rt-n12 unreliable connection as a client bridge

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kumarm_arun
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Joined: 04 Jul 2010
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 0:56    Post subject: rt-n12 unreliable connection as a client bridge Reply with quote
Hi,

Excuse the length of the post.

My router is asus rt-n12. It is a broadcom4716 SoC based router.
I followed the instructions and loaded dd-wrt.v24-14311_NEWD-2_K2.6_mini_RT-N12.trx successfully.
Then I loaded it with dd-wrt.v24-14311_NEWD-2_K2.6_std_nokaid_small.bin as suggested in the router database.
Performed hard Reset (aka 30/30/30 reset) between firmware changes.


I wanted to get it to work as a standard wireless bridge (client bridge) to connect to a wrt54g2 .
I followed the instructions in the wiki. Earlier I had tried the repeater bridge mode. Both modes failed
to remain connected reliably to the AP. The client bridge mode more so than the repeater bridge.
When it lost connection I checked the wireless status page through a computer connected to its LAN port.
What I saw was that the N12 radio was scanning and seemed stuck in a different channel. Sometimes it came
back after a couple of minutes and sometimes it did not.
The client bridge mode even failed to connect many times. I could get it to connect sometimes
after power cycling. All along I was setting the N12 to the same channel (while the mode was still AP before
switching it to client mode) as my primary AP (the channel by the way doesn't have
other interfering signals in the vicinity, the next strong signal is 35dB below).

The problem does not seem to be the primary
AP specific. I tried with two different brands Linksys wrt54g2 and NETGEAR WNR1000v2-VC. The latter seemed only a bit
better. Of the two, the former is a b/g router whereas the latter is a b/g/n router in g/n mode.
I had configured the rt-n12 modes appropriately.
I also tried different channel settings in the primary AP, including the auto. Always the bandwidth was set to 20MHz.
Tried both wpa-psk and wifi security disabled. Tried different TX power levels 1,14,17,20,70 etc. mW.
Didn't seem to make much difference with the problem. Also, there was alwasys enough received signal strength, around -35dBm
and noise -86dBm.

A similar problem has already been reported for another router:
http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=432497&sid=98c47e152e7c754311d9df10b0c1b113
where no solution was suggested for the broadcom platform.

On another thread it was clarified by some top level gurus here that broadcom devices while in client mode
cannot be locked down to a particular wireless channel or cannot be prevented from scanning.
Such a feature would have helped. This will also be useful in cases where there are multiple APs with the same
ssid but different signal channel (and may be signal strengths). I hope it will be incorporated in the future.
On that note, even better, the ability to specify or filter APs by mac address will be useful too.

All this means rt-n12 cannot be used with dd-wrt to work as a reliable client bridge with or without reapeating.
I had high hopes.

I suspected the hardware gradually.
But as of now, I am glad to say that I could load tomato teddy bear mod tomato-K26-1.27.9047MIPSR2-beta16-Std.rar .
onto rt-n12 and which is giving me a stable wi-fi connection to (WNR1000v2) as a client bridge. The connection was
up continuously for the past 24 hours. Though, I should note that tomato also lacks the ability to lock the client
bridge to a particular wireless channel used by my primary AP. Because when I changed the channel at the primary AP,
it scanned and reconnected in the new channel. Also, I could show that, when there are multiple APs with the same
ssid, channel and wifi security mode, it is not able to distinguish between them. It connects to one of them seemingly
based on whichever is stronger.


Any help with the problem will be greatly appreciated.


Arun
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LLB
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 05 Oct 2008
Posts: 521

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:21    Post subject: Reply with quote
I strongly suspect that your problem is that your g2 is not a good router. It has VERY bad antennas despite what the signal/noise values show. I suggest switching your routers and see if that improves things. Your noise value is way high too. There is no need to lock the channel down as you should be able to switch the ssid of YOUR primary router to something unique, and that will force the second router to connect to the channel of the primary.
kumarm_arun
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 04 Jul 2010
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 13:35    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for the reply.
As mentioned in the post, I tried with two different brands Linksys wrt54g2 and NETGEAR WNR1000v2-VC. The latter seemed only a bit better. Actually most of my testing was with WNR1000v2-VC, which had been proven to be a reliable router which I have been using for sometime now.
Also, it is with the same router that the tomato firmware is able to give a solid connection.

