Universal Wireless Repeater

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marcjohnson
DD-WRT User


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 71

PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 16:22    Post subject: Universal Wireless Repeater Reply with quote
I created wiki instructions for creating a Universal Wireless Repeater (or range expander, or wireless client bridge). I think a lot of people do this with two devices - whereas these instructions do it with one device. The instructions provide inclusion of a script to dynamically grab the strongest signal and repeat it. Could be another killer-app for dd-wrt:

http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Universal_Wireless_Repeater

If anyone wants to try to repeat the recipe, and help optimize it, please reply to this thread with your mileage.

The only problem I have currently is that my client (running XP) gets confused sometimes, and although the repeater is working fine and repeating, I have to renew my connection on the client side (using XP "repair" connection). I think this might have something to do with bridged mode, and perhaps because there are currently two DHCP servers running on the latest release of 2.4 (udhcpc & dnsmasq) which may confuse the client, but this is conjecture.

So for those who want to help optimize:
1) eliminate the step to repair the connection occasionally on XP (upon connection and at intermittent times)
2) maybe eliminate the bridged mode (so port forwarding is not required sometimes)

The wiki was created, and this article was posted, using the UWR Smile
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JohnnyPrimus
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Joined: 26 Oct 2006
Posts: 378

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 4:02    Post subject: Reply with quote
2 DHCP servers on a bridged network opens the possibilty to issue conflicting IP addresses. Having one of the routers forward dhcp requests to the second router, and setting the second router up as the authoritative DHCP server may fix this problem.

As to autoap, there've been a couple of revisions since the last update I made to the standalone tool. I'll upload the latest in its place.

JP
wo-fo
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 16 Nov 2006
Posts: 553

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 5:23    Post subject: Reply with quote
Marcjohnson...

I really want to see this theory come to fruition and I think you are doing a great job by trying and taking a shot at it..

I will be very interested in following along with this.. Please bring this discussion to the other thread on how to scan for any open wifi so we can pool our resources on this..

good job though, I have to say...

wo-fo


Last edited by wo-fo on Wed Nov 29, 2006 4:06; edited 1 time in total
GeeTek
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Joined: 06 Jun 2006
Posts: 3767
Location: I'm the one on the plate.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:04    Post subject: Reply with quote
That is a great write up you did there Marc Johnson. I have seen numerous threads over the past several months discussing the universal repeater, but you seem to have finally figured out how to do it. I use static IP assignment, so the DHCP issue will not apply to my scenario. The Wiki you wrote up looks to be very easy to follow. I'll post back with any new configs that I may be able to add to your discoveries. Thanks for your efforts.
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marcjohnson
DD-WRT User


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 71

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 17:42    Post subject: Reply with quote
JohnnyPrimus's authoritative DHCP suggestion is a good idea, and so I tested that: same behavior... need to do an occasional renew on the client side.

wo-fo asked offline how to "go about downloading the script into the router to run if I am not online to begin with to download the file?". Good question. This is the command I put into the nvram startup:
Code:
nvram set wl_ssid=""
nvram commit
`cd /tmp;mkdir /tmp/www;ln -s /tmp/autoap.log /tmp/www/repeater.html;until [ 2 = 1 ];do /bin/sleep 30;/usr/bin/wget http://www.partners.biz/autoap/autoap.sh;chmod 777 ./autoap.sh;/tmp/autoap.sh;done` &

This startup script does this: clearing wl_ssid causes router to dynamically connect to any open AP. Every 30 seconds, router tries to download script. Once downloaded, script runs in the background which connects based on strongest signal. If autoap is built into the image, or you use JFFS2, this approach won't be necessary - but it works for my memory strapped Buffalo. :-)

Updated the wiki instructions at http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Universal_Wireless_Repeater

GeeTek, glad you found the wiki instructions easy to read: trying to keep up the standards of the excellent dd-wrt project docs.

Hope this helps,
MJ


Last edited by marcjohnson on Sat Dec 16, 2006 14:31; edited 1 time in total
drfragment
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 28 Nov 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 15:57    Post subject: Working, but not with an encryption Reply with quote
I've tried Universal Wireless Repeater and it works fine, but only when the "hosting" router has no encryption.
If it has an encryption like (WPA-TKIP) and even though I set the settings right for it, the repeater doesn't want to connect. Why?
I've tried every possible combination and it always worked when I removed the encyrption on the "hosting" router, but not when I enabled it ...
marcjohnson
DD-WRT User


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 71

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 17:35    Post subject: Reply with quote
drfragment: thanks a lot for testing the config.

