WRT54G v1 completly dead after Alchemy 1.0

Discussion in 'Sveasoft Firmware' started by ericsten, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. ericsten

    ericsten Network Guru Member



    I installed the Sveasoft Alchmey 1.0 firmware on my v1.0 box about three weeks ago and it was working great! The main reason I installed it was to boost the signal strength. My wife and I recently bought an 80+ year old house and the "standard" singal strength just wasn't cutting it through the plaster, lathe, oak hard wood floors etc. The signal boost really did the trick!

    Now comes the sad part... yesterday the box just died. No lights, no connection, nothing. Unplugged and plugged back in, zip. Checked the power "brick", putting out the 5 volts that it was supposed to be putting out.

    I went out today and got a v3 WRT54G and am thinking of putting the Alchmey firmware on again but I'm afraid that this firmware is what caused the "death". Anybody else experience this problem? Better yet, any suggestions on how to RECOVER from this?


    Eric Sten
  2. vincentfox

    vincentfox Network Guru Member

    You would do better to consider a NORMAL transmit power setting, or a moderate one, and a high-gain antenna. I've seen very little difference above maybe 48 mW transmit power.

    Significantly better is a good antenna. A good antenna improves your RECEIVE gain not just transmit. It is just as important in a 2-Way communication like WiFi that you are able to hear clearly a weak/distant client machine. Think of transmit-boost being like a bull-horn it lets you shout further but not hear any better. A large cone however can be used both to directionalize your shout to reach further or held to your ear to hear whispers. The cone in this analogy is like a high-gain antenna, it helps both transmit and receive.

    The typical AP comes with a little rubber-ducky of about 2 dBi gain. Even the Hawking 6 dBi omni I picked up for $5 after rebate doubled the real range on the AP.

    I suppose there is some argument that operating the radio at high power levels burned it out. May be just coincidence though. In urban area at max power you are tossing signal 9 times further out into the street increasing neighborhood interference problems and increasing odds of someone sniffing your banking traffic :)

    I would consider new firmware, there are many good free ones now that support recent hardware versions. Alchemy is getting old and you will probably not be able to flash it onto new routers.
  3. ericsten

    ericsten Network Guru Member


    Thanks for the reply! I agree that the Alchemy 1.0 is pretty old and after some research I found there is some "disagreement" as to it being compatible with the v3 WRT54G. I am planning to upgrade to latest DD-WRT Standard firmware (v23). Have you had any experience with it that you can pass along?

    I've got a couple of parabolic antennas from Freeantennas.com (http://www.freeantennas.com/projects/template2/index.html) that I made that has helped a lot already and is directional.

    Thanks again!
  4. vincentfox

    vincentfox Network Guru Member

    I am technical lead for a community WiFi. Used to run all SveaSoft firmware until recently, it taking such a negative turn. Now run DD-WRT v23 forget which particular beta. Couldn't be happier with it, no crashes or weirdness. Using WPA-PSK encryption with a randomly generated 63-character key for maximum security. Unreliable part of the network is the upstream ISP, not the WRT units.
  5. ericsten

    ericsten Network Guru Member

    Well, I took another look at my new WRT54G and found it is a v5.0 not a v3.0. :-( So it looks like I'm stuck with the Linksys firmware for now. I was looking forward to checking out the DD-WRT v32. *sigh* Oh well, I guess I have to wait and see if somebody puts some updated code out for it.

    Thanks again for your help vincentfox.
  6. vincentfox

    vincentfox Network Guru Member

    Oh no! :(

    Too late to return and swap?

    Still see plenty of CDF9 and CDFA serial numbers on store shelves.
  7. ericsten

    ericsten Network Guru Member

    Well, not too late to return and swap by the store rules, but the wife rules may say otherwise. :) Her PC is the main one connected to the wireless. With our 80 year old house, plaster walls, etc... I do not want to get into running CAT 5 through these walls. I can't really justify wanting a new router for the advanced features that aren't "necessary" for usage. I'll just have to keep my eyes open for a v5 compatible firmware. Since the source is GPL for the v5 as is all the others it may just be a matter of time.

    Thanks for all your help!

    Eric Sten
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