal is just the same like in quote post.
    Tomato is great firmware and big Thanx to all developer for great work but I am just curious why the signal is more weaker vs dd-wrt :)
  17. valerima

    valerima LI Guru Member


    It is interesting how did you compare?
    From forum out of there

    For routers without dd-wrt:
    1 - Flash with appropriate trailed build (from wiki instructions)
    2 - Flash with appropriate mini-eXXXX build
    3 - Flash with your choice of -nv60k builds

    1) dd-wrt.v24-16758_NEWD-2_K2.6_mini-e3000.bin
    2) dd-wrt.v24-16758_NEWD-2_K2.6_mega-nv60k.bin

    Then do we put on

    3)dd-wrt.v24-16758_NEWD-2_K2.6_mega-e2k-e3k.bin (this is from BrainSlayer).(?).
    I did not use dd-wrt for several months, so cannot tell....

    From another post main thread on e3000

    Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:12 pm
    currently I am running E3000 on DD-WRT v24-sp2 (07/28/10) std-usb-ftp - build 14853M NEWD-2 K2.6 Eko and I am experiencing with stability of wi-fi connection (sometimes it's not possible to connect to the AP and I need to "Apply settings" at any Wireless settings so the wi-fi is back up).

    from same page similar date:

    The speeds were fantastic when I first installed the router. Even the internal webpage I use on touchscreens to control my home was much faster at loading (on LAN and WAN both). Then at some point, my speeds slowed down with in a week (became unuseable for browsing the net) and I had to perform a restart on the router to fix the issue. Per other sites with 100's of users having the same issue, I disabled UPnP (unacceptable to have to do this) and changed the MTU on the router to fix the issue. We'll see if the issue comes back, but I really need UPnP so I'm either going to return the E3000 or use DDWRT on it.

    I can't live with restarting my router as I need my home automation system (entirely networked based) to be available 24/7. Has DDWRT fixed the E3000 slowdown issue for others on here? Can I leave my router on for months and not touch it if I use DDWRT? What's the longest you've ran DDWRT on the E3000 and what is the most stable version? Any dropped connections when using the DDWRT? Should I just return the E3000?
  18. Patrick Collins

    Patrick Collins Reformed Router Member

    Resurrecting a 2+ year old thread, woohoo!

    With Tomato loaded (several versions tried), the E2000 has weak 2.4 GHz transmit power in N mode (didn't try 5GHz or G/B mode). Setting the web-GUI transmit power to more than 13mW has absolutely no effect and I think I know why. The latest Tomato RAF version supports a telnet "wl curpower" command, which dumps the current tx power table for the different modulation rates. All of the MCS (N) rates report 11dbm (12.6mW) regardless of web-GUI power setting. "wl curpower" on a Tomato RAF E3000 reports 14.5 dbm (28mw) for all MCS rates. These numbers are in line with a test where I compared the E2000 and E3000 transmit power with a Ubiquiti Rocket-M2 (E2000, E3000, and Rocket had external 2dbi 2.4GHz antennas).

    Switching from Tomato to DD-WRT did increase the E2000 transmit power level, but, LAN<->WIFI throughput was reduced (at ANY tx power level) and LAN<->WAN throughput was reduced (with all QOS options disabled).

    For my modest home, the E2000 at 12.6mW with Tomato and external antennas covers the whole house with good throughput. LAN->WIFI=80+Mbps, WIFI->LAN=60+Mbps at 50 feet through two walls and a floor.

    I'll stick with Tomato and a give a big thank you to the developers.
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