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fishbone
2009-01-20, 18:56
Currently using Airport Express but may need something more powerful. Suggestions?

Thanks,

Lawrence.

pfarrell
2009-01-20, 19:09
fishbone wrote:
> Currently using Airport Express but may need something more powerful.

WiFi accesspoint/router?
Netgear WRT54GL (note the L at the end)
If you like the stock firmware, you are done. If not try DD-WRT or Tomatoe


--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

bobkoure
2009-01-20, 20:01
More powerful how? Stronger radio signal?
I'd second Pat's suggestion of a WRT54GL with alternate firmware as you can dial up the radio output a bit.
You can also use higher-gain or directional antennas as they're on somewhat standard connectors (SMC?)
Google for HyperWRT or tomato along with WRT54GL - no point recapitulating the whole thing here.

pfarrell
2009-01-20, 20:21
bobkoure wrote:
> You can also use higher-gain or directional antennas as they're on
> somewhat standard connectors (SMC?)

Be careful on the connectors. They are actually RP-SMA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMA_connector

Its really a reverse gender, but the term of art is reverse polarity.
the terms "male" and "female" refer exclusively to the inner pin or
socket of the connectors, not the screw threads

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

mswlogo
2009-01-20, 21:22
fishbone wrote:
> Currently using Airport Express but may need something more powerful.

WiFi accesspoint/router?
Netgear WRT54GL (note the L at the end)
If you like the stock firmware, you are done. If not try DD-WRT or Tomatoe


--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/


I second dd-wrt as well and would not consider any router that can't support it. See dd-wrt.com I run it on a linksys wrt350n and wrt54g. Read the compatibility list carefully.

Mark Lanctot
2009-01-21, 06:55
Netgear WRT54GL (note the L at the end)

That would be Linksys WRT54GL (not Netgear!)

And yes, I'm using that router with DD-WRT. Rock-solid.

Mnyb
2009-01-21, 09:11
WRT54GL with tomato, wonderfull

To make life easy run all squeeze related stuff with fixed ip's server PC players controller, everything.

Goodsounds
2009-01-21, 09:58
I have a "G" model and it seems to work well with good range and reliability.

Does anyone know if there are hardware (component) differences between the "G" and "GL" models?

GL is a bit more money. For people who intend to keep the stock firmware, as most do, it might be unnecessary to spend the extra money if the models have the same guts. But, maybe they don't. It's always confusing to try to distinguish models from one another in multi-model similar but different products.

Mark Lanctot
2009-01-21, 10:08
Does anyone know if there are hardware (component) differences between the "G" and "GL" models?

Yes, the GL models have more memory as they run Linux under the hood as opposed to proprietary embedded systems that don't require as much memory.

This may make a difference as the early stripped-down versions were apparently not as stable. Also more memory means more active connections and generally more stable operation.

See http://www.linksysinfo.org/forums/showthread.php?t=47124 Note the GL is the same as the v4.

This is old info though - last I heard the router was in v8, and this was quite some time ago. The newer versions may be stable, but they still do not have as much memory as the GL versions and likely never will.

Mnyb
2009-01-21, 10:14
I have a "G" model and it seems to work well with good range and reliability.

Does anyone know if there are hardware (component) differences between the "G" and "GL" models?

GL is a bit more money. For people who intend to keep the stock firmware, as most do, it might be unnecessary to spend the extra money if the models have the same guts. But, maybe they don't. It's always confusing to try to distinguish models from one another in multi-model similar but different products.

I think GL has more memory, to support DD-WRT , Tomato and similar the L is for linux.
Linksys have acknowledged the many open source linux based router firmwares around and and released hardware fit for purpose.

the older G only models will support open source, but the never ones won't easily do that . DD-WRT and Tomato sites has long list of compatibility with the many incarnations of the WRT54G* there's a bunch of different versions also, not only G GL difference :)

Goodsounds
2009-01-21, 10:29
Can't "more memory" also just be needed to handle a bigger software footprint, and so ultimately have no effect on performance? I don't think there's any automatic conclusion to draw without more information.