You are right about the noise, it seems a bit high. It may have to do with my room. Earlier when I tried it in my friend's house (with WRT54g2) the noise was around -92dBm which is normal.

kumar
vprasad1@hotmail.com
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 21:03    Post subject: Reply with quote
I've got two RT-N12 routers acting as client bridge and one RT-N16 acting as my main router. It took me some time to find this thread -- I've been using the following DD-WRT builds and in both of them, the RT-N12 routers are not stable as client bridge-- they will drop in less than an hour and will not reconnect unless powered off/on:
dd-wrt.v24-14896_NEWD-2_K2.6
dd-wrt.v24-15508_NEWD-2_K2.6

I have switched the RT-N12 client bridge to TomatoUSB for the time being and they've managed to remain connected to the RT-N16 beyond 24 hours.

Is there a known bug for the RT-N12 client bridge instability? If so, how far off is it from resolution?
richlee91
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 29 Dec 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 15:29    Post subject: Reply with quote
I have two N12s each running 14896. I've done the 30 30 30 reset on both routers. Based on other posts I have configured the main router for a 20Mhz channel and bounded it to channel 1. The longest I've gotten them to connect was 2 hours then it would drop. If anyone has any suggestions please chime in. I am going to attempt tomatoUSB on the client router.
buddee
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 06 Feb 2010
Posts: 7401
Location: Little Rock

PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 15:37    Post subject: Reply with quote
richlee91 wrote:
I have two N12s each running 14896. I've done the 30 30 30 reset on both routers. Based on other posts I have configured the main router for a 20Mhz channel and bounded it to channel 1. The longest I've gotten them to connect was 2 hours then it would drop. If anyone has any suggestions please chime in. I am going to attempt tomatoUSB on the client router.


Yes, perhaps use a different build, 14896 is somewhat known to have problems, check the link in my sig called "Broadcom firmware post" it'll explain more...

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though
DD-WRT User


Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 189

PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 19:34    Post subject: Reply with quote
i was having these same issues until i switched to teddy's tomato. no more probs... i have a huge network with 3 N12's in wireless bridge and 2 N12's as AP's....
crabnebula
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 06 Feb 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 21:49    Post subject: Reply with quote
I'm having the exact same issue with my RT-N12 using build 14929. When configured as a client bridge, connection drops very frequently. I can't complete a 1 GB file transfer most of the time.

Will try Tomato...
crabnebula
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 06 Feb 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 15:26    Post subject: Reply with quote
As it turns out I was experiencing the same issue with Tomato-USB. Connection drops, WLAN LED turns off, router freezes and is no longer accessible.

I hadn't realized this before, but the stock firmware in Repeater mode acts as a client bridge. That is what I'm using now, and not only is it stable, it is faster than either DD-WRT or Tomato (better throughput).
crabnebula
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 06 Feb 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 23:48    Post subject: Reply with quote
crabnebula wrote:
As it turns out I was experiencing the same issue with Tomato-USB. Connection drops, WLAN LED turns off, router freezes and is no longer accessible.

I hadn't realized this before, but the stock firmware in Repeater mode acts as a client bridge. That is what I'm using now, and not only is it stable, it is faster than either DD-WRT or Tomato (better throughput).


Scratch that. The stock firmware hangs in exactly the same way. Personally, I am unable to get a stable connection with the RT N12 in repeater or client bridge mode, regardless of whether I am using stock, dd-wrt or Tomato-USB firmwares.
jinkwelby
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 20 Feb 2012
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:59    Post subject: Reply with quote
Has anyone ever managed to get a stable wireless repeater or client bridge out of the RT-N12 and can share how they did it? Mine is an RT-N12 B1 and I'm having the exact same problem as others here, drops wireless and has to be power cycled every few hours. Frustrating. Is this router a dud and I should return it?
Moshe
DD-WRT User


Joined: 26 Aug 2008
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 15:44    Post subject: Reply with quote
I have two RT-N12 units (original version). I run one as AP using dd-wrt. I've tried several versions, and had occasional freezes with the most recent, so I've dropped back to: DD-WRT v24-sp2 (04/11/11) mini
(SVN revision 16773M NEWD-2 K2.6 Eko).

I use automatic reboot nightly, and the keep alive feature to makes certain the connection remains active (reboots if not). I get about one freeze a day with heavy usage.

The second unit is running as a repeater. I have fallen back to the stock firmware v. 9.0.1.3

It is very reliable, and locks up perhaps once a week.

