WRT54GS V4 nightmare

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Wireless Routers' started by TEG-Neo, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. TEG-Neo

    TEG-Neo Network Guru Member

    I'm the first to admit i dont know a whole lot about the specifics of my router. I just know this is the one i have. The router works great, always has. I have several wired computers on it, and my dads wireless laptop. Recently i got a laptop, and im a little ways away from him on the property. My laptop will pickup wireless but its VERY weak.

    So today i bought a Linksys wireless range expander, model WRE54G. First thing i did was plug it in, and hit auto config. I noticed it goes all blue (active, working) and my wireless comes right up with excellent signal.....for about a minute and the expander starts searching for the signal again. Regarldess of wether it is right next to the router or with me.

    So upon some reading of the instructions (haha...) i see it says compatible with:

    (WRT54GS) Firmware ver. 2.07.1 or above. So i do what i think its right, and shoot to linksys.com. The only firmware update i found my router would actually install brought it to version 1.05.2. Since then i have been scouring sites such as yours trying to figure this out and trying to use third party firmware, etc. All i have done is confuse the shit out of myself and got nowhere. No other firmware will work, it always says "update are failed" or some junk.

    I'm confused, i just want my expander and my router to get along, any advice?
  2. TEG-Neo

    TEG-Neo Network Guru Member

    I tried calling support this morning but the indian i got outsourced too didnt seem to know what a range expander was.
  3. vincentfox

    vincentfox Network Guru Member

    Here's an important thing for you to think about. You have a point at which signal is very weak. Is this the point where the WRE is sitting?

    See the WRE need a somewhat decent signal to repeat. If it's where the signal is weak/flaky it can't see the original signal either, so it can't do it's job. Most people put these sorts of units at some midpoint where signal is still decent.

    So, all that aside, yes the WRE is a bit difficult to work with. If you don't feel up to fiddling with the software, did you consider just running a wire? I mean, most people who want more coverage try simple solutions first:

    1) Put enhanced antenna on the main unit. Even home-made reflectors from http://www.freeantennas.com/ help a lot
    2) Run an ethernet wire from LAN port to somewhere that they want more coverage, then put a 2nd AP here. On same SSID and encryption settings, but 5 channels apart.

    Beyond that I would suggest searching the forums for WRE54G some more.
  4. TEG-Neo

    TEG-Neo Network Guru Member

    i have a wire out here now. The WRE has been placed here, right next to the router, midpoint, same problems all over so i know its not the location. I got the WRE dirt cheap off a bud thats why i didnt bother buying a second AP
  5. vincentfox

    vincentfox Network Guru Member

    And perhaps your "bud" sold it to you cheap because it didn't work for them either.....
  6. TEG-Neo

    TEG-Neo Network Guru Member

    it was new in the box, sealed. i'm not a moron lol. My main goal here is to get this router updated onto third party firmware, regardless of why at this point.
  7. TEG-Neo

    TEG-Neo Network Guru Member

    i should note the laptop picks up the wireless of the RE but shows no networks available because the RE cant connect to the router
  8. vincentfox

    vincentfox Network Guru Member

    I have not seen any 3rd party firmware for the WRE.

    Keep it simple.

    Turn off all encryption, get it working, then try adding encryption back in.
  9. TEG-Neo

    TEG-Neo Network Guru Member

    im trying to update the router, i only mentioned the WRE for background information. I'm currently resetting the router to all defaults and starting there.
  10. TEG-Neo

    TEG-Neo Network Guru Member

    ok i went back to unsecured wireless, and folowed the instructions/setup cd for the wre exactly. I got a hell of alot farther, connected to the wre and everything. as the software configured the wre it stated "cannot communicate with this AP in repeater mode".

    i didnt know the router was in repater mode? im confused again
  11. RonWessels

    RonWessels Network Guru Member

    The information you are missing is that a repeater does not simply act like a normal client to the access point it is connecting to. It uses a protocol called WDS (Wireless Distribution System) which requires cooperation from both ends to establish the connection.