Sometimes simply having a smaller footprint produces faster performance. I don't know if that's the case here, that's beyond my understanding of things.

pfarrell
2009-01-21, 10:43
Mark Lanctot wrote:
> pfarrell;387597 Wrote:
>> Linksys WRT54GL (note the L at the end)
>
> That would be Linksys WRT54GL (not Netgear!)

Opps, yes, my bad, good catch.
Linksys.

ANd perhaps this year we in the US will be able to buy cheap Buffalo
routers again


--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

pfarrell
2009-01-21, 10:45
Goodsounds wrote:
> Does anyone know if there are hardware (component) differences between
> the "G" and "GL" models?
>
> GL is a bit more money.

The first four generations of the G has 4MB of flash. Then Linksys
decided to save some money, reduce cost, etc and changed it to 2MB.
This made it hard for the third party firmware folks, so they brought
back the "GL" (L for linux) model for folks who want different firmware.

Its about $10 more expensive, retail, and well worth it IMHO

There is a small DD-WRT that fits in the new, just G models. But you
can't have all the features

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

pfarrell
2009-01-21, 10:47
Goodsounds wrote:
> Can't "more memory" also just be needed to handle a bigger software
> footprint, and so ultimately have no effect on performance?

Not in embedded systems. Its a different world.

You could probably replace some surface mounted chips, but that will
cost much more than the $10 go just buy the GL model

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

peter
2009-01-21, 11:17
Goodsounds wrote:
> Can't "more memory" also just be needed to handle a bigger software
> footprint, and so ultimately have no effect on performance? I don't
> think there's any automatic conclusion to draw without more
> information.
>
> Sometimes simply having a smaller footprint produces faster
> performance. I don't know if that's the case here, that's beyond my
> understanding of things.

In designing an application it's often a trade-off between memory use
and speed. More memory allows you to keep more things in fast RAM. Of
course, in modern OS'es it also pays to leave more RAM free, because it
can be used for caching.

Regards,
Peter

Goodsounds
2009-01-21, 11:56
I was just trying to understand the validity of making performance assumptions based on reading differences in a handware spec sheet. My experiences (on the sidelines, of course) would say that things are more complicated than to allow such simple generalizations.

Thanks for the explanations, I defer to you guys with more background in this.

Kyle
2009-01-21, 20:35
If one is just looking for a bit of signal boost, and has the WRT54GL, what is easier to set up and more reliable, Tomato or DD-WRT? I read on another board that folks were having to do regular resets with DD-WRT. I definitely don't want to have to mess with that. I just need a little bit more signal power to reach a room where the signal is sketchy.

Mark Lanctot
2009-01-22, 06:50
I was just trying to understand the validity of making performance assumptions based on reading differences in a handware spec sheet. My experiences (on the sidelines, of course) would say that things are more complicated than to allow such simple generalizations.

I wasn't basing my observations on the spec sheet - I have read reports of the newer versions being less stable. This was the case with v5 and early firmwares. Perhaps the issues are largely moot now, I haven't read anything recent.


If one is just looking for a bit of signal boost, and has the WRT54GL, what is easier to set up and more reliable, Tomato or DD-WRT? I read on another board that folks were having to do regular resets with DD-WRT. I definitely don't want to have to mess with that. I just need a little bit more signal power to reach a room where the signal is sketchy.

From what I've heard, Tomato is much more simple than DD-WRT, so if you're only looking for signal boosting, you may want to look into that. But I've run DD-WRT for years and never had to reset it.

BTW boosting signal power may or may not solve your problem. Boosting signal power also increases noise, so your S/N ratio doesn't change. You may get a higher strength signal, but it won't be a higher quality signal.

Also this overheats the radio chipset and can result in premature failure in extreme cases.

Try channel changing, high-gain or directional antennas first. Even repositioning the antennas can help immensely. See http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.php/NetworkProblemsSecondGuide

florca
2009-01-22, 11:38
I've just started using an old (Mark 1) Linksys WRT54GS (essentially the original version of a WRT54GL) in place of a Billion modem / router which has been giving me some wireless problems. I also looked at the Tomato / DD-WRT choice and saw some of the instability comments, but DD-WRT has a couple of features I really wanted and it's been 100% stable for me.

In particular with DD-WRT you can assign the WAN port as a 5th LAN port (useful for me as I'm still using the Billion as a modem / Gateway / Firewall) and the WiFi configuration seems more flexible.

Signal strength and consistency is massively better than the Billion. I'd also read about the heat / early failure problems if you turn up the power too much, so I've disabled all features I'm not using and set the Wireless power to a level where I get good coverage throughout the house but no more - a setting of "75" in my case, which gives a signal strength reading of 65% on my most distant WiFi Squeezebox and perfect FLAC streaming. Net of this is that I'm very happy with DD-WRT and would recommend it to anyone.

Brgds
Phil

NB - As above, it's always worth experimenting with the position and polarity of the WiFi aerial(s) - moving mine to horizontal gave a significant improvement in coverage and received power for the same DD-WRT Wireless Power setting

bobharp
2009-01-22, 11:56
Lawrence,
I assume that you already have a home router.
Why not just use an access point (AP)?

I picked up the HP ProCurve Wireless Access Point 10ag NA (J9140A)
http://www.hp.com/rnd/products/wireless/ProCurve_Wireless_Access_Point_10ag/overview.htm

It is a managed (open source AP). I picked mine up for ~$160.
Lifetime warranty with 'next-business-day advance replacement (available in most countries)'.

I never can figure out why APs (other than sales volume) cost more than wireless routers. The only real downside to this AP is that the antennas are not removable/replaceable.

It has worked like a charm. I even rely on it for my Boom alarm.

Kyle
2009-01-22, 21:08
BTW boosting signal power may or may not solve your problem. Boosting signal power also increases noise, so your S/N ratio doesn't change. You may get a higher strength signal, but it won't be a higher quality signal.

I just need enough boost to get a stronger signal in my den for my laptop. My favorite chair is in a bit of a dead spot. The sofa a few feet away gets a decent signal. My SB3 is wired (the best $100 I ever spent).

Uluen
2009-01-23, 04:16
If one is just looking for a bit of signal boost, and has the WRT54GL, what is easier to set up and more reliable, Tomato or DD-WRT? I read on another board that folks were having to do regular resets with DD-WRT. I used DDR-WRT for about one year before switching to Tomato that is running for about one year now, both were very easy to install and I've had absolutely zero issues with stability or anything with both.

Current uptime is 88 days (I sometimes move stuff and then I need to kill the power).

Kyle
2009-01-23, 06:00
I used DDR-WRT for about one year before switching to Tomato that is running for about one year now, both were very easy to install and I've had absolutely zero issues with stability or anything with both.

Current uptime is 88 days (I sometimes move stuff and then I need to kill the power).

Any particular reason you switched to tomato?

Uluen
2009-01-24, 03:06
Any particular reason you switched to tomato?
Not really, I just wanted to try something new.
Tomato looks a little better IMO, but DD-WRT may have more features, I forgot.
You can't go wrong with either.

fishbone
2009-01-26, 19:20
All...thank you very much for your various replies.

My issue is constant rebuffering on my SB3 that is a floor away from my Airport Express base station. I have tried switching channels but there are many competing networks in my area. I have tried an additional Airport Express as a ranger extender for the base station. Nothing is working. I can only assume that I need a stronger signal than the Airport Express can provide.

By the way, the SB3 that sits close to my Airport Express base station works great constantly.

I would love to run wired, but can't. Squeezebox help desk doesn't seem to be able to provide any solutions, so I am trying everything now.

SuperQ
2009-01-26, 22:52
I would love to run wired, but can't. Squeezebox help desk doesn't seem to be able to provide any solutions, so I am trying everything now.

Powerline adapters might be an option. If you do end up upgrading your wifi router, be sure to get something that does active MIMO for best noise rejection.

fishbone
2009-01-27, 19:13
After reading another forum last night, I tried two new things based on the information there: 1. defragged my computer, and 2. moved my second Airport Express (the signal extender) away from a wall that I know has metal behind it (I don't know why or what it is). Anyway, one of those two things did the job and the Squeezebox has been working flawlessly since (hope I didn't just jinx it).

Lawrence.