trying to add a WRT54GS to eliminate deadspots

Discussion in 'Networking Issues' started by mervincm, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. mervincm

    mervincm Network Guru Member

    I have 2 routers that I want to use together to help increase wireless coverage in my home. With my main device alone, I have several places that the signal quility drops very low. I have a Dlink DGL4300 that I use as the Firewall / Router / Wireless access point. I have a Linksys WRT54GS ver 2.0 (latest factory firmware) and 2 after market antenna from hawking technology, one directional and the other omni-directional. I want to continue to use the dlink router as my firewall as it is an exceptional product, in quite a few ways superior to my linksys stuff.

    If at all possible, I do not want my Linksys WRT54GS to be doing any routing, as I do not want to have to think about routing tables or anything like that. I THINK I want it to act as a access point.

    Also running a cat 5 cable from the "main router ie DLINK" to the "access point ie WRT54GS" is already done, if it is helpful.

    My understanding of the solution is limited so if I am missing something obvious, please feel free to point it out to me :)

    I have read that WDS is a technology that might be what I am looking for. My dlink offers it, but it appears that the linksys does not. 3rd party firmware might be the aswer to that problem. another issue is that WDS chops bandwidth in half. this makes it seem less than ideal for me.

    Can I use this extra router to help me out?

  2. mervincm

    mervincm Network Guru Member

    26 views and no responses. Usually that means a complex question that few can answer, or a simple question the asker has not done his homework on and people are sick of answering :)

    OK, what if I take the DLINK wireless portion out of the picture for now. If I run a cat 5 from the LAN port of the DLINK to the WRT54GS. It is my understanding that with stock firmware I can not have it act as a wireless access point. Can this be done with 3rd party firmware? If so, do I plug my cat 5 into the wan port of the WRT54GS. What 3rd party firmware would be best suited for this job? Having completely bricked a wrt54g v1 (even jtag does not help) using 3rd party firmware, I want to have a solid understanding before I flash anything this round.
    thibor, tomato and WRT 23sp2 seem to be the most popular choices from what I see.
  3. mervincm

    mervincm Network Guru Member

    This is not as difficult as it first might seem.
    1) factory firmware works perfectly fine for what I was trying to accomplish. All I had to do was
    -hardcode a unique LAN IP address
    -turn off the DHCP server
    -run a cat 5 from a Dlink LAN port to a LAN port on the WRT54GS

    and Bingo, it acts an AP. I am not sure why I thought it would not work, serves me right for spending too much time reading, and not enough time trying :)

    In order to integrate it into my current Wireless network, so clients can roam from one AP to another, all I had to do was
    -assign the same SSID to both devices
    -assign the same security method (WAP) and the same keys
    -assign channel 7 to my "main AP" and channel 11 to my "secondary AP"

    so far it seems to work great. I can turn off the radio on either device and the client PC just seems to continue on without more than a second or two interruption.

    I hope that helps someone else.
  4. Tyree

    Tyree LI Guru Member


    I was just about to post on this SAME topic. Only I'm using two wrt54g's instead of the d-link main.

    I had already figured I would turn off the DHCP on the secondary...and also assumed I would just use a LAN port on the secondary AP instead of the WAN, thanks for that confirmation!

    What I HADN'T thought of was naming the SSID the same and the WAP part.

    So, did you mean WEP or did you mean WPA? Or is WAP yet another security option I know nothing about. I know WEP uses keys, so I assume that's what you mean.

    I'm a total newb to this stuff...but I just got a laptop and I want to roam the house with it!!! :D

    You also mentioned you bought some after-market antennae. What models did you get? I'm interested to see what kind of performance increases people are getting with them. I looked at the Linksys brand HGA7T's...but the reviews are SO mixed on them. People either think they're awesome or complete wastes of time!

    Thanks again!
  5. mervincm

    mervincm Network Guru Member


    I find they either make no difference, or a massive one, depending on the situation. On the clients it can often be massive. With PCI wireless NIC on a tower PC it can be hell since your system itself sheilds the antenna. If you are lucky enough to have a PC-card with a antenna connector, again it can make a massive difference. On the Router/AP itself, I have not seen a large improvement with an onmi directional antenna, while I have seen some with a directional antenna.

    I bought them both on sale for 15$ a piece, so I thought what the heck.
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