I have not been able to run the repeater using dd-wrt. One issue is that I am locked into WEP security (because of multiple clients). I would try setting up with no security at first, and then move that up as desired.
jinkwelby
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 20 Feb 2012
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:40    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for the detailed information Moshe. Unfortunately, the stock firmware for the RT-N12 B1 (2.1.1.1.32) can't seem to hold a connection to the AP for more than a brief moment in Repeater mode (far worse than DD-WRT). I'm beginning to believe this router isn't up to the task, period. Which brings me to the question... What modern inexpensive (<60$) router makes a good stable repeater or wireless bridge?
hiluke
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 18 Apr 2011
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 23:57    Post subject: Reply with quote
jinkwelby wrote:
Has anyone ever managed to get a stable wireless repeater or client bridge out of the RT-N12 and can share how they did it? Mine is an RT-N12 B1 and I'm having the exact same problem as others here, drops wireless and has to be power cycled every few hours. Frustrating. Is this router a dud and I should return it?


I am running my RT-N12 on 14929 in repeater bridge mode. Not particularly heavy usage, and its fairly stable. If it drops the connection and reconnects, its not happening enough for me to notice. It can definitely hold the connection for over 2 days straight.

I also tried this on the latest build back in Janurary, and was getting it working, but consistent upload speeds were a bit of a concern, so I dropped back to the recommended build.

I could not get the repeater bridge function working on the stock firmware at all. Just refused to connect. Worked straight away on dd-wrt. Before I started playing with it last night, I had over 10 days uptime.

Process I followed to get this working (with a few changes) is here: http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/890888 (follow client bridge steps first)
Additions I made:
- Setup> Advanced Routing> Operating Mode: Router (it worked on Gateway regardless, but the dd-wrt wiki says to do this)
- During the linked steps, I picked N-only mode rather than mixed. I don't need any G clients connecting, and my primary router also only transmits in N.
- Should be in the linked steps, but ensure your wireless channel is not on Auto in your primary router.
- I used different IP's to suit me.
- Setup> Basic> Local DNS and Gateway are both set to the IP of my primary router. (don't know whether the DNS one is necessary, but it doesn't seem to hurt)

The reason I stumbled across this thread was because I was trying to get the RT-N12 repeater bridge to broadcast a second SSID, essentially so that I could have a 'Guest' style network for internet access only. I failed miserably with this, since every time I tried to enable the wl0.2 SSID, the router admin pages became very slow, and my computer showed limited or no connectivity. Maybe my build is too old, or this functionality just doesn't work.
HTD
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 26 Oct 2011
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 20:09    Post subject: rt-n12's everywhere Reply with quote
Hey,
I've had little trouble using the mini build (2.4 version not 2.6). I've several different setups work just fine together (repeater,rpeatbridge, clientbridg etc). Do not store logs, do not set channels accept for primary source, and set that to use 20mhz width (narrow). Make sure you set ip's in your network, not ouside of it, do not use any storage capability except on rt-n16, set them to cycle once a day, set up an NTP to connect to (same for all), and make sure they cycle separately, putting 5-10 minutes between them. Do not use any wds, just make sure that when there is no connection you script it to cycle the radio off then back on. Do not use firewall anything (script or spi), this will slow the processing and overtax memory to the extent that it will not hold a stable connection.
I have 3 n12's as primary ap's, no dhcp on them (run by servers), and all do dynamic routing on all interfaces(exchange routing info) so they fill memory pretty quick, but work faster. They also use spanning tree. from those I've got many repeaters and clients that feed both wireless and wired interfaces for printers, large copiers and computers. All addresses are set static, to keep routing tables from changing (computers are all dynamic), and the firewall is external of routers. This means it only processes outgoing internet requests, not dhcp or any thing else, making sure it can handle the requests and firewalling fast. Make sureyou've got the right build for the revision, ,(a1, b1,c1) the n12 has several revisions. Make sure you don't mix signal types too much (b type is not well supported), and make sure you set only one type of security for your catch (if you set main signal to mixed wpa, set the catch client to only one type wpa or wpa2 with only one key type identifier select either tkip or aes, for repeaters set first interface to onetype only and add virtual interface with what exactly matches the primary; this all works for me).
my revisions are all A1, with the 2.4 build. very stable. Spanning tree and dynamic routing on both, with no dhcp on router, and all allow mixed wpa and both tkip and aes for backward compatibility. you can try bluetooth coexist, but use is sparingly. You might want to set enable only so it will allow interleaved use of band, unless you absolutely know everybody will be using the latest in bluetooth. Works fine. Do not mess with anything else. with b1 revision set the db to 10-15 or it will brick due to noise..
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