One clarification of your problem statement: I hear you saying you are enabling security modes on the "Physical Interface", not the "Virtual Interface" (as labeled when you go to tab "Wireless" and subtab "Wireless Security"). Am I hearing you correctly?

So far I have setup security mode (WEP) on the Virtual Interface, and it works.

However, if you are enabling wireless security on the Physical Interface, recommend this test: first enable "Client Bridge" under Wireless|Basic Settings|Wireless Mode. Then configure Wireless Security per your requirements. Test if you can connect/surf in this client-bridge mode (over ethernet). If you can, then enable "Repeater" mode per the wiki instructions.

-mj
Spudz777
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 28 Nov 2006
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 18:05    Post subject: Reply with quote
The problems with security are a known issue. Check out the bug tracker here. Other than that, this works fine, and is a good alternative to WDS if a) you need the bandwidth or b) the original router (the one you're repeating) doesn't support WDS. Some other issues: putting your repeater (and any clients associated with it) on a unique subnet breaks things like Windows File Sharing. Using the repeater as a DHCP forwarder would be better, but I have yet to get that working correctly.
drfragment
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 28 Nov 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 18:13    Post subject: Reply with quote
marcjohnson:
I tried like you said, but alas it does not work.


my situation to somewhat clerify


settings on the router with the ("original") internet


settings on the repeater
marcjohnson
DD-WRT User


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 71

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 20:23    Post subject: Reply with quote
drfragment: looks like what you're trying to do is client-bridged mode. This is a little different than the discussion in this thread: we're testing the wireless repeater functionality.

Here is a howto thread dedicated to what I think you're trying to do (client-bridged mode):
http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=68

The good news is I think the bug that Spudz777 shared "0001773: Multiple SSID: cannot use two SSIDs with different encryption settings at the same time" might not apply in your case as long as you use one encryption setting.
gnnash
DD-WRT User


Joined: 25 Nov 2006
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 21:36    Post subject: Reply with quote
I like what you are proposing. This is related to v24, which unfortunatly is a large firmware, and a micro version is most likely not possible.

Please see my thread here http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=7791 and post on your interest on it.
drfragment
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 28 Nov 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 23:03    Post subject: Reply with quote
marcjohnson: okay, forget the picture. Look to it as a repeater (without the UTP cable).

P.S. Note that the router (with internet) doesn't support WDS or bridge.
marcjohnson
DD-WRT User


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 71

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 2:17    Post subject: Reply with quote
drfragment: I setup my test routers the way you documented: WPA-TKIP between the two routers.

The repeater functionality works with WPA-TKIP configured on the repeater's physical interface. I am writing this post using the setup.

One thing to help debug: on the repeater, try manually setting Wireless|Basic Settings|Wireless Network Name(SSID) to match the source router, since you want to use a specific secure network. In the UWR wiki, the SSID is dynamic, which may not be apropo in your specific case.

Note: the test setup is running dd-wrt v24 on the repeater, and dd-wrt v23 on the source.

Hope this helps,
-MJ
wo-fo
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 16 Nov 2006
Posts: 553

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 4:13    Post subject: Reply with quote
This is definitely where this is going next, then on to the self healing mesh idea.. The one thing I want to throw in there if anyone is going to compile a custom build of V24, make sure it still has nocat splash in it.. This is critical.. Because the next step, which I already have running in the 2-router repeater design, is the captive portal, which actually does authentication as a full blown nocat gateway.. Not just a splash page..

So make sure in the end with whatever mini or micro version that is built, that is still has nocat splash and a writable jffs directory....

Take care, and now that I think we might be past the first wave of things and the new script is actually going to come out right away with tons of fixes and improvements, I can't wait to see what you guys do with it next...

Take care and keep up the good work...
wo-fo
drfragment
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 28 Nov 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:30    Post subject: Reply with quote
marcjohnson wrote:
drfragment:
One thing to help debug: on the repeater, try manually setting Wireless|Basic Settings|Wireless Network Name(SSID) to match the source router, since you want to use a specific secure network. In the UWR wiki, the SSID is dynamic, which may not be apropo in your specific case.


Tried that also. It doesn't work.
P.S. I tested with TL-WR642G as the source router and WRT54GL as the repeater.
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