    As I understand the situation, the stock GS v4 firmware does not provide that cooperation.
  12. TEG-Neo

    TEG-Neo Network Guru Member

    ok so im back to still needing to get thirdparty firmware onto the router. I've dried v23 mini and a few other versions, as well as some other stuff i found searching and none of them will take
  13. RonWessels

    RonWessels Network Guru Member

    Have you tried the gsv4-specific version here?

    If you want to verify the URL, navigate to http://www.dd-wrt.com, select "downloads", then "dd-wrt.v23", then "mini", then "dd-wrt.v23_mini_wrt54gsv4.bin".

    Having flashed that, you should be able to go to other third-party firmwares without too much problem. If you go to HyperWRT (Tofu or Thibor), make sure you reset the router to defaults either with the 30-second reset, with "erase nvram; reboot", or with the appropriate page under Administration.
  14. TEG-Neo

    TEG-Neo Network Guru Member

    ok that one worked! Now ive got my router running "Firmware Version : v1.05.6 - HyperWRT 2.1b1 + Thibor12 ". Thanks a million. I've got the two laptops working awsome on the network, but im still getting that same error message when trying to setup the expander well within wireless range. Error message is

    "this range expander cannot communicate with this AP in repeater mode"

    The router is in "AP" mode and i dont know what the RE software means. I tell you what tho, since i installed HyperWRT im now on the network wirelessly in the location im looking to expand it too. Signal strength is still low, but unlike before it doesnt drop. If i can get this dumb expander working right i'll really be happy.
  15. RonWessels

    RonWessels Network Guru Member

    Disclaimer: I don't have a WDS link set up, so I can't verify this procedure.

    What I would now do is go to Wireless->Basic Wireless Settings and select "WDS-AP" in the Wireless Mode dropdown. Then select Disabled for the Bridge Restrict (get it working first, then add security later). Save settings and reboot. Now see what happens.

    If/when that works, to prevent your neighbors from repeating your wireless and sharing your internet over the entire block, enable the Bridge Restrict setting and enter the MAC address of your range expander in a Remote Bridge field.

    As for your wireless strength, try upping the Transmit Power in small increments in Wireless->Advanced Wireless Settings. Note that this is not a fix-all, since your laptop still has to communicate back to the router, and you're doing nothing to help that.

    If all your wireless access is going to be roughly in the same direction from the router, you might want to take a look at the home-made reflectors you can make here. That should help both with transmit and receive.
  16. TEG-Neo

    TEG-Neo Network Guru Member

    I'll try that tonight when i get off work, thnx for the idea bro!
  17. TEG-Neo

    TEG-Neo Network Guru Member

    i picked up a second WRT54GS V4 (they only had V4/5). I'm going to flash it to the same level as m current one and then use that at my location instead of the expander. Basically the internet goes into his house, into the modem, the router. then the router runs an ethernet cable out to my apartment into a 4 port hub and into my laptop and server. I'm going to replace the hub with the router, and see if i can set it up to "repeat" the wireless......i can right?
  18. nufanblu

    nufanblu Guest

    Hope your still checking this Teg

    Hey I had the exact same setup exept I'm not sure what version extender you have. I had WRE54g V2 and WRT54GS V4. After talking with tech support for about six hours the little indian girl finally asked someone else and then informed me that those two exact versions (WRE54g V2 and WRT54GS V4) will not work. It is impossible for them to cooperate. They didn't say why but they told us to go back to the store and open every box until we found a WRE54G V1.

    I see by your last post that you've given up and done the exact same thing I have exept that I'm going with WDS because there is no way to run a cable in between mine. Now I just gotta learn how to do WDS.
  19. TEG-Neo

    TEG-Neo Network Guru Member

    I havent got it working right yet, im not quite sure what im doing honestly lol.
  20. TEG-Neo

    TEG-Neo Network Guru Member

    Ok i setup the second router as a WDS, ad the main router as a WDS-AP. I run the wire from the main router out here and into my hub. The hub then runs an ehternet line to the server, the laptop for config purposes, and into the WAN on the second router. It doesnt seem to be picking up the wireless tho, and in fact seems to knock out the thernet when i mess with it. Am i going about this all wrong?
  21. TEG-Neo

    TEG-Neo Network Guru Member

    anyone got any ideas?
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