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Router has incredibly low signal

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by angelkiller, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. angelkiller

    angelkiller

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    Ok, I just got a Linksys WRT54G (v1.1) for free because apparently it gives a really low signal. After testing it, this is true. With my laptop sitting literally 3 feet away from the router, I'm only getting two bars of signal. (-76dBm according to Wicd) For comparison, I'm getting a full signal from my WAP54G (-44dBm), which is in the same room. I thought about loading a 3rd party firmware on it and increase the transmit power, but that doesn't address the original issue. Oh, and the wired portion of it seems to works fine.
    1. What could be wrong here? Stock firmware and I've already reset it. All the hardware on the PCB looks ok.
    2. Any fixes? Weather it be software or hardware.
     
  2. lemonadesoda

    lemonadesoda

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    Broken or disconnected pigtail. Open it up.
     
  3. angelkiller

    angelkiller

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    I have, what do I look for? Is that the cable that connects the antenna?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
  4. Lazzer408

    Lazzer408

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    Does removing one antenna help the signal?
     
  5. angelkiller

    angelkiller

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    Are you asking because I did that?

    I only have one antenna connected because you have to remove them to get the PCB out of the housing and I only put one back on. I still had the problem when there were two.
     
  6. lemonadesoda

    lemonadesoda

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    Sorry angel, cant spot an obvious problem. Seems you are soldered directly,and no pigtail used.

    How did u take those nice macro shots? Whats your setup?

    Around c152 doesnt look good/clean.

    You need a comparative shot. Maybe someone else has the same router...
     
  7. Lazzer408

    Lazzer408

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    I was asking/suggesting if you tried that.
     
  8. angelkiller

    angelkiller

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    Well right now, it has 1 antenna connected. I'm in the room directly below where the router is located and I'm getting a very weak signal. And again, I'm getting a strong signal from the access point that's in the same room.

    Thanks for the help.

    :laugh: I thought the pics were pretty bad. I'm using a Cannon PowerShot A550, an entry level point and shoot. I did use the macro, but no tripod and horrible lighting. (I'm no photographer :eek:)


    Oh, and get this. It refers it self to a WRT54GL in the firmware. The casing and serial clearly indicate that this is a WRT54G. Could the wrong firmware be loaded on this? Could that cause this issue?
     
  9. Lazzer408

    Lazzer408

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    I know the power levels can be adjusted via. software. Stick DD-WRT on it and you'll have access to that setting, and many more.

    Where are you guys seeing c152? I see the silkscreen callout for it but no cap.
     
  10. [Ion]

    [Ion] WCG Team Assistant

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    Download Tomato, and crank the transmit power up. I was having similar problems with low signal on my WRT54G v3.1 until I loaded Tomato and cranked up the transmit power. Don't go higher than about 75 or you may risk overheating it, the default transmit strength is 42; I have mine set at 66.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  11. angelkiller

    angelkiller

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    I was a bit weary about using software to up the transmit power. If there's some other problem, upping the transmit power only masks the first issue. Plus, I may not get the full potential of what it's capable of.

    Ex: Suppose this router has a transmit power of 3 right now out of 5. Software can boost it by 5. So flashing it will turn the power to 8. But imagine if I had started off with 5, I could of had 10. That's an abstract example, but I hope you get the point.

    Nonetheless, I will flash. I'm thinking about DD-WRT on it because I already have Tomato on my main router. ;)
     
  12. ace80

    ace80

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    I have the same router WRT54G but mines a v2.
    Here are some shots from the same angles -

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Seems they changed the layout a bit but i hope they help.

    I would check the linksys site just to see if there is newer firmware release or use the DD-WRT, i use DD-WRT and it works a treat.
    Main router downstairs wirelessly connected to this upstairs in my room supplying the 360.
     
    angelkiller says thanks.
  13. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    angelkiller: can you get us a shot showing detail of the connector part of the aerial socket? we're looking for damage in there.

    seconldy, can you try another aerial? it may well be the stock one(s)? are damaged?

    can you confirm if only ONE socket, or BOTH are giving poor signal? (swap aerial between them, see if signal changes)
     
  14. angelkiller

    angelkiller

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    Pics came out a bit blurry, but here goes:

    Left Connector: Pic 1 Pic 2
    Right connector: Pic 1 Pic 2

    One antenna The other one

    Doesn't look like any damage.

    Ok, the router is literally 1ft away from the laptop. Here are some tests.

    Using the antenna it came with: 0 antenna gives no signal, 1 antenna gives -72dBm on both connectors, the other antenna on each connector give identical results, and using both stock antenna give a signal of -70dBm.

    Using the antenna from a Linksys WAP54G that works perfectly: using 1 antenna gives -72dBm on one connector, -74dBm on the other. The other antenna give -73dBm on both connectors, and using both WAP54G antennas give -73dBm.

    Looks like the results are pretty much the same for both pairs of antenna, so I think we can rule them out. Also the difference between 1 antenna and 2 is pretty minimal.
     
  15. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    everything looks good.

    i'd suggest that maybe with the firmware oddities you mentioned earlier, it was flashed to a firmware with lower signal strength - at this stage, theres nothing you can do on a hardware level, so go play with software
     
  16. angelkiller

    angelkiller

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    Cool. I got it flashed to DD-WRT.

    Quick question, how do you get it not to be a router in DD-WRT? In other words, how do I correctly set up 2 routers on my network? I've messed with the settings, but I can't get internet access when connected to the 2nd router. (wired or wireless) I'm pretty sure it has to do with turning DHCP off, but again, the stuff I've tried hasn't worked.
     
  17. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    turn off all DHCP and NAT functions
     
  18. angelkiller

    angelkiller

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    I don't mean to be a noob, but change exactly what? I've already tried many combinations with no success, so it's not like I haven't tried. My main router has an ip or 192.168.1.2

    [​IMG]


    And you can change DHCP Server to DHCP Forwarder and it looks like this
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    local IP address cant be the same as the other router

    DCP is enabled, should be off

    gateway and local DNS should be the IP of the other router
     
  20. angelkiller

    angelkiller

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    I did just that. Now I can't get an IP at all. That happened before when I disabled the DCHP. But I know that you need DCHP disabled because my other router is taking care of that. :confused:
     
  21. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    use the DHCP forwarder, and set it to the other routers IP address
     
  22. angelkiller

    angelkiller

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    Same thing. Getting an ip address times out.
     
  23. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    perhaps the connection between the routers isnt happening.

    instead of hooking router 1's LAN port to router 2's WAN port, try connecting to one of router 2's LAN ports as well
     
    angelkiller says thanks.
  24. angelkiller

    angelkiller

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    Win! Dunno what's up with that. I guess if you don't use the WAN port, it's just a switch. Whatever. Thanks Mussels. I'll play around with upping the radio power tomorrow. I'm about 5min away from falling asleep now.
     
  25. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    i have 3 dd-wrt routers. 2 motorolas and a linksys and i have experamented with the power settings when i was setting up a wifi link at over a mile away.

    70mw is the standard setting i have connected to a router with the standard antenna with this setting through a couple of concrete walls over 300 meters away with my intel 4965 pci-e agn adapter. 100mw might get you a little further but not much as the recieving wifi adapter still has to transmit back to it.

    dont go any further than 100mw or you risk damaging the router if its set at 100mw and you dont get any increase is range then there must be a physical problem with the transmitter or the antenna.
